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Restoring history at home

Preserving historic buildings in Grass Valley’s original townsite will be the focus of a workshop next Wednesday.

The city has been exploring a set of guidelines, an ordinance, or possibly even financial help for rehabilitating historic buildings that are part of the original 1872 townsite.

The meeting on the Historical Preservation Program will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 at Grass Valley City Hall, 125 E. Main St., downtown.



“We want to be able to give people the opportunity to know about their home, and if they choose to, to bring it back to its original condition,” said Mayor Lisa Swarthout.

The meeting introduces the results of a survey done with funding from the city’s Redevelopment Agency, ranking buildings in the original townsite as very significant, somewhat significant or not significant, Swarthout said.




With that information in hand and public comment from Wednesday’s gathering, city staff would then consider formulating guidelines or an ordinance for the restoration of historic buildings, said Teresa Poston, past chairwoman of the Grass Valley Historical Commission.

“We want to get input from the public, then it will evolve from there,” said Poston, who is the wife of outgoing Councilman Chauncey Poston.

Depending on what property owners say, the next step could be as simple as guidelines for historic rehabilitation; or as strict as an ordinance setting requirements for that work; or the creation of a fund or plan to assist those undertaking historic restoration, Swarthout said.

“The purpose of the meeting is to take the temperature of where people are on this,” Swarthout said. “We’re very sensitive to the financial aspects of this, but some homes have already benefited from restoration done lovingly and historically correct.”

An added benefit of the restoration work is the reuse of materials, she added.

Notices for Wednesday’s meeting went out this week to owners of properties within the historic townsite considered to have a certain level of historic value.

For more information, contact city staff at (530) 274-4330.

To contact Staff Writer Greyson Howard, e-mail ghoward@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4237.


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