California Heritage Council



700 Hayes Street, San Francisco

813 Grove Street, San Francisco

215 Lincoln Blvd., Presidio of San Francisco

Robert Rishell Mural, State Bldg., Sacramento

1127 Market Street, San Francisco

2150 Green Hill Road, Sebastopol


The Officers and Board of Directors

cordially invite you to attend the


Annual Awards Dinner

celebrating our 58th year of award presentations

for the preservation and restoration

of historic buildings and sites

Thursday, June 22, 2017

St. Francis Yacht Club

Marina Boulevard

San Francisco, California

Cocktails 6:00 P.M. Dinner 7:00 P.M.

Host: Betty Ann Prien $95.00 per person

R.S.V.P. by June 14, 2017

--Christopher Layton, President

John J. Hodges, Board Chair

(415) 699-0780

Please copy and print the text form below and fill in the
form below for reservations.

Yes, I/We shall attend the 58th Anniversary Awards Dinner of the

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Please reserve _____ places(s) at $95.00 per person.

Please reserve _____ table(s) for _____ at $95.00 per person.
(Tables of any size can be set up by advance request.)

I/We require _____ vegetarian meals, instead of the chicken entrée.

I would like to enclose a donation of: $___________________.

Total amount enclosed: $___________________.



Name ____________________________________




Please list the names of your guests and seating preference


POSTING DATELINE: December 14, 2016
CHC Celebrates at the St Francis Yacht Club

As we celebrated the season with our annual holiday dinner held December 7, 2016, we were missing the physical presence of the CHC’s heart and soul, John Hodges and his wife Sue. CHC President Chris Layton conveyed John’s message to us at the dinner last week.


“Imagine as Chris reads this, that we are before you as in so many years in the past. Over there is Betty Ann and Nadine and of course there is Diane fixing the countless problems that need to be fixed.  Sue and I think of you all and want to convey to you our love for you and the organization.
It had been our plan to be there, but a little health issue got in the way. But like the buildings, boats, historic sites we so celebrate, Sue and I are really there with you. We are as real as Pearl Harbor.  We are as real as Santa Claus is to a child.  We think of the 366 awards CHC has made over these 50-plus years!
Merry Christmas to you all
John and Sue”
Et cum spiritu tuo, John.

Photography courtesy of Timothy/


POSTING DATELINE: October 18, 2016

Our Visit to Sturgeon's Mill--

Undanted by the Rain

October15, 2016

It was a terrific outing!  After several attempts over the last 4 years, we finally made the trip to Sturgeon's Mill.  This is a great Awards candidate! The visuals were fabulous, even the burgers and hotdogs were well above average!

-- CHC President Christopher Layton

This restoration project began with an inspiration to share and preserve a piece of local history. At Sturgeon's Mill, you can bask in the rich resonance of more than 100 years of California history. Imagine the mighty redwoods that passed through this once-bustling facility, creating the timber that built a great state. Close your eyes, and you can almost hear the voices of the workmen as they labored and laughed together. Stand alongside the powerful steam-driven sawmill, and the now-silent roar of its machinery still echo's faintly through the glade.

The Mill's Restoration Team

CHC members narrowly escaped the rain at Sturgeon's Mill,
Saturday, October 15, 2016.

Photo by Richard Torney


CHC Honors 2016 Award Winners

Photograph © 2016 Timothy D. Manning

As the sun set behind the GGB, members, friends and honorees gathered at the St. Francis Yacht Club to dine and celebrate the winners of the California Heritage Council’s Annual Awards Gala last week, June 22, 2016. As the sun set behind the GGB, members, friends and honorees gathered at the St. Francis Yacht Club to dine and celebrate the winners of the California Heritage Council’s Annual Awards Gala last week, June 22, 2016. CHC President Christopher Layton presided over the event with his consistent presence in the award photographs below.

Please enjoy the photographic account.

The setting sun creates a dramatically lit picture as windurfers and pelicans fill the window scene with unique drama.

The annual dinner is the crown-jewel event.


For BUILDING 101, Infantry Row, Presidio of San Francisco

For the SOCIETY OF CALIFORNIA PIONEERS’ MUSEUM, Building 101, Infantry Row, Presidio of San Francisco

For BATTERY TOWNSLEY, Fort Cronkhite

For SIERRA #3, Steam Locomotive, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown


For MATTHEW TURNER Educational Tall Ship, Sausalito

Please see the descriptions below for the details on each award.

