News

Immigrant House heads to its new home

Tiny, century-old cottage destined to be centerpiece of Mountain View's new Heritage Park

One of the Mountain View's oldest domiciles, the former farm-laborer cottage known as the Immigrant House, is settling into new digs on Monday morning. In a complicated process, the century-old redwood building was set to be lifted onto a trailer and hauled about 3 miles across town, where it will become the centerpiece of the city's Heritage Park.

For about three years, the small house measuring just 400 square feet has been stored at the city's Municipal Operation Center off of Whisman Road. The house was located at 166 Bryant St. and was set to be demolished to make way for a four-story office project.

But the Mountain View City Council decided to save the building as a relic of the city's agricultural past, based on the passionate pleas of local preservationists. The Friends of Immigrant House rallied to save the building and raise funds to help restore the building. Among its supporters, Google and Santa Clara County each contributed $50,000 toward preserving the building.

On Monday morning, Aug. 8, those efforts reached a finale as a procession of police officers, city officials and moving crews worked to transport the Immigrant House to its new home at Heritage Park at 771 N. Rengstorff Ave.

"It's really wonderful that Mountain View is saving this building," said Diane Solomon, a member of the Friends of Immigrant House, as she watched the procession. "This is last building of its kind left in the city, and it's a monument of our nation's immigrants for the past and present."

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City officials are still in the process of preparing Heritage Park for the public after acquiring the 1.2 acre site from the Stieper family about two years ago. The park is expected to house a passive-use garden and recreation space that will highlight Mountain View's agricultural roots. Heritage Park should be ready for a public opening by December, according to city recreation officials.

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Immigrant House heads to its new home

Tiny, century-old cottage destined to be centerpiece of Mountain View's new Heritage Park

by Mark Noack / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 1:55 pm

One of the Mountain View's oldest domiciles, the former farm-laborer cottage known as the Immigrant House, is settling into new digs on Monday morning. In a complicated process, the century-old redwood building was set to be lifted onto a trailer and hauled about 3 miles across town, where it will become the centerpiece of the city's Heritage Park.

For about three years, the small house measuring just 400 square feet has been stored at the city's Municipal Operation Center off of Whisman Road. The house was located at 166 Bryant St. and was set to be demolished to make way for a four-story office project.

But the Mountain View City Council decided to save the building as a relic of the city's agricultural past, based on the passionate pleas of local preservationists. The Friends of Immigrant House rallied to save the building and raise funds to help restore the building. Among its supporters, Google and Santa Clara County each contributed $50,000 toward preserving the building.

On Monday morning, Aug. 8, those efforts reached a finale as a procession of police officers, city officials and moving crews worked to transport the Immigrant House to its new home at Heritage Park at 771 N. Rengstorff Ave.

"It's really wonderful that Mountain View is saving this building," said Diane Solomon, a member of the Friends of Immigrant House, as she watched the procession. "This is last building of its kind left in the city, and it's a monument of our nation's immigrants for the past and present."

City officials are still in the process of preparing Heritage Park for the public after acquiring the 1.2 acre site from the Stieper family about two years ago. The park is expected to house a passive-use garden and recreation space that will highlight Mountain View's agricultural roots. Heritage Park should be ready for a public opening by December, according to city recreation officials.

Comments

Martin Omander
Rex Manor
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:06 pm
Martin Omander, Rex Manor
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Looking forward to seeing Heritage Park when it's ready, with this house in it! A small-ish park seems like the perfect new site for the small-ish Immigrant House.


Member
Monta Loma
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm
Member , Monta Loma
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Heritage park is the only thing the city has done I've agreed with, I wish they would focus more on projects like this and other safety and quality of life projects. Though I know it's not realistic when everyone is in the pocket of Prometheus...


SP Phil
Shoreline West
on Aug 8, 2016 at 7:10 pm
SP Phil, Shoreline West
on Aug 8, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Member, I hope you've also agreed with Mariposa Park and other beautiful recreational spaces that have been added over the past several years.


Steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Aug 9, 2016 at 7:55 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
on Aug 9, 2016 at 7:55 am

Another old house saved for our future residents. Rengstorff House was the first great save. I remember it sitting. forlorn and seemingly forgotten for (?) a decade, foundation-less, at Shoreline Park. It is nice that both the community through NGO Friends of Immigrant House and the city departments (Parks & Rec and Public Works) have been able to work together on this project. (Dan Rich as current City Manager, chief bureaucrat :).

Our last several City Councils have also shown (IMO) the ability to direct good Public Policy in this instance.

A well managed public organization, can make community investments that, though a bit pricy in the short run, pay for themselves in community involvement and education, over the long run. May this little house, have a good next century.


Marty Estrada
another community
on Aug 17, 2016 at 10:23 am
Marty Estrada, another community
on Aug 17, 2016 at 10:23 am

I lived in that shed between 1992 and 1998. I have fond memories of my 1st dog there and where my wife and I lived before we bought a house in San Jose. Thank you for saving it. I had little idea of it's historic significance but had heard that long ago, it was used as a blacksmith shed.


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