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Walgreen's fire investigation is continuing

Original post made on Aug 30, 2007

Palo Alto police are still waiting to hear from the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agency on results of the investigation of the arson fire that destroyed the former Walgreen's building in downtown Palo Alto on the night of July 1-2.
Photos by Norbert von der Groeben. Video by Norbert von der Groeben and Allen Clapp.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 13, 2007, 10:28 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by What A Loss
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:47 pm

It is so sad to see one of Palo Alto's historic buildings being destroyed.

The building owners (a consortium of foreign investors) were planning on remodeling soon, but now it seems like they will get a brand new building instead.

What luck is that!

I will miss that lovely old building.

From now on, we will have only photos for our children to show their children what used to be there.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Sorry to disagree, but I saw nothing lovely or historic about the building. A brand new building could be really nice, on the other hand it may not. Too many buildings are being put up and then pulled down a few years later for poor reasoning. I hope that this time a building will be well enough designed that it will last for a long time through multiple uses and eventually become something that will be worth preserving. But, when the right time comes, it will be torn down too.

Posted by Good riddance
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 30, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Of course it is historic--anything in PA that is older than 5 years is considered historic by the "historic home zealots". I am surprised they did not go to court and get a court order to prevent demolition.
There is little to nothing historic in PA--if you want historic buildings go move to Boston.

Posted by Chris
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2007 at 10:39 pm

What a loss,

What do you know about the owners? Are you implying that they are connected to the fire?

Posted by Joanna
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 31, 2007 at 12:51 pm

Chris: I don't see a reason to rule it out. It may or may not have been an inside job. Who knows? Hopefully the authorities are well trained and can conduct a fair investigation.

The building was old, but I don't remember anything spectacular about it. It did look nicer than the Longs building. Aren't they the same age?

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 31, 2007 at 4:01 pm

A past article on Palo Alto online said the building was built in 1901.

Posted by Matt
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2007 at 11:09 am

Here's a link to an article on the building:
Web Link

Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 2, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Matt - that was a fabulous story!
Your parents must be very proud of you.
I would not hesitate in writing you as many recommendations as you need for college.
You are a truly a gifted writer.
Your factual research combined with true emotions are qualities which are rarely seen (especially on this forum).
I will miss this building too.
I have been using it for almost 50 years.
I think that some people on this forum may have been quick to write their opinions before knowing the history.
They may be happy to see the building demolished, when (in reality) they may be happier to see the old Walgreens go, the Sandwich Shop, and the homeless sitting outside.

I will miss the building for what it stood for through the years. With it, I feel a bit of myself will be torn down too.

The building was not maintained in a historical way. The existing shops were out of place.

I just returned from the East Coast, where I saw many cities make sure that the new businesses fit into the historical structures so well that at times I had a difficulty locating a Rite Aid because I drove by it several times, thinking it was just another one of the historical buildings on the main street. Garish new buildings were not allowed in these busy little towns.

Many towns were able to preserve their original quaint character, yet still have the modern stores within the town.

I hope that the architect for the new building has something like that in mind.

Maybe they can plan to design a new building similar to one which was destroyed, and reference your historical photos and data in the planning.

Thanks again for the great report!

Posted by 50 year resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 18, 2007 at 5:16 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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