Palo Alto's Oldest Home OK'd For Demolition
Mar, 8 - KGO (KGO) -- After nine years of legal battles, the city of Palo Alto has agreed to issue a demolition permit for the city's oldest home, known as the Juana Briones home.
Sitting on this one-and-a-half acre property is a rammed earth adobe structure, a 160-year-old building, the one time home of Juana Briones.
Gale Woolley, Juana Briones Heritage Foundation: "She was a businesswoman, she was land owner, she was a humanitarian. She bought the rancho in 1844. Palo Alto wasn't even on the horizon, California wasn't even a state."
Gale Woolley, is co-president of the Juana Briones Heritage Foundation, a coalition of historians, architects, educators and community leaders who've been fighting to keep the home from being demolished.
Palo Alto city officials say it's a battle between a property owner's right to build a new luxury home and the current structures historical significance.
But an appeals court ruled that the city's heritage ordinance was unenforceable, and the owner of the property can immediately be granted a demolition permit.
ABC7 news was unsuccessful in contacting the property owners.
Before any demolition begins, the owners of the property have allowed the foundation to hire a photographer and an architect to survey the property and the home.
Woolley says a Stanford professor will also videotape the property and create a documentary.
An existing wall plaque, photographs, and stones from the original home will be used to make a plaque at a nearby park.
Gale Woolley, Juana Briones Heritage Foundation: "It seems like it's really sad to loose a little bit of tangible connection with such a significant, exceptional woman."
Woolley says until the home is leveled, she hopes the owners have a change of heart.
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