Here Tomorrow: Preserving Architecture, Culture, and California’s Golden Dream

Award-winning projects from the California Preservation Foundation

Old buildings in our midst call to the imagination, evoking a time just out of reach. Each structure in Here Tomorrow holds a story of California’s rich past in its wainscoting, adobe brick, or Art Deco chandelier. The Temple of Kwan Tai on the fog-wreathed Mendocino coast contains the history of a once-vibrant seaside Chinatown. A garden of honeysuckle, roses, and tulips once tended by prisoners flourishes on the dry and windy island of Alcatraz. Colorful mosaics, glasswork zodiacs, and historic murals grace the walls of the Los Angeles Public Library, a structure conceived as a great melding of cultures and lore that reflect the diverse spirit of California.

Such structures represent a significant cultural legacy, and as they deteriorate with age and the world around them changes, they also represent a significant economic and cultural challenge. For thirty years, the California Preservation Foundation has bestowed design awards on those who have excelled in restoration and creative reuse. From these awards, the Heyday editorial team selected fifty sites we feel best represent the multifaceted and complex art of restoration. They represent California in all its variety, its culture and commerce, geography, history, and creative style.

Advance Praise

“Anyone interested in the preservation of California’s historic buildings needs to read Here Tomorrow, which contains important, even exciting, insights regarding utilization of professional preservation practices in dealing with historic landmarks. Don’t miss the opportunity.”

—Dr. Knox Mellon, California State Historic Preservation Officer, Emeritus


“A comprehensive demonstration of just how essential thoughtful historic preservation is not just to California but to culture. Equally compelling are the 50 projects covered, from the most somber internment camp guard tower to the dazzling ballroom of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. Dineen’s book has inspired me to visit as many of these sites as is humanly possible.”

—Allison Arieff, Content Strategist, SPUR, and contributing columnist, The New York Times


“These saved structures reverberate with the promise and achievement of California. Thanks to preservation programs—and to the explications and photographs of this celebratory inventory—these buildings will continue to serve as icons of regional identity for a state committed to heritage and futurity."

—Kevin Starr, University of Southern California, California State Librarian Emeritus


“In his book Here Tomorrow, J. K. Dineen chronicles the past and present lives of many of the historic buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area and in California that have helped to define our communities, revitalize our neighborhoods, bolster a thriving tourism economy, and have helped put people back to work. By retelling the story of these architectural icons, a new generation will learn of their stories and how they define our region."

—San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

About the Author

J. K. DineenJ. K. Dineen is a metro reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he writes about real estate development, the waterfront, housing, neighborhoods, and land-use planning. He has also been a staff reporter at the San Francisco Business Times, The San Francisco Examiner, the New York Daily News, and a bunch of papers in his native Massachusetts. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

Photo Credit: Spencer Brown

John KingJohn King is the San Francisco Chronicle’s urban design critic. He joined the paper in 1992 and has been in his current post since 2001. His writing on architecture and urban design has been honored by groups including the California Preservation Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the California chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the American Planning Association. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2002 and 2003.