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October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
Acton hotel fire


[KHTS] – A century-old Newhall schoolhouse was purchased and recently demolished because nothing protected it, a Santa Clarita planning official said Monday.

The Newhall school building originally was built in 1913, but razed recently to build an apartment complex at 24514 Kansas Street, officials said.

“There’s no Planning Commission nor was their City Council action required for that approval,” said Tom Cole, Santa Clarita community development director and Planning Department leader. “It’s basically staff review.”

Under “One Valley, One Vision” General Plan, a lengthy development plan for the Santa Clarita Valley created in conjunction with Los Angeles County, a housing development such as the one proposed for the Kansas Street site is deemed an acceptable use, Cole said.

lw2638aThe demolition permit was requested by Kansas Street Partners LLC, a company registered to Jim Backer, president of JSB Development.

Backer is also president of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and the SCV Education Foundation.

He did not return a call seeking comment for this story.

JSB Development was started in 2000 by Backer, a former Newhall Land & Farming executive. JSB is the developer of the Vista Canyon mixed-use project on the historic Mitchell homestead Canyon Country. Its holdings include the historic Mitchell Cemetery.

Santa Clarita residents and Newhall preservationists expressed anger at news of the ex-schoolhouse demolition, but there was little city officials could have done to prevent the construction plans, according to Cole.

“So what basically the general plan represents is it allows for a multi-family development like this (proposed structure) to be developed on that site,” Cole said.

He was aware of a plan proposed for the site, but the city has not received any other permit requests for the site aside from the demolition permit needed to level the school house, he added.

The city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance identifies 11 properties as historic, compared to a 2008 list identifying 43 sites.

The 2012 list includes The Newhall Ice Co. building, Tom Mix Cottages and the American Legion Hall, among others.

A demolition permit dated June 3 allowed for Jimmie D Foster Grading to raze the historic structure, which had been listed in a survey of properties that were evaluated when the city was starting to draft its latest historic preservation ordinance.

A demolition permit dated allowed for to raze the historic structure, which previously had been identified in a 2009 city survey as a historic property, according to SCVHistory.com.

Los Angeles County Assessor records show the structure was built in 1913 and expanded in 1919.

More from an SCVHistory story by Leon Worden:

Curiously, the property does not seem to have been included in any formal city list of “protected” historical properties. It’s not cited as a protected cultural resource in the city’s original 1991 General Plan or in the subsequent One Valley One Vision plan; nor is it on the “short list” of properties protected under a more recent City Council ordinance. (The 2009 historical survey referenced above has no efficacy.)

It was Newhall’s third formal schoolhouse, consecutively. While modern Santa Clarita history and the 2009 survey give 1914 as the first year the building was used as a school, a history of Newhall compiled in 1940 puts it a bit earlier. The 1940 history claims it was first used in 1911 after the tiny town outgrew the previous (second) Newhall School, which had been erected in 1890 at Walnut and 9th Street after the first one (from 1879) burned down.

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31 Comments

  1. Happy 101st birthday!

  2. Happy 101st birthday!

  3. Happy 101st birthday!

  4. This article really made me sad :(

  5. This article really made me sad :(

  6. This article really made me sad :(

  7. Did the state historic preservation office (SHPO) try to intervene?

  8. Don’t we have enough freaking apartments in scv?!!

  9. Tony Follett Tony Follett says:

    It’s already overcrowded over there. What’s a few hundred more going to matter?

  10. Sad the City said nothing until AFTER the building was gone!!!

  11. Ya, cause that’s what we need more of!

  12. Do we really need more housing? Or should we focus on helping people buywhats in the current market?

  13. They should build low income housing on the site or senior housing which is needed. Not all old buildings are historical, they’re just old buildings!

  14. Sharon Todd Sharon Todd says:

    Shirley Vercelli, you future homes right?

  15. Mary Schultz says:

    How sad! That is all we need another apartment, with a landlord who cares only about rent. We have lived here many years and I remember when all the home around their were kept up and so nice, now most of them are rent to landlords who only want the rent. And lots of them live in other areas.

  16. Gary Mason Gary Mason says:

    Someone had to approve that… Just saying.

  17. Gary Mason Gary Mason says:

    Someone had to approve that… Just saying.

  18. My niece is an historic preservationist, and her group met with the city re buildings to be designated. Nothing was done, and the citizens’ meeting brought out less than a dozen scv residents. This is really sad. However it wasn’t the buyer’s fault, as the building was not protected as an historical building. Really too bad this wasn’t more important to the leaders of our city. :(

    • SCVNews.com says:

      Actually the city meetings brought out many dozens of SCV residents, almost all of them property owners who told the city in no uncertain terms that they did not want to be on any historic preservation list.

    • Actually, Denise Gledhill, the city meetings brought out many dozens of SCV residents, almost all of them property owners who told the city in no uncertain terms that they did not want to be on any historic preservation list.

  19. Is this where Santa Clarita pediatrics was? Val Bruyere

  20. I loved that place. :(

  21. Val Bruyere….they are now on valencia blvd between the courthouse and B of A bldg. Beautiful new office. Same great Drs of course.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Oct 18, 2021
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