Community: Glendale Historical Society honors North Cumberland Heights

The balmy evening blended well with the mellow mood of those attending the Glendale Historical Society's annual meeting and summer social at Deukmejian Wilderness Park on Saturday.

Following wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres in the picnic area, Greg Grammer, the society's president, led the group to the amphitheater next to the Le Mesnager Historic Barn and Vineyards where he presented three awards and installed the board of directors.

The 2013 Preservation Award was bestowed upon the North Cumberland Heights Historic District. Receiving the honor for all who had helped in creating the district were the applicants Gloria Williams Sander and Jerome Sander, Susan Dasso and Zuzka and Peter Eggena.

The North Cumberland Heights Historic District consists of 179 single-family homes that are fine examples of the Period Revival architectural styles of the 1920s and '30s, along with Minimal Traditional and ranch style homes from the 1940s and '50s, Grammer said.

Victoria Lasken was recognized for serving on the society's board of directors. As vice president in 2010, she was active in membership and outreach, communications and event planning. More recently, she has played an integral part in the home tours and social media. She has secured more than 600 followers on Facebook.

Sean Bersell was honored for his service on the board. He was elected treasurer in 2011 and has been chairman of the communications committee and a member of the preservation advocacy committee. He is curating the 2013 Home Tour, which showcases five homes in the Casa Verdugo neighborhood including the Casa Verdugo, which was a restaurant in the early 1900s. The Border Grill food truck will be parked nearby and guests can relive that experience of Glendale's early days by dining at the Casa Verdugo.

Grammer announced that Bersell is stepping down from the board and taking on a new role as executive director, the first one for the historical society, which advocates the preservation of the city's landmarks, supports maintaining the historic character of the city' neighborhoods, educates people about the city's history and operates the Doctors House Museum in Brand Park.

In addition, last year's board was reinstated for another term. They are Grammer, Margaret Hammond, Marcia Hanford, Cathy Jurca and Ammar Kharouf.

Grammer received a donation of $1,615.02 from the Community Foundation of the Verdugos, presented by Edna Karinski, chief executive officer, and Ernest Burger, vice president.

The Glendale Historical Society has an endowment fund managed by the foundation that was started by a Glendale philanthropist.

The society is proud of several strides made over the past year. The number of historic districts has increased to five, with two more in the process, society membership is at 500 and last year's home tour attendance reaching 600, the most ever, Grammer said. In the past year, four properties were added to the Glendale Register of Historic Resources, bringing the total number of properties listed on the register to 99.

"Which means that they are designated as historic landmarks," he said.

The society will be depending on its members in the coming months and years to lend their voices when buildings are threatened, including the Glendale post office and court house, Grammer said.

Member cheered on 95th birthday

The summer party for L'aureole was especially festive because members also celebrated Lucille Mellon's 95th birthday. Susan Skiffington opened her home for the event.

Assisting the hostess were her daughter, Betsy Savant, as well as Kathryn Kashuba and Mary Wollam. Members also provided hors d'oeuvres, drinks and a double-chocolate birthday cake.

A special guest was Capt. Josh Sneed. He and his wife, Jessica, are the new Salvation Army captains in Glendale. Proceeds from L'aureole's annual benefit are donated to the Salvation Army.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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