Alma College Cultural Landscape Rehabilitation

Location: Gilroy


The former Alma College property is a cultural landscape that parallels the story of development in California. Loggers and sawmills arrived at the site, followed by the builders of fabulous estates, and then the Jesuits, who established a scholarly enclave at Alma College—the first seminary west of the Mississippi. 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 for public 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. A range of architectural, site, and geotechnical issues—including the presence of the San Andreas fault—inform the plan.

Location: Gilroy

Project Type: Education Historic Parks + Recreation

The former Alma College property is a cultural landscape that parallels the story of development in California. Loggers and sawmills arrived at the site, followed by the builders of fabulous estates, and then the Jesuits, who established a scholarly enclave at Alma College—the first seminary west of the Mississippi. 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 for public 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. A range of architectural, site, and geotechnical issues—including the presence of the San Andreas fault—inform the plan.