Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Christa Bigue
  • County’s Historic Lathrop House

    Beginning May 8, 2019, crews will start inching the 1860s-era Lathrop House in the center of Redwood City’s downtown area toward its new home just across the street outside the historic courthouse currently housing the San Mateo County History Museum. The two-story, 10-room house, which is being moved to make room for the construction of a new County office building, has been relocated twice before in its history.

    The media and public are invited to view the ongoing preparations and move, including the final leg across Marshall Street on May 12. On May 8, crews will start moving the house very slowly from its current Hamilton Street location across from County Center to the edge of the block bordered by Marshall Street. That stretch is estimated to last through Friday, May 10. After a break on Saturday, crews will begin anew on Sunday, May 12 for what they hope to be the final push across Marshall which will be closed to traffic. The move may continue into Monday, May 13.

    “The Lathrop House is a jewel of San Mateo County’s history and will be a wonderful addition in its new location where hopefully even more people can visit,” said San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Carole Groom. “Moving the house just down the block lets us remain connected to our past while making way for our future office space.”

    While the move itself will seem slow to the observer — a mere 1 to 2 meters per hour— the County is capturing the entire process with time-lapse photography which will be published after the move is complete.

    The Board of Supervisors allocated $1.5 million in general funds for the relocation which is being carried out by Truebeck Construction. Preparation for moving the 90-ton house has been underway for weeks as crews lifted it 5 feet to insert beams underneath. The house will be hydraulically pushed on industrial rollers to its new home where it will be re-established on a new, seismically stable foundation and connected to existing utilities at the History Museum.

    The Lathrop House dates from January 1858 when Mary C. Lathrop bought the entire block of lots on which the present Fox Theater building stands from early landowners, the Arguello and Mezes families. In 1863, the home was ready for occupancy. In 1870, General Patrick Edward Connor bought the property and it remained in the family’s possession until 1894 when Redwood City public school trustees purchased and moved it to the rear of the block to make room for a grammar school. In 1905, the wife of Sheriff Joel Mansfield bought the home and it was moved to the present Hamilton Street location.