General Plan - Section 3.0
General Plan - Section 3.0
TABLE OF CONTENTS
While the General Plan is designed to meet readily measurable needs such as acceptable traffic flow and a range of housing types, its broader purpose is to preserve and create an urban environment that enables people to feel good about living and working in Redlands. It is appropriate that the design component of the General Plan precede the land use component. The intent is to address design issues at the City scale as distinct from the project scale. City Design and Preservation policies, together with the General Plan Diagram, call for both change and preservation.
Redlands' image is derived from its rich agricultural and architectural heritage. Large groves at all edges and remnant groves throughout the City are constant reminders of an agrarian past. The care and effort that created the City is evident at many scales, from the well-crafted stone curbs to the exquisitely detailed buildings. A diversity of landforms within the Planning Area has defined Redlands and made its form understandable. Few Southern California communities can lay claim to the sense of place and history Redlands has managed to retain during a century of development.
The City Design section of this element is concerned mainly with new development, while the focus of the Historic and Scenic Preservation section is on designated conservation areas and historic districts.
3.10 City Design
South Redlands' main challenge is preservation of its residential neighborhoods. All of the designated Historic Districts are in this sector which includes two-thirds of the City's historic architectural resources.
Where the Medium Density Residential designation remains, regulations to preserve the existing scale and character are to be enacted. (See Section 4.0 Land Use Element). Remaining citrus frontages are to be preserved. (See Section 4.0 Land Use and 7.0 Open Space and Conservation Element)
Planted medians or other landscape elements that would reduce the expanse of pavement could be considered for Olive Avenue and other wide streets that do not need more than two lanes of traffic moving at 25 miles per hour.
San Timoteo/Live Oak Canyons
The General Plan Diagram changes San Timoteo Canyon Road to create a new alignment with California Street. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project for San Timoteo Canyon Creek identifies a series of sedimentation basins at the mouth of San Timoteo Canyon and approximately 5.1 miles of a large concrete trapezoidal channel. The City of Redlands and other local groups are hoping to work with the Army Corps of Engineers for a more environmentally sensitive flood control project. Such a project could incorporate a natural bottom channel, and basins which are designed as linear parks and wildlife corridors. Because San Timoteo Canyon Road is a region-serving highway that will carry up to 33,000 daily vehicles, it should have a minimum right-of-way for a four lane road. Careful attention should be paid to the traffic circulation analysis and its recommendations for San Timoteo Canyon Road.
A citrus greenbelt could separate Redlands and Loma Linda if there is sufficient interest. This would define the boundaries between the two cities.
The General Plan designates for preservation the narrow strip of citrus between the railroad and I-10 freeway to the east side of California Street as the single most visible celebration of citrus heritage and as a separator between Loma Linda and Redlands.
3.20 Historic and Scenic Preservation
History and Architecture of Redlands
Redlands' Beginnings. Redlands' early history is similar to that of much of Southern California. It was inhabited by Cahuilla and Serrano Indians, related to the Shoshone of the Great Basin area. During the Spanish period the Indian villages, the San Bernardino Rancho (named after the Italian saint), and the Asistencia were established by the San Gabriel Mission. The missionaries developed the first stable water supply for the area by having the Indians dig a "zanja" to divert the waters from Mill Creek into the Valley. During the l9th century this water allowed ranching districts to develop in Crafton and in the Asistencia area. Today the Mill Creek Zanja, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is used for local drainage, spreading, and flood control.
In 1842, the Lugo family received a land grant from the Mexican government to occupy the San Bernardino and Yucaipa valleys. After the signing of the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, California became a territory of the United States, and it was admitted to the Union in 1850. The following year, five hundred Mormons moved into the area, purchasing the San Bernardino Rancho from the Lugos. Their settlement at San Bernardino lasted until 1857, when they were recalled to Utah and their land was divided and sold.
In 1866, Dr. Ben Barton finished his brick house near the Asistencia on what was then known as Barton Ranch. The first settlement in Lugonia occurred in 1869, and the first store in the area opened in Lugonia in 1881.
