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Council saves Immigrant House, dumps Pearson House

Original post made on Jan 30, 2013

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to save a tiny home once lived in by migrant workers, but left the fate of the home of early Mountain View businessman Charles Pearson in the hands of a developer who's anxious to tear it down.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 1:54 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

In a rare incite to a council with vision, mission, and quantified goal setting in mind (the cost to rehab), they did a superb job here. Councilmember Bryant shocked me for the first time with a superb idea of the placement in a garden setting. Yes I agree and see this storage as a superb idea for historic pieces until private funds come forward to restore is a winner. They can tactfully place it with bids from the private sector of qualified people to restore it for a charitable tax deduction.

Do I here Berlin Wall? Do I here put it in storage until private funds come around to house it? We need to preserve our tax funds for the real projects that merit city involvement like more senior affordable housing.

Posted by Viejo, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

"Here, here..."

Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Where are the "open space lots on Shoreline" councilwoman Bryant mentioned?

Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:07 am

One last ditch 11th hour effort to save the Pearson House. I have a proposal for tonight at the council meeting on strategy goals that will save the Pearson House. If you feel the Pearson House is worth saving come by tonight to the Senior Center 6pm.

My proposal will also make the fund raising a simpler outcome for the Immigrant house as well. The keys are in the Council hands tonight, may they see the virtues of what I propose as doable and that it indeed will save the Pearson House and the fund raising for repairing both homes in best hands.

The Shoreline Parcels I believe are in Shoreline Park but I might be mistaken. Can you imagine our Shoreline Park with both these homes in superb condition, a community garden, and something special I am introducing tonight that makes radical sense. Come by tonight and issue forth your support if you like what you hear.

Posted by wendylee, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm

The lots in mind are on Shoreline Blvd. Between El Camino and California Ave. Across from Eagle Park they are spacious and could include a pumpkin patch and Historical Houses.

Posted by Ann, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Why doesn't the article show an actual photo of the house and the rendering? The actual house looks like the shrieking shack from Harry Potter.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2013 at 6:26 am

As I have my coffee and read the newspapers. Just read about Mr Parkinson plan for a fine art museum, with the Berlin Wall sections, the migrant house, and a garden. It just might be a draw for people.

We may not be San Francisco or NYC, but I think we can find artists willing to show their art. We might even have some donated.

Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 1, 2013 at 11:37 am

The Shoreline proprieties are the little scraps of land behind the Shell Station by El Camino.

Yes people. Do we care about the Pearson House? Is it important to us? Or is it a another Juana Brione house that looks great on paper, but in the end the developer wins? That is what is happening here.

If you agree that you think the Pearson House needs saving, your voice needs to be heard. No one spoke up for it. We also have a need for an Art Museum in our city. The City of Wilmington Delaware is our carbon copy sister city . They have a wonderful museum we could do very easily with a foundation support (yes I will incorporate a foundation if that is what it takes)the Winterthur Museum.

Foundations and donations come in 6 and 7 figures. The Immigrant House also needs that same support and good luck to the wonderful but tiny grass roots alliance with fundraising. It is noble they raised $1000, it will go to the General Fund without significant support. A foundation lends that support, and in a properly created account.

The developer and I had an appointment to meet at the Pearson House this morning. Calling to confirm he has zero recollection of our conversation. I am a disruption to his plans and his plans are to get a big dumpster and with two large D8 Caterpillar tractors, remove that house from the planet and throw it away.

My wife said, I was noble in trying what I did last night and at least formed the rudiment of a plan, communicated it, and that is all I can do, I am not Mark Zuckerberg. If we need volunteers to rebuild either home my tools and blood and sweat are there. I walk the walk and talk the talk. If there is a groundswell of grassroots support for the Pearson House and you agree we need to put a museum in it (I like a historic museum as well) on park land I will do my best in the foundation formation and it too will need support.

Can it happen? Only if we team up we can. I have the plan, I have the foundation incorporating capacity. April 1 I am sure the dumpsters will be delivered and the Cats will be there and another Juana Brione house bites the dust. In the end will it matter?

Ask yourself this, was it wise in 2000 we all put our eggs in one basket for redevelopment and the internet? I remember at an A's came with great seats, two venture capitalists sitting in front of me and my family. They were talking about the dot com investing. They both agreed it was time to stop feeding that trough. In one month the end came and it was brutal. My friends who were heavily invested in tech lost their shirts. Now my wealthy friends in Sharron Heights tell me that they fear we are once again putting our eggs in one basket again with Tech. This time there is no more redevelopment as Council is well aware to save the day. Ask yourself again is our near term memory of historical building important to us? Is art important to us? Are we over investing in tech?

My myopic lens is one of an MBA advantage. Am I chasing a cat up am imaginary tree?

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm

While most cities, towns and villages have some sort of non government buildings in their parks. Are we across of art in the park.

