Tonight, Jan. 29, the City Council will vote on whether to spare the wrecking ball for a pair historic downtown homes: a tiny home once lived in by migrant workers and the home of early Mountain View businessman Charles Pearson.
Both homes need to be removed to make way for a four-story office building the council approved for the site at the corner of Villa and Bryant streets. Council members voted unanimously in October to save the tiny "Immigrant House" at 166 Bryant St. as a way of showing how the city's early workers lived.
Tonight the council will vote on appropriating the $32,000 to move the Immigrant House to the city's Municipal Operation Control yard for three years during fund-raising for restoration. The council will vote on whether to require that half of the $227,000 in restoration costs be raised from "non-city sources."
In two years the council will be updated on fundraising efforts and decide where the tiny house may go. Pioneer Park is the site preferred by those working to preserve it.
City staff members recommend against using city funds to save the Pearson House at 902 Villa St. after examining the possibility of using it as a dorm for four to five city workers or as an affordable housing unit, possibly on a city lot on Wright Avenue valued at $500,000. It is estimated to cost $65,000 to relocate and $922,000 to restore. In contrast, a four-bedroom modular home would cost the city $343.000. One last effort would be made to find someone willing to move and restore the home on their own.