Old "Armenian Town" houses to be moved

FRESNO, Calif.

It was finished five years ago.

They were modest homes, but they are a few of the very few surviving examples of the hundreds of homes that once filled a sixty square block area in downtown Fresno, known as "Armenian Town," and have been granted historic protection.

Karana Hattersley-Drayton, the city's Historic Preservation Specialist says: "To be a historic resource isn't just about being architecturally aesthetically beautiful. It's not architecture alone, it's about the people who lived there, the connection to the community, so it's about the Armenian community, definitely."

The Fresno City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency recently approved spending one point two million dollars to have the houses moved, to M street, the site of a former fire station, put on permanent foundations and fixed up.

Terry Cox of the city's Redeveloment Agency says the goal is to bring back a touch of the past.

"They'll look like a neighborhood setting they will have curbs, gutters, sidewalks up to the home landscaping similar to the era when they were first built, fruit trees."

Hattersly-Drayton says the modest homes were built in the early 1900's.

"A couple of them are Queen Anne, and a couple of them are just plain Vernacular houses, they are just working class houses, but that's part of our history too."

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