September 28, 2009 on 8:21 pm | In Fascinating Information, Historic Properties, Problem | 5 Comments


This post is inspired by an excerpt from a post from the National Trust for Historic Preservation titled “In California, ‘Fantastic’ State Parks News Doesn’t Hold Up to Scrutiny” written by Anthony Veerkamp @

Last week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a press release concerning the fate of California’s state parks. Judging by most of the media coverage that ensued, you’d think that parks advocates had scored a major victory.

Alas, what the Governor called “fantastic news for all Californians” turns out on closer reading to be just a fantasy….By redefining what it means to close a park, it turns out that closures can be avoided. This game of semantics may have bought the Governor a couple days of positive media, but did nothing to address the $14.2 million hole in this year’s parks budget. In fact, the Governor’s plan bears out what the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been saying all along: that closing parks doesn’t really save money. In fact, all of the contemplated closures—err, service cuts—are projected to save just $2.1 million. The real savings are found the old fashioned way: $12.1 million is saved by reducing ongoing maintenance and eliminating all major equipment purchases.

Which takes us back to the crux of the matter. When the National Trust included California State Parks on our 2008 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, we highlighted years of chronic underfunding and deferred maintenance as the primary threat to the vast array of historic and cultural resources in California’s state park system. The Governor’s “budget solution” is just the latest chapter in a tragic saga of running the country’s best state parks system into the ground.

For the whole story, please go to



The underfunding, and eroding of our state parks, is the issue that exists with many of our legacy assets. There has got to be another way… Many city and state historic properties sit in blighted condition.

The state of California could generate revenue for the parks if they sold off some of their blighted legacy assets to individuals and corporations that would care for the properties. Monies raised from property sales and annual taxes could go toward maintaining our parks.


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  1. Privatizing assets is an interesting way to go.
    Who else has a solution?

    Comment by Culture Vulture — September 30, 2009 #

  2. SACRAMENTO-The State of California has officially gone to market with 11 office properties totaling 7.3 million square feet after disclosing in December that it would sell the office buildings on a sale-leaseback basis to raise funds to keep California’s government going. The California Department of General Services, which in December named CB Richard Ellis to market the properties, expects that the sales of the buildings will generate in excess of $2 billion in one-time revenue. Offers are due by April 14 on the portfolio, which is expected to draw interest from investors worldwide.

    Comment by Bob Howard — March 2, 2010 #

  3. CA Accepting Bids for Government Buildings

    The state of California has begun accepting bids on a portfolio of 24 government office buildings. CB Richard Ellis has the listing, which has grown from the 17 buildings the state had planned to sell last year. Prospective buyers include former public officials who years ago advocated that the state construct and later sell the buildings to boost its revenues. Buyers can purchase the buildings, on 11 sites in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Rosa, individually or in bulk.

    Comment by CRE News — March 15, 2010 #

  4. Inaugural Los Angeles County Preservation Fund Awards Announced

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced the first grant winners for the inaugural Los Angeles County Preservation Fund,
    awarding money to twelve historic and culturally significant sites and programs across Los Angeles County.

    Among the twelve winners of an inaugural Los Angeles County Preservation Fund grant are: the oldest handball court in East Los Angeles; a 1960s playground designed by Mexican-born Benjamin Dominguez, a survey of the Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. designed City of Torrance, and the two gateways of Los Angeles Chinatown. Click here to learn more about all twelve

    Comment by PreservationNation — March 18, 2010 #

  5. According to C.A.R.’s “2011 California Housing Market Forecast,” California home sales for 2011 are projected to increase 2 percent to 502,000 units compared with 492,000 units (projected) in 2010. After two consecutive years of record-setting price declines, the median home price in California will increase 2 percent in 2011 to $312,500, according to the forecast.

    “As the U.S. economy continues its tepid recovery, we’ll see some improvement in California’s economy,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “We expect a net jobs increase of approximately 1.4 million jobs in California for the year to come and an improvement in unemployment figures.

    Comment by Leslie Appleton-Young — October 16, 2010 #

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