The Eureka Heritage Society's Newsletter,
The Heritage Herald
, Fall 1999


1908 View of Eureka's Waterfront    On the Waterfront 

In light of the Recent Measure J election, many people may be asking "What now for the waterfront?  We might also ask "What now for our city's future.   From bustling timber town to evolving Victorian Seaport our proximity to water has always been  the key to our economic well being.  We are blessed with rivers and a deep-water harbor.  We are fortunate enough to also have many caring, thoughtful citizens who are committed to this area.   Thanks to the dredging of the channel and the release of railroad repair funds a renaissance appears to be finally at hand.  With input from local citizens, committees, and outside experts, the city has put together a 12-point waterfront development program. Three key points of the program are to think locally, diversify, and to bring people downtown and capitalize on the city's waterfront.

    In addition to a new dock, there are plans for a multi-purpose public facility at Dock B, and condos and business offices along the Old Town section of the waterfront.  A waterfront hotel, additional retail shops, and restaurants would make Eureka more of a destination point.  Vital cities require "mixed use areas" that combine business offices and residences, clean industries and smooth transit (pedestrian and efficient mass transit). The Vance Hotel is finally on its way back to a productive life, thanks to the investment and efforts of longtime Humboldt residents Mr. & Mrs. Rob Arkley and Mr.& Mrs. Kurt Kramer.

Planning for growth allows us to control the direction of that growth. The beauty and charm of Eureka will not be increased by putting up cookie cutter buildings, but new buildings can be done in the old style. Historical and design integrity as seen in new buildings done by the Carters, and Rynecki Co. are an asset to our community in every way. According to professional historian Ray Hillman, "We need to preserve and maintain the atmosphere that's traditionally been a part of that area. There's precious little left". In addition to the private works, there are many public works being planned or in progress. A public boardwalk, with and extension of the bike/pedestrian paths from the Adorni to and through Old Town would be similar to the successful paths in Portland and Eugene, OR and San Francisco's Marina Green. Kiosks and signs which are now up, directing tourists passing through to examine more of our town than just Highway 101. Many more efforts are being made to improve the vitality of our waterfront, and the awareness of what it offers to both locals and visitors. The additional green space, surrounded by storefronts, boat docks, etc., will help to enhance our community's livability, while making it more attractive to those who are only passing through. Waterfront development in Eureka can be a boon to the entire county. It is up to us citizens to watch closely and participate, for we will all benefit if it is done properly.
-----Charlene Cutler-Ploss

(continue to page 2 - The Heritage Herald, Fall 1999)