Ontario, CA – The Ontario City Council presented the 2017 Model Colony Awards for Historic Preservation at their meeting on May 2, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Ontario City Hall, 303 E. B Street. This year, Ontario’s theme for Nationwide Historic Preservation Month is “Redefining Preservation” as proclaimed by the Ontario City Council. Across the nation this May, communities are discovering/re-discovering, honoring, and sharing the unique heritage of their local region. In Ontario, the City Council will recognize and celebrate those members of the community that may not consider themselves traditional preservationists, but through their efforts, contribute to the preservation of Ontario’s cultural heritage. This year’s award categories include the George Chaffey Memorial Award, Merit and Rehabilitation.
The George Chaffey Memorial Award was presented to Bellevue Memorial Park. Bellevue Memorial Park was established in 1892 and is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. For the past 7 years, Bellevue Memorial Park has partnered with Ontario Heritage, a non-profit preservation advocacy group, to host the annual cemetery tour. In January 2017, Bellevue hosted the first marker cleaning project organized by a local Boy Scout Troop. More than 50 historic upright markers were cleaned by participants from the troop. Bellevue Memorial Park remains an integral part of the community and through their continuing community involvement, has proven to be a distinguished leader in the preservation of Ontario’s cultural heritage.
The Award of Merit was presented to three recipients this year. The first Award of Merit was presented to the property owner of the Harry W. Fredrickson House. Built in 1928, this home is an excellent example of the Tudor Revival architectural style. The house features an impressive high-pitched, wood shake, multi-gabled roof, exposed eaves, stucco siding, and half-timbering decoration. Through the property owner’s outstanding stewardship, this residence remains as an excellent example of the Tudor Revival architectural style. The second Award of Merit was presented to the developer of the 2016 College Park Historic District infill project. The new residential infill is appropriate in scale, massing, architecture and design, achieving maximum compatibility with the historic neighborhood. The project is an excellent example of appropriate infill in an historic district. The third Award of Merit was presented to the property owner of the S. Earle Blakeslee House. Built in 1925, this home is an excellent example of the Mediterranean Revival bungalow architectural style. Built by S. Earle Blakeslee, the longtime head of the Music Department at Chaffey High School and Chaffey College, the U-shaped house features a cross gabled roof covered with red clay tiles. The house is clad in stucco and features an arcade entry way that leads to a small front porch. Through ongoing maintenance and home improvement repair, the property owner has contributed to the preservation of this outstanding historic resource.
The Rehabilitation Award was presented to Majestic Realty Company for the rehabilitation of the Sunkist Water Tower. The Sunkist Water Tower is an iconic symbol to the community of an agricultural business and industry that was an integral component to the early years of development and success of Ontario. In 2016, the Water Tower was relocated to accommodate the construction of a 239,400 square foot industrial building at the former Sunkist Growers processing plant. As part of the project, the Water Tower was fully documented and catalogued with detailed plans and photographs. The Water Tower and Sunkist logos were also authentically restored. An interpretive sign program meeting National Park Service standards has been installed near the Water Tower. The relocation and rehabilitation of the Tower ensures that this iconic structure and the history it represents remains intact for future generations to learn from.
Displays for each award winner will be shown inside City Hall throughout the month of May. For more information about these awards or to learn more about historic preservation, please contact the Planning Department at (909) 395-2036.