All photography by Timothy/Manning Magic .com


CHC Announces 2016 Award Winners

Six honorees will receive CHC Awards this coming June 22nd at the Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. They are, in no particular order:

MATTHEW TURNER, Educational Tall Ship, 2330 Marinship Way, Sausalito. 
This Award was nominated by CHC President, Chris Layton.  The mission of Educational Tall Ship is to construct a historic and sustainable wooden tall ship for the San Francisco Bay Area.  The project will provide on the water and shore-based experiential education for students of all ages, both during construction and after completion.  Programs will focus on marine ecology, sustainability, teamwork, leadership and the vibrant maritime history of the Bay Area. The vessel will be the first wooden ship of this size built in the Bay area in nearly 100 years.  Inspired by the 19th century Brigantine Galilee, she will be 100 feet long on deck and have a 25 foot beam.  She will also be certified for open ocean sailing, making passage to any port in the world a possibility. Visit for more information.

This Award was nominated by CHC member, Richard Torney, and will be accepted by John Martini, volunteer leader of the primarily volunteer effort to restore Battery Townsley.  It represents the zenith of U.S. military technology for coast defense purposes.  It is one of a pair of prototypes for nearly thirty more casemated (overhead-protected) gun batteries that protected key harbors during World War II, and is now the best restored of its type. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, between 1937 and 1940,  Battery Townsley has been restored by a group of skilled and dedicated volunteers, working under National Park Service direction.  It is open to the public on a regular basis for guided tours, and it has become one of the highlights of a visit to the scenic and historic Marin Headlands.


BUILDING 101, Infantry Row, Presidio of San Francisco. 
This Award was nominated by CHC Executive Vice President, Barbara Wanvig.  Built in 1895-6 as permanent barracks for the U.S. Army infantry, it is situated in a row of 5, mostly identical, barracks constructed concurrently, and facing the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground.  The building was last used as the Military Police barracks, before the Army closed the Post in 1994.  A complete rehabilitation of this particular barracks building was an adaptive reuse to convert the 42,000 square foot building to a multiple tenant office use, with public uses on the first floor.  The Presidio Trust rehabilitated this building using capital funding from Trust income and will lease the space to generate future income. Most original partitions, stairs, plaster wall and ceiling finishes, hardwood floor finishes are all still extant, though concealed in some cases by 1970's alterations.  The building now is home to the California Society of Pioneers Museum and research facility, the Commissary Restaurant, and the business offices of Swirl, an advertising and communications company.
Building 101, Infantry Row, Presidio of San Francisco. 
This Award was nominated by CHC Executive Vice President, Barbara Wanvig.  As the oldest organization west of the Mississippi, the Society opened one of the first libraries in California, as well as a grand hall for meetings, lectures, and social events. Today, the Society operates a museum, educational programs, and The Alice Phelan Sullivan research library, all as a nonprofit organization.  The library contains over 10,000 books, manuscripts, maps, journals, newspapers and autobiographical materials related to the early history of California.  The Society maintains a rotating schedule of cross-disciplinary exhibitions focused on California art, history, and culture, and are open to the public. Guided tours and museum education programs are offered free of charge with advance reservations.

SIERRA #3, Steam Locomotive, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown. 
This Award was nominated by CHC Board member, Bill Palmer.  Appearing in over 100 Hollywood productions, the Sierra No. 3 is known as the "most photographed locomotive in Hollywood history." The 4-6-0 type locomotive was built in 1891 by Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works in Paterson, New Jersey for the Prescott and Arizona Central Railroad. Sierra No. 3 was one of the original three locomotive on the railroad, and later pulled passenger trains before the arrival of No. 32 in 1923. Retired in 1932, it was returned to operation for movie work in 1947-48. It has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows and commercials. The No. 3's film and television credits include, "High Noon," "The Virginian," "Back to the Future, III," "Unforgiven," "Bad Girls," "Petticoat Junction," "The Wild, Wild West," and "Little House on the Prairie."

This Award was nominated by CHC Vice President, William Applegate.  For 113 years, The Commonwealth Club has brought people face to face with some of the greatest leaders, thinkers, innovators and artists of our time.  Every year the Club holds hundreds of events throughout the Bay Area.  In late 2012, the Club purchased the 1910 building at 110 The Embarcadero, along San Francisco’s waterfront, with plans for its future, permanent home.  The Steuart Street facade will be maintained and restored to its original form, with a plaque dedicated to the historic events of “Bloody Thursday,” which took place in front of the building on Steuart Street in 1934.  Inside the building, a dedicated digital screen of curated content will describe the historic events of 1934, along with a full history of the site.  The Club is also working directly with the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union and, in particular, their in-house librarian and archivist, Robin Walker, and labor historian, Harvey Schwartz.  As a historic organization, The Commonwealth Club is honored to tie its own history to the history of its new headquarters building and provide a distinct place to share this important history with the public for the first time.



