Los Angeles, California
On behalf of HUD and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, then- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martinez presented the 2003 Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation to the Ziegler Estate/La Casita Verde Childcare Center in Los Angeles, California. The award recognizes projects and activities that advance the goals of historic preservation while providing affordable housing and expanded economic opportunities, particularly for low- and moderate-income people. The Zeigler Estate/La Casita Verde project is the sixth recipient of the award.
The 2003 award honors the restoration of the Ziegler Estate, a house that graced the posh residential neighborhood of Highland Park in the early 20th century. As the years passed, the neighborhood and the Ziegler Estate faced decline and abandonment. Concerned about losing a rare link to the neighborhood's rich past, an energetic coalition of city departments, the Community Redevelopment Agency, and citizens' groups garnered funding from public and private sources to restore the historic estate to its original condition.
Renovators corrected code deficiencies, installed new mechanical systems, and provided a seismic upgrade and repairs to existing earthquake damage. The renewed mansion now provides a link with Highland Park's rich past, while providing vital services to meet the neighborhood's critical needs through the La Casita Verde Childcare Center. The facility is conveniently located near a new light rail station and bus lines that many parents use to commute to their jobs. The preservation of the historic Zeigler Estate as a center for children enables this historic building to serve once again as a home.