SMCHA Capital Campaign
When Mrs. Lurline Matson Roth deeded the Filoli property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1975, her collection of Brewster carriages was not included. Mrs. Roth’s historic vehicles—and many more from other prominent, local families—were entrusted to the San Mateo County History Museum and have been stored in a climate-controlled facility for the last 40 years.
The 14,000 sq. ft., three-level Taube Family Carriage House will be named for keystone donor Tad Taube. Glass walls and nighttime lighting will allow the public to gaze in and enjoy the displays at any time. The unique rooftop terrace and ground floor courtyard will host events and enable summertime Museum camps for children.
San Mateo County History Museum
Exploring Our Natural History
The San Mateo County History Museum will create a new natural history gallery to interpret the prehistory of the Peninsula. It will include Museum founder and executive director Dr. Frank Stanger’s 1940s Millbrae excavation which uncovered evidence of giant mammals that roamed the Peninsula during the Ice Age some 12,000 years ago. Dr. Stanger’s excavation uncovered one of the largest collections of ancient elephants in California, second only to the famous La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles.
Our exhibit will also display the life-size plaster cast of a 14 million-year-old marine mammal Paleoparadoxia found in Menlo Park in 1964 during the excavation for the Stanford Linear Accelerator. The Natural History Gallery will tell the story of how these extraordinary mammals were discovered and who discovered them. We will include an exhibit that will allow visitors to experience an interactive map that will show how the Bay Region has changed through millions of years. Children will be invited to perform their own excavations while imaging the mystery just beneath their feet.
San Mateo County History Museum
Innovators Who Changed the World
The exhibit chronicles innovators who made San Mateo County known around the world. Their work has brought about a wide range of technological, medical, managerial and financial innovations over the last 60 years which has changed our daily lives.
Improvements to this gallery will include a digital wall. Much has happened in the 14 years since this gallery opened, but our current static timeline does not include some major dynamic entrepreneurial experiences. The wall, with multiple access points, can be modified to incorporate new innovators as their ideas continue to redefine our world.
Three-dimensional displays will include the Ampex story, the company that introduced audio and video tape to America, and a description of Paul Cook’s innovative Peninsula company, the Raychem Corporation, which pioneered the use of commercial radiation and heat-shrink plastics for applications as diverse as military and commercial aircraft to coatings developed to wrap the Alaska Pipeline in the mid-1970s.
Sanchez Adobe, Pacifica
The Sanchez Adobe Historic Site in Pacifica is unique in that it played a significant role during the three earliest eras of Californian history. The Site was made a county historic park in 1947. There has been virtually no capital improvement to it since the mid-1950s, and there is currently not enough interpretation of the important history that occurred here.
An imaginative Sanchez Adobe Master Plan calls for a new interpretive center which will house state of the art exhibits. Additionally, space will be made available to accommodate school and other groups for viewing films and discussing the history of the site. The positioning of the center will permit creation of a new gateway into the site facilitating a full-frontal view of the adobe house, which in its day was quite large and impressive. Because the adobe house will no longer have to serve as an exhibit gallery, the Historical Association will be able to recreate the interior of the house as it appeared during its heyday when Francisco Sanchez lived there.
By implementing the Sanchez Adobe Master Plan, we can improve interpretation of this site in alignment with current California Public School Guidelines and double the number of children who visit this popular site annually.
Lathrop House & Redwood City History Gallery
Built in 1863 and first named “Lora Mundi” (most beautiful spot in the world), Lathrop House was home to San Mateo County’s first Clerk, Recorder and Assessor, Benjamin G. Lathrop and later San Mateo County Sheriff and Civil War hero, Joel Mansfield. Now more than 150 years old, this early example of “Steamboat Gothic” architecture showcases the tall gables and arches pierced by quatrefoil designs that were unique to high status homes in 19th century San Mateo County.
The house was recently moved to the San Mateo County History Museum block. The San Mateo County Historical Association will install a revolving history gallery within the home and increase its visiting hours.