The Art of Historic Preservation

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