World-class woodworker Sam Maloof (1916-2009)

The first craftsperson to receive a MacArthur Foundation grant, inhabited his family compound in Alta Loma, California, for 45 years until the State of California decided that a new highway was needed, and that the Maloof homestead was in the way. The result was the move, between 1998 and 2001, of the historic residence, two woodworking studios, guesthouse, and twenty trees to a new site three miles away. As it explores the human side of historic preservation, the book explains how Sam, a beleaguered but plucky elderly California Living Treasure and master woodworker, survives his historic property’s relocation by the government. Construction manager and architect Ann Kovara relates this true story of how progress and tradition, public needs and private lives, managed to reach an accord.

Ann Kovara (1951- )

Born in Elyria, Ohio to a large and close family. She lived in Elyria and Ruggles Beach, Ohio, before moving to Tucson in 1971 and Los Angeles in 1987. Ann has two children, Simon and Ellie Kovara. She is a member of the U of AZ Architecture class of 1981. She served as the Maloof Relocation Project construction manager. Inspired by Sam Maloof, she wrote the recently released non-fiction book, Moving Sam Maloof: Saving An American Woodworking Legend’s Home and Workshops. An architect for the past 35 years, Ann was a LA Metro Red Line subway project unit manager, and Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) deputy project manager. Ann is currently the CA High-Speed Rail Program statewide architect.

Photography Credits

Ann Kovara (Norah Tahiri); Sam Maloof (Tavo Olmos); Maloof Historic Residence (Bob Buettner); Palm Relocation (Bob Buettner); Table (Norah Tahiri); Patterns (Norah Tahiri); Music Stand (Norah Tahiri); Wooden Latch (Norah Tahiri)

Front cover & book’s graphic design: Norah Tahiri / Book cover design: Matt Goodman