Santa Monica News
Santa Monica Conservancy To Host Fundraiser
By Melissa Simon
Sep 3, 2013 - 6:24:01 PM

SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Conservancy will host its annual fundraising salon on September 21 at the former estate of actor and conservationist Leo Carrillo.

The Conservancy, which has been spearheading local preservation efforts for nearly two decades now, will host the event at Los Alisos (The Sycamores) from 4 to 6 p.m. to help raise money to “promote widespread understanding and appreciation of the cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits of historic preservation,” according to conservation officials. There will be a house tour, conversation with the owners, wine and elegant hors d’oeuvres.

The event comes a year after the Conservancy launched a campaign to raise $1.6 million to hire staff, expand programming and complete work on a 1890s shotgun house to use for headquarters. Currently, the Conservancy is working to preserve Downtown Santa Monica’s 75-year-old Post Office, which is a WPA building located at Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue.

“A preservationist and conservationist, Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks Commission for 18 years and played a key role in the state’s acquisition of Hearst Castle, the L.A. Arboretum, and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park,” according to conservation officials.

Exclusive Salon at Leo Carrillo's house. Photo credit: Stephen Schafer

The Leo Carrillo State Park has been named in honor of the actor who appeared in more than 90 films, including his most famous role of Pancho in the 1950s TV western, “The Cisco Kid.”

The Carrillo house, which was purchased in 1932 for a mere $200, is a Spanish Colonial Revival that sits on a hillside planted with sycamores, oaks and palms with patios and courtyards with arcades “fashioned from baked adobe bricks salvaged from an old kiln.”

Current owners Melinda Gray and Bill Borden have “updated the home while respecting the integrity of the vernacular structure,” conservancy officials said.

Tickets for the event are $175 for the general public and $150 for Conservancy members and can be purchased at or by mailing a check to Santa Monica Conservancy, P.O. Box 653, Santa Monica, CA 90406. For more information, call 310-496-3146.

Those wishing to attend must RSVP and purchase tickets by September 14 and attendance is not recommended for guests that may have trouble with long, steep stairways.

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