Handout For Visitors- September 2006
Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village, initially closed by the City of Simi Valley in 1984 due to unsafe conditions, continues to disintegrate in the midst of suburban prosperity. A unified cooperative effort between Preserve Bottle Village and the City of Simi Valley or any alternative umbrella agency remains to this day, unsuccessful. Although the site is “Officially Closed”, Preserve Bottle Village owns the property, allowing volunteers to enter at their own risk. As long as no one complains about site activity, the City’s prevailing attitude seems to be “don’t ask, don’t tell” and “look the other way”. Donations and private tours are the only source of income.
Sustaining severe damage during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Preserve Bottle Village applied for FEMA funding, receiving almost $500,000. In January 1997, Simi Valley's own Congressman and former Mayor, Elton Gallegly (R-24th) introduced "The Bottle Bill" (HR175)— "To prohibit Federal funding for earthquake-related repairs or restoration of Bottle Village in Simi Valley, CA". The "Bottle Bill” never became Law; however, FEMA funding was abruptly withdrawn. In 1996, two years after the Northridge Earthquake and still in ruin, Bottle Village received placement on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.
As the focus of scholarly inquiry, featured in countless books and articles, and respected by the entire art world— it has universal appeal on many levels. From Professors to Dumpster-Divers— all who treasure the importance of creativity enthusiastically embrace it. People from all over the world come to see Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village— their only reason for a trip to an otherwise ubiquitous suburban city. Historically, Bottle Village is an integral part of Simi Valley. In addition to the National Register, it is recognized with Landmark Status by the State of California, County of Ventura, and the City of Simi Valley. Who are the responsible guardians of our Landmarks? Who is held accountable for the National Register of Historic Places when our elected Congressman abhors the site and calls it an “eyesore? Crumbling Bottle Village is an ironic paradox— built from cast-offs, now cast aside.
In order to continue and perhaps save what is left of Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village, Preserve Bottle Village needs a fully functioning active Board of Directors with close ties to the City of Simi Valley— a dedicated group of community activists who can renew the grassroots effort with enthusiasm and perseverance that embodies the true spirit of Grandma Prisbrey herself. No matter what, she never gave up.
Bottle Village is in a desperate situation. The future looks grim. Funding, even for minimal expenses is non-existent. Involvement is at an all time low. Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village deserves better.
- For history, photos, and tour info, visit the Homepage BottleVillage.com
- Newly created Blog devoted to news,views,volunteers,visitors, and what goes on behind the gates at Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village. Bottle Village Blogsite
Preserve Bottle Village is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, restoring, and re-opening Bottle Village. Donations are tax-deductible, and without your help, the future of Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village is uncertain.
Preserve Bottle Village
PO Box 1412
Simi Valley CA 93062 September 2006 JJ