Tom Butt for Richmond City Council The Tom Butt E-Forum About Tom Butt Platform Endorsements of Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt Accomplishments Contribute to Tom Butt for Richmond City Council Contact Tom Butt Tom Butt Archives
E-Mail Forum
Richmond Recognizes Efforts at Historic Preservation

A standing room only crowd at the Richmond Museum of History embraced successful efforts to change the future of Richmond by embracing the past. These are solid investments in economic development and cultural tourism. They bring visitors to Richmond and create jobs. The following is from the West County Times:

Richmond recognizes efforts at historic preservation

By Chris Treadway
West County Time

Article Launched: 05/13/2008 06:40:29 PM PDT

Richmond this week honored a growing movement toward embracing, rather than erasing, the city's history.

In the eight years since holding its first Historic Preservation Awards ceremony, the city has become home to a national park and has preserved and returned some historic sites to gainful use. The city also has made strides in documenting its past and preserving the memories of those who have lived here.

That progress and the many people behind it were acknowledged Monday at the Richmond Museum of History, where awards were presented to six recipients at a gala reception. The awards reflected more than efforts to save vintage buildings, recognizing those who have brought aspects of the city's past into public view.

Donna Roselius, founder of the Point Richmond History Association, was honored as a pioneer figure in Richmond preservation efforts.

"She did a whole lot more than found an association. She really started a movement that has gone on to this day," said Sandi Genser-Maack, who presented awards as a member of the city's Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.

Those accepting awards emphasized that the honor represented the efforts of numerous people, rather than an individual.

"The work this award acknowledges is really the work of multitudes," said Donna Graves, who was presented with a special honor by the National Park Service for her ground-breaking work establishing the Rosie the Riveter Memorial and numerous other areas of Richmond's history.

The Point Richmond Gateway Foundation was honored for its oversight on the successful restoration of a dilapidated railroad building into a functioning bank branch. Along the way, there were supporters and naysayers, said Martin McNair, a Point Richmond resident and Mechanics Bank board member who became involved with the restoration.

"It was not just one person, there are dozens responsible for this project," he said. "Of course there were more than a handful of people who said, 'no way.'"

The City Council was recognized for its support of preservation efforts in the past 12 years, with Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and her predecessors, Irma Anderson and Rosemary Corbin, accepting the award.

"The City Council over the years has had a reputation for not getting along well," except when it comes to preservation issues, said Councilman Tom Butt. "Without that level of support and that unanimous support, we probably wouldn't be here today."

Also honored were the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and its related organization, the Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau. The chamber was cited for a series of advertisements for last year's Home Front Festival by the Bay that featured highlights from Richmond's past. Chamber President Judy Morgan said plans call for two more ads for this year's festival.

The visitors bureau was honored for producing a walking tour brochure for Point Richmond and said similar projects are in the works.

Organizers say the awards will be an annual event.

"We aren't going to wait eight years for the next one," Corbin said.

Reach Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com.