If Larry Brooks has his way, the Alvarado House might just be making its way back to the heart of Del Mar in the near future. As president of the Del Mar Historical Society, Brooks feels like the oceanfront Seagrove Park would make a great home for the city's original residence.
The Alvarado House was constructed in 1885, built in the newly created town of Del Mar. Originally purchased by Don Diego de Jesus Alvarado for $600, the residence sat at the end of 10th Street for a century before eventually being relocated in 1985 as a result of new ownership of the property. The Alvarado House eventually wound up at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in 1989 where it has sat ever since.
Brooks envisions the historic building sitting on the southeast corner of Seagrove Park, acting as a highly visible landmark within the community. He sees the Alvarado House being used as an information center, welcoming visitors to the city, and also as a museum showcasing Del Mar's long rich history. There is also talk of trying to create space for local artists to display their works.
Not everyone shares his same opinion about the proposed relocation, however. Some local citizens, including a number who live in the area surrounding the park, have expressed their concerns over Brook's plans. The common argument among these residents is that moving the Alvarado House to Seagrove Park will take away a good portion of the community's open space. Brooks has countered that the structure will reside in just a small section of the park and would result in a minimal amount of space being used.
While it's Brook's first pick, Seagrove Park isn't the only potential destination for the Alvarado House. Other options that are being considered include Del Mar's planned new city hall and civic center complex, and the Del Mar Shores property on Camino Del Mar, south of 9th Street. The Shores property, purchased by Del Mar from the school district in 2007, is thought of as a poor choice because of low visibility and the need to build a basement for the structure because of the site's slope – a project that estimates have put at around $250,000. Right now, the Del Mar Historical Society has approximately $57,000 saved away for the relocation.
The Del Mar Historical Society's mission statement includes their desire to discover, preserve, and display the facts, artifacts, and properties related to the city's nearly 120-year history. To find out more about the organization and Del Mar's legacy, visit their website at delmarhistoricalsociety.org.