Del Mar Parks and Recreation Committee rejects Seagrove site for Alvarado House

The Del Mar Historical Society is looking for a new home for the Alvarado House after the Parks and Recreation Committee voted against relocating the historical house to Seagrove Park.

“Aesthetically, it belongs in the park, but politically, we can’t fight that battle,” said Larry Brooks, president of the Del Mar Historical Society, which has collected, preserved and displayed the city’s historical facts, artifacts and properties since it was founded in 1985. “A nonprofit, especially in a small town, can’t alienate people.”

Built in 1885, the Alvarado House was given to the historical society in 1985 when its new owner decided to build a bigger home on the lot at the foot of 10th Street, where the 600-square-foot home sat for a century. It was moved to the city hall parking lot for four years, and then relocated to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where it’s been since 1989.

Although initial efforts failed years ago, the historical society recently revisited relocating the house to Seagrove Park on Coast Boulevard, but some community members protested the idea for fear of losing open space. Del Mar resident Kay Hansen launched a petition, collecting dozens of signatures from people against Alvarado House at Seagrove Park, and their voices were heard at the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting Nov. 12.

“We knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” Brooks said.

No longer pursuing the park, Brooks said the historical society hopes to relocate the house to the “second best option,” the site for the new city hall and civic center. At the Nov. 17 council meeting, he asked council members to consider a civic center concept that would provide space for the house, such as the Leeger/Watkins proposal, which features a 25,000-square-foot plaza intended for the Del Mar Farmers Market, social and cultural events, and potentially, the Alvarado House.