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Historic Buildings

Livable Mountain View Announces Success in Campaign to Assign Historic Designation to Weilheimer House, Former Air Base Laundry

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California State Historical Resources Commission Deems Downtown Mountain View Buildings Eligible for Historic Register

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — July 23, 2019 — Livable Mountain View, a volunteer community group dedicated to the sustained livability of Mountain View, today announced the successful completion of its
campaign to assign historical designation to two historic buildings in the city’s downtown.  The California State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC) determined the Weilheimer House (presently home to Chez TJ restaurant) and the former Air Base Laundry building (now the site of the Tied House Cafe and Brewery) are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, following Livable Mountain View’s formal nomination of each building for historic designation.  By virtue of the SHRC determining the buildings’ eligibility, both the Weilheimer House and former Air Base Laundry building, located adjacent one another in Mountain View’s historic downtown business district, are now listed on the California Register of Historical Resources.

Appointed by the Governor of California, the SHRC is a nine-member state review board responsible for identifying, registering and preserving California’s cultural heritage. Its members include experts in history, prehistoric archaeology, architectural history, and restoration architecture. During its public hearing in Sacramento earlier this year, the SHRC reviewed Livable Mountain View’s nominations, which included extensive written documentation and visual materials supporting the historical and architectural significance of the Weilheimer House and former Air Base Laundry. The commission then voted 7-0 — two commissioners were absent — to support the buildings’ eligibility and later rendered formal decisions on both.

The SHRC hearing was video-recorded and is available to view online at:

https://cal-span.org/unipage/index.php?site=cal-span&owner=CSHRC&date=2019-02-01&site=cal-span&owner=CSHRC&date=2019-02-01.

(The Weilheimer House and Air Base Laundry segment begins at the 55-minute, 30-second point.)

“Working toward and achieving eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places like this serves as a powerful example of what a concerned, involved community can accomplish,” said Carole Whitacre of Livable Mountain View’s Steering Committee “It’s a wonderful outcome for the residents of Mountain View, its historic downtown and all those who value preserving the city’s rich heritage and historic treasures.”

The Weilheimer House was built in 1894 by Julius Weilheimer, son of Seligman Weilheimer, a German-Jewish immigrant who in 1853, along with his brother, settled in what then was known as Mountain View Station. The Weilheimers opened a general store, followed by many other family businesses that included a hotel, livery, and additional general stores. Julius Weilheimer was born in Mountain View in 1860 and eventually ran many of the family businesses, which by then were located on and around the city’s main downtown commercial street, Castro Street. He served as trustee, mayor – he held city council meetings in the Weilheimer House – and vice-president of the local bank, and led the effort to rebuild Mountain View’s downtown after much of it was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.

The Weilheimer House’s next resident was five-term U.S. Congressman Arthur Free, who was responsible for Moffett Field (later Moffett Field/Ames Research) coming to Mountain View in 1930, when cities up and down California were competing for this project.

Air Base Laundry Announcement
in the Register-Leader, 1931

Built in 1931, the Air Base Laundry largely served the base and thus was designed to match the thirty Spanish Revival buildings still located at Moffett Field, all of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Its façade remains unchanged as it retains its stucco finish, red roof, original upper story windows and corbels below the roofline. Although updated since 1931, the materials and scale of the doors and windows are consistent with that of the original building. By history, function and design, the Air Base Laundry building is Downtown Mountain View’s link to the first generation of air and space technology — events that helped to lay the foundation for today’s Silicon Valley.

Air Base Laundry / Tied House Today

About Livable Mountain View Livable Mountain View is an all-volunteer group of residents with the aim of making Mountain View the most livable city in California. The group supports smart growth throughout Mountain View and advocates for development that shows respect to the city’s rich heritage, irreplaceable historic structures and vibrant downtown. For more information, go to www.LivableMV.org or email to info@LivableMV.org.

Livable Mountain View media contact:
Jerry Steach
jerry.steach@gmail.com
M: 415.222.9996

For additional information and a Q&A on the historic eligibility of these buildings see: Weilheimer / Chez TJ and Air Base Laundry / Tied House Preserved – Q&A and Castro Street: Where It Came From, Why It Should Be Preserved

Castro Street: Where It Came From, Why It Should Be Preserved

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•  1852 The first Mountain View was a tiny settlement formed around the first stagecoach stop for the first stagecoach service originated by John W. Whisman near Grant Road and El Camino.  Richard Carr opened the first general merchandise store.

