Forty-four years ago this week, Eureka officials were celebrating completion of the second phase of a federally financed redevelopment program in Old Town.
Improvements in early 1975 included upgrading Second Street from K to M streets, creating more parking spaces in the area and adding small landscaped parks on K and L streets between Second and Third streets. Also, sidewalks were repaved with brick and railroad ties and several benches were constructed, according to the April 14, 1975, edition of the Times-Standard.
The centerpiece of the Phase II project was the addition of a brick fountain on an island in front of the Carson Mansion.
To celebrate the area’s new look, local leaders and about 300 community members came together for a dedication ceremony in Old Town on April 13, 1975. Eureka Mayor Gil Trood flipped the switch to turn on the new Second Street fountain and the city manager, as well as a few residents involved in the redevelopment project, spoke to the crowd about the work done.
After the gathering, the Eureka Heritage Society hosted a reception at the Pink Lady, across the street from the Carson Mansion.
According to the Times-Standard article, the Phase II project was made possible by about $500,000 in federal Department of Housing and Urban Development funds matched with in-kind services from the city.
The third phase of the Old Town redevelopment, scheduled for the summer of 1975, was to involve the blocks between I and K streets on Second Street. Also planned was a Victorian park behind the Carson Mansion.
Heather Shelton can be reached at 707-441-0516.