The famed Julia Morgan designed North Star House and property located on Auburn Rd. will be restored and converted for social and cultural events after actions taken by the Nevada County Supervisors Tuesday. The proposal to restore the grounds and buildings was filed by the North Star House Historic Conservancy that has leased the property from the Bear Yuba Land Trust since 2006. The two phase plan will restore the house that was built for mine manager A.D. Foote and his wife Mary Hallock Foote, and create a venue for educational, social and cultural events. Board member and Treasurer of the North Star Historical Conservancy, Cheryl Belcher told the Board of Supervisors during public hearing, that is what the house was from the beginning.
Over the years when the property was abandoned Belcher says it was a hangout for teens and vagrants who caused a great deal of damage to the house and property. The project approved by Supervisors yesterday will in phase one restore the first floor of the house for community use. Phase two is expected to take about 10 years to complete and will add a 3,600 foot main stage and a smaller stage, restore the second floor of the house and increase parking and facilities to accommodate up to 575 people per day. The application addresses the issues of noise, traffic control, and septic systems and was recommended by the Planning Department staff for approval. Kim Hunter is a County Senior Planner and explains the site is a significant one.
The great grand-daughter of Mary Hallock Foote, Catherine Conway Gerstung, lives on property across the road from the North Star House and remembers visiting there as a child.
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No one spoke against the project during public hearing and the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the project to restore the North Star House and property.