2012 was a very exciting year for us!
In June the Visalia City Council voted its approval to grant permanent protection to the Visalia Homebuilder's Tract, bordered by Watson St, Conyer St, Noble Ave and the Mt Whitney HS campus. For more than 20 years Visalia Heritage worked with the city and homeowners to ensure that this area of near-pristine 1930’s-era homes is included in the Visalia Historic Preservation District. Many homes in this neighborhood were built by prominent Citizens. The late historian Annie Mitchell, herself a resident of “The Homebuilders’s” for nearly 50 years, recognized it as containing the largest intact collection of California Bungalow–style homes in the state. How gratifying it is to know it shall remain so for future generations!
The Fox Theatre has always been a vital fixture in out downtown area, and we are proud of the ongoing efforts of Friends of the Fox to fully restore this cinematic gem. In March, the theatre’s Board pledged to undertake the year-long task of having the theatre placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Fox received a $3000 grant from Visalia Heritage to cover the cost of professional services needed to document the theatre's background. We have just received word that on February 8th, the Fox will be represented for nomination before the State Historic Resources Commission, and that this new status automatically affords a listing on the National Register as well as eligibility for future Federal grants.
Sales of our latest publication, Visalia: A Pictorial History 1850s-1950s continue to be steady, thanks in no small part to the following local businesses where the books are displayed and sold: the Tulare County Museum, Tulare City Historical Museum, Valhalla Restaurant, Links Men’s & Women’s Wear, and The Book Garden (Exeter). Books may also be purchased through any Boardmember. All proceeds benefit Visalia Heritage.
For over 20 years we have sponsored Mooney Groves Arbors 14 and 15. Due to their proximity to the playground and restrooms facilities, these arbors are almost constantly utilized, and, of course, require constant maintenance. In 2012 alone $1,448.91 was required for major roof repairs to both structures, which was underwritten in full by Visalia Heritage. We commend the staff of Tulare County Parks for quick completion of repairs. Our Arbors look better and more inviting than ever before!
In 1996, Visalia Heritage established the Annie Mitchell Scholarship to honor our friend and mentor on her 90th birthday, and we’re honored to give this award each year to a deserving COS graduate who is continuing on to a four-year University with an Education Major.
We've also presented a brass plaque to Habit Hamburger in appreciation of its financial support of Visalia Heritage during the restaurants Grand Opening Week. You must see that wonderfully restored drive-thru at night! Habit has proven an asset to Mooney Boulevard and our community! The food is great, too!
It is our goal to keep a watchful eye on the Preservation needs of our wonderful Visalia, the oldest city in the Central San Joaquin Valley! Visalia Heritage Inc. would not exist without you, our Membership.
Thank You so much for your continued support!
Gladwyn Burris, President