SANTA MONICA MIRROR
Santa Monica History Museum Receives $5K Grant From Boeing Nonprofit
POSTED NOV. 13. 2012, 8:45AM
MITCH JAMES I MIRROR CONTRIBUTOR
The Santa Monica History Museum has received a $5,000 grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing CA, an employee-owned and operated nonprofit organization that requires an employee recommendation for its community grants program.
Robert Acherman, a contributor to the fund, and a Systems Analyst for Boeing, said he saw a perfect fit for the Museum. The extraordinary legacy of the Douglas Aircraft Company, one of Boeing’s heritage companies, is showcased at the Museum in a fascinating interactive exhibit in the permanent gallery and complemented with the research library’s outstanding Douglas collection of artifacts, documents and photographs.
Acherman’s interest in the Douglas Aircraft Company’s legacy in Santa Monica is a personal one. His father, Anton Acherman, was living in Santa Monica when he was hired by McDonnell Douglas for the Skylab project and had the pleasure of working with Donald Douglas Jr. Now living in Torrance, Robert maintains strong ties locally, having served as President of the Santa Monica Jaycees in 2007.
Robert presented the ECF grant award of $5,000 in person to the Museum’s Board of Directors, with Chair Eddie Guerboian and President Louise Gabriel very pleased to accept the generous donation. Board members and Operations Manager, Mary Pat Cooney, enjoyed hearing about the Skylab and missile projects from Anton who attended the presentation along with Robert’s wife, Chris. Afterwards, the Acherman family toured the Museum’s galleries and research library.
SANTA MONICA DAILY PRESS
History Museum gets $10K grant
January 7, 2013 6:56 PM
Author: Kevin Herrera
In recognition of its youth programs, the Santa Monica History Museum recently received a $10,000 competitive grant from the Edison Company.
“The Magic of History” youth program at the museum seeks to engage and involve young people in the history of their community, educating them with stories and events from the past that also have relevance to the world today, museum officials said in a news release. The museum reaches out to a broad spectrum of young people through elementary and high school classes, Santa Monica College, youth groups and families.
The museum also collaborates with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, museum officials said.
The grant was recommended by Mark Olson, regional manager of Southern California Edison and member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s environmental affairs committee.
Up Front With Mary Ann Powell: CEO/General Manager Of Pacific Park
POSTED MAY. 27, 2012, 11:00 PM
BRENTON GAREN / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Mary Ann Powell has spent more than 15 years taking Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission-free amusement park, to new heights. As CEO, her sights set on improved profitability, streamlined operations, and exceptional guest service, she has led the way for 16 new amusement rides and attractions, complete midway games refurbishment, creation of a new “Family-Share” rides area, and the renovation and branding of the oceanfront food plaza.
Powell’s strategic vision and creative marketing skills have generated record setting EBITDA growth for the organization since she joined the team in 1997. She also implemented an industry leading customer service program for Park employees.
The Santa Monica Pier, home to Pacific Park, plays host to 6.5 million visitors annually.
In 1994, Powell was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara, CA. She was responsible for all advertising, public relations, promotions, and group sales. Paramount’s Great America enjoyed its largest single season attendance to date of 2.5 million visitors during Powell’s tenure.
For more than eight years, she served as Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. Under Powell’s direction, the themed dinner attractions were successfully launched in Dallas, Texas; Meadowlands, N.J.; and Schaumburg, IL.
Prior to joining Medieval Times, she held the position of public relations manager for Six Flags Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, CA, from 1981 to 1983.
Fourteen bound volumes of the Santa Monica Topics newspaper were donated to the Santa Monica History Museum today by the Friends of the Santa Monica Library. Fourteen volumes date from 1935 to 1940, and include the wonderful full color Sunday funnies we all loved.
Each volume houses remarkable items from the pre-war era, with information about earthquakes, opera, business and social news. World news headlines include, “Famed Dogs Banished from the Alps” and “Hitler Lauded in Rome.” Grocery store ads tell us that 2 lbs of bananas could be purchased for 5 cents. Deanna Durbin was starring in the latest movie at the Majestic Theater and Major Bowes was performing his Second Anniversary Special Vaudeville show at the Ocean Park Municipal Auditorium. On the weekend, you could take a dip at the Venice Plunge.
This collection marks the first and only material from the Santa Monica Topics newspaper in the museum’s archive. The volumes are in excellent condition, and are available for browsing or conducting research in the Museum’s Morley Builders reference library.