I853 the Weilheimer brothers, Seligman and Samuel, German-Jewish immigrants, arrived from Germany and to take a shot at the American Dream. they opened the second general merchandise store. Competition and diversity had an early start in Mountain View.

1854 The settlement is named “Mountain View” by a local store shop keeper and post master, Jacob Shumway. 

1856 The Weilheimer brothers established a general store, livery, and hotel in Mountain View.

1860 The census listed Julius Weilheimer as being 9 months old. He will eventually run the family businesses, serve as town mayor, town trustee, help create and serve as  vice president of the local bank (now occupied by Red Rock Coffee) which eventually became Bank of America, built and resided in the Weilheimer House at 938 Villa in 1894 (currently occupied by Chez TJ), lead the effort to rebuild a shattered downtown after the 1906 earthquake, and serve as postmaster and Wells Fargo representative among other contributions to our city.

1864 The railroad in the form of the Southern Pacific arrived and by locating its rail line in its present location, the Mountain View we know today grew and prospered.

1865 The new Mountain View town grid was laid out and remains today with Castro as the main street.  The area was called Villa Lands.

1867 Rengstorff House was built.

•1870-71 The Weilheimer brothers thrived and opened more businesses on and near Castro Street. Their 1874 Farmers Store at 124 Castro Street remains today and is occupied by Oren’s Hummus. It is believed to be the oldest building on Castro Street and perhaps the peninsula.  

1880 The Weilheimer family built its home and opened a stable on what is now Evelyn Street with and another general merchandise store in the first block of Castro Street.

• 1902 Mountain View was incorporated, Mountain View High School opened. We had electric streetlights, telephone service and a municipal water system.

1905 The Ames Building at 171 Castro Street, was built with its Spanish influenced tiled roofline and is one of Castro’s oldest commercial structures.  For decades it was occupied by the Jehning family lock business and Lock Museum.

1906 The Mockbee Building at 191 Castro Street, occupied by Knapps, is an example of the Italiante Style of commercial buildings popular in Mountain View. It was originally a hardware store and meeting place for civic groups.

1906 the San Francisco Earthquake destroyed many downtown businesses including the Ames Building which was quickly rebuilt.

1913 The Jurian Building at 194 Castro Street, most recently a candy and pop shop, was a drug store and general merchandise building that had a hall upstairs for dances, civic gatherings and celebrations.

1920 The Farmers and Merchants State Bank at 201 Castro Street, now occupied by Red Rock Coffee was built with the participation and investment of Julius Weilheimer and remains a distinguished building with Romanesque features and elaborate decoration.

1933 U.S. Naval Air Station, Moffett Field was established with buildings in the Spanish Revival style then popular in California.  The Air Base Laundry, now occupied by Tied House, opened at 954 Villa Street to serve the needs of the Air Base and utilized the same Spanish Revival architecture, as do other buildings in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto.

What’s the latest on saving Chez TJ and Tied House?

By | Historic Buildings, Livability | No Comments
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Livable Mountain View is pleased to inform you that the 1894 Weilheimer House (Chez TJ’s) and the 1931 Air Base Laundry (Tied House) now qualify for consideration to be included on the National Register of Historic Places!

On February 1, 2019 the State Historic Preservation Commission (SHRC) in Sacramento met to consider a decision (details at this link). This is the culmination of more than a year of research, signature gathering and filings in LMV’s efforts to preserve the historic core of our city. This decision is our opportunity to inform city leaders, planners and developers that preservation of these historic buildings is crucial to maintaining the welcoming, unique sense of place that is vital to our downtown, to encourage walkability and to lend a rich texture to the fabric of our community.

You can find more detailed information about these buildings, their significance, history and the effort to save them here a our archive history link.

History Of Castro Street And Its Buildings

By | Historic Buildings, MV Council | No Comments

CASTRO STREET: WHERE IT CAME FROM, WHY IT SHOULD BE PRESERVED.

•  1852 The first Mountain View was a tiny settlement formed around the first stagecoach stop for the first stagecoach service originated by John W. Whisman near Grant Road and El Camino.  Richard Carr opened the first general merchandise store.

1853 The Weilheimer brothers, Seligman and Samuel, German-Jewish immigrants, arrived from Germany and take a shot at the American Dream. They opened the second general merchandise store. Competition and diversity had an early start in Mountain View.

