The Art of Historic Preservation

Sunday, June 2, 2013

1939- Santa Clara County
The largest canning/dried fruit packing center in the world

Silicon Valley's Rich History

Ohlone Indian Settlements in Santa Clara Valley date as far back as 8,000 BC

July 17, 1579- Sir Francis Drake lands in SF Bay Area and claims land for England

Mission Santa Clara 1849
1769- Jose Francisco Ortega scouts the land for Captain Gaspar de Portola. He calls Santa Clara, “Llano de los Robles”

1777Father Junipero Serraconsecrated “Mission Santa Clara de Asis”. Mission Santa Clara was the 8th of 21 Missions constructed throughout California.

Peralta Adobe
November 29, 1777- On orders from the Spanish viceroy of Mexico, Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe was named in honor of St. Joseph. (The first settlement in California)

1821- Mexico breaks with the Spanish Crown.

May 10, 1825- California recognizes Mexican rule

May 13, 1846- U.S. declares war on Mexico                 
Thomas Fallon House

July 14, 1846- Thomas Fallon raises US flag over town hall.

1848- Following U.S.Mexican war, California becomes a U.S. territory

December 15, 1849- First legislature convenes in San Jose

1850- California becomes a state

1851- Jesuits establish the first college in California on the sight of Mission Santa Clara. (Santa Clara University)
San Jose- California's First Capital

1852City of Mountain View established

September 1855- the town of McCarthysville established. (Later changed to Saratoga)

Late 1870s- Establishment of seed farms paved the way for the agriculture boom. Santa Clara Valley farmers began producing carrots, almonds, tomatoes, prunes, apricots. Plums, walnuts, cherries and pears for the world markets

May 4, 1887- Fire destroys San Jose's downtown Chinatown (Woolen Mills)

1888Palo Alto Township established                                      
SV Cherry Orchard

1888Agnews Insane Asylum opens for the advanced and humane treatment of the mentally ill

1890- State Senator Leland Stanford establishes Leland Stanford Jr. University in Palo Alto

1906- SF Earthquake. Epicenter 2 miles off the coast of San Mateo. 300,000 of the city's 410,000 residents left homeless. Damages as far South as Monterey.
Stanford University Library-
1906 SF Earthquake

1908- Railroad service link towns along the peninsula

1912- San Jose becomes the first city to receive regularly scheduled radio broadcast. Charles "Doc" Herrold produced the first scheduled radio broadcast from 1912-1917 at 50 W. San Carlos Street in Downtown San Jose. (In 1917, the US Government ordered all non military broadcast to cease.)  

1913Federal TelegraphCompany creates ocean spanning networks which supplied US Naval radio communications during WWI.

Largest endowed university in the world
Largest seed farms in the world
Largest quicksilver mines in the world
Largest brick plants in the West
Best equipped astronomical observatory in the world
The Largest convention hall in the State; seating capacity 6,000
Largest fruit canneries in the world
Largest fruit packing houses in the world
Largest fruit drying ground in the world
Apple- 50,410; apricot- 553,100; cherry- 159,500; fig- 2105; peach-631,700; pear- 141,100;
 plum- 293,800; prune- 5,549,280; quince- 2,740; other kinds- 426,500…Total: 7,829,677
Almond- 22,500; walnut- 13,750. Total: 36,250
Grapevines, all kinds, 8,260
(Stats From San Jose Chamber of Commerce Flyer for 1915 S.F. World Fair)

1932- Hangar #1 built atMoffett Field to house the USS Macon dirigible. One of the two largest structures in the United States built without internal support.

1934David Packard and William Hewlett graduate Stanford University School of Engineering

Hanger #1
Moffett Field
1939- San Jose is thelargest canning and dried fruit packing center in the world. (18 canneries, 13 dried fruit packing houses and 12 fresh fruit and vegetable shipping firms)

Approximately 1950- In response to tough economic times, Stanford University leases parts of the university to high tech companies for 99 years.  (Generally considered the start of the computer revolution)

1955- Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel built at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field. (Formed foundation of US plan to land on the moon)

1957- Fairchild Semiconductor formed in Mtn. View. First company to manufacture exclusively in silicon.

1958- President Eisenhower establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency in response to Soviet launch of Sputnik.. Silicon Valley benefits from collaboration between Stanford University professors and new Aerospace companies.

1960- More metro residents live in suburbs than central city

1960- National Aeronauticsand Space Administration conducts studies to determine how firm the soil was for moon landing at Moffett Field

1970- San Jose still classified as partly rural by US census

1971- Intel creates the first microprocessor- 4004 chip

March 1975- Homebrew Computer Club created in Menlo Park.  (Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were two of the founding members)

1976- Cupertino: First personal computer- Apple 1 offered from Apple Computer

1989- Loma Prieta Earthquake strikes the Bay Area.
 Magnitude 6.9, 63 people killed, 3000-12,000 left homeless.
Loma Prieta Earthquake
Santa Cruz Mountains

December 1991- Physicist Paul Kunz sets up the first World Wide Web Server at Stanford University's Linear Accelerator

December 1992- ViolaWWW, the first major browser in the US completed by UC Berkeley student Pei-Yuan Wei.

