May is National Historic Preservation Month. What better way to celebrate history than to walk a self-guided tour of the oldest city in San Mateo County, Redwood City.
One of the most interesting facts while I walked along Redwood City’s historic path was a green paving, marking the previous waterfront. I was never aware of this but you are actually walking on water! Well, “the tidal basins have since been filled, channeled and culverted” the information signage says.
But I’m walking backwards. To see the buildings that had an impact at the time Redwood City was an up and coming logger town, you can check out the map for the self-guided walking tour from the Historic Resources Society. Or as I did, stumble upon it.
The information kiosk for the ‘Path of History’ is on the north-east corner of Broadway and Main. With four major buildings from the time period on each corner: the Diller-Chamberlain general store, the American Hotel, the Sequoia Hotel, and the Bank of San Mateo County. It is a great place to start your exploration into history. I love that the rotunda holds four signs that let you read the historic significance and then look up towards that specific building.
When you walk down Broadway to go to the Courthouse Square make sure to look down and see the green pavement marking the former waterfront. Of course the San Mateo County History Museum, the old court house, is part of the tour. But did you know that this is the second court house they built? Behind it on Hamilton is the Lathrop House, a large residence even for 1863.
The Fox Theater used to be the Grammar School and the movie theater across the street was occupied by high schoolers. If you stroll down Theater Way, and no one will blame you if you stop and have a bite at the many offerings, the historic path leads you down Middlefield to the library. The library used to be Fire Station No. 1.
If you take a left on Main Street, you walk by the Odd Fellow House. This used to be the Alhambra Theater and with 1500 seats was a major destination between San Francisco and San Jose.
You can download the PDF for the Path of History walk here.
Or watch the YouTube video here.
Have you ever walked a historic route?