1854 The settlement is named “Mountain View” by a local store shop keeper and post master, Jacob Shumway. 

1856 The Weilheimer brothers established a general store, livery, and hotel in Mountain View.

1860 The census listed Julius Weilheimer as being 9 months old. He would eventually run the family businesses, serve as town mayor, town trustee, help create and serve as co-founder and vice president of the local Farmers & Merchants bank (now occupied by Red Rock Coffee) which eventually became Bank of America. He also built and resided in the Weilheimer House at 938 Villa in 1894 (whose living room served as the city council meeting chambers and is currently occupied by Chez TJ), led the effort to rebuild a shattered downtown after the 1906 earthquake, and served as postmaster and Wells Fargo representative among other contributions to our city.

1864 The railroad in the form of the Southern Pacific arrived and by locating its rail line in its present location, the Mountain View we know today grew and prospered.

1865 The new Mountain View town grid was laid out and remains today with Castro as the main street.  The area was called Villa Lands.

1867 Henry Rengstorff built his house near Rengstorff Landing where he operated a ferry between Mountain View and San Francisco.

1870-71 The Weilheimer brothers thrived and opened more businesses on and near Castro Street. Their 1874 Farmers Store at 124 Castro Street remains today and is occupied by Oren’s Hummus. It is believed to be the oldest building on Castro Street and perhaps the peninsula.  

1880 The Weilheimer family built its home and opened a stable on what is now Evelyn Street with and another general merchandise store in the first block of Castro Street.

• 1902 Mountain View was incorporated and Mountain View High School opened. We had electric streetlights, telephone service and a municipal water system.

1905 The Ames Building at 171 Castro Street, was built with its Spanish influenced tiled roofline and is one of Castro’s oldest commercial structures.  For decades it was occupied by the Jehning family lock business and Lock Museum.

1906 The Mockbee Building at 191 Castro Street, occupied by Knapps, is an example of the Italianate Style of commercial buildings popular in Mountain View. It was originally a hardware store and meeting place for civic groups.

1906 the San Francisco Earthquake destroyed many downtown businesses including the Ames Building which was quickly rebuilt.

1913 The Jurian Building at 194 Castro Street, most recently a candy and pop shop, was a drug store and general merchandise building that had a hall upstairs for dances, civic gatherings and celebrations.

1920 The Farmers and Merchants State Bank at 201 Castro Street, now occupied by Red Rock Coffee was built with the participation and investment of Julius Weilheimer and remains a distinguished building with Romanesque features and elaborate decoration.

1933 U.S. Naval Air Station, Moffett Field was established with buildings in the Spanish Revival style then popular in California.  The Air Base Laundry, now occupied by Tied House, opened at 954 Villa Street to serve the needs of the Air Base and utilized the same Spanish Revival architecture, as do other buildings in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto.

LIVABLE MOUNTAIN VIEW ENDORSES ALISON HICKS & ELLEN KAMEI

By | Affordable Housing, City Planning, Design, Historic Buildings, Livability, Walk Appeal | One Comment

Below are our endorsements for City Council, after a written question and answer period, where some candidates asked for in-person interviews. Following are links to their written statements, if they submitted them:

LivMV Council Endorsements 2018See written answers from:  Alison Hicks (pdf), Ellen Kamei (pdf),  Pat Showalter (pdf), Lenny Siegel (pdf), Lucas Ramirez (pdf).  NOTE: Candidate John Inks elected not return the questionnaire or respond.

Based on a 5 questionnaire form and interviews (optional) the current Council Candidates received the following scores: Alison Hicks (5), Ellen Kamei (4), Pat Showalter (3), Lenny Siegel (1.5), Lucas Ramirez (1), John Inks (0).

Our questions were focused on topics that greatly affect livability and quality of life in Mountain View.

Scoring was based on one point for each signed response and comments were considered which were provided by the candidates. Partial credit was given to those who supported the spirit of the question both through comments and their voting records.