1996- Stanford Grad Students Larry Page and Sergey Brin begin collaborating on a search engine called "BackRub". BackRub operates on Stanford servers for one year, eventually outgrowing the servers at the university

1997- BackRub becomes Google, a play on the word "Googol" which is the mathematical representation of the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.

2010- 4,000 IT relatedcompanies located on peninsula from San Francisco to San Jose. (Generating $200 Billion in IT-related revenue annually.)
Zepplin at Hanger #1- Moffett Field 1932

Long distance high-voltage transmissions, the amplifying vacuum tube, First commercial radio broadcast, Long distance continuous-wave radio transmissions, mobile radio systems development, the klystron tube, microwave radar, electronic measuring devices, nuclear induction applications, X-ray microscope traveling-wave development, silicon crystal-growing, programmable handheld calculators, video tape and VCRs, junction transistors, linear accelerators for particle physics research and cancer treatments,  nuclear magnetic resonance, random access computer storage; disk drives, integrated circuits, personal computers, open heart surgery, ink-jet printing, gene splicing technology.

Stanford University
Silicon Valley is home to AMD, Adobe, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, eBay, Yahoo!, Oracle, National Semiconductor, NVidia, LSI Logic, SanDisk, NetFlix, Maxim Integrated Products, Symantec, Marvell Semiconductors, NetApp, Western Digital just to name a few.
Santa Clara University

SourcesNational register of Historic, Local Santa Clara County information: History San, Phyllis Filiberti Butler’s “The Valley of Santa Clara Historic Buildings, 1792-1920” Menlo Park: Bay Research Press 2002, “California: A Guide to the Golden State”, New York: Hastings House 1939. “Encyclopedia of the American West”. New Haven: Yale University Press 1998. "A History of Silicon Valley" Piero Scaruffi copyright 2010
Harold Hal Burke- 1915 S.F World Fair Flyer

Plum Orchard in "The Valley of Hearts Delight"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Faber's Cyclery

The Losses Continue
Historic Faber Bicycle Shop In Better Days

SAN JOSE -- While the signature Victorian cupola and upper story of one of the city's oldest buildings are blackened wrecks after a three-alarm Thursday night fire, the ground floor -- which once housed a beloved bicycle shop and museum -- still stands.
But despite the many fans of Faber's Cyclery and the structure's historical designation, whether it will remain up for long or be restored is questionable at best.
Faber's Cyclery 
The two-story building at 702 S. First St. was home to the cyclery for more than 90 years. The shop closed shortly before the fire that burned through the roof and ravaged the second floor, leaving it in ruins.
 San Jose lists the 1884-vintage Victorian on the Historic Resources Inventory as a "contributing site or structure" that lies on the edge of the Martha Gardens Conservation Area.
Destroyed 2nd Floor Cupola
City staff and historical preservationists said that such a designation may have created additional steps for developers who wanted to modify or raze the building, but it carries little weight now. "That status comes into play before something like this happens," said Brian Grayson of the Preservation Action Council of San Jose. "Chances are that given the condition of the building, regardless of its status it probably is not going to be able to be saved." ...Posted April 26, 2013, San Jose Mercury News

The preservation of our local history has been a major focus for NVentum for the past several years. This blog has attempted to chronicle the recent loss of historic Silicon Valley structures while encouraging the digital documentation of our remaining architectural treasures.
We're not alone in our desire to document our history for coming generations. There are a number of organizations and groups that are concerned about the history and heritage of the region. We've had discussions with various preservation groups and organizations over the years about the need to document our regional history. Though advances in technology provide the means and opportunity to digitally preserve our architectural heritage, members of the preservation community have been hesitant embrace this new technology.

Our best hope is that NVentum's efforts to document and preserve the historic buildings and artifacts at the History park will inspire and motivate the greater community to get involved in saving our regional heritage site

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lost Treasures

"Unlike cultural artifacts safely housed in museums, cultural heritage sites are constantly at risk. They are exposed to the daily effects of the natural environment. From the seemingly benign: sun, wind and rain; to the dramatic: earthquake, fire and human aggression."...from the CyArk Webpage

Donner-Houghton Mansion
Corner of Julian and North 3rd St.
The Donner-Houghton mansion was built in 1881 by Sherman Otis Houghton for his wife, Eliza Donner, a survivor of the Donner Party. Sherman Otis Houghton was San Jose's 4th mayor, an officer in the Civil War and a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Donner-Houghton Mansion, circa 1880

By the 1990's, the home was abandoned and had fallen into disrepair. Plans were being made to move the home and convert it into condominiums. In my opinion, a terrible thing to do to such a wonderful historic structure but better than having it demolished.

In 2002, the Donner-Houghton Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Eliza Donner-Houghton

Donner-Houghton Mansion 2007

The Donner-Houghton Mansion was destroyed by fire in 2007. Investigators suspect homeless person(s) may have entered the building and set a fire to keep warm.  

George Donner, Jr. Plaque
Oak Hill Cemetery


Loma Prieta Earthquake, 1989
Downtown San Jose
1906 Earthquake

Loma Prieta

Delmas  Church

Hayes Mansion