The year 1881 marks the beginning of Redlands as a town. E.G. Judson and Frank E. Brown built a canal from Santa Ana Canyon to Reservoir Canyon located along the path of Interstate 10 from below Panorama Point to Ford Park to bring water to the area for growing citrus. They laid out a townsite parallel to the slope and, because the dry adobe soil was red, they named it Redlands. Three years later, Frank Brown built the Bear Valley Dam and reservoir, thereby assuring a water supply for residents of the new town. By 1885, two transcontinental railroads ran through the San Bernardino Valley, although neither stopped in Redlands. The first spur to Redlands was built in 1887.
California experienced the biggest land boom in its history during the late 1880s. The rate war between the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific railroads, which caused the boom, had a profound influence on the growth of Redlands, Crafton, and Lugonia as well as various realty tracts known by such names as Terracina and Mound City.
The Redlands area prospered and grew during this period. The collapse of the boom in 1888 left Redlands well-established and in that year Redlands, Lugonia, the Brookside area, and a portion of Crafton voted to incorporate as Redlands. The incorporation joined the two distinctive street patterns that characterize Redlands today: the north-south Lugonia grid merges with the slope-oriented Redlands grid at the south edge of the Valley.
Early Buildings. Although most of the structures built during Redlands' earliest period are gone, some remnants remain. Two of these are the Zanja and the Asistencia (reconstructed in the 1920s and 1930s). Other adobe structures from the Mexican period survive in San Timoteo Canyon. Redlands had its own brickyard starting in the late 1880s. Most downtown business buildings and many early industrial buildings were built of brick. The downtown, which grew along Orange and State Streets, still has many brick buildings hidden behind facades remodelled in the 1950s and 1960s.
During the 1880s boom, houses sprang up quickly. Many were Victorian cottages which had Queen Anne and Colonial Revival details. These smaller Victorians were often decorated almost as elaborately as their larger sisters, but some were plain hip-roofed boxes. Many of these cottages still stand in central Redlands and in Lugonia.
Cultural Development. Redlands established an early tradition of civic and cultural improvement with the founding in the 1880s of the United Workers for Public Improvement, an organization devoted to civic beautification. In 1887 the Horticultural and Improvement Society was organized, Redlands' orchestra made its first public appearance, the San Bernardino and Redlands motor train commenced service, and the first Citrus Association was formed.
In 1889, two New Yorkers, Alfred H. and Albert K. Smiley, arrived in Redlands. These twin brothers, who were in their sixties, were well-known philanthropists and educators. They spent their winters in Redlands and attracted a circle of friends who played important roles in the City's business, cultural, and scenic development. Smiley Heights, Smiley Park, and the A.K. Smiley Public Library are visible signs of the twins' philanthropy, and much of the present-day aesthetic tradition can be attributed to the Smileys' influence.
Resort Era. Soon after the development of the 200-acre Canyon Crest Park on Smiley Heights, Redlands became a center for wealthy Eastern visitors searching for a warm winter climate for comfort or health. They built mansions surrounded by expansive grounds on the heights above the town. Several hotels were built to cater to the winter visitors and the town became a tourist center. At the same time, Redlands was becoming a packing and shipping center for citrus growers in the surrounding area. Modest neighborhoods were developing along Olive, Cajon, and Brookside, and in Lugonia. Tourists and growers contributed to Redlands' prosperity which is expressed in the architectural legacy from that period.
Significant civic improvements were also made during this period. By 1910, most streets were paved, sidewalks and stone curbs laid, and water, sewer and electricity systems fully established. The population in 1890 was 1,904; by 1900, it was 4,797; and by 1910 it had reached 10,000.
It was also during the turn of the century that private railroad cars brought the wealthy Easterners who built the elaborate mansions on large parcels of property. These mansions reflect a period when great wealth was exhibited through the building of a great house or estate. Most of these estates fall under the architectural styles described in this element, but there are a few exceptions. Kimberly Crest is an example of the Chateauesque style, based on the monumental 16th century chateaux of France. Winter visitors were less likely to build in the popular Queen Anne style favored by those who made their money locally. The more sophisticated and cosmopolitan Easterners emulated instead the grand houses of Europe.
Most of these grand houses are set in landscaped grounds with imposing entrances. A few of these estates, such as Smiley Heights and Prospect Park, were open to the public and became tourist attractions. Many of these estates are gone, but those that remain are precious landmarks from a bygone era.
Residential Architecture (1887-1913). The period 1887-1913 produced more variety in Redlands' residential architecture than any period in the City's history. Many existing buildings exhibit the popular architectural styles of this period: Queen Anne, Shingle Style, Beaux Arts Classicism, Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, and Craftsman.
