History San José is deeply saddened that a two-alarm fire has resulted in the complete loss of the historic Nelson-DeLuz House at History Park. The house was willed to History San José by former San José State home economics instructor Kristena Nelson-DeLuz who spent her entire life in the house.
We are grateful for the San José Fire Department’s rapid response to quickly control the blaze, and we extend our appreciation to all the first responders who helped contain the fire and ensure the safety of our community.
After the Nelson-DeLuz House was moved to History Park, it provided space for community organizations including Portraits of the Past and the Hellenic Heritage Museum. In recent years, the house functioned as a rental space for community meetings and gatherings. Just this year, O’Brien’s (formerly Treatbot) began using the historic neoclassical home as a venue for their themed tea services. The house was also a central part of History San José’s rental program bringing in revenue for the organization to support its exhibition and educational programs.
The blaze did not just affect the Nelson-DeLuz House. The Leonard and David McKay Gallery in the next-door Pasetta House also sustained damage. The artwork from HSJ’s permanent collection that was on view has been removed and will need emergency conservation work to mitigate smoke damage.
We appreciate the outpouring of concern we have received and our hearts go out to the staff, volunteers, and community members who hold fond memories and personal connections to the Nelson-DeLuz House.
If you would like to support us, we have created an Emergency Fund to replenish the lost revenue from the rental program and supplement what our insurance does not cover. Thank you so much for sustaining History San José.
Bill Schroh, Jr.
President & CEO
History San José