CHC Trips off to Sausalito for a Seaside Discovery
CHC member Wayne Mooers directed us to our recent visit to ship-building sites in Sausalito.
The main event was the 100-foot tall ship "Matthew Turner" now getting planked w/ 2” fir -- two years after 68,000 lb keel was set.  
Wayne also recommended the Spaulding Marine Center.  You can get an eye full of 1950’s era boat building shop, now turned into maritime heritage center for wooden boats. He commented, “As a kid - early 60’s, I was lucky enough to learn how to sweep up sawdust here - and sort out the left-handed wood screws. Good sights, good smells.”
Here are a few photos from that recent CHC outing March 31, 2016 in Sausalito.

You can watch a video on the Matthew Turner project at:


POSTING DATELINE: January 3, 2015
The Holiday Party

Welcomes the New Year 2016
The Joy of the Season launches bids adieu to 2015 and welcomes 2016 as CHC members enjoy the pleasure of each other's company at The St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco this past December. Here's to a bright new year!

( Photography by Timothy/

CHC Announces the 2015 Awardees

And the winners are:


INN AT THE PRESIDIO, Presidio of San Francisco




Presidio of San Francisco


Fun with Flags in San Francisco

POSTING DATELINE: February 2, 2015

The dome that crowns the residence of CHC member Dorothy Kitt.

One of the nice perks about being a member in CHC is attending meetings in some of the grand manors of San Francisco. On January 29, 2015 we met at the residence of CHC member Dorothy Kitt on the San Francisco Gold Coast.
CHC's John Hodges with the first American flag, which sports the British Union Jack.

The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by CHC Board Chairman John Hodges on some of the historic U.S. flags that he personally owns. He remarked at the meeting, “Yes, I do have my own flag pole at home and my wife Sue and I enjoy flying these great symbols of our country. I feel that the national flags represent many of the same values we hold dear for the buildings we are trying to preserve locally, for example, those at the Presidio.”

And with the Betsy Ross flag

CHC's Dorothy Kitt readies the post-meeting refreshments.
John further commented that the California Heritage Council is proud that the first award CHC gave to the Presidio years ago, for the re-use of the Presidio Jail as a Post Office, still hangs in the Trust Executive Offices, and that building will be re-purposed again. He also noted that the Cavallo Point Hotel model in Sausalito, which CHC supported, created the design template for the Inn at the Presidio, and that “ CHC looks forward to presenting our coveted awards to the Presidio as long as they continue to be earned.”

Photographs courtesy of Timothy D. Manning/ Manning Magic .com


A Holiday Treat at the Fairmont


A large turnout of CHC members and guests met in the Crystal Room on November 20, 2014 for a walking tour of San Francisco’s renowned Fairmont Hotel by Tom Wolfe, the Fairmont’s chief concierge. Wolfe is a captivating historian, with encyclopedic knowledge of the hotel, and many personal perspectives, reflected in the long and colorful history of the Fairmont. 
The story of the Fairmont Hotel begins with Tessie and Virginia Fair who were the daughters of James Graham Fair, one of San Francisco's wealthiest citizens.  The daughters were determined to construct a grand monument to their father, who had passed away in 1894.

In 1902, construction began on The Fairmont Hotel, but by 1906, it had become too much of a burden for the Fair sisters, and they sold it to the Law brothers, Herbert and Hartland. How could anyone know that the 'great San Francisco fire,' as locals referred to the disaster of the earthquake and what followed, was just days away?

After the quake and fire, the Law brothers took the burden of social responsibility seriously, and went ahead with plans to repair, redecorate and, where necessary, restore. The Law brothers’ final choice for the project’s architect was Julia Morgan, the first woman graduate of the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris who was just starting out, and would later rise to be known as the nation's preeminent female architect.

Exactly one year after the earthquake, a grand banquet celebrating the opening was held at The Fairmont. Fireworks illuminated the beautiful new hotel, as a thousand ships at anchor in the bay, City Hall and all the buildings rose up, phoenix-like, in defiance of nature's wrath. San Francisco was alive and well and would thrive again.
But as the decades marched on, time took its toll on the grand hotel. The Fairmont in 1941 had entered an era of 'benign neglect,' victim of the depression and its own lethargy. But once again, The Fairmont 'rose from the ashes.' The occasion was the end of World War II, and the Fairmont was purchased by Benjamin Swig. Swig was an East Coast businessman who, 'had a knack for seeing a good thing and turning it around. Swig engaged Dorothy Draper, the most famous decorator of the time, to transform the lobby and the public areas.
The Fairmont once again made history when it greeted the 21st century with an award-winning $85 million restoration. In May of 1999, legions of craftsmen checked into the San Francisco landmark to recreate architect Julia Morgan's vision for the 1907 hotel. Comparing the project to an archeological dig, the restoration team uncovered much of what had been layered over by Draper’s designs, restoring original marble floors, ornate domes and intricate design work throughout the historic hotel. And the finishing touch has added the modern-day amenities desired by its guests, such as a spa and wireless internet capabilities. Today the Fairmont still stands, world-renowned, as an awe-inspiring picture of historic San Francisco.

