Mountain View's historic Rengstorff House -- the oldest home in the city and a comely example of Victorian Italianate architecture -- is celebrating 30 years since its major restoration and opening to the public.
While COVID-19 concerns keep the house, which is normally a popular spot for weddings, tourists and even ghost hunters, closed, fans and history buffs can still commemorate the occasion.
A new virtual exhibition, "Thirty Years of Beauty: TRANSFORMED," marks this anniversary with images and informative text about the home of German immigrant Henry Rengstorff, from its origins in 1867 on Stierlin Road to its current location at Shoreline Park and public opening in 1991; the massive effort to save it from demolition; and all kinds of interesting tidbits about the people connected to the former farmhouse. For example, the opera and musical theater singer Perry Askam, a grandson of Henry Rengstorff, was the last family member to reside in the home (another fun fact: jazz great Dave Brubeck was Henry Rengstorff's great-grandnephew).
In addition to the virtual exhibition, the City of Mountain View and Friends of "R" House have launched a nine-month social media campaign to share more archival photos and facts with the public. Friends of "R" House, a volunteer-run nonprofit, also plans to launch a 3-D virtual tour in late spring.