An adobe house in Riverside erected nearly 160 years ago and a hub for migrant activity before the city was even established is among 11 places in the country at risk of being lost to history, it was announced Thursday.
The nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based National Trust for Historic Preservation designated Riverside’s Trujillo Adobe for its “Most Endangered Historic Places” list after assessing its value to the community and reflection on the past.
“These 11 Most Endangered Historic Places demonstrate that the act of preservation is a powerful form of activism itself that makes a tangible difference in the way we understand ourselves as a nation,” Trust spokeswoman Katherine Malone-France said.
“The stories told by each of these 11 places demonstrate that our history is often not simple or easy, but it is always powerful,” she said. “That is why saving and stewarding these places and their stories is so important. They help us more accurately define who we are as a people, recognize our intricate cultural connections with each other and inspire us to work together to build a more just and equitable future.”
Since 1968, the Trujillo Adobe has been recognized as a California historic place of interest.
The single-story property, located at 3669 W. Center St., was constructed in 1862 — nearly 30 years before Riverside County incorporated — and it is among the oldest buildings within the modern boundaries of the city of Riverside.
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the home symbolizes the efforts of its original owner, Lorenzo Trujillo, to lead migrants, mostly Indians, who were escaping Spanish persecution to safety, often via the Old Spanish Trail.
The house formed the heart of what eventually became the La Placita de los Trujillos community.
It is now in a state of serious dilapidation, barely standing and protected by a wooden structure that is, itself, failing, according to the nonprofit Spanish Town Heritage Foundation, which is seeking to save it.
Supporters are hoping to convert the property into a cultural and educational site.
Information on the other 10 endangered places, how to help preserve them and the Trujillo Adobe can be found at www.SavingPlaces.org/11Most.