Historic Districts

Proposed L Street Historic District

The L Street District was originally proposed as part of an undated Historic Districts Plan, prepared for the City of Fresno by Brenda M. Carter. The 1994 Supplementary Historic Building Survey for the Ratkovich Plan Area, by John Edward Powell and Michael J. McGuire, proposed a more restrictive set of boundaries for this district.

As proposed by Carter, the L Street District has irregular boundaries but generally abuts Divisdaero Street on the north, Stanislaus Street on the southeast, extends to the rear property line of N Street on the northeast, and Van Ness Avenue on the southwest. It contains approximately sixty-four structures, fifty of which Carter considered to be contributing (a 76 percent standard of compliance).

In their 1994 report, Powell and McGuire expressed concern that the original boundaries for this district appeared to have been gerrymandered to include a number of Van Ness Avenue and Divisadero properties that are fundamentally segregated from the distinct neighborhood represented in the L Street core. Additionally, demolition of historic properties adjacent to the First Presbyterian Church at Calaveras and M Streets have further eroded the boundaries Carter identified in her study. Taking into account these losses and eliminating the Van Ness/Divisadero panhandle, Powell and McGuire proposed a more compact district with cleaner boundaries and greater integrity. Based on a liberal assessment, the new proposed district would have an 81 percent standard of compliance. The consultants cautioned, however, that the high incidence of empty parcels and contemporary infill construction might lower the compliance standard to approximately 55 percent at a minimum, or to 41 percent in a worst-case scenario.

As proposed by Powell and McGuire, the boundary of the district would extend from the corner of Divisadero and Glenn west to Park Avenue; south along Amador and the rear property line of L Street to Calaveras Street; east on Calaveras to M Street; south on M to Stanislaus Street; east on Stanislaus to N Street; and north on N to Glenn Avenue (View map of district boundary and some contributing properties).

In February 2018, City of Fresno Historic Preservation Specialist Laura van Onna re-evaluated the L Street District in order to determine whether or not a potential L Street Historic District still existed. The report determined that, "based upon the re-survey of a potential L Street Historic District . . . the once potential district is found to be ineligible for National Register, California Register, or Local designation through survey evaluation due to lack of a geographically definable area as well as significant concentration, linkage, and continuity."