Redlands is known for its Victorian gems featured in books, calendars, and on tours. Row upon row of Victorians line such streets as Olive Avenue, Highland Avenue, and Cajon Street. The Victorians vary from the Gothic brick cottages to elaborate Queen Anne mansions. The original Lugonia area and the Redlands neighborhoods near downtown are full of small Victorian cottages worthy of preservation. Many of these cottages are Colonial Revival (sometimes called Neoclassic) and feature classical porch columns, hip roof, overlap siding, recessed porches, and fixed pane and double-hung windows. These cottages continued to be built in the early years of this century.
A larger version of the typical neoclassic Victorian Cottage is the American Four square or Classic Box, a two-story house with Colonial Revival features. The Classic Box and Mission Revival styles are well-represented in Redlands. The Holt House and the Burrage Mansion are fine examples of Mission Revival, a style that may be better represented in Redlands than any other city in Southern California.
Craftsman Style. During the first part of this century, progressive ideas were expressed in the studied plainness of the Craftsman bungalow. In reaction against the Industrial Revolution, the rigidities of classicism, and the mass-produced ornament of the Victorian styles, the Craftsman ethic proclaimed a return to nature, emphasizing the use of natural materials, honest craftsmanship, and healthful living. Handcrafted items were admired, both for their usefulness and as an expression of human creativity.
The Craftsman house was an intimate home, with the hearth as its focal point, cozy built-in benches and nooks, and softly burnished wood paneling. The horizontal lines of the Craftsman bungalow fit into the landscape; its stone foundation and heavy wood beams came from the land itself, while vine-covered pergolas and eaves made the house a part of nature. Broad porches encouraged living in the out-of-doors.
These simple bungalows were touted as "democratic" houses for the common man. With their built-in furniture, prominently exposed structural elements, informal floor plans and designs integrated into the natural environment, these bungalows are often seen as the forerunner of modern architecture.
Craftsman architecture grew out of the Arts and Crafts Movement that began in England in the late nineteenth century under the leadership of William Morris and John Ruskin. The movement especially idealized the Medieval period. It addressed social, industrial, and political issues, and fostered craftsmanship in the fine arts, literature, bookbinding, printing, furniture, and textile design as well as architecture. Its principal American exponent was Gustav Stickley, who published The Craftsman, a magazine featuring articles and illustrations promoting Craftsman philosophy and taste. Stickley also founded a company that manufactured the simple heavy oak furniture, sometimes called "Mission" furniture, which was intended to furnish Craftsman houses.
Commercial, Public, and Institutional Buildings. Late l9th century brick commercial vernacular buildings dominated the downtown. The most substantial building of the period was the A. K. Smiley Library, which combines the curvilinear gable and tower of the Mission Revival with the heavy stone arches associated with Richardsonian Romanesque, melding the California tradition with New England and medieval Europe. The First Methodist Church was a Mission Revival building, while the Congregationalists chose a modified Richardsonian Romanesque, and the Episcopalians a Gothic Revival style. Most unusual was the Unity Church, a brick building reminiscent of English Arts and Crafts traditions.
Another revival during this period was Beaux Arts Classicism, which embraces the styles used in the United States from 1890-1930 and in Redlands from about 1908-1920. This style projected the dignified image required for public buildings, railroad stations, and banks. Popularized by the "Great White City" built for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the style features symmetrical, balanced facades; classical columns; porticos; and monumental flights of stairs. Obvious examples in Redlands are the Santa Fe Railroad Station as well as the Administration Building, President's House, and several other buildings at the University of Redlands.
The Freeze and its Aftermath (1913-1920). The 1913 freeze, which struck on January 5, 6, and 7, was a catastrophe for Redlands' growers. Icicles hung on the trees in most groves; many of the trees were completely defoliated. The losses of the citrus growers soon became an economic and social disaster for the entire town. In the years following the freeze, Redlands lost 2,000 people, and it was not until after World War I that building and neighborhood development started once again.
The Thaw -- The Boom of the Twenties. The decade of 1920-1930 was another boom time throughout the United States, in California and also in Redlands, which gained about 5,000 in population during the decade. The new residents contributed to the growth and economic prosperity of the commercial area, where many downtown buildings went up during this decade. The citrus industry prospered once again, and the town's other "industry" -- the University of Redlands -- also expanded. A growing population also led to construction of major buildings for the high school. The number and quality of buildings from this period contrast sharply with the decline of the previous years.
