Preserving The North Star House
The first order of business after obtaining access to the property, was to preserve the North Star House and prevent further deterioration. National Park service guidelines for preserving historic buildings were followed closely as possible.
Re-roofing of the North Star House was completed in April 2004. The re-roofing process required replacement of a numbr of structural components to assure of a useful and productive future. Work on the project included establishing security for the buildings and property, beginning clean-up and rehabilitation of the grounds and other structures and developing plans for the future site. Approximately $420,000 was invested in the structural and re-roofing work.
Focused Rehabilitation Plan
A focused Rehabiliation Plan was completed in May 2005 by Architectural Resources Group, a San Francisco based architectural firm noted for their work on historic structures. Their plan included the following significant elements:
A statement of significance as a historic structure and site.
An evaluation of integrity in respect to authenticity of the physical characteristics of the historical structure as defined by the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historic places.
An evaluation and determination that the North Star House, site and associated features meet the level of significance necessary for listing on both the National Register of historical places and the California Register of Historical Resources.
An assessment of the current conditions of the North Star House structure and grounds and recommendations for rehabilitation and restoration.
A Conceptual master plan for future use.
The plan provided important guidance for future development and activities.
Historical Site and Structure designation
The Land trust worked with The Nevada County Historical Society to obtain County designation of the North Star House and grounds as a historical site. this designation was approved by the Nevada County board of Supervisors on December 6, 2005.
The application for State Historical designation was later approved and the North Star House was listed on the National Register of Historical Places on February 1, 2011.
North Star Historic Conservancy established
The North Star Historic conservancy was formed in early 2006 and received IRS determination of exemption under section 501(c)(3) effective March 6, 2006. This non-profit corporation was formed for the management, development, and operation of the North Star Historic District.
The Conservancy Board of Directors has continued the planning and work necessary to make the North Star Historic District a valuable part of the Nevada County community. Fundraising is, by necessity, an important part of this work. The Conservancy has a growing list of members with increasing contributions to support the projects of improving the district.
A number of improvements have been completed under the direction of the conservancy, adding significant value to the District.
Gardener’s Cottage-roofing, siding, electrical upgrades, cabinets, HVAC.
Public Rest rooms-two handicapped accessible public restrooms with new septic system built to accomodate outdoor events.
Electrical Service Upgrades-Increased service to the North Star House interior and exterior lighting and service to the public bathrooms.
Roads, Paving, Handicapped Parking-Installed new exit road to provide improved ingress and egress, added paving and handicapped parking.
Well and Pressure Tank System-Install well and pressure tank system to provide independant water supply. Rehabilitated old water storage tanks to meet irrigation and fire suppression needs.
Irrigation System-Install irrigation system for North Star House front lawn and and extend irrigation pipes to Gardener’s Cottage and Assay Office.
Courtyard Shingles-Install new cedar shingles on the North Star House courtyard walls.
In addition to the major improvements, as of May 2016, Conservancy volunteers have logged over 35,000 hours working on the grounds and structures and developing informational programs and materials, and holding fundraising events for the North Star House and Grounds.