As this photo illustrates, an old newspaper has something interesting for everyone. A seven year-old visitor to the Museum pulled out his notebook to jot down some facts as he perused a volume with Museum volunteer and recent UC Northridge History graduate Stacey Nembhard-Taylor.
After the youngster completed his tour, he reported to Museum Operations Manager Mary Pat Cooney that he planned to tell all his friends about the Museum so that they could come and enjoy all the cool things we have.
We’d love to learn more about the Santa Monica Topics newspaper. If you wrote or shot photos for the paper, please contact Mary Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-395-2290.
CONTACT: Cameron Andrews
For Immediate Release
Pacific Park donates an original Ferris wheel center hub sign to the Santa Monica History Museum
SANTA MONICA, Calif., (May 26, 2011) – Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier today announced the donation of a historical piece of its original world-famous Ferris wheel, one of the two center hub signs, to the Santa Monica History Museum.
With the yellow background and red Pacific Wheel inscription, the hub sign measures six feet in diameter and is encircled by 98 incandescent bulbs. The hub sign adorned the Ferris wheel from the opening of Pacific Park in May 1996 through its replacement in May 2008. In an informal ceremony led by Jeff Klocke, director of marketing and sales at Pacific Park, the artifact was presented to representatives of the Santa Monica History Museum including Louise Gabriel, President and CEO, and Eddie Guerboian, Chair of the Board.
“We wanted to present the Santa Monica History Museum with something extraordinary and nostalgic, which led us to the Ferris wheel’s center hub sign for preservation,” said Klocke.
“The Pacific Wheel has been an incredible source of pride for the City. Pacific Park’s donation of the center hub sign represents our desire to preserve a distinct part of Santa Monica history.”
The Pacific Wheel has been a highly visible icon for the entertainment industry as well having been featured in more than 350 movie, television, commercial, music videos and print advertisements. “We are pleased to accept this unique donation by Pacific Park,” said Gabriel. “This is the type of artifact that makes the History Museum relevant to the City. The center hub sign will provide a means for the community to relive its past with wonder and whimsy.”
On May 28, 2008, Pacific Park introduced an all-new $1.8 million Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel featuring more than 160,000 energy-efficient LED lights that provides higher energy savings while complementing the solar-power application. The eco-friendly, enhanced LED (more) Pacific Park Donates An Original Ferris Wheel Center Hub Sign To The Santa Monica History Museum; lighting provides 75 percent greater energy savings than most Ferris wheel’s traditional incandescent bulbs. The Pacific Wheel now presents dynamic, custom, computer-generated lighting entertainment each evening. The Pacific Wheel was the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel introduced in 1998 and was later selected “Best Solar System” in the Reader’s Digest Best in America 2006. The nine-story tall Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel stands 130 feet above the Pacific Ocean and offers extraordinary views of the Southern California coastline from its location on the internationally popular Santa Monica Pier. Overall the Pacific Wheel has provided more than 3 million rides in its 15 years of operation and continues to be a community treasure.
Pacific Park’s original Ferris wheel center hub sign is now on display at the Santa Monica History Museum during regular hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 12-8 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed on Sunday and Monday.
Santa Monica History Museum admission is $5 per adult, $3 per student with proper identification, and Free to members and children under 12.
Santa Monica History Museum is located at 1350 7th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
For additional information, please call 310-395-2290 or visit www.santamonicahistory.org.
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 18 midway games and an oceanfront food plaza. Signature rides include the Pacific Wheel, the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel; The West Coaster, a steel roller coaster that races 55 feet above the Santa Monica Bay; and Inkie’s Air Lift Balloon Ride, the high-flying, family-share kids ride.
For additional information and hours of operation, call 310- 260-8744 or visit www.pacpark.com.
Of the people who can deservedly be called pillars of the Santa Monica community, Louise Gabriel is the very soul of Santa Monica. Her community involvements span 40 years and include membership on boards ranging from the Salvation Army to Santa Monica Hospital, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Santa Monica College Advisory Board, and the Santa Monica Historical Society. She chaired the city’s 110th year birthday celebration, helped found the Historical Society, founded the Santa Monica History Museum, and writes articles on behalf of the Historical Society. She has won numerous awards and recognitions of service and has authored two books about Santa Monica, “Early Santa Monica” published in 2009, and “Santa Monica 1950-2010” published this year, both by Arcadia Press.