Remember reading how this old home could have been moved to the annex at Cuesta Park. Move the house in the area by the parking lot in front of the tennis courts. Restore the fruit orchard, have a veggie patch and a farm stand at the.Farmers market. Imagine walking your dog with trees full of blossoms.

Farmers Field was a great place to take photos, draw and somehow painted scenes from this old farm.

Posted by Poor Pearson Home, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I love your rendition of what this could be.

Here is another thought. Had the current property owner done the maintenance and regular cleaning of the buildings would they be in a condition as they are today? I am starting to think that there is some fraud going on with the city and these high costs associated especially with the Pearson Home. It was built in 1880 and made it for over 100 years as 100% viable. It has only been these few past years it has fallen into disrepair to a point of 10% viable. Minimal care was needed, like sweep out the gutters, make sure the roofs are in order, and tent the home. Instead it is gated off. I am sure had the Pearson Home been attended to and in the condition that it was when the transfer of title occurred, it would need 1/10th the costs to repair. We call this severe deferred maintenance. For an elderly owner its excusable, for a wealthy corporation it smites of something.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, as an attorney I call on the city attorney needs to launch an investigation here.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Can't blame the current owner of the house, remember when it was a shop. The house was in a sad state of decay.

Like anything over 100 years old and to small to spend really big dollars for a single tenant use.

Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Christopher Parkinson is a registered user.

The Article in question:

Web Link

Could it be true? Could we save the Pearson House fund it and the Immigrant House all in the same breath? I propose a Public Benefit Corporation to carry the costs of moving these homes and not be a burden to the tax payers of Mountain View. I propose equity investment within the Public Benefit Corporation to create a return on investment for these homes. I propose moving both homes to Cuesta Park where the Pearson Home was originally spec'd to go. I propose a fine arts museum and the history museum each in the remodeled Pearson and Immigrant Home respectively. I propose the community garden inclusive, and I propose a beautiful park space and a small retail shop for art to be sold. I propose that with this ideal, Mountain View can at last journey into a fine art museum, and a real history museum with jobs and sales taxes. I propose we work on this immediately to see a sustainable use of the Pearson house before it's too late. There is major donor support possible. We can make this happen. If you like the article and like what I propose. Please contact me here:

Posted by wendyleela, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2013 at 12:35 am

I think these ideas are great.As a friend of Immigrant house,I very much would like to begin to build an historical character in the community before these wonderful old buildings are lost.
Cuesta Park was actually bitterly opposed for Pearson House by residents who were devastated by the loss of the local Pumpkin Patch.They strongly opposed the loss of any open space in that park.However there are some spacious sites that would accommodate both structures and a lovely community garden and pumpkin patch setting.I think this would be pleasing to many and help bring back a community feel to those of us who felt the sting of the loss of the last lovely little farm.
For the person that had a question about the rendering.The rendering more accurately depicts the way the house looked for almost a century with the white paint and original door.When restored and painted white again it will be lovely.Some of us were horrified to see it had been painted brown.It was a pretty, fresh looking cottage before that was done.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2013 at 9:40 am

The house and cottage won't take up that space, seeing a house in Salco Acres, the cottage is even smaller. Place both next to parking lot in front of tennis courts. The garden will be around the house while the orchard will be next to house and along side tennis courts. It will look farmhouse and cottage at the end of driveway.

The rest of the annex can be wild grass, trees and a walking trail.

Birds, critters and people with their dogs are welcomed.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2013 at 9:43 am

House in Salco Acres is about the same size of Pearson House.

Posted by wendyleela, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

Love Garrett's idea too!Especially the orchard farmhouse and cottage concept!It paints a really nice picture.

Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Wow, we are on a roll here. If you like this and can help with organizing a public benefit corporation, which I am ready to form, lets do it and get the funds to offer Roger and the City we are ready to do something huge!It will take one week for this corporation; it will be public benefit and fund the homes with only needing a return on investment. How about a historic house out of the Immigrant House and a counter in the rear for a curator to sell curios, and the Pearson House becomes our first art museum and a counter in there where the curator can sell art such as reproduced lithos of the great art on the wall. Our city Artists will be thrilled. It could be an art renaissance in Mountain View! The potential for return on investment is there.

I will be at Council on Tuesday and we can talk. It doesn't take much to start, only teamwork and a spirit of focused thought. Garret is on the right page of the plan. Together we can make some magic happen in our city. Are we ready for that? A museum magic that has taken over 50 years to see come to fruition? Time to put our collective dollars together and start something huge!

Christopher Parkinson – MBA
VAC Chair City of Mountain View
RE Broker ID: 01768460

Posted by Christopher Parkinson, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Web Link

Lives in Mt. View and is ready, willing, and able to help fund a foundation to save the Pearson House. Lets not lose this opportunity. We are more than just lucky Alex Dzigurski II lives and works in Mt, View, he is a small treasure in our midst that loves my idea about making a fine art museum out of the Pearson House either on the Shoreline Properties Across form Eagle Park, or in the annex of a current dog park at Cuesta.

Be there tonight with this glorious news.

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