San Mateo developer Dan Deibel has yielded to critics of his proposed condo and commercial project for the 700 block of University Avenue and agreed to more testing for archaeological artifacts at the site.
As a result, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Monday voted to postpone two scheduled hearings on landmark applications for two properties scheduled for demolition at the site.
Preservation advocate Gale Garcia has submitted proposals to landmark Brennan’s Irish Pub at 720 University and the building on the other half of the block housing Celia’s Restaurant at 2040 Fourth St.
During hearings in December, amateur historian Richard Schwartz and UC Berkeley archaeology Professor Ken Lightfoot reported that Deibel had only performed one of two promised tests at the site, which the two suspect may contain remains of the Berkeley Shellmound.
Both said that Deibel had promised to conduct a second, more detailed core drilling if the first, limited test failed to find any traces of artifacts and Native American remains.
Both said that the initial cores were conducted at a shallower depth than promised, a contention denied by one of Deibel’s consultants.
After consulting with Lightfoot, Deibel agreed to conduct more extensive and deeper corings, and promised to present the results to commissioners at the Feb. 7 meeting.
Reinforcing Schwartz’s contention that shellmound remains might be found at the site, LPC member Carrie Olson presented her colleagues Monday with copies of a panoramic photo taken in the late 1890s showing University Avenue bisecting the shellmound.
She also presented an 1852 map of Strawberry Creek, showing the stream curving to the south of where the mound appears in the photo.