Over the last twenty plus years, Heather McLarty has established herself as a well-known artist and blacksmith whose creations have beautified the community. Her public works include the gates and benches at the Audubon Center in Debs Park as well as the gates to the athletic field and a large copper wall collage at Occidental College. Her privately commissioned works include graceful, organic stair railings, a custom bramble ceiling lamp and fireplace screen, and specially crafted cooking tools. She is dedicated to preserving the art of blacksmithing and used those skills to accurately recreate the square iron nails needed to restore the doors at the Lummis House. She teaches others the craft, is an active member of the Arroyo Arts Collective, and has participated in tours and demonstrations at her blacksmithing shop “Steel Crazy” – a tepee on her property, behind the whimsical gate to her home. She is an outstanding member of the vibrant artists’ community in Highland Park and deserves recognition with this 2014 award.
This website contains a wealth of information about the history, happenings, and historic preservation activities in Highland Park and neighboring communities. It was created in July 2008 and is maintained by Jesus Sanchez, an accomplished journalist for over 25 years, who was born and raised in East Los Angeles and has received accolades from several magazines for producing the “Best L.A. Neighborhood Blog.” The Eastsider has done a commendable job promoting the cause of preservation in N.E.L.A. by publicizing the controversy over the Southwest Museum and Shoppers Market, and by interviewing local historian/preservationist Charles Fisher. The website also published a photographic two year retrospective of changes on York Boulevard, and has showcased outstanding restorations of historic places, such as Dr. Smith’s Victorian home in Garvanza, and other homes in our neighborhoods. These efforts to keep the community aware of and actively protecting its local treasures surely deserve this 2014 award.