During the first 40 years of this century domestic buildings employed a number of historical revival styles. Though the same revival style might appear in 1910 and again in 1920 or 1930, each decade left a different imprint on the style. The 1900-1920 period revival details reflected Victorian exuberance or Craftsman restraint, while the wealth and sophistication of the 1920's allowed accurate, well-crafted details. During the Depression-era 1930's economics and contemporary taste demanded more simplified details.
At no time were there so many revivals as during the 1920s: Mediterranean (which combined Spanish and Italian elements), Spanish Colonial Revival, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and Norman Revival. The 1920s were boom times throughout Southern California, only this time oil (and perhaps citrus) took the place of land and railroads. Theaters, shopping centers, and middle class homes were designed to conjure romantic times and far away places. The longing for a foreign atmosphere was so great that entire tracts were developed in styles based on European models.
The most prevalent style of the period was California Mediterranean, called "Californian" at the time. The romance of California's past inspired architects and builders, who borrowed freely from the buildings of Colonial Mexico, Spain, Italy and other Mediterranean lands, as well as from the early adobes of the American Southwest and of Monterey. Low-pitched, red-tiled roofs, arches, plastered exterior and interior walls, carved or cast ornamentation, arcades, balconies with railings of wrought iron or wood, and window grilles are some of the characteristic features of houses built during this era. The purer forms of California Mediterranean are categorized in subgroups such as Spanish Colonial Revival, Monterey Revival, and Pueblo Revival; many of the most outstanding examples, however, are a unique blend of motifs that could only have originated in California and were created to express a California way of life.
Redlands also has examples of other styles prevalent in California during the 1920's: the Tudor Revival Cottage, Colonial Revival, Twenties Craftsman, and other period revivals. These styles replaced the Craftsman bungalow in the many tracts of smaller houses built during this period. In 1924 Garrett Huizing, a local builder, developed the Buena Vista tract, which included a rare example of Egyptian Revival architecture.
The neighborhood around the University of Redlands had been subdivided with entrances defined by clinkerbrick posts in 1917, but was not developed until 1924. Prevalent in that area are Twenties Craftsman bungalows; they differ from their rustic forbears in their smaller (and less expensive) wood members, smaller porches, and often symmetrical facades.
A significant Period Revival development is Normandie Court,a collection of eighteen Norman Revival cottages organized around a central driveway. Based on the rural architecture of Normandy, the picturesque cottages feature high hipped roofs, conical towers, wavy shingling patterns on the roofs, and stucco wall finishes of varying texture.
Builders of the 1920s were able to advertise Redlands as a fine residential city because of the expansive public streets, street trees, and cut-stone curbs, all of which had been planned and planted by the far-sighted settlers of the 1890s and early 1900s.
Redlands' Historic Neighborhoods. The historic neighborhoods of Redlands provide the context and setting for the many historic resources of the town. The setting of Victorian and early 20th century historic buildings has, in many instances, been compromised by lot splits, zoning changes, variances, or conversion to other housing. Saving the building also requires retaining the historic context of the structure. Modern buildings crowded next door to a stately two-story 1890 house give a completely different impression than the house in its original neighborhood with original plantings.
Redlands' early neighborhoods developed as the unique result of changing technology, ways of life and philosophies, new architectural fashions, and innovations in urban planning. The forces and times that produced these neighborhoods are now gone.
Many people in Redlands live in neighborhoods built between 1890 and 1930. These neighborhoods are important because they continue to provide housing, schools, public amenities, and commercial facilities that make neighborhoods good places to live.
The late l9th and early 20th century houses and development patterns are key elements of these neighborhoods. Because these neighborhoods seem so ordinary, many people overlook their unique qualities or consider them undeserving of special attention. Consequently, new construction and development, building alterations, land-use plans and zoning have frequently ignored the heritage of these neighborhoods. Modern factory-produced building materials and lack of information about earlier building techniques have often resulted in inappropriate alterations. Some homeowners, for example, add Victorian ornamentation or pseudo-Colonial doorways to make their house appear more historic. As a consequence, intact historic neighborhoods are becoming increasingly rare in Southern California.
