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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

Historic Resources Advisory Committee Proposes Mezesville / Centennial Historic District – Community Workshop Scheduled to Discuss Proposal

Redwood City, CA - December 5 , 2005 - The Redwood City Historic Resources Advisory Committee and City staff have completed a preliminary study of historic structures in one of our community’s earliest and most historic neighborhoods – the Mezesville area (generally bounded by Arguello, Whipple Avenue, Winslow Street, and Brewster Avenue) within the Centennial neighborhood. The Committee is recommending to the Planning Commission that this specific grouping of structures (see map) be designated as the Mezesville / Centennial historic district.

A neighborhood informational workshop on this historic district proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13th 2005 at 6:30 pm in the multi-purpose room at Orion Elementary School, 815 Allerton Street.

The purpose of designating an area as an Historic District is to help preserve and maintain a neighborhood’s historic and traditional roots and its distinctive historic character. Such areas are a link with our community’s past, help to define our neighborhoods, and contribute to the identity of our entire community.

The unique scale and variety of structures in the quaint Mezesville neighborhood, and its wide planter strips and mature trees, contribute to the character of this very special area. It was the first urban subdivision of Redwood City, dating back to 1856 - the year that Redwood City became the seat of San Mateo County. The buildings in this area are some of the last remaining examples of early Redwood City dwellings, and housed the people who built and worked for the early local industries, provided services to the growing community, and built and maintained the government and civic facilities as Redwood City became an important central point of the peninsula. “Contributing” structures (those of potential historic significance) in this area date from the 1860s to the 1940s, and the neighborhood’s centerpiece, Mezes Park, was one of the first parks in California to be donated to the community by a private individual.

When an area is designated as an Historic District it provides benefits to not only the owners of “contributing” structures, but also to the entire neighborhood and the community. For example there are levels of property tax relief for “contributing” structures, increased flexibility in the State Historic Building codes, and a great deal of City support in an owner’s design process for improvements and restoration of “contributing” structures as well as neighboring structures. The designation helps to ensure compatibility and consistency of the structures within the District.

No decisions will be made at this informational workshop. It’s an opportunity for the neighborhood and community to learn about and become engaged in the Historic Designation process, and gain an interesting historic overview of one of our community’s most historic neighborhoods. This is the first step in the process of identifying ways to protect the character of this neighborhood - there will be a number of public meetings to ensure that the community is fully involved in the decision-making process. Final decisions on a designation will ultimately be made by the City Council following additional public participation in the process through the Planning Commission.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and City government.


Charles Jany
Community Development Services

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