SAN JOSE (KPIX) – On Sunday morning, the 1910 Pallesen Residence in San Jose was relocated to keep it from the wrecking ball. The short trip shows how far the city has come to realize the importance of preserving the past.
San Jose has a bit of everything from 19th century Victorians to the gleaming high-rise apartments of today. Gratia Rankin of the SJ Preservation Action Council says if there’s one look that best defines the city it’s the Mission Revival style of the Pallesen building.
“If you’re looking for older things in San Jose,” she said, “go,” that kind looks like this building. “Yes, it’s Frank Wolfe.”
Frank Wolfe’s designs are here to stay, and so did the Pallesen on Sunday, which stood in the country where a 29-story, 100 percent affordable, high-rise apartment building was located. So it had to move.
CONNECTED: Crowd gathers to watch the historic San Jose Apartment Building move
“Well, it was either that or it was demolished,” said Ben Leech, president of the heritage protection group who led efforts to save the building.
“Architecture, old buildings really tell the story of a city,” said Leech. “Even if it’s not yours and you don’t live in it, you identify with it.”
Many people must have identified with the Pallesen because the public contributed $ 300,000 to the move, including a $ 100,000 donation from Carl Salas and his wife Maryanne.
“And we thought this was going to help wake people up and it woke up a lot of people,” Salas said. “They said let’s save this thing. It’s beautiful – check it out. Ain’t it cool This is really great!”
The building only had to travel about two blocks down Reed Street to its new location next to the entrance to I-280 on S. 4th Street. The city sold the property to Habitat for Humanity in East Bay-Silicon Valley for a dollar, which made it all possible. Eventually, the building’s four units will be sold as affordable condominiums at less than half their current market value.
“We don’t pull 4-unit buildings down the street in downtown San Jose every day, so it’s definitely a different ball game,” said Habitat’s Patti Wang Cross. “But we’re going to do a really thorough renovation. We will keep the historical character of this beautiful building. “
Soon they will also be looking for volunteers to help them, and one day the Pallesen will provide four houses in an old building that is just beginning a new life.