The Art of Historic Preservation

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