Conclusions on Site Use
1. Gift From Santa Cruz
The property was donated by 20-or-more property owners along with $3,000 for future developments from city taxpayers.
Essentially, this was just as much created by the citizens of Santa Cruz to maintain a community space that not only serves its people, but welcomes any and all visitors.
3. Open Space
Throughout the sites various transitions, it always seemed to acknowledge the needs of the residents. No matter what lay in place, there was at least an open space at the neighbors convenience- for all sorts of recreation, but also as an inviting focal point for anyone living in the circle.
An open space here is important-as well as maintaining the heritage trees that grow in this space.
The neighborhood still has much of its historic housing stock that for the most part, is well cared for.
This makes it eligible for Historic District or Conservation District status consideration.
2. Property Values
At its construction, the 1890 realty auctioneer said the tabernacle raised the values of Garfield Park.
This is indicative that people buy properties next to churches, schools, parks and other communal areas on the assumption that they will be permanent.
Therefore, taking away this public amenity is not a neighborhood enhancement, nor will it boost property value.
4. Vista Feature
The Tabernacle and the Courtyard church were both designed with the intention of being vista features- they were designed to be prominent, seen from afar but pleasant to look at.
We think that standard in-fill or a blase housing structure is an inappropriate use of a land that is intended to be the defining focal point of the neighborhood.
The Courtyard Church is over 50- years old, yielding characteristics of the Gregory Farmhouse and Santa Cruz City Hall.
It's design compares with the Missionary Baptist Church on Woodrow Ave which is listed as a city landmark.
This has been dismissed by developers, but the Courtyard Church is eligible for landmark consideration and H.P.C review.
7. Structural Reuse
Even without landmark status, the buildings are in excellent condition, with lovely architecture, and maintained grounds.
Reusing the building (that is paid off already) is not only better economically, but is a more eco-friendly solution. Rather than sending the building to the landfill, the building could be repurposed.
The proper replacement for a church, school or park is a church, school or park, and this site already combines the three.
Therefore, the reuse of the existing structure would be the appropriate approach for the site.