The City’s Cultural & Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Division administers various programs surrounding Historic Preservation. The City’s Historic Preservation Program was adopted in 2000 and is governed by Azusa Municipal Code Chapter 55. The City is currently revitalizing the City’s Historic Preservation programs. The first step is to adopt the City’s First Historic Context Statement.
In 2019, the City selected Historic Resources Group to conduct the Historic Context Statement and Historic Survey Update. This would be the City’s first Historic Context Statement and the first update to the Historic Survey. The first Historic Survey was adopted on September 14, 2000. Below is an explanation on the Historic Context Statement and Survey Update:
Historic Context Statement
The Historic Context Statement is a crucial document for a successful Historic Preservation Program. A Historic Context Statement is needed to understand the historic significance of resources in a given area, it is necessary to examine those resources within appropriate historic context. A historic context statement is a written document that provides the framework for evaluating a property for historic significance and integrity. It answers questions such as:
- What aspects of geography, history and culture shaped the built environment of a given area?
- What property types were associated with those developments?
- Why these properties are important?
- What level of integrity is needed for them to qualify as historic resources?
The purpose of a Historic Context Statement is to place built resources in the appropriate historic, social, and architectural context so that the relationship between an area’s physical environment and its broader history can be established. A Historic Context Statement is not intended to be a comprehensive history. Rather, its purpose is to highlight trends and patterns critical to the understanding of the built environment.
The purpose of the context statement determines how broad or narrow the focus should be. Context statements can be prepared as a first step in the development of a historic preservation program. Context statements can be prepared in conjunction with historic resource surveys; reconnaissance. Context statements can be used to facilitate the simultaneous designation of properties, thereby streamlining the process. Context statements are required for individual landmark nominations and historic resource evaluation reports. This would be the City’s first Historic Context Statement.
Update City Wide Historic Survey
The Historic Context Statement would work alongside the Updated City-Wide Historic Survey. The original Historic Property Survey List was updated on September 14, 2000. The Update City Wide Historic Survey would identify a relevant period of significance, and complete a reconnaissance survey of Azusa’s residential and commercial properties followed by an intensive level field survey of relevant properties. This project shall include the identification, photography and evaluation of properties built within the identified period of significance. Evaluation will be based on National Register, California Register and local criteria.
The contribution of individual properties to a historic site or thematic/typological grouping shall also be evaluated, and California Historical Resources Status Codes will be assigned to all relevant properties. Properties will be documented on the appropriate State Historic Resources Inventory forms and the results of the survey work and research will be recoded, including digital photography that meets State Office of Historic Preservation standards.