California's Historic Preservation Journey Arrives at Los Gatos Doorstep!
Time & Location
About the Event
To: All residents of Los Gatos Historic Neighborhoods, and other interested residents From: Jeff Siegel, President of the Los Gatos Historical Society
I am pleased to announce, together with Town Council candidate Matthew Hudes, an upcoming webinar on Historic Preservation in Los Gatos. Specifically, we will be addressing how our town can join the over hundred other cities and towns throughout the state, in accessing our fair share of the over $1 Billion in historic preservation funding.
The Historic Preservation Journey in California arrives on our Doorstep
The journey began in the early 1970’s, in an all-out, last-ditch effort to save the historic Hotel Del Coronado from the wrecking ball. Who would want to demolish such an iconic California landmark? The hotel’s owner due to economic forces. Historic properties are far more expensive to maintain, due to their building construction and design, and from a strictly economic perspective, it’s cheaper to destroy and rebuild anew. In Los Gatos, a third of our historic homes have already disappeared and despite our historic town code’s good intentions, without the economic support provisioned by the state, this inventory has continued to dwindle.
The point of enacting California’s historic preservation act, by Senator James Mills of San Diego, was the realization that property owners alone cannot bear the full economic burden in preserving our history, and this is why all of the state’s cities plus a hundred towns including Berkeley, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Saratoga, and Campbell, have all jumped aboard the Mills Act train. Los Gatos remains nearly alone in not yet embracing access to this history preserving economic fuel.
But as the literary giant and former Los Gatos resident, John Steinbeck, author of the Grapes of Wrath noted, “How do we know who we are…without our past”? Imagine Rome without the coliseum, San Diego without the Hotel Del Coronado, or San Francisco without Coit Tower, and you get the picture. Los Gatos is fortunate to be more than just another post world war II suburb. What gives Los Gatos so much of its charm, and its unique identity is a cultural history that sadly is slipping away.
Come hear (and see) how cities and towns throughout our state are benefiting from tapping into California’s historic preservation act. The results will amaze you, and will leave you asking, ‘why is Los Gatos not already doing this’?
You can "join the conversation" in 2 ways:
- by participating in a one-hour conversation on Zoom, and
- by responding to the 10-minute survey below.
At the Zoom session Wednesday morning (Oct.28) at 9AM, Planning Commissioner Matthew Hudes will be joined by Ann Ravel, candidate for our State Senate District and myself, Jeff Siegel, President of the Los Gatos Historical Society. And Dave Weissman who is a biologist, physician, and 35-year resident who has long been an effective advocate for our hillsides.
(For those of you who prefer not to join a Zoom session online, consider the option of joining by dialing in on your phone.)
The purpose of the survey is to help identify how residents of Los Gatos think about our historic buildings & homes, and our hillsides, and about efforts to preserve them.
If you can join the conversation via the Zoom session, please try to do the quick survey before coming, so we can be sure to bring those topics to our session. And if you can't attend, please fill out the survey so we know what’s on your mind.
As Matthew Hudes notes, “I'd like to hear from you so that we can all pool our thoughts about how to best protect our historic charm and our hillsides. As a member and chair of the Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Committee, I’ve been out front on protecting hillsides and neighborhoods. As Councilmember, I look forward to bringing a commonsense approach to updating the guidelines and standards for preservation. I can do that best if I understand the range of our residents' thoughts on these important issues.