Old Town Eureka

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This article is about the historical commercial center of the city of Eureka, California.
Old Town Eureka
(Eureka Old Town Historic District)
EurekaCalStreet.jpg
Near 2nd & "F" Streets in Old Town
Old Town Eureka is located in California
Old Town Eureka
Location Eureka, California-Roughly, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Streets, between B and M Streets.
Coordinates 40°48′13.34″N 124°9′59.04″W / 40.8037056°N 124.1664000°W / 40.8037056; -124.1664000Coordinates: 40°48′13.34″N 124°9′59.04″W / 40.8037056°N 124.1664000°W / 40.8037056; -124.1664000
Built 1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Victorian, Greek Revival, Classical Revival (Neoclassical)
Governing body Private, Local Government
NRHP Reference # 91001523[1]
CHISL # 477[2]
Added to NRHP 1991

Old Town Eureka (formally the Eureka Old Town Historic District) in Eureka, California, is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. This Historic district is a 350-acre (1.4 km2) area containing 154 buildings[3] mostly from the Victorian era. The core of the district runs the length of First, Second, and Third Streets, between "C" and "M" Streets and includes many types of architecture from the 1850s to the present. Though not officially within the district, the Carson Mansion, the undisputed Victorian jewel of the city and region, commands the highest elevation at the eastern edge of the district. Art venues, coffee shops, bed and breakfasts and inns, antique stores and shops, restaurants, museums and galleries, and public areas (complete with views of Humboldt Bay and its marinas) are among the highlights of this gem of the West Coast. Of particular note is the remarkable authenticity of the district simply because it did not suffer the ravages of extensive fires or redevelopment like many other historic commercial centers.

History[edit]

The city began as an 1850 settlement on the edge of Humboldt Bay where the district is today. Developers and settlers planned for Eureka to aid in the provision of miners working inland to the east. By 1865 the central core of what would become Eureka's "Old Town" was considered "a lively place for a small town, full of business and with plenty of money... the roads beyond Second street (the equivalent of "Main" Street) were covered with stumps from the (recently logged) Redwood forest and not yet open.[4]

Old Town today[edit]

Eureka's California State Historical marker, #477 is located on a plaque near the intersection of Third and "E" Streets

Old Town is the thriving, cultural heart of Eureka, California and the region. The area is an attraction for visitors and locals alike. Its placement on the California North Coast is indisputably beautiful. The area, often shrouded in fog and very definitely behind the Redwood Curtain, is very different from the rest of California. The vibrant art scene that has grown up there in the final decades of the 20th century led to the declaration that the city was one of the 100 best art towns in America.[5] Among restaurants and inns, are multiple bed and breakfasts, including the award-winning Carter House Inn Restaurant 301, noted for repeatedly winning the "Grand Award" from Wine Spectator Magazine due to extensive collection of wine.

The Clarke Historical Museum is located at the corner of 3rd and E Streets. The collection includes extensive representation of basketry of indigenous native cultures throughout the region and regional and cultural history, with focus on the Victorian era.

Culture[edit]

  • Blues By the Bay occurs in late summer on City of Eureka property below the Carson Mansion.
  • First Saturday Arts Alive! occurs each month in the Old Town and Downtown sections of Eureka. More than 80 local galleries and other shops display local art to the public. The open house event often features wine, non-alcoholic drinks, and hors d'oeuvres. Musicians, performers, jugglers, poets and fire dancers perform on street corners as well as in shops and galleries. The event often coincides with performances of the Eureka Symphony in the Arkley Performance Center in the refurbished "Old" State Theater Building. Children can be safely cared for in the Discovery Museum, while parents participate in the North State's largest ongoing community arts event.
  • Old Town Eureka has a street-fair Fourth of July celebration followed by fireworks over the bay.

Examples of historic architecture in Old Town[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Register of Historic Places
  2. ^ "Old Town Eureka". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  3. ^ Historic Sites in Humboldt County, California
  4. ^ Overhold, Ken (Editor) (1987, Second Edition 1994). Eureka: An Architectural Heritage. Eureka, California: Eureka Heritage Society. p. 270. ISBN 0-9615004-0-9.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Villani, John (October 1998). The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America (3rd ed.). Berkeley, California: Avalon Travel Publishing. p. 256. ISBN 1-56261-405-3. 

External links[edit]

General guides
Arts, music & museums