Greek revival blue plaque landmark

Thu, May 13, 2021

Marla Novo

Marla Novo - Catalizadora de Archivos y Colecciones

Blue Plaques & Historic Landmarks of 2021

This is the kind of plaque you want. You may have noticed blue plaques on some of the structures around Santa Cruz County. That’s part of the MAH’s Historic Landmark program. By adding a blue plaque to a home, business, or other structure in our County, this long-standing MAH program shines a light on the people that lived in them, preserving pieces of Santa Cruz County history. "Blue Plaques" are awarded each year to structures that have architectural or historic significance throughout the County. A group of volunteers who are historians meet quarterly to review applications. This year we’ve awarded 5 plaques. Let’s take a walk and see where they are.

303 Walnut Ave

Starting in downtown Santa Cruz at 303 Walnut Ave, is the current site of the Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center (El Centro de Familia y Mujeres de la Avenida Walnut). The Center’s been there for over 85 years, helping individuals and families lead healthy, happy and productive lives. But before that, it was the home of Salvator and Frances Bagnell Fachutar. They built their house in 1921, which doubled as a music shop and concert hall. Also on the property (and plagued this year) was a carriage house and Fachutar House of Perfume. This structure built in 1934 was the site of flower drying for the perfume business. It must have smelled sweet.

Greek revival blue plaque landmark

Heading to 619 Washington St. is a house built in 1868 for Mary and Ira Howe. The present owner of this Greek Revival Style home, Pat McCormick, wanted to acquire a blue plaque and found satisfaction in researching the history of the home. It “tied up a lot of loose ends about who owned this house before me” said Pat upon picking up his plaque at the MAH.

Blue plaque landmark

Our last stop is 363 Berkeley Way where the Cornell’s Home stands. Built in 1906, it was the original site of Rodriguez Homestead of 1861, and presently owned by Doug and Donna Ramos. On walks around Santa Cruz, Doug and Donna many blue plaques on houses. Curious, they found out about the MAH’s Historic Landmark program and decided to apply for a plaque for the house they've called home since the 1970s. Donna says researching their home made her appreciative of local history, and how we all become a part of the ongoing history of this area.

May is Historic Preservation Month, and we wanted to share more awards with you.

This year, the Santa Cruz City Historic Preservation Commission is giving a certificate of appreciation to 123 Jordan St. for This Stick Style house was built about 1892 for John L. Notley, the first identified owner.

3 Jordan 123 Completed 1

Notley owned W. E. Maxcy & Co., a saloon on Pacific Avenue at the time that he and his wife Susan, built the house. 2013. In 2017 the Historic Preservation Commission approved returning the house to a single-family residence from a multi-unit residence and re-placing the detached non-historic carport with an accessory dwelling unit.

Apple packing blue plaque landmark

And finally, the Santa Cruz County Historic Preservation Commission gave out two certificates of appreciation this year. The first is to Barry Swenson Builders for the Repurposing and Renovation of the Hihn Apple Packing Warehouse in Aptos Village, located at 161 Aptos Village Way. In 1906 Frederick Hihn constructed an apple packing warehouse in Aptos to process green variety apples, mainly Newton Pippin and Bellflower, harvested in the Aptos area. Apple-loaded wagons arrived at the front of the apple barn, where they were moved to the loading dock and then sorted and boxed inside. Freight cars rolled on the spur railroad line behind the Apple Barn where they were destined for Watsonville, known as the Apple Capital of the State.


The second certificate appreciation was awarded to Contractor John Colendich for the restoration of the Spanish Colonial-Style Residence at 355 Corralitos Road in Corralitos.

This Circa 1925 residence at 355 Corralitos Road in Corralitos is a rare example of Mission / Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture in a rural setting in Santa Cruz County. This unique residence has been expertly preserved by contractor John Colendich. The restoration of the original windows, stucco siding, red tile roof, and porches has preserved the original design, materials, and character of this simple yet elegant residence. The Santa Cruz County Historic Resources Commission wishes to thank and recognize John Colendich for his contribution to preserving our historic heritage.

Next time you’re curious about stories from the past, we invite you to seek out blue plaque structures so you can take a local walk with history. If you’re interested in learning more about Historic Landmark Awards (aka blue plaques), check out more information here.