About CPF and the Awards

The California Preservation Awards are a statewide hallmark, showcasing the best in historic preservation. The awards ceremony includes the presentation of the Preservation Design Awards and the President’s Awards, bringing together hundreds of people each year to share and celebrate excellence in preservation.

The California Preservation Foundation (CPF), a 501c3 nonprofit, was incorporated in 1978. We now support a national network of more than 36,000 members and supporters. Click here to learn how you can become a member.

The Project Team

Project Lead
Peter Birkholz – Page & Turnbull

Allison Schwartz – City of Oakland

Jon Cardon – Western Specialties Contractors

Additional Participant(s)
Kyle Milligan – Lake Merrit Breakfast Club
Susan Casentini – Lake Merrit Mid-Century Monster Fan Club
Joe Guzman – Lake Merrit Breakfast Club Charitable Foundation

Oakland Monster

Oakland Monster is a winner for the 2021 Preservation Design Award for Preservation or Restoration. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.

About The Oakland Monster

The Monster was designed by local artist Robert Winston in 1952. Commissioned by Oakland Parks Superintendent William Penn Mott, the sculpture was inspired by Swedish abstract playground design; it was the first of its kind in the United States. By 2015, this children’s play sculpture, located in Oakland’s Lakeside Park, had deteriorated to the point of being unsafe and was fenced off. While not an officially designated landmark, the Monster is beloved by the community. The Monster is featured on the cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s 1968 album, Dance to the Music. The Monster’s restoration–like its original commission–is the result of collaborative efforts by local fundraising groups, pro-bono designers and contractors, and the City of Oakland. The project has restored the Monster to its original visual condition, enables its continued use as a children’s play sculpture, and proves that community passion for cherished resources remain a preservation fundamental.