On Sunday, July 26, 2015, Bluff Park residents joined together to celebrate the Historic District’s 33rd anniversary at the Wine Crush located at 3131 East Broadway.
All ages came to participate. Joining the festivities was Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price. BPNA recognized the individuals in Bluff Park who made it happen will along with celebrating what it means to chat with the neighbors today.
A little background information:
There are several stories about the history of Bluff Park, including the original Native Americans who lived in the area known as the Bay of the Smokes, the occupation of Spain in the late 1700s, when the land was divided between two landowners and named Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos, and the story of William Wilmore, who in 1882, built 12 houses and founded Wilmore City.
In 1886, John Bixby subdivided a portion of his land and called it Alamitos Beach. The area was annexed to Long Beach in 1905. Houses were built in a variety of architectural styles running the gamut of Victorian, Colonial Revival, Old English, Craftsman, and Spanish Colonial Revival.
Each reflected the period of principal development which was from 1903 to 1949. The State Historic Resources inventory identified 65 houses as highly significant examples of their architectural styles with 109 homes contributing to the historic character of the district named Bluff Park.
Neighborhood preservation began in 1961, when a small group of neighbors banded together to contest a proposed high-rise tower. In 1972, the neighborhood organized itself into an incorporated group known as “Beach Area Concerned Citizens” under the leadership of Admiral Ruff to advocate for rezoning Ocean Boulevard. Peter Devereaux and Sharon Shen, along with others, convinced the State Coastal Commission that coastal historic neighborhoods were valuable State assets with Bluff Park being a prime example. Luanne Pryor, Marian Seratan and Admiral Lawrence Ruff members of the Beach Area Concerned Citizens and Peter Devereaux, Stan Poe, Bill Montgomery, Bob Bailey and Harriet Williams involved with Willmore City Heritage worked with Council members Renee Simon and Tom Clark to adopt the Cultural Heritage Ordinance in November 1977. Leaders from these two organizations, including Doug Otto, encouraged and helped incorporated “A Preservation Non-Profit Foundation” to publicly advocate for preservation in the city. These efforts resulted in neighborhoods having the opportunity to work hard and achieve their Historic District designation. It was July 1982 and Bluff Park became a Historic District. The community had labored long and hard to achieve this historic designation after being inventoried and surveyed for the historic significance in 1980.
Over the years, numerous Bluff Park residents have worked to preserve the historic integrity and increase community fellowship. So many individuals have participated including Helena and Elbert Segelhorst, John Parkin, Larry and Juvie Borges, the Dunns, Sasha Witte and Wendy Harn, Tim and Elizabeth O’Shea, Ken Marks, the Ridgeways, Elizabeth Kuehne and John Romunstad, Linda Renner, Isaac Waksul, Rolando Cruz, Mike Hernandez, Ray VanNatta, and Claudia Schou.