Hollywood Preservationist Marian Gibbons Dies

Co-founder of the Hollywood Heritage nonprofit passed away at 89 years old from lung cancer.

Marian Gibbons, who co-founded the nonprofit Hollywood Heritage in 1980 to ensure that as much of old Hollywood that was worth saving would be preserved, died Wednesday at her home in Studio City from lung cancer, the Los Angeles Times reported. She was 89.

Gibbons retired from the Hollywood Heritage board this year because of health issues. She took “preservation in Hollywood from an idea to a position where we actually became responsible for the restoration and preservation of landmarks,” Richard Adkins, the organization's current president, told the Times.

That included refurbishing the Lasky-DeMille Barn, where director Cecil B. DeMille set up his office and shot scenes for the 1914 film The Squaw Man, the first feature-length movie made in Hollywood. The barn now sits across from the entrance to the Hollywood Bowl and houses the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

The organization also restored the Wattles Mansion, worked to have Hollywood Boulevard from La Brea Avenue to Argyle Avenue designated as a National Register District and was instrumental in the restoration of the landmark Pilgrimage Cross at Cahuenga Pass.

Hollywood Heritage also facilitated the preservation of the more than 100-year-old Janes House on Hollywood Boulevard and helped save the hat portion of the demolished Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire.

Gibbons is survived by three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Dec. 29 at the Hollywood Heritage Museum.