 

 

Combining Density and Livability

By | City Planning, Design, Historic Buildings, Livability, Walk Appeal | No Comments

Urban Grain and Vibrancy of Older Neighborhoods: Metrics and Measures is a new paper by Kathryn Rogers Merlino at University of Washington. It speaks to what Livable Mountain View has been saying we need for Mountain View’s downtown, which is to create density but with livability that includes a sense of place that is unique to Mountain View. One of the things we hear from Sunnyvale folks, both residents and their leaders, is that it was a huge mistake to tear out their historic downtown (all but two blocks). The 5 story boxy steel and glass buildings have tenants who live in them above, but the retail shops below aren’t all filled, and the sidewalks are deserted after 5pm. It’s not a place that is special or that people want to be. And we’ve heard that Sunnyvale is now looking to recreate that as an extension to the 2 blocks of Murphy Street so they can get it back.

We don’t want to see Mountain View lose our first three blocks (See our analysis of our Downtown Precise Plan which shows that every building, even ones that might one day be on the historic register, can be removed and bulldozed the next.) And frankly, we are concerned that without the preservation of the buildings that give us character we could end up just like Sunnyvale. Regretting it and not having the new development used as a downtown like it should be. We want density, but we want to use the lots and areas without special buildings to make it and leave the special buildings in tact and protected.

Current trends of urbanization across the country are focusing on increased density in our cities. While the idea of living at higher densities can combat sprawl, how does this affect existing, older neighborhoods? Many new buildings built for high density lack a sense of historic character and uniqueness of place, and cover entire blocks that don’t lend themselves to a quality pedestrian experience. Density must be combined with livability if we are to make quality cities that make successful places for people. This paper presents a study that suggests that a variety of age, texture and scale in buildings inherently assert a degree of richness in neighborhoods. Preliminary results of the study suggest that fine grain buildings in a block correlate with increased pedestrian activity and therefore urban vibrancy.

The study’s conclusion:

…preliminary results of the study provide quantifiable data that suggest a finer grain block with older building ages corresponds to increased pedestrian activity and street vibrancy. Higher ratings were found on blocks that had shorter average building widths that corresponded with older buildings and more durable materials. Blocks that had long, continuous building facades appeared to provide no interest or engagement for the pedestrian, nor did blocks that had open, empty lots, or buildings with poor material quality.

As the Merlino team at UW continues the study collecting data and analyzing the ways people react in different urban environments, we will keep you updated.

Historic Mountain View: Weilheimer History

By | Historic Buildings, Livability, Uncategorized, Walk Appeal | One Comment

Update Aug 12, 2017:  One of twho historical treasures that were slated to be destroyed . . .

The Weilheimer House — or Chez TJ, as it’s been known the past 30 years — was built in the 1890s by early Mountain View settlers and features Queen Anne architecture.

THE WEILHEIMER HOUSE or CHEZ TJ as it’s known today:

A walk along Mountain View’s Villa Street reveals a perfect example of Victorian Architecture from the late 1800’s. The Weilheimer House at 938 Villa Street remains at it’s original location on a grassy knoll with large Heritage Trees in front. Built in 1894, and having survived the 1906 Earthquake, it is one of the oldest buildings on the Peninsula. The Weilheimer House has a rich chronicle of Owners and is rooted in Mountain View’s Living History.

The Weilheimer House is on land that was originally part of Castro’s farm. When Castro died (around 1856), his sons hired the Lawyer Houghton to defend them against squatters and secure the land.

Weilheimer House circa 1894

From the State of California National Resources Agency:

“As payment for representing the Castro’s in court, Houghton was given land. A portion of the land Houghton received included the property. It was part of what he named “Villa Lands.” Circa 1869, Houghton sold a good portion of his land in Mountain View to Doctor Bowling (D.B) Bailey for $3,500 (he was not a medical doctor; his first name was Doctor). Over the next twenty years Bailey began developing Villa Lands and by 1887 had recorded a subdivision map.”

The Weilheimer House was built in the 1894 to be the residence of Julius Weilheimer and his young bride, Fanny. Julius was the son of Seligman Weilheimer, an early Mountain View pioneer who arrived in the city with his brother, Samual, during the California gold rush. The brothers owned a general store located on Castro St., which Julius would later operate.

The younger Weilheimer would go on to serve two terms as mayor of Mountain View.  He was a merchant, bank officer and member of the first Town Board.

FROM THE MV CITY STAFF REPORT:

“938 Villa Street, now Chez TJ, was built for Julius Weilheimer, one of Mountain View’s most prominent pioneer families. A property survey states that the Weilheimer home was built in 1894. According to the City’s 2003 Survey, “the house is an excellent example of a Queen Anne style cottage.”

