Land Trust seeks input on North Star House
The Nevada County Land Trust wants the county’s input on how to use the historic North Star House designed by architect Julia Morgan.
The Land Trust will hold a meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 24, with local government officials on how to use grant money for turning the old building into a community venue.
In August, the non-profit group was awarded a $300,000 grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment to study the North Star property and plan for the restoration of four historic structures and surrounding landscaping.
“It’s the first step in the restoration process,” said Marty Coleman-Hunt, executive director of the Nevada County Land Trust.
The land trust wants to develop the grounds as a community meeting place for events and eventually a tourist destination.
Four years ago, Oregon developer Sandy Sanderson gifted the 14-acre property to the land trust. At the same time, the county awarded the land trust a $500,000 grant from the estate of Dryden Wilson for open space and parks projects. The group used the money to stabilize the crumbling, vandalized North Star House.
“It was about ready to fall down,” Coleman-Hunt said.
Early projections put a cost of $6 million to restore the building.
“Clearly that’s not money that’s going to come from this county,” Coleman-Hunt said but added the $300,000 is a good start.
“We kind of feel like this puts us on the California map as a real important place to invest in,” Coleman-Hunt said.
Built in the arts and crafts design in 1905, the North Star House was one of Julia Morgan’s earliest works. Morgan is best known for her work on the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
The house was built for Superintendent of the North Star Mine, Arthur De Wint Foote and his family. His wife, Mary Hallock Foote, was a well known illustrator and author and the subject of Wallace Stegner’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Angle of Repose.
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