This past spring, we set the record straight on myths about historic preservation myths in general. Now we’d like to talk about some myths you may have heard regarding preservation in Alhambra.
Myth #1: Alhambra doesn’t have any homes worth saving.
Oh, yes we do – plenty! More than 30 years ago, a survey completed in only two neighborhoods, Ramona Park Tract and the Wuest/Marguerita-Souders tract, identified more than 500 historic homes. This year, APG developed a map identifying more than 500 historic homes citywide, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These homes feature the following architectural styles: Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, English Revival, Spanish Revival, Colonial Revival, and Mid-Century Modern. In addition, Alhambra has several unique buildings such as a log cabin, the Pyrenees Castle and a shopping center designed like a 19th century western boom town. So, for its size – a mere eight square miles – Alhambra is one of the most architecturally diverse cities in Southern California.
Take a look at this map and then check out your own neighborhood. If there are any homes we’ve missed, send us an e-mail with the address. If it’s historic, we’ll add that home to the map.
Myth #2 – The historic signs in Alhambra’s neighborhoods already protect Alhambra’s homes.
False! Alhambra has no policies or ordinances that protect homes and businesses from razing. These signs are a good first step in strengthening public awareness about Alhambra’s historic home tracts, but this signage does nothing to save homes from being torn down or remodeled beyond recognition. The signs have no enforcement “teeth.” A preservation element needs to be added to Alhambra’s General Plan, and the City of Alhambra needs to adopt a preservation ordinance. Please let your city leaders know this is important to you.
Myth #3 – Alhambrans don’t care about preserving Alhambra.
In 2015, to prepare for an update to Alhambra’s General Plan, the City of Alhambra conducted a survey of residents to learn about their priorities. More than half of those surveyed – 52% – stated that the preservation of historic areas and buildings should be a priority for the City of Alhambra. Also, well over half the people responding to the survey thought there were either too many apartments, too many condos or too much mixed-use development. Once again, make sure you voice your opinions to those who can effect change in Alhambra.