(Left, 1913 ad.  Center, restored pillar in 2004. Right, pillar on Palm Haven Plaza at night.)   

Palm Haven Pillar "Electrolier" Restoration Project

Status Update:                                            CLICK HERE for Phase 2 Photo-history

October, 2008 - The City of San Jose issued a permit to install the historic plaque in the plaza. PHRC is purchasing parts for the plaque pedestal and is planning a time capsule to go in the pedestal. Residents will be invited to leave something for the capsule.

Plaza Landscape - Palm Haven & Clintonia
- $23k - Solves flooding problem near pillar.

Phase #1 - Palm Haven & Clintonia and Coe & Plaza
- $59k Carried extra costs due to first creation of mold for dome on top, creation of mold for urns, foundation issues, and streetlamp relocation. Underground electrical issues require Coe & Plaza to be restored before Coe & Clintonia.

Phase #2 - Coe & Clintonia/Palm Haven & Bird - $61k - Original brackets were saved and used at Palm Haven Avenue location.

What's Next?
Plaza Landscaping

The pillar located in the Plaza used to be out of plumb and had sank into the ground. The restoration project corrected the leaning and installed a new foundation. However, the lawn irrigation system floods the pillar area such that contractors said they could not guarantee the pillar would not sink back into the ground. City crews tried to correct the problem but ultimately concluded that the proper solution would be to remove lawn from the area and landscape with drought-tolerant plants.

The plan at right was one favored by residents. Many residents expressed a desire for benches and PHRC decided that it would concentrate on the functional change first and then let residents see it complete before making final decisions on whether to add benches and if so, where they might go.

Looking Ahead:

Residents of Palm Haven brought up the question in the beginning of the project, "What about pillars on Bird & Riverside?"
PHRC decided its first goal would be to restore the pillars that existed and look into the question of additional pillars later. Research has confirmed that the developer of Palm Haven (Eaton, Vestal, & Herschbach) intended for all entrances to have the pillars. However, photographs from as far back as the 1920s at Bird & Riverside do not show pillars at that location. The developers may have run out of time and/or funds to install those pillars but at least their intent is documented.
City departments will be contacted about what it would take to install pillars at that location. Once information is gathered regarding costs, etc. PHRC will decide what steps to take.

Update History:

September, 2008 - The city has installed small curbed islands next to the historic pillars at Palm Haven & Bird, Coe & Clintonia, and Coe & Plaza to protect them from vehicle damage. The Palm Haven Restoration Committee has noted five accidents since the pillars were restored just two years ago. There have been hundreds of dollars in damages that required fundraising by the committee and some volunteer work to restore again.
The San Jose Dept. of Transportation is taking over maintenance of the pillars and feels that the islands are a good investment in protection. Residents are encouraged to continue to be vigilant and report any accidents or dangerous activity around the pillars to the Dept. of Transportation.

June, 2008 - The City of San Jose hosts a community meeting for Palm Haven to voice its support for the plaque. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the city approved the project on the spot. Residents came forward after the meeting and offered donations to pay for the final installation costs! The Palm Haven Restoration Committee plans another signing opportunity before the plaque is permanently installed.

May, 2008 - Residents have become frustrated with the city's stall on approving installation of the planned plaque (see below) since only two persons sent a list of complaints and the majority of Palm Haven wants to see the project completed. Per the committee's request, the city plans to reach closure on the approval request in June.

December, 2007 - The Palm Haven Restoration Committee holds a Historic Plaque Signing Party in the location where the plaque is to be installed. Many residents came out to sign the back of the plaque with permanent paint that will be sealed for time once the plaque is installed on its pedestal. CLICK HERE to view photos from the signing party.

Hanchett Park residents, inspired by the success of the Palm Haven pillar restoration, look into replacing the pillars that used to be in their residential district. CLICK HERE for news article.

September, 2007 - The Palm Haven Restoration Committee held a successful homes tour fundraiser and accumulated enough money to purchase the historic plaque to be installed in the relandscaped area of the plaza. After extensive review of the plaque wording, it was ordered and will be paid for with a combination of grant and committee funds.

July, 2007 - Two residents sent a list of questions and complaints to the Dept. of Transportation about the historic plaque planned to go in the center of the relandscaped area of the plaza. The DOT decided to require a permit for this final piece of the project. The Palm Haven Restoration Committee submitted all the paperwork requested and is waiting on approval.

May, 2007 - City of San Jose has completed landscape installation at the tip of the Plaza. PHRC plans to erect pedestal for historical plaque.

December, 2006 - Various city delays have held up finishing landscaping the Plaza. They indicate the work may begin "any time now."

Hanchett Park residents, inspired by the success of the Palm Haven pillar restoration, look into replacing the pillars that used to be in their residential district. CLICK HERE for news article.