It was built in an elaborate style for early Mountain View with Palladian windows, an ample porch, an open balustrade and sawtooth shingles on one of the gables. Julius was the son of Seligman Weilheimer a Jewish immigrant from Dossenheim, Baden, Germany, who built Mountain View’s first big general merchandise store in 1856. The Weilheimers also had established a general store in Old Mountain View on El Camino Real during the 1850s stagecoach era. They set up a new shop on Castro Street when the railroad opened.

“The building still stands today as one of the oldest commercial buildings in the North County. The family also ran a hotel, livery, and other businesses near the first block of Castro. Julius was very prominent in a critical era in the city’s history, when it voted to incorporate. Julius was one of our first City Council members, although the body was called the Board of Trustees at the time.  He was also Vice President of the Mountain View Farmers and Merchant’s Bank. The Weilheimer family moved to San Francisco in 1907 whereupon Arthur Free, city attorney and later Congressman had the house until 1914. The Chez TJ Restaurant, now run out of the house has long been advertised as “a contemporary French cuisine restaurant that is uniquely located in one of the most historic Victorian homes in Mountain View.”

The Weilheimer House has a rich chronicle of owners and is rooted in Mountain View’s living history.

The house is on land that had been part of the Mexican land grant of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas.  This land grant was later passed on to Mariano Castro, who managed a farm on the land that is now Mountain View. When Castro died, around 1856, his sons hired Mr. Houghton, a lawyer, to defend them against squatters and secure the land.

FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA NATIONAL RESOURCES AGENCY:

“As payment for representing the Castros in court, Houghton was given land. A portion of the land Houghton received included the property. It was part of what he named “Villa Lands.” Circa 1869, Houghton sold a good portion of his land in Mountain View to Doctor Bowling (D.B.) Bailey for $3,500.  (He was not a medical doctor; his first name was Doctor.)  Over the next twenty years Bailey began developing Villa Lands and by 1887 had recorded a subdivision map.”

The Weilheimer House was built in the 1894 to be the residence of Julius Weilheimer and his young bride, Fanny.  Julius was the son of Seligman Weilheimer, an early Mountain View pioneer who arrived in the city with his brother, Samual, during the California gold rush.  The brothers owned a general store located on Castro St., which Julius would later operate.

The younger Weilheimer would go on to serve two terms as mayor of Mountain View. He was a merchant, bank officer and member of the first Town Board of Trustees. His father and brother owned a general store on El Camino and another downtown, which still stands at 124-8 Castro.

The home’s other notable past residents include Arthur M. Free, Mountain View’s postmaster and city attorney, who went on to become the only U.S. Congressman from Mountain View.

Congressman Arthur Monroe Free

Arthur Monroe Free (January 15, 1879 – April 1, 1953) was a United States Representative from California. He was born in San Jose, California. His birthplace at 66 South 14th Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Santa Clara County. He graduated from the Stanford University law department in 1903 and commenced practice in San Jose. Free moved to Mountain View and was a city attorney from 1904 to 1910. He was the District Attorney of Santa Clara County from 1907 to 1919. He voluntarily retired and resumed the practice of law at San Jose.

Congressman Arthur Monroe Free

Free was a delegate to the Republican state conventions in 1914 and from 1920 to 1936. He was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-seventh and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1933).

Lloyd A. Free (29 September 1908 — 11 November 1996) was Arthur Free’s son.  Born in the Weilheimer House, he was a founder of the Institute for International Social Research.  In the war against Hitler, Free joined the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service. He counted references to specific military units mentioned in propaganda broadcasts and made accurate inferences about enemy offensive movements.

After the war, he assisted UNESCO in their communication operations before continuing similarly with the State Department. He helped establish the Institute for International Social Research which did opinion polling in France, Nigeria, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines, publishing the results, frequently as an Institute publication.  Free was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the World Association for Public Opinion Research.

The Weilheimer House has maintained its handsome Victorian-era character over the years. Technically, it can be classified as a “Painted Lady” because it uses three or more paint colors to highlight its architectural features.

