San Lorenzo Express News

Historic Buildings in San Lorenzo

NOVEMBER 24, 2000

An initial survey of historic buildings in San Lorenzo was completed recently and submitted to the county Parks, Recreation, and Historic Commission.

The survey, by historians Jody Stock and Michael Corbett, was funded by the developers of the Cottage Square subdivision on Washington Avenue as partial mitigation for demolition of the historic Nielsen-Ferro farm. The survey was based on a similar study of Ashland and Cherryland districts in 1998.

All buildings built before 1943 were documented, and certain structures representative of the period 1943 - 1955 were documented.

Many buildings that should be considered historic properties have been identified. However, the greater importance of the initial survey is that all buildings throughout the district have been surveyed and documented for the first time. Since the preliminary survey was based entirely on exterior appearance, more research is required to determine whether other buildings are historically valuable.

Although we tend to think of historic buildings as those that are very old or grand, present-day San Lorenzo Village may provide a glimpse at an important era in California's history. The survey concludes, "Together, the residences, commercial buildings and schools provide a powerful look at World War II development and may be significant as a district. ... San Lorenzo is one of the showcases in California for development during this period."

For more information on the survey, call Lisa Asche at the Alameda County Community Development Agency, 670-6504.