To clear the way for a new 24-condo complex at 133 Encinal Ave. in Menlo Park, the Victorian-style carriage house that was once home to an Edy's Ice Cream parlor and a gift shop for the Roger Reynolds Nursery has been razed.
"The bulldozers did their magic, turning memories into a pile of dreams," wrote Jim Lewis, a member of the Menlo Park Historical Association, in an email on Feb. 13.
"Those citizens who remember fondly the lazy days of summer, while munching on an Edy's ice cream cone, or more recently browsing around the Roger Roger's gift shop, can now quietly say, rest in peace dear friend."
Mr. Lewis, a resident of Palo Alto, led a spirited campaign to preserve the carriage house.
In earlier iterations of the designs for the condo complex, developer Deke Hunter of Hunter Properties had considered using the carriage house as an "amenities" building for the residents.
However, the decision was made during an October 2015 Planning Commission meeting to eliminate the carriage house in order to enable the buildings to be reconfigured and lower the height of the buildings closest to Stone Pine Lane. There had been numerous complaints by residents of that street that the new condos would be too tall and would invade the current residents' privacy.
The condo development was approved by the City Council in January 2016, but in April 2016, discussed possible ways to save the carriage house, including repurposing it as a potential museum for the Menlo Park Historical Association.
At the time, the consensus among city staff and council members was that the cost to move and retrofit the building to code was prohibitively high, especially since the building does not meet the qualifications to be a "historical" building by state or federal standards.
The Menlo Park City Council ended up voting 4-0, with Councilman Ray Mueller absent, to not accept an offer to take over the building and move it.
● Earlier story: Roger Reynolds' carriage house is likely doomed