As Gabriel says “There is so much to tell.” Recently at the History Museum, which occupies space attached to the main branch of the Santa Monica Library, Gabriel told The Mirror about the Historical Society and how she founded and nurtured the History Museum into what it is today.
With her late husband, Bob Gabriel of ISU Bob Gabriel Co. Insurance, Louise Gabriel came to California 60 years ago. “We loved Santa Monica,” she said.
In 1975, Louise Gabriel, who was then chair of the Women’s Counsel of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, served on the Historical Activities Committee for the Centennial Celebration. This was when she and some others founded the Historical Society with former mayor Clo Hoover as its first president. Gabriel’s committee planned the centennial exhibit at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
“There were over a hundred volunteers and I made costumes for them at Santa Monica College,” said Gabriel. She also oversaw the fitting of a gown for May Sutton Bundy, the first woman to win the tennis championship at Wimbledon, who rode in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses sitting atop a Santa Monica 100th Birthday cake float.
During the next 10 years, the fledgling Historical Society held events, such as essay and art contests in the local schools, while Gabriel collected historical objects and memorabilia. “The collection was stored in a rental house that Bob and I owned,” Gabriel explained. “I thought it was time to share it with the public.” She discussed it with her colleagues who loved the idea, but were unable to help “because they were all employed full time.”
Louise Gabriel had such passion for her idea of a museum that she resigned from several of the boards she had been serving on in order to have time to work on the search for a location–and funding. She kept adding to the collection while Bob Gabriel, the official co-founder with his wife, looked for funding sources. For three years they struggled, with only $20,000 in the Society’s treasury to work with.
When they were finally able to create the History Museum in 1988, Gabriel recalls “The first location was in the old Sponberg Department Store” (on the former Third Street Mall, now the Promenade). It wasn’t big enough and the Museum soon was moved to an industrial building at 20th Street and Colorado Avenue. This site became the home for the Sony complex. Another location was found in a storefront on the Promenade again. But by the time they were settled in, “The rent was increased to three times what it had been. We couldn’t afford it.”
Fortunately, the Gabriels were able to find a new location with the old Family Service Building on Euclid Street. For 20 years this building housed the History Museum and its growing collection. “It was so wonderful to us. They kept the rent affordable.
“While we were there, the city informed us that they would give us space in the new library. We had a capital campaign to raise funds. My husband chaired and raised a million and a half dollars. We were a few thousand short so we cut back on some of the things we had planned.” The Santa Monica History Museum opened in October 2010.
Visitors to the Museum will find that it contains several sections: a gallery for changing exhibits, and sections devoted to specific themes such as marine life artifacts, the role of airplanes in the city, the local press (an exhibit about the Santa Monica Outlook newspaper that folded in 1998), and activities on the beach. There is an antique player piano and items of antique furniture. Docent tours are available for schools.
Gabriel’s frequent articles about Santa Monica history for local publications led to the writing of her two books. “We were contacted by Arcadia-they do this kind of publishing about cities, doing a book for each city,” Gabriel said. It took her about a year and a half to write and assemble each book.
“Early Santa Monica” documents the city’s development and early years through historic photographs. This year’s companion book “Santa Monica 1950-2010” is about “what Santa Monica is,” featuring more photos and commentary, divided into sections on sights to see, dining around town, community pillars, celebrities, organizations, businesses, hotels, churches, and sights and sites of sheer beauty. “I tried to put things in there that people did not know about,” said Gabriel.
Louise Gabriel has worked tirelessly on the History Museum but her work is hardly done. “We’re dependent on the community for support.” The Museum receives no funding from the city and donations are always welcome but “we always need loads of volunteers” for tasks such as cataloguing and research.
Gabriel also wanted people to know that the Santa Monica History Museum has “the biggest collection of local history of any museum.” She noted that because of its location adjacent to the library, many people have not noticed it yet and more people need to know that it is there—for them. “This is a museum for the community–for the people.”
Louise Gabriel’s books may be purchased at the Santa Monica History Museum at 1350 Seventh Street, open Tuesday and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To receive an order form, contact Mary Pat Cooney at the museum, phone 310.395.2290. All proceeds go to benefit the museum.
