Our mission is to research, educate and celebrate Claremont’s history. We do this each day by answering requests for photographs and the history of various properties, by helping homeowners find craftsmen with the skills to work on older homes, and by teaching Claremont’s third graders about the history of the town. We also work to be sure that historic buildings and neighborhoods are not threatened by demolitions or incompatible additions
We have helped to save the College Heights Lemon Packing House at 520 W. First Street, a symbol of our long and prosperous years as a center of the citrus industry. Threatened with demolition just a few years ago, our members wrote letters, appeared at hearings and convinced city leaders to ask for proposals from developers. A local firm, Arteco, run by the Tessier family, rose to the challenge and has rehabilitated it with live-work lofts, retail and restaurant spaces.
We have pointed out the value of several historic sites that had gone into decay and helped focus attention on their historic and architectural merit. One was the Old School House on Foothill Boulevard, and another is theJohnson Ranch barns on Baseline Road. Very recently new owners have purchased these properties and are planning restoration projects. Both could have fallen to the wrecker’s ball without Claremont Heritage’s oversight.
In addition, Heritage has taken preservation easements on two historic stone buildings, which give the organization the right to approve or disapprove of any changes to the exterior of the buildings and to deny demolition.