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California Missions FoundationDecember 2013   



The end of the year always is a special time to reflect on the past year. As an organization, the California Missions Foundation accomplished a great deal in 2013, and we look forward to next year with great excitement and energy.


Since the founding of CMF more than a decade ago, our valued supporters have allowed the Foundation to help our 21 Missions and four presidios with nearly $10,000,000 in important preservation, conservation and maintenance projects. Our All Aboard the Bus Program continues to send hundreds of Title I students on education field trips to their local Mission. All of this would not have been possible without the generous support of our contributors. For this, we sincerely thank you.


In 2013, CMF helped each of the missions with a variety of projects from earthquake strengthening, to adobe water damage repair, to archaeological studies, to historic painting and artifact restoration. CMF staff also worked hard this fall to embrace the U.S.-Spain Council Forum held in Santa Barbara. In an effort to draw awareness to our mission needs in both Washington D.C. and across the Atlantic, CMF over three days built relationships with leading businessmen, politicians and Spain's Royal House.


In 2014, CMF is anxious to increase our awareness and outreach statewide and to continue our track record of important Mission preservation. California Missions Foundation continues to save our heritage of the California Missions and together we look forward to doing more for you in 2014.


Happy Holidays!





David A. Bolton                    Milford Wayne Donaldson FAIA
Executive Director               Chairman of the Board







The Board of Directors of the California Missions Foundation has selected two highly-qualified individuals to lead the Foundation's Board.


Milford Wayne Donaldson, California State Historic Preservation Officer from 2004-2012, is a licensed architect and is affiliated with several historical and preservation organizations and is a past president of the California Preservation Foundation (CPF) and past chairs of the State Historical Building Safety Board, the State Historical Resources Commission, and the Historic State Capitol Commission.  


Over the last thirty-five years, Mr. Donaldson has established himself as a leader in Historic Preservation and adaptive reuse of existing structures. On June 1, 2010 Mr. Donaldson was appointed Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation by President Barack Obama and currently holds that position.

Milford Wayne Donaldson Bio


Jim Lazarus is the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's Senior Vice President/Public Policy. A fourth generation San Franciscan, he brings a wealth of experience in the public policy arena and a thorough understanding of the city to his role with the Chamber. Previously, Lazarus served as a Deputy City Attorney, Executive Deputy Mayor to Mayor Dianne Feinstein and for two years as State Director of Senator Dianne Feinstein's offices. He also held senior positions with Mayor Frank Jordan's office, including Chief of Staff. He has served as President of the San Francisco Recreation & Park Commission and on the board of directors of numerous civic and charitable organizations.

James Lazarus Bio 


 "Both Wayne and Jim bring so much to the table for CMF, and both have demonstrated a great deal of passion toward preserving our California Missions," said CMF Executive Director David A Bolton.

"I'm delighted, these are two of the best people we could have gotten," said former CMF Executive Director Knox Mellon.





Newly-elected CMF Chairman 
Milford Wayne Donaldson FAIA 
























Newly-elected CMF Vice-Chair
James Lazarus









At the September CMF Board Meeting at Mission Santa Cruz, the Foundation agreed to award 22 grants to Missions and related historic sites totaling more than $100,000. These grants this year were awarded in honor of Dr. Knox Mellon, long-time CMF executive director who retired last year.


The grants ranged from historic adobe reconstruction, to painting and artifact restoration, and to important maintenance of historic fabric, archives and mission era buildings. Each fall, CMF awards a variety of grants to the 21 California missions and related historic sites.


Please click here to see a list of the 2013 "Knox Mellon" Grant Recipients  





These are two of the paintings included in the condition assessment of the Mission San Juan Capistrano's painting collection which was one of the 2013 grants awarded by CMF. condition assessment will be performed by the Balboa Art Conservation Center. 
Photos courtesy Mission San Juan Capistrano. 







Scaffolding is up, and work has begun on the important face lift to the Old Mission Santa Barbara facade - annually one of the most photographed California mission images. As part of an on-going extensive federal SAT (Save America's Treasure) Grant issued by the National Parks Service, skilled construction workers have been removing pieces of the horizontal cornice edge that have corroded over time. 


This urgent facade care was brought on after pieces of the historic structure began falling to the ground below -- thus posing a potential hazard for tourists and parishoners alike. The workers are rebuilding missing pieces with Jann mortar reinforced with steel mesh and pins, according to Kathryn McGee of Chattel and Associates. "At the top of the bell tower they've found more corroded material than expected," she said. "It had become a public safety issue," Ms. McGee added.


Next up for the Mission as part of the SAT Grant Project will be the long awaited conservation of the historic Convento Wing, both the interior and exterior walls. The walls have been holding in moisture, and will be resurfaced with a permeable coating to prevent future water related issues. There is also studies on-going to determine how the water is entering the Convento walls. One theory is that a previous aqueduct ran under the Convento and could be again bringing water to the area. 


A great amount of caution is being taken with the current facade work. Repainting is needed, and experts are identifying original colors used so that the preservation work is accurate. The California Missions Foundation continues to administer the federal SAT Grant to the Mission, as it did for similar Grants at Missions Carmel, San Miguel and San Luis Rey.