Contact Lynne Bronstein
For Immediate Release
New Santa Monica History Museum Receives Lasting Legacy From Local Building Materials Company
Bourget Bros. Gifts of Travertine and Granite Represent Key Design Elements, but also Serve to Dazzle Visitors to the Facility with their Natural Beauty, Elegance and Style
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (December 1, 2010) – When the eagerly anticipated new 5,200-square-foot Santa Monica History Museum officially opened its doors to the public this past October, two attractions stood out that immediately drew “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd entering the new facility. They were the vast expanse of Turkish Travertine that make up the floors of the lobby as well as the huge slabs of Chinese Granite that forms the backdrop of the majestic “Wall of Legacy” directly across from the entrance – both gifts to the museum from Santa Monica-based Bourget Bros. Building Materials, a pillar of the local business community since 1947.
“We wanted visitors entering the museum to be ‘wowed’ from the very start, even before visiting the rooms housing our interactive displays, exhibits, documents and unique artifacts,” said Louise Gabriel, President/CEO of the museum. “The stone products donated by Bourget Bros. set the tone and mood for the wonderful treasures that await our visitors, but they are also incredible attractions unto themselves, and help make our museum a showplace unlike any other in this area,” she added.
Kristina Andresen, president of Andresen Associates, the architectural firm that designed the museum, added that, “Every gift to the museum has been extremely important and greatly appreciated. However, Bourget Bros.’s gift of their elegant stone is truly an outstanding contribution in that it adds so much to the building’s overall design and ambience. The travertine and granite are not only warm, rich and inviting materials, every piece in our complex design was precisely cut by Bourget stone craftsmen to complement the museum’s décor and enhance the priceless items on display in the museum.”
The color tones of the Turkish Travertine used in the lobby derive from a combination of three Bourget Bros. color palettes – Sienna Premium, Noce Premium and Golden Sienna. The Sienna Premium lends a light shade to the travertine, while the Noce mixes a rich mocha brown hue with the vibrant blend of orange tones found in the Golden Sienna. The Travertine, which is also used in the museum’s countertops and restrooms, has qualities that lend themselves equally well to commercial and residential use.
Chinese Granite, named Cactus Granite, was selected for the museum’s “Wall of Legacy” due to its rich dark green cast, which contrasts perfectly with the bronze tree and leaves on which the names of the museum’s major donors and supporters are prominently displayed. Towering and majestic, the wall instantly captures visitors’ attention and draws them into the main reception area.
“We are very proud to be residents of this vibrant city that we love so dearly, Santa Monica,” said Leonard Bourget, Chief Financial Officer of Bourget Bros. “Santa Monica been a part of our lives for decades, and the stone contribution we made to the Santa Monica History Museum is our way of ‘giving back’ to the community and saying thanks for all it has done for us over the years. We are honored to be an integral part of the museum, and to have our building products there be a lasting legacy to our company, our family and our entrepreneurial spirit.”
Founded in 1947 in Santa Monica, Bourget Bros. Building Materials was the brainchild of brothers Henry, Lawrence and Leo Bourget, who bought a concrete manufacturing plant in Santa Monica and opened Bourget Concrete Products Co. with an initial investment of only $300.00.
In 1950, the brothers expanded their product line to include natural building stone, plumbing, masonry and landscaping supplies, as well as tools and hardware, changing the name to Bourget Bros. Building Materials. In 1964, Henry retired and sold his interest to younger brothers Leonard and John and brother-in-law Roy Kinslow.
In 1984, the brothers purchased Coast Flagstone Co. in West Los Angeles which they renamed Bourget Flagstone Co. and moved to their other operations in Santa Monica. Through the uniqueness of its design as a showcase establishment, the company ushered in a renewed interest in natural stone throughout Southern California.
The museum was so appreciative of the Bourget Bros.’s contribution that it created a special plaque thanking them. That plaque is now on permanent display at the museum entry.
“My late husband and museum co-founder, Bob Gabriel, and I have known the Bourget family for many years and have maintained a mutual friendship and respect for one another,” said Louise Gabriel. “We have shared a deep interest in the community and have devoted much time and effort to help preserve its history and culture for generations to come. Bourget Bros. Building Materials has been tremendously supportive in providing all of the stone work and installation throughout the museum, and we greatly appreciate it.”
Bourget Bros. Building Supply is located at: 1636 11th Street, 310.450.6556.
The Santa Monica History Museum is located at: 1350 7th Street (east side of the Public Library), 310.395.2290.
Contact: Bill Krenn