Five Northern California Destinations Being Considered for Federal Historical Designation

Fort Ross Landing Historical and Archaeological District

The California State Historical Resources Commission will hold a virtual meeting next Friday, October 21 to consider five Northern California properties for federal historic designation. If the sites are chosen for designation, they could receive funding for restoration and preservation, along with a litany of benefits including special building codes to facilitate the restoration of historic structures, and certain tax advantages.

Here are the sites being considered:

Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation Hospital

San Francisco, San Francisco County

The property was designed by well-known San Francisco architect Frederick H. Meyer as a company hospital for employees working at Bethlehem’s nearby Union Iron Works shipyard. Designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, the building served as a company hospital until 1931, until its acquisition in 1948 by the Kaiser Permanente Foundation to serve as the HMO’s first full-service hospital in San Francisco.

Compton’s Cafeteria

San Francisco, San Francisco County

Located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, the 1908 Italian Renaissance Revival style residential lodging house was designed by architect Abram Edelman. The cafeteria on its ground floor was the focus of a landmark 1966 incident of collective resistance against harassment by police that targeted members of San Francisco’s transgender community. The site is remembered as a turning point toward militant resistance in the LGBTQ, and particularly transgender, community.

James Kleiser House

Arcata, Humboldt County

The 1858 Gothic Revival residence built by merchant James Kleiser consists of a thick frame of overlapping redwood planks, finished with 1-inch-thick horizontal plank siding. Unlike most of the surviving homes from this era in Arcata, Kleiser added Gothic Revival exterior trim and interior decorations imported from New York City, marking a turning point from the vernacular buildings in early settlements to the high Victorian styles in the newly established city. Kleiser only lived briefly in the house. From 1861 to 1971, the house was the home of the Nixon family, who purchased the home from its previous owners with 500 sacks of potatoes from the Nixon farm in lieu of cash.

Fort Ross Landing Historical and Archaeological District

Northern California Doghole Ports Maritime Cultural Landscape MPS

Jenner (vicinity), Sonoma County

The district encompasses 830 acres along the Sonoma County coast within Fort Ross State Historic Park and adjacent waters within the state historic park and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. As a property type associated with the doghole ports transportation network and associated maritime commerce, the district meets the registration requirements of the Northern California Doghole Ports Maritime Cultural Landscape Multiple Property Submission. The district includes Russian period resources repurposed and expanded by subsequent European and American landowners to support their business ventures in agriculture, ranching and timber—businesses that were the backbone of the doghole port’s success and longevity.

Ramelli Dairy Ranch

Chilcoot (vicinity), Sierra County

Located in Sierra County’s Long Valley, near the border of Washoe County, Nevada, the ranch includes a stone milkhouse (creamery), a wood granary and a concrete cistern. While no information specifically identifies Caesar Ramelli as the builder, the buildings’ construction and/or alteration reflect the farming and utilitarian building experience of Ramelli, who originated from northern Canton Ticino, an Italian Swiss cultural region. The property is associated with immigration patterns of the Italian Swiss to Sierra County and its early industry, and the Ramellis provided competitive local cheese products to Reno, Nevada, and the surrounding area.

Since the meeting will be held virtually at 9 a.m. on Friday, October 21, those who would like to participate in the meeting must register for attendance via the Zoom link posted on the State Historical Resources Commission Meeting Schedule and Notices page of the Office of Historic Preservation website at ohp.parks.ca.gov/shrcnotices. Those who wish to watch the meeting but not provide comments do not need to register, and may watch a live webcast, with archived video provided post-meeting, at cal-span.org/.

The National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program that coordinates and supports public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources. The California Register of Historical Resources is a program designed by the Commission in 1992 for use by state and local government agencies, private groups and citizens to identify, evaluate, register and protect California’s historical resources. California Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features or events of statewide significance and that have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific, technical, religious or experimental value. California Points of Historical Interest are sites, buildings, features or events that are of local (city or county) significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific, technical, religious or experimental value.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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