Photo Attribute: Gene Kang Photography
Beginning Saturday, January 8, the Rengstorff House is temporarily closed to the public due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases until further notice. Docent-led tours are available three days a week: Tuesdays/Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tours are free to members of the general public. Donations are accepted. All tours are aligned with local and state public health guidelines.
Enter the West Patio Door of the Rengstorff House during open house times, and you can inquire further about the history of the Rengstorff family; the restoration project; as well as imagine early Mountain View pioneers who lived circa 1867 when the house was originally constructed in the area. Tours generally last approximately 30 minutes, but can generally be tailored to meet your needs. During weekday open house times, you may arrive at any time so as to begin a tour. On Saturdays, look for a clock in the window indicating the next tour start time, and enjoy the garden until the next tour begins.
For a 3D tour of the facility, please click here.
The Rengstorff House features a Victorian Italianate design with a hip roof, a central gable crowned by a widow's walk, front portico and symmetrical room layout. The portico is flanked with built up square columns. These columns support a classical entablature: capital, architrave, frieze, brackets and cornice.
The Rengstorff House has a unique history of being saved from destruction and restored to show what life might have been like in the 19th century; after being occupied by the Rengstorff family and its successive generations circa 1867 until 1959, the Rengstorff House was sold to a land holding company and became a rental unit, and fire occurred in 1972. After sitting in major disrepair, a group called the Friends of “R” House petitioned to save Mountain View’s only home. The house has been since relocated two times,and boasts the designation of having been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, reference number 78000778. The house was first moved in 1977 into what is now known as Shoreline at Mountain View, a 750-acre wildlife and recreation area. The house was a second time in 1986; and following the $1.25 million restoration project, was opened to the public in 1991.
Thanks to the advocacy of The Friends of “R” House, the Rengstorff House stands proudly today as one of the finest examples of Victorian Italianate architecture on the West Coast, as well as a resource for the community to enjoy. Thanks to research conducted on the family and its role in early Mountain View’s development, on each tour you’ll have the opportunity to: admire the interior furnishings, fixtures, and artifacts; perhaps hear the sound of the grandfather clock as it chimes every half hour; enjoy old-time music on an Edison machine and working phonograph; and appreciate early forms of technology, including the Smith Premier No. 2 typewriter, and Magneto Box telephone.
We’re located at 3070 N. Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, CA 94043
(within Shoreline at Mountain View, a 750-acre wildlife and recreation area)
Docent-led tours are conducted downstairs portion of the house only, as the upstairs portion of the house now serves as City of Mountain View – Shoreline administrative offices.
Unless the house is being rented, you may visit the exterior grounds from dawn until dusk, 364 days of the year. Outside, you may enjoy the grassy areas, brick patios, and gardens, as well as the restored windmill and replica Tank House. Interpretive signs also shed light on the windmill and house history.
For photo and filming permit information, please click here.
For additional information about volunteering, or to schedule a group tour, call (650) 903-6073.