During a one-week online survey on Downey’s Historical Relevance for my capstone project on The Past and Future of Historical Preservation Efforts and Awareness of Historic Events and Sites in the City of Downey, California 26 participated in the survey.

The results were interesting as to what people felt personally about saving historical sites and how they felt the city is responsible for keeping the historic parts of the city.

Participants who answered the survey primarily were in the age groups 25 to 34 (42 percent) and 55-64 (27 percent) and have been residents of the city of Downey between 15-35 years.

As a result, Baby Boomers and Generation Y have invested interest in preservation of the city’s historical places. From this we can assume that children of Baby Boomers grew up going to the various historical places in the city and their parents’ value preservation.

Both women and men participated almost equally in the survey. Men showed higher involvement in the survey with 54 percent of those surveyed being men and 46 percent being women.

Response showed that 23 out of 26 participants feel that the city of Downey is responsible to preserve and maintain the historical places

Response showed that 23 out of 26 participants feel that the city of Downey is responsible to preserve and maintain the historical places

An overwhelming 92 percent of participants felt that the city is responsible for preserving and maintaining the historical places.

However when it came to involvement of participating in a community preservation group or attending city council meeting, 85 percent said they were not involved in any group but they do care about preservation of places in the city.

A list of some of the most popular historical places was given to participants to find out which places they have visited. All participants have visited the World’s Oldest Operating McDonald’s that is located on Lakewood Boulevard and Florence Avenue in the city. Second most visited place is Johnie’s Broiler, now Bob’s Big Boy Broiler after rebuild and restoration. The Avenue movie theater and Rives Mansion were among popular places participants had visited. All places on the list were visited by at least four of the participants.

Downey's Historical Relevance results of survey

Downey’s Historical Relevance results of survey

There were 69 percent of those surveyed felt that if the city were to market the historical places the city would see an increase in tourism and economic impact for the city.

When it came to do participants feel the city is doing enough to protect and preserve historical places in the city 69 percent said no, the they need to be doing more while 19 percent were not sure.

During the survey, I discovered a few new groups that are active in the city and the preservation movement. I am planning on connecting with the groups soon and continue to gather more information about preservation in the city of Downey and future efforts on projects.

The survey results provided a good insight for the continuation of the capstone project and gave some new avenues for story ideas as far as why residents care about preservation but are not involved with any community group that helps protect places. I think conducting another survey about why people get involved or do not get involved in preservation efforts would be a good to see what residents are feeling about the involvement in their community.