Alma College Cultural Landscape Rehabilitation

Location: Gilroy


The former Alma College property has significance because its history parallels that of the development of California: loggers and sawmills came first, followed by the builders of fabulous estates, and then the Jesuits, who established a seminary at Alma College. After the college moved to Berkeley in 1969, the site remained unused until the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District acquired it as part of the 1,400-acre Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve.

In 2014, the district began preparing to open the site to the public for recreation. PGAdesign assessed the cultural landscape characteristics, condition, and integrity, and then led a team of consultants in preparing a rehabilitation plan that tells the site’s story through the landscape while balancing a range of site, geotechnical, and architectural issues—not the least of which is the presence of the San Andreas fault.

Location: Gilroy

Project Type: Education Historic Parks + Recreation

The former Alma College property has significance because its history parallels that of the development of California: loggers and sawmills came first, followed by the builders of fabulous estates, and then the Jesuits, who established a seminary at Alma College. After the college moved to Berkeley in 1969, the site remained unused until the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District acquired it as part of the 1,400-acre Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve.

In 2014, the district began preparing to open the site to the public for recreation. PGAdesign assessed the cultural landscape characteristics, condition, and integrity, and then led a team of consultants in preparing a rehabilitation plan that tells the site’s story through the landscape while balancing a range of site, geotechnical, and architectural issues—not the least of which is the presence of the San Andreas fault.

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