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Del Mar Historical Society Aims To Relocate Alvarado House

The Del Mar Historical Society has longed to bring Del Mar’s first house back home ever since it was relocated to the Del Mar Fairgrounds 25 years ago. With the possible relocation of the Alvarado House to Seagrove Park on the Parks and Recreation Committee’s Nov. 12 agenda, the society’s dream could be one step closer to a reality.

“It’s time to move it,” said Larry Brooks, president of the Del Mar Historical Society, which has collected, preserved and displayed the city’s historical facts, artifacts and properties since it was founded in 1985. “We’re hoping we can make something happen in the next year or so, but this is Del Mar and nothing goes fast.”

Built in 1885, the Alvarado House was given to the Del Mar Historical Society in 1985 when the new owner decided to build a bigger home on the lot at the foot of 10th Street, where the 600-square-foot home sat for a century. It was moved to the city hall parking lot for four years, and then relocated to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where it’s been since 1989.

Today, the house, which was originally sold for $600, largely remains locked up and unused at the fairgrounds, except when it is open to the public for tours during the annual county fair.

The Del Mar Historical Society has always aimed to relocate the house to Seagrove Park on Coast Boulevard. Although initial efforts failed years ago, Brooks said the society is revisiting the idea because it offers the most potential.

“We know it’s going to be a tough go, but what we like about that idea is that it’s visible,” Brooks said. “It’s a corner in Del Mar where everything happens.”

If the Alvarado House were relocated to Seagrove Park near the Powerhouse Community Center, it would create an historical district, Brooks noted.

“We see it acting as a visitor information center, a museum on Del Mar history,” he said, adding there could potentially be a room for art from local artists and an office space for community services personnel. “Those are the kinds of things that we see — where it’s out in the public, it’s going to be seen and it’s going to be used.”

Other potential sites for the Alvarado House include the Shores property.

The council voted in August 2007 to purchase the $8.5 million property from the school district, with the intent to preserve current open space and recreational uses, continue operation of The Winston School, and initiate a master plan process. The city is currently in the beginning stages of the long-range plan, which will guide the development of the 5.3-acre park along Camino del Mar.

Another potential site is the city’s new city hall and civic center. Having just held its third community workshop on the matter, Del Mar is still relatively early in the planning process to replace the deteriorating city hall at 1050 Camino del Mar.

Brooks said the civic center option is better than the Shores option, but neither is the perfect spot like Seagrove Park.

Source: Del Mar Times

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