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.