The entire project, including work on the Convento Wing, is expected to not be completed until at least fall of 2014. 


























































Scaffolding has been in place for a of couple weeks at Old Mission Santa Barbara for the first time in 60 years as work is well under way to repair and stabilize the facade. This project is part of a federal SAT grant secured by CMF for the Old Mission from the National Parks Service. The next phase, after the facade work, will be to resurface the historic Convento Wing which has suffered from water damage eating away at the original adobe walls from the inside. CMF administered similar SAT Grants at Missions Carmel, San Miguel and San Luis Rey. Photos by David A. Bolton.  







Santa Barbara event brings together business and political leaders from both countries



In an effort to raise awareness for the on-going need of preservation at the California Missions, the California Missions Foundation staff and local board members joined leading politicians and business leaders from the U.S. and Spain during the XVIII Council Forum that was held in Santa Barbara November 15-17.


"It was a tremendous opportunity for CMF to explain about our Foundation and to also share the need for continued preservation efforts at the 21 California Missions and related historic sites," said CMF Executive Director David A. Bolton. "Everyone that we had a chance to meet showed a great amount of interest in our Missions. Originally built by the Spanish and now situated on U.S. soil, the missions are important elements of both countries' history.



CMF staff were joined by CMF Board Members Jock M. Sewall and Luis Gonzalez.


"This weekend I believe firmly establishes CMF as the source and conduit for all Mission preservation issues and funding," said Mr. Sewall.



Added Mr. Gonzalez: "There were a number of contacts that the Foundation made this weekend that have the potential to be very meaningful relationships.  In addition to that, on numerous occasions throughout the length of the conference, the California Missions Foundation was acknowledged publicly in speeches made by the likes of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Spain's Foreign Minister, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain and U.S. Senator Tim Cain.


Members of the US-Spain Council, including CMF, participate in the Forum.

"There were a number of CEOs that were of Spanish descent and are operating companies here in California and other parts of the U.S.  These CEOs were very interested in preserving one of Spain's greatest legacies in North America".


CMF staff arranged for the historic tours that all 150 Council attendees took part in on the opening day of the Forum. In addition, CMF staff assisted the Forum organizers with both of the gala banquets - including the opening Banquet that featured Spain's future King, Prince Felipe of Asturias, whom CMF executive director Bolton had the chance to spend 15 minutes with explaining about the efforts of CMF and on-going preservation work at the California Missions.


CMF Executive Director David A. Bolton of Santa Barbara discusses the California Missions and the need for on-going preservation at these historic sites with Spain's Crown Prince Felipe of Asturias following the Council's Gala Opening Banquet Friday at Montecito Country Club. Photo courtesy of Luis Gonzalez.

"He showed a great interest in the Missions, and also other related historic sites like our Presidios," said Mr. Bolton. "One of the speakers at Saturday's Forum said that 'the business of the Council is not just statistics, but also culture'. CMF is honored to have been chosen to participate in the Forum and to have been able to share the rich culture of Santa Barbara and of our historic California missions with all of the distinguished conference attendees as well as with Spain's Crown Prince Felipe."


Old Mission Santa Barbara Guardian Father Richard McManus is flanked by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) and David A. Bolton, executive director of the Santa Barbara-based California Missions Foundation, during Friday's opening cultural tour of historic sites in Santa Barbara.
Photo courtesy of Luis Gonzalez. 





All Aboard the Bus Program Helps 4th Graders Learn More About California History


Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the California Missions Foundation is again able to award grants to multiple schools for field trips to their local missions that would otherwise not be possible. Now in its sixth year, CMF's All Aboard the Bus Program will be sending hundreds of fourth grade students on valuable field trips to learn more about the history of the California Missions.


"The response from teachers and students alike has been incredible," said CMF Executive Director David A. Bolton. "Partnering with other Foundations has again made this important learning experience possible. We look forward to continuing to grow the All Aboard the Bus Program so that each year more and more students that otherwise could not visit a mission are able to see first hand pieces of this important part of California history."


Please click here for the 2013-14 CMF All Aboard the Bus Schools 


Students at Howard Wood Elementary School enjoy a field trip to Mission San Gabriel following a grant from CMF's All Aboard the Bus Program.







The California Missions Foundation is pleased to offer a new way to show your support, by donating stock. When you donate stock to CMF you will not be responsible for paying taxes on said stock, however you will still receive full tax credit for the amount of the stock on the day you contribute. To donate please have your broker call UBS Financial Services at (201) 352-6300, with the following information:


Account Name: California Missions Foundation

DTCC Clearing Number: 0221

Account #: XN04920


As always please call Executive Director David A. Bolton at the CMF office with any questions at

(805) 963-1633.




You can help us to preserve California's historic missions and all their cultural treasures! 

Please call our office at (805) 963-1633 to donate by credit card, or click the button below to donate via PayPal!   


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About California Missions Foundation

Nothing defines California's heritage as significantly or emotionally as do the 21 missions that were founded along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Their beauty, stature, and character underlie the formation of California. All 21 missions are California Historical Landmarks; many have also been designated National Historic Landmarks. The missions are among the most popular tourist destinations in the state, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Founded in 1998, the California Missions Foundation was established with the objective of preserving and protecting the missions. The Foundation is the only statewide organization dedicated to the long-term preservation and restoration needs of all California missions and their associated historic and cultural resources for public benefit.

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