Insensitive alterations and changes can destroy the special characteristics of these early neighborhoods. To avoid this, residents interested in neighborhood revitalization and stabilization need to become familiar with the area's architecture and history. By using this knowledge to build pride in the neighborhood and to foster a neighborhood conservation ethic among fellow residents and City officials, residents can help their neighborhoods remain good places to live while retaining links to the past.
For those who take the time to look, these neighborhoods provide a wide variety of visual links to the past by illustrating the transition from the Victorian era to the modern world, reviving images of our European and colonial heritage and providing guidelines for future urban development. These older neighborhoods are indeed the basis of Redlands' architectural heritage, deserving of widespread recognition.
Historic Preservation in Redlands
A more thorough inventory of historic resources began in 1985. There are approximately 2,000 buildings over 50 years old that remain to be inventoried. The vast majority of these are residential and institutional.
The City Council, after recommendation by the Commission, has placed over 60 structures and 8 districts on its Register of Historic and Scenic Properties, and has designated a number of streets as Scenic Drives. The Zoning Ordinance has been amended to encourage "adaptive reuse" of older residential buildings in certain commercial areas and to allow bed and breakfast inns in historic buildings.
The A. K. Smiley Library Heritage Room has been designated as the official archives of the City. Its collections provide an invaluable resource for documentation of the history of Redlands and its historic resources.
Classification of Historic Resources. Historic resources in Redlands are divided into five categories: landmarks, historic properties, historic and scenic districts, historic and scenic thematic collections, and urban conservation districts.
Historic and Scenic Preservation Ordinance. The Redlands Historic and Scenic Preservation Ordinance provides a way for the City to recognize and protect its historic resources. The Ordinance establishes a process for designating historic resources and reviewing alterations to the exterior of these resources. Because there is a large number of resources and designating them is a time-consuming process, the Ordinance provides for the Historic and Scenic Preservation Commission to place all potential resources on a list of "nominated resources." An application to alter the exterior of a nominated resource activates the designation procedure, thus ensuring protection of historic resources that the City has not yet been able to designate.
The Commission is responsible for seeing to it that the properties on the list are surveyed, using generally accepted survey methods to identify and describe each historic resource. The Commission then prepares a report using this information to determine whether a resource is significant and, therefore, should be officially recognized as a designated resource. The criteria, any one of which may be used to determine such designation, are as follows:
Before a property or district is designated as a significant historic resource, the Commission must hold a public hearing and make a recommendation to the City Council. The Council then holds its own public hearing and makes the final decision on designating the property. All designated properties are put on the City's Register of Historic and Scenic Resources.
Redlands' Municipal Code gives the City authority to designate without consent of the owner. This authority has been established by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Penn-Central case (1978) and by analogy with land-use law. The challenge here is to balance preservation goals and the needs of the community as a whole with the need to bring property owners into the preservation process in a positive fashion. Just as a property owner cannot veto zoning restrictions, so historic resource designations are not subject to an owner's veto. If the owner can show that preservation of the building is a hardship (not including loss of profit), both the Penn-Central precedent and Redlands' code allow the possibility of demolition. The City of Redlands also provides certain benefits to owners of historic properties, including fee reductions for City permits. The effect of designation is to create an overlay, imposing design review and other regulations on designated property. The underlying zoning regulations still apply.
Once a property is designated, all significant exterior alterations are reviewed either by a staff preservation expert or by the Historic and Scenic Preservation Commission, using the procedures outlined in the Ordinance. Design guidelines are used to help determine if an alteration is appropriate. The kinds of changes that are reviewed include alterations to a building exterior, new construction or major landscape changes on the site of a historic resource, subdivision of a historic setting or site, and demolition or removal of a historic resource. When a change to the exterior of a historic structure or to a site is approved, the applicant is granted a Certificate of Appropriateness. In the case of severe hardship, the Ordinance provides the applicant the opportunity to apply for a Certificate of Hardship.
As of June, 1995 the City Council had approved eight districts.
3.21 Historic and Scenic Conservation Areas
3.22 City Property
3.23 Privately-Owned Historic Resources
3.24 New Development
3.25 Citizen Participation and Cooperation with Preservation Groups
3.26 Government Decision-Making
3.27 Commercial and Redevelopment Areas
3.28 Education and Public Relations
3.29 Agricultural and Scenic Areas
3.30 Preservation of Older Neighborhoods