• Support for Historic Wintersburg builds as site owner considers sale options

    February 27, 2018

    Last month, Republic Services, owner of the Historic Wintersburg site, informed the City of Huntington Beach, the Ocean View School District and the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force of its intent to sell the land to Public Storage for development as a self-storage facility.

    Since that time, Huntington Beach council members have received numerous letters in support of the historic site’s preservation and reuse as community resource, ranging from the Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board and Preserve Orange County to the Japanese American National Museum and the national Japanese American Citizens League.

    On Friday, February 23, representatives of the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force, Ocean View School District and the National Trust for Historic Preservation met with Republic Services to discuss more desirable and appropriate alternatives for the future use of the Historic Wintersburg property.

    The Task Force and partners restated their offer to purchase the endangered historic site for fair market value through the Trust for Public Land, with the goal of preserving the historic buildings and grounds as public park and community space for Huntington Beach and the Oak View neighborhood. Republic Services agreed to consider this alternative, with a report back to the School District before the end of March 2018.

    As Christina Morris, field director for the National Trust, conveyed in a statement immediately following the meeting:

    “We are encouraged by the conversation with Republic Services and their acknowledgement of Historic Wintersburg’s significance to the community and its potential to become an important publicly-accessible asset that would benefit residents, students and visitors in Huntington Beach. The National Trust and our dedicated local partners remain committed to the goal of preserving this increasingly rare and fragile link to our nation’s early Japanese American history, while also creating new uses, public amenities, and green space for the city. We believe this outcome will be beneficial to Republic Services as well by reaffirming their pledge to not demolish any of the structures and showcasing the company’s commitment to build strong communities.”

    From immigration in the late 19th century to the return from incarceration following World War II, as highlighted recently in an OC Weekly article, Historic Wintersburg stands as a rare, irreplaceable and nationally-significant testament to the Japanese-American experience. All six buildings on the site are individually eligible for state and national historic registries. Learn more about the endangered history and untapped potential of this National Treasure at savingplaces.org/historic-wintersburg.

  • Wintersburg Uncovered!

    June 27, 2016

    Last month, we reached a milestone – the owner of the Historic Wintersburg site publicly announced that there is now no plan to demolish any of the historic structures! Years of grassroots advocacy, expert analysis, lots of hard work, and its placement on 2014’s 11 Most Endangered List have demonstrated this place’s important story, incredible rarity, and unique potential as a community benefit and true National Treasure.

    But while Historic Wintersburg has been saved from the wrecking ball, the six historic buildings on site still face threats due to years of neglect and deterioration. Most concerning has been the growth of several large trees, whose branches grew over the Furuta family barn, 1934 church, and clergy housing (manse), becoming a serious threat to the modest structures below.

    Before

    Historic Wintersburg - Furuta Barn before Tsuzuki Tree Services Clearing

    photo by: Mark Bixby, Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force

    Furuta Family Barn before clearing.

    Historic Wintersburg - 1934 Church before Tsuzuki Tree Services Clearing

    photo by: Mark Bixby, Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force

    1934 Church building along Warner Avenue before clearing.

    Historic Wintersburg - Manse before Tsuzuki Tree Services Clearing

    photo by: NTHP Staff

    Manse (Clergy Housing) before clearing.

    With expert guidance from Historic Resources Group and Structural Focus, and with a generous donation of arborist services from Tsuzuki Tree Services, multiple trees on the Historic Wintersburg site were trimmed to eliminate the threat of falling debris and fire hazards as the first step of a comprehensive stabilization effort. The team from Tsuzuki Tree Services also cleared dry brush from the tops of the buildings, greatly reducing the strain on the 100+ year-old roofs.

    The final result is a safer, more secure, and also more visible Historic Wintersburg. The full 1934 Church building along Warner Avenue is now fully visible from the street, and the full manse is now in plain sight. Next steps in the stabilization effort include fumigation and structural supports. Keep up with the latest news at the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force’s Facebook Page. Much more to come!

    After

    Historic Wintersburg - Furuta Barn after Tsuzuki Tree Services Clearing

    photo by: Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force

    Furuta Family Barn after clearing.

    Historic Wintersburg - 1934 Church after Tsuzuki Tree Services Clearing

    photo by: Mark Bixby, Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force

    1934 Church building along Warner Avenue after clearing.

    Historic Wintersburg - Manse after Tsuzuki Tree Services Clearing

    photo by: Mark Bixby, Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force

    Manse (Clergy Housing) after clearing.

All 2 updates

The National Trust's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund has awarded $3 million in grants to 33 places preserving Black history.

See the List