Menlo Park: Carriage house demolished at former Roger Reynolds Nursery site

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.

ā—¸ Earlier story: Roger Reynolds' carriage house is likely doomed


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8 people like this
Posted by Mark D.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 15, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Mark D. is a registered user.

All hail the coming "vibrancy!" I *miss* Roger Reynolds and the fact that we no longer have a neighborhood nursery makes us all the poorer. That the carriage house wasn't deemed "historical" by state and federal standards doesn't mean it lacked such value locally. Seems our fair city can dole out a quarter- or half-million dollars for endless studies with nary a flinch so I'm saddened that this wonderful structure's preservation didn't merit greater consideration.

Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

You can blame the folks who sold off the land for the loss of the carriage house and nursery.

3 people like this
Posted by Familiar
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm

You can blame the nursery bookkeeper that embezzled the business funds and destroyed the business, sending it into a downward spiral. That's all it took.

Hire and watch your very carefully.

3 people like this
Posted by PV resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 17, 2017 at 7:15 am

If you want a Great local nursery - try Ladera Garden Center. Great nursery plus you can spend plenty of time wandering around looking for a little gift

2 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

Just noticed that the RR site has been completely cleared of trees- even the big oak at the back. What's all the complaining about ice cream shops when we're loosing all our trees!

2 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 25, 2017 at 8:18 am

Roger Reynolds lives on in my back yard!!!!!!
When I heard it was going to go I went and bought that little gazebo that was near the front back
Dismantled it and put it up in my back yard!!!!!

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