August, 2006 - Various city delays have held up finishing landscaping the Plaza. PHRC schedules planting for fall time-frame to give plants good start. City will install drip-irrigation system afterward.

April, 2006 - Plaza landscaping work finally gets started after a long winter season of rain. Hardscape pavers are installed. PHRC investigates installation of protective barriers for pillars after learning about the city's limited ability to respond to accidents.

March, 2006 - Streetscape Project wins grant from San Jose Beautiful to repair the broken street sign on Plaza Drive as well as pay for landscaping materials required in the Palm Haven Plaza landscaping project. PHRC investigates protections for pillars so they are not damaged as easily as the Plaza Drive street sign.

February, 2006 - City adjusts funding and roles for Plaza landscaping. PHRC works to reassign grant to different work and seeks additional funding to cover gap.

December, 2005 - A "Pillar/Holiday Celebration" is held to celebrate completion of the pillar restoration and raise funds to pay final bills. City changes requirements for completion from the first phase completed last year. Contractors have to adjust and get second inspection.

November, 2005 - Residents come out to install turf at Coe & Clintonia Avenues as well as plants in all the urns. Electrical work complete. Plaza Landscape work begins - city sprays kikuyu grass to kill it before proceeding.

October, 2005 - Brackets & domes are installed. Paint is finished. Electrical work inside pillars progresses. A new batch of urns (8 of them!) are delivered and waiting for installation.

September, 2005 - Stucco repairs finished and painting begins.

July, 2005 - Restoration continues with underground electrical complete and concrete/foundation repairs.

June, 2005 - Permits have been issued for Phase 2 of the pillar restoration! Work started immediately with sandblasting.

April, 2005 - Councilman Ken Yeager awards HP grant of $5000 toward Plaza Landscape plan.

May, 2005 - PHRC wins CAP grant of $4900 toward the Plaza Landscape plan. This amount will cover the cost of the underground irrigation changes. Another pending grant arrangement could resolve another $9500 of the Plaza Landscape plan.

February, 2005 - San Jose DOT crews install new/old streetlamp at Palm Haven & Clintonia Avenues. This grew out of the pillar project because the streetlamp was originally installed too close to the pillar to be restored. Now relocated across the street and retaining its original decoration restored, it is a perfect balance to the restored pillar across from it. CLICK HERE to read more about this part of the Streetscape Plan.

Also, neighborhood residents were invited to a meeting at the First Covenant Church to review 3 alternative plans for landscaping the point of the Plaza. There were presentations followed by a lengthy question and answer session. Votes from residents were collected after the meeting and later from absentees. Residents voted for the plan shown above. The funding for the project, estimated to cost $23,000, will be sought via community grants.

January 23, 2005 - Residents of Palm Haven come out and remove concrete from the parkway around the pillar on the SE corner of Coe & Clintonia. A San Jose Beautiful grant obtained in 2004 will pay for the installation of new turf and irrigation in this location as well as planting the urns at the Clintonia & Palm Haven Avenue pillars.

September 12, 2004 - Councilman Ken Yeager announced acquisition of an additional $5000 in grant money toward the project! This brings funds close enough to begin discussions with contractors on Phases #2 & #3 of the project. New grass has been installed at the pillars on Plaza Drive. Watering/plant maintenance schedule now in place for the plants in the urns.

August 8, 2004 - Pillars for PHASE #1 are complete! A Relighting Celebration was held to see the lanterns lit for the first time in decades. Click HERE for photos from the event. Landscaping around the pillars at Plaza Drive is planned to be finished before the end of August. The streetlamp replacement hit some delays with the vendor and it may not arrive until sometime in October.

July 3, 2004 - Newly manufactured domes have been installed on the tops of the pillars! It was determined that the previous design of the lantern attachments was inadequate. (Wind was spinning them out of place.) Manufacturer approved a rigid mount and lanterns are being retrofitted accordingly. Other final stages in progress include painting the stucco and staining the wood. Upon consideration of several factors, PHRC voted on using Rosemary as the plant choice for the urns. Residents nearby the pillars have volunteered to provide upkeep and the results will be monitored to see if Rosemary is satisfactory in coming months.
August 8 is the date set for a relighting celebration.

June 1, 2004 - Contractors begin installing brackets and electrical work. After that, stucco touch-up is applied and then the pillars are painted. Then the new urns and domes will be installed.

April 5, 2004 - City crews dig potholes at locations on Plaza Drive, Broadway Avenue & Coe Avenue to verify gas line locations. Underground boring is scheduled for Thursday, April 8. Underground electrical work will follow approximately one week afterward. Replacement wood brackets have been manufactured as well as the replacement cast domes.

