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Rancho Santa Fe Woman Leaves $750,000 For Heritage Organization

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The Save Our Heritage Organisation Tuesday announced a bequest of about $750,000 from the estate of a Rancho Santa Fe woman who was active in the preservation of historic buildings.

Phyllis Paul, who died two years ago, conducted surveys of historic homes and commercial buildings in the exclusive North County community and founded the Historic Preservation Committee of the Rancho Santa Fe Association.

"SOHO is honored by Phyllis' generosity and vision in providing unrestricted funds to continue our preservation work," said Bruce Coons, SOHO executive director. "We already deeply miss her dedication."

He said Paul was one of Rancho Santa Fe's "earliest and most ardent preservationists."

The two worked together nine years ago when the Rancho Santa Fe Association acquired the Juan Maria Osuna Adobe and 28 surrounding acres in the center of town, Coons said.

The 1836 building is one of the state's oldest adobes, and was endangered at the time of the purchase, according to SOHO, which honored Paul and the association for saving the structure from a developer.