Back in 2017, the restaurant buildings of Chez TJ and the Tied House brewery could have been razed as part of plans to redevelop their sites into a new office project.
Now two years later, both buildings are being considered for preservation as the newest additions to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The California State Historical Resources Commission is scheduled to review both buildings for possible recognition late next week.
The call for the two buildings' preservation is being spearheaded by the group Livable Mountain View. In her application, Livable Mountain View member Jean McCloskey pointed out the former home now occupied by Chez TJ is an excellent example of Queen Anne-style architecture.
"Of course, these buildings are historic. They're some of the few structures left in Mountain View that are rare and unusual," said Livable Mountain View member Mary Hodder. "When you know the background of these buildings, then it becomes this anchor piece of Mountain View history."
The residence was known as the Weilheimer House after its former owner, Julius Weilheimer, who was considered one of Mountain View's most prominent citizens in the early 20th century, she said.
As for the Tied House, its building was touted as a remarkable mix of Hamburg warehouse and Spanish Revival architecture styles. The structure was originally built as the Air Base Laundry -- a private laundry business named after the nearby Moffett Field. Over the years, a number of subsequent laundry and dry-cleaning businesses took over the site before it was used as a warehouse and then a retail shop for lighting decor. Starting in 1988, the Tied House renovated the building and moved in, and the brew pub has been there ever since.
The push to get historic recognition for the two buildings comes as both restaurant owners are still aiming to redevelop their adjacent parcels. In 2017, a narrow majority on the City Council rejected plans to replace the buildings with a 41,000-square-foot office project. Under that plan, the Tied House would have been demolished while the Chez TJ building would have been relocated to a nearby site.
The owners of both restaurants have recently said that they still intend to redevelop, although they said it could take much longer than they had originally planned.
At the Tuesday, Jan. 22, meeting, the Mountain View City Council acknowledged the push to seek historical recognition for the two locations, although city officials opted to stay neutral on the issue. A draft letter to the State Historic Preservation Office noting the city was not taking any formal position was approved by the City Council unanimously as part of the meeting's consent agenda.