At the conclusion of Mr. Wolfe’s presentation, CHC Board Chairman John Hodges and CHC President Christopher Layton presented Mr. Wolfe with a framed proclamation that we sponsored in 2007, from the Office of the California State Assembly, in recognition of the Fairmont’s 100th anniversary.  The proclamation was procured in 2007 by our historian, Neil Malloch, but was never presented to the Fairmont, due to executive changes taking place.  Neil stored this proclamation for all these years, and CHC finally had the opportunity to present it in the care of Mr. Wolfe.
Mr. Wolfe then took us on an informative, and very enjoyable, walking tour of the Fairmont, pointing out the highlights of the restoration, among other interesting facts.  He sharing several personal stories of his many years at the Fairmont, and its famous guests like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. 

We viewed the two-story giant gingerbread house, in the Grand Lobby, under construction and almost completed.  We also saw several rooms that are closed to the public, such as the former Venetian Room, where workmen were installing yards of garland and other holiday decorations for the hotel. 

Mr. Wolfe arrange for special elevators to take us to the very top floor of the hotel, the Crown Room - also closed to the public, and only used for special events.  It was a clear night, and the view spectacular -- better than the top of the Mark, as rightly pointed out by Mr. Wolfe. 

The Fairmont has been nominated, and approved by all on the tour, for an award at our June 25, 2015 Awards Dinner for its interior restoration and preservation.
Photography courtesy of Timothy D. Manning/

The 2014 Awards Presentation
In Recognition for Striving to Preserve
CHC President Christopher Layton and Chairman John Hodges presented the 2014 CHC awards of recognition to nine honorees at the our annual awards dinner on June 12, 2014 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. The recipients were all smiles as they received their honors.

Receiving for the JUDGE AUGUSTUS PALMER HOUSE, Calistoga: Bob Fiddaman

Receiving for the MACHADO SCHOOL, Morgan Hill: Bob Sass, Brenda Sass, Shelli Bettencourt, Jan Strahan and Mary Lou Gunter. 

Receiving for the MEYERS HOUSE, Alameda: George Gunn & Jeannie Graham

Receiving for 865 THE ALAMEDA, San Jose: Mark Cardoza

Receiving for the THE PINES, Sausalito: Roxanna Sheridan & Gil Purcell

Receiving for the OWL GRILL & SALOON, Grass Valley: Steve Graham

Receiving for VILLA AMOROSA, Calistoga: Jim Sullivan

A special presentation was made by CHC President Christopher Layton to Theodora Hansen for her distinction of being the youngest CHC member to date.

THE GOLD BEAR AWARD was presented to Gary Widman for his outstanding public service in historic preservation of the Presidio National Historic Landmark District.

All photographic images by Timothy D. Manning/


CHC Announces 2014 Award Nominations

Packards, pines and a pub highlight this year’s California Heritage Council Annual Awards Nominations. The awards dinner is scheduled for June 12, 2014 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

And the nominees are…
JUDGE AUGUSTUS PALMER HOUSE, Built in 1874, Calistoga


MACHADO SCHOOL, Built 1895, Morgan Hill
MEYERS HOUSE, Built in 1897, Alameda


865 THE ALAMEDA, San Jose, Built in 1927

THE PINES, Built in 1888, Sausalito

OWL GRILL & SALOON, Built in 1857, Grass Valley

VILLA AMOROSA, Built in 1872, Calistoga

THE GOLD BEAR AWARD will be presented to Gary Widman for his outstanding public service in historic preservation of the Presidio National Historic Landmark Dist



California Heritage Council

2013 Award Winners

June 19, 2013
Antique & Classic Boat Society

Bruton House, Alameda

Classic Yacht Association

Ford Motor Company
Assembly Plant, Richmond

Master Mariners
Benevolent Association

Norwegian Seamen's Church, 
San Francisco

SS Red Oak Victory
Ship, Richmond

Spaulding Wooden Boat
Center, Sausalito






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This site is dedicated to the memory of Henry Prien, whose untiring efforts to the preservation of California's creative heritage still inspires us all; and to Betty Ann Prien who continues Henry's legacy

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