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Posted on: April 14, 2022

La Habra Heights City Hall Wins Architectural Award

La Habra Heights City Hall will receive the prestigious Award of Merit from the Pasadena-Foothill Division of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on May 7, 2022. The award celebrates works of architecture that transcend their function, creating a place of beauty that benefits society. 

The AIA Merit Award is the third honor for La Habra Heights City Hall.  The first was a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification for reducing contributions to global climate change. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The second was an AIA Certificate for Excellence in Design recognizing the work of D. S. Ewing Architects (

The old city hall, a 1950s school building, was plagued with asbestos, lead pipes and paint, an overburdened electrical system, and leaking ceilings and walls. After being advised by two other firms that reuse was not a viable option, the City Council hired Doug Ewing, D. S. Ewing Architects who envisioned an adaptive reuse that could be completed for 40% less than a new build. Ewing’s firm drew construction plans that used the existing footprint and foundations to create a beautiful, highly functional, and historically significant civic center. His design included wood beams, colors, finishes, furniture, landscaping and other features that honor La Habra Heights’ motto of Rural Country Living.  

The renovation added nine parking spaces and approximately 6,000 square feet of new office space, for a total 14,773 square feet. The general contractor, Cal City Construction of Cerritos, brought the project in under budget at $2.5 million (approximately $170 per square foot) in less than eleven months.

The award will be given out on May 7, 2022, at the Pasadena-Foothill’s AIA Design Awards Gala at the Pasadena Hilton.  The Pasadena-Foothill Division of the AIA covers the eastern portion of Los Angeles County from the Los Angeles city boundaries on the west, the foothills on the north, and Orange County on the south.  For more information about the gala, contact AIAPF at ( or City Manager Fabiola Huerta, La Habra Heights City Hall.


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