July 15, 2010
The historic Almond Grove District of downtown Los Gatos is home to a great number of historic homes, many of them Victorian in age and styling.
The other day, we drove past a property in which an attempt was being made to preserve a portion of the original structure – the front exterior wall and a back exterior wall. Aside from these, only the dirt appeared to be original. The foundation, roof, chimney, porch, interior walls, windows – all gone.
I’m certain that the historic preservation is the motive. But are we kidding ourselves to think that this kind of “remodel” preserves enough of the original structure to warrant calling it a remodel? Or is this just a farce? Perhaps some elements, like interior doors and old glass, are in storage somewhere and will make a reappearance down the road. Even so, if that happens, is it enough?
Here’s a view of the lot with the front remanent of the house showing. Please note: there’s no foundation (let alone any floors, windows or doors).
A closer, angled view reveals that there’s little behind this front wall and posts which at one time supported a roof over a front porch.
In addition to the front wall, a back wall is also left standing, supported by posts to stay erect. Other than these two walls, there’s little else to the lot but dirt.
And yet this is probably going to be considered a remodel for historic purposes. Is remodeling just a matter of interpretation, of hermeneutics? if so, I think we are stretching things too far. I hope I’m wrong about this. I don’t attend town council meetings, so perhaps this has been bantered around and there’s more to it than meets the eye – literally.
But even so, I have to ask:
Los Gatos, is this what we want to see happen to our historic homes?