March 1, 2004 - Upon close examination, the decorative arm of the streetlamp at Palm Haven & Clintonia appears in excellent condition. Therefore, PHRC elected to restore the original arm and have it mounted on a new city pole. The DOT has ordered a new pole with historic-styled base and will install the restored original arm when all components are ready.

February 4, 2004 - City crews remove the old streetlamp at Palm Haven & Clintonia Avenues.  The city, with the help of Councilman Ken Yeager, his staff, and key representatives of San Jose Public Works and the Department of Transportation has come up with a plan to provide services toward the project in lieu of the $10,000 grant previously awarded. City crews will handle all of the streetlamp replacement work as well as the underground electrical work for the pillars at Plaza Drive.

January 24 & 25, 2004 - Residents come together to remove the concrete from the parking strips near the columns! This needs to be moved to allow boring equipment to bore underground for electrical connections. A grant from San Jose Beautiful will pay to re-landscape the park strips along with community labor to do the work.

December 16, 2003 - Sandblasting begun on all three pillars.

December 6, 2003 - PHRC asks Ken Yeager, Councilman of District 6, to investigate alternative ways to assist the project from a check for $10,000 due to legal challenges it has created. Resolved that permits will be sought next week to begin work with PHRC funds already collected and pursue city assistance separately. The message is: let the project begin.

November 1, 2003
- PHRC & contractors have met city demands on insurance and legalities. PHRC officers meet with city attorney and directors to resolve remaining issues to allow project to move forward. Agreement still pending final city response.

September 27, 2003
- Project is held up by city demands. PHRC resolves to become a full member of United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara Valley to include them on some city requirements. PHRC guides city to apply Prevailing Wage only to part of project where city funds are used. (This is state law and will help reduce the inflated costs previously suggested.)

August 30, 2003
- Remaining elements of project have been submitted by contractors for approval. PHRC gives approval to begin the first three pillars - the minimum required by the contractors. They are the pillar in the park and the pair at Coe & Plaza.

July 26, 2003
- New lanterns have been selected and ordered for the first pillar in the park. They closely reflect the Mission-Revival style of the columns.
The city has refused to relax any of its steep requirements for the project to begin. PHRC exploring options.

June 26, 2003 - The City of San Jose has revealed a contract agreement that it wishes the Palm Haven Restoration Committee to sign before work can begin. This is a legally binding agreement with steep requirements including making the committee responsible to defend the city in court should a lawsuit be filed for injuries or other possible events. The committee is reviewing its options as to how to meet all the requirements.

June 7, 2003 - The city reveals to PHRC heightened requirements to relocate the irrigation control box in the park. Further investigation by the foundation subcontractor concluded that this box could be avoided while working on the pillar. Therefore, PHRC resolved to postpone the relocation of the irrigation control box in the park indefinitely.

May 3, 2003 - PHRC approves recommendation to negotiate a contract proposal with historic restoration consultant, Norman Finnance. The city determines that the streetlamp at Palm Haven & Clintonia must be replaced within a year. They have promised to replace it with a similarly styled new pole. PHRC agrees to pursue saving decorative elements from old pole so they could be added to the new pole at a later date to maintain the original design. The new pole will be installed at the new location.

Apr. 5, 2003 - The first pair of urns are delivered and held in local storage. Project Committee narrowing list of potential contractors for pillar restoration. Proposals are in for streetlamp & irrigation box relocations.

Mar. 1, 2003 - Palm Haven Restoration Committee received initial estimates to relocate the irrigation control box on two alternatives: to relocate it approximately 20 feet away from the pillar and the additional cost to relocate it next to the existing above-ground water loop further down into the park. The additional cost to relocate the box next to the other utilities was $1400. The committee approved pursuing final bids on relocating the box to the preferred location next to other utilities.

Feb. 1, 2003 - Palm Haven Restoration Committee approves ordering a mold to be created and two urns cast per the drawing and proposal by Architectural Facades, Inc.

The urns will be paid for with funds from a Community Action & Pride grant received in 2002.
Tim Lantz withdraws offer to do pillar restoration due to other project commitments.

Jan. 11, 2003 - Palm Haven Restoration Committee approves selecting Tim Lantz as the general contractor to begin restoration of Pillar #1 (at corner of Palm Haven & Clintonia Avenues).

Dec. 7, 2002 - The Palm Haven Restoration Committee obtained a condition and repairs assessment of the 7 pillars in Palm Haven from Tim Lantz, a local historic restoration expert.

After collecting other information regarding utilities, lighting and related items from the city, the decision was made at the December 7th meeting of the Palm Haven Restoration Committee to begin the work necessary to restore the pillar in the park (at the corner of Palm Haven and Clintonia Avenues.)