EXTERIOR CHARACTERISTICS TYPICALLY FOUND IN A VICTORIAN STYLE HOMES IN SAN FRANCISCO AT THIS TIME:

  •       ASYMMETRICAL HOUSE DESIGN.
  •       OVERHANGING EAVES
  •       GINGERBREAD-STYLE GABLES
  •       DECORATIVE TRIM
  •       CUTAWAY BAY WINDOWS
  •       PALLADIAN WINDOWS
  •       AMPLE PORCH COVERING THE PRIMARY ENTRANCE AREA
  •       BUILT-IN CABINETRY
  •      SAWTOOTH PATTERNED WOOD SINGLES

THE INTERIOR BOASTS VICTORIAN PERIOD FEATURES THAT INCLUDE:

  •      WIDE TRIM BOARDS AND ARCHITECTURAL CROWN MOULDING.
  •       WAINSCOTING
  •       BUILT-IN CABINETRY
  •       LARGE PANELED WOOD POCKET DOORS
  •       WORKING TILED FIREPLACE

This historic house is currently home to the award-winning restaurant Chez TJ, a Mountain View favorite.  Chez TJ has long been advertised as “a contemporary French cuisine restaurant that is uniquely located in one of the most historic Victorian homes in Mountain View.”

 

Santa Clara Wants to Reclaim Its Downtown

By | City Planning, Historic Buildings, Livability, Walk Appeal | One Comment

Santa Clara, which tore down its downtown in the 60’s, wants to rebuild it as a central walking, meeting and human scaled space.

Old Santa Clara downtown, demolished in the 60s.

 

New vision for Santa Clara

 

 

 

 

 

Last November, ABC News covered Reclaiming our Downtown’s efforts. For more on their vision, see the group’s webpage.

 

Click on the image to watch the video: ABC News on Santa Clara Downtown rebuild

Ten Reasons to Save the Weilheimer House and Tied House Building

By | City Planning, Historic Buildings, Livability, Walk Appeal | One Comment

<strong>We are losing our history, piece by piece. There’s not much left, but together we can stop further losses.  </strong><strong>Please read these ten reasons to save our historic resources — and join us!</strong>

#1 We must preserve our valuable urban/historic downtown. Once you tear down or move historic structures like the Weilheimer House and Tied House building, they can NEVER be replaced. Mountain View risks eroding one of the most important reasons so many people have moved and continue to visit here: a vibrant, eclectic and historic downtown. Saving these historic properties is still possible, however. Mountain View’s city council had the opportunity to protect them in June when a developer made a proposal. It did not. We need to work together so they’re preserved and remain in place, while we revitalize the downtown.

#2 There are currently 78 proposed developments in Mountain View — and a full 5 of them are in downtown alone. Do you want developers to design your downtown? No, you want to have a voice in what happens to your town.

#3 Do you want to lose your distinctive small businesses that serve you to make room for more office buildings. These projects are ruining the downtown and create more DEAD ZONES. There are other suitable places for such development other than where historic buildings are located.

#4. Why should large businesses and their developers take away your livable city center? You can’t get a cup of coffee in their lobbies or sit in their concrete gardens. We don’t have to choose, there are plenty of locations in Mountain View to build office space. In fact, the city itself owns plenty of land.

#5 The downtown center and surrounding blocks should be reserved for its citizens and visitors, not corporate office buildings, which don’t allow public use.

#6 In order to keep our small businesses thriving, it is critical to keep our historical, walkable downtown distinctly different from the modern San Antonio development. Our historical buildings are what help make our downtown distinctive, attractive and the reason so many residents of Mountain View and other communities visit our downtown.

#7 Part of Castro Street is overflowing with activity. Now is the time to enable spillover foot traffic from Castro Street onto these side-street offerings. Villa Street is one such side street. Moving or removing the Weilheimer House and Tied House building would inhibit that opportunity to capitalize on spillover foot traffic.

#8 When the Castro/Moffett automobile crossing is closed, Villa Street will certainly become one of the more active gateways to our downtown. The “Front Door” to downtown Mountain View should be unique and inviting, and feature attractive, historic properties in place — not another office building.

#9 We don’t have to continue building without a sensible plan. It’s time to stop the destruction of our heritage buildings and assess that we as a community want our downtown to provide for us.

#10 What about the owners? Cities face this question all the time. There are several options if the owners want to sell or lease their properties: The city can buy them; it can offer incentives given the historic nature of the properties or it can offer the owners/developer a transfer of rights, for example, to a property more suitable for an office building. The city could also say “no.” There are many comparable examples and best practices from other cities that can be followed if the owners want to sell or lease their properties.