The California Preservation Foundation (CPF) last week awarded the Anaheim Packing House with the Preservation Design Award in the Rehabilitation category and with it, honored the LAB Holding design team. CPF’s annual Preservation Design Awards now in its 30th year recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of preservation and highlight numerous notable preservation efforts throughout the state of California. The rehabilitation category specifically recognizes those projects that preserve a building’s historical, cultural or architectural values.
In 2000, the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency bought the shuttered Anaheim Packing House and began preservation efforts to restore the building’s historically significant architecture. In 2010 LAB Holding, LLC entered into an agreement with the City of Anaheim to create and market a unique retail destination.
“We wanted to create a place that celebrated traditional Americana principles: hard work, family, and community,” states Shaheen Sadeghi, founder of the LAB. “The Anaheim Packing House has been restored as a place to bring people together to enjoy good times and good food. It’s been a great labor of love and a lot of dedication.”
In collaboration with Thirtieth Street Architecture, LAB Holding is putting final touches on repurposing the giant warehouse space into an inviting community gathering spot with more than 20 local culinary artisans displaying their specialties. This includes several ethnic eateries, a baker, a butcher, a deli, a fresh vegetable stand and a community kitchen. The central mezzanine will host live entertainment and educational speakers, free to the public.
Since it first opened its doors in 1919, the Anaheim Packing House was a hub of agricultural commerce in Anaheim. Lemons and oranges were delivered to the packinghouse from surrounding orchards, sorted and packed into the famous citrus crates then shipped out via the adjoining train tracks across the nation.
The lengthy competitive process for the annual Preservation Design Awards involves a stellar panel of experts who carefully review dozens of entries. The jury selects only a handful of projects that conform to the highest standards for the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
“The intent of the building’s restoration has been to showcase the history of this community,” said Sadeghi. “We are proud to be part of this project and proud of this award.”