Group saves Victorian once owned by man who saved Big Basin redwoods

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The San Jose artist once revered for saving Big Basin's redwoods from greedy loggers isn't exactly a household name. But with the transformation Sunday of his home into a public showpiece, local historians are hoping Andrew P. Hill is again recognized as a California hero.

"If it wasn't for Andrew Hill, we wouldn't have been able to go to Big Basin to see the redwoods on Mother's Day," said Rich Winslow, a San Jose engineer who brought his family to the grand opening of Hill's candy box of a Victorian at History Park on Senter Road in San Jose.

Hill's house — like his legend — seemed destined to fade away when the Victorian Preservation Association of Santa Clara County stepped in 15 years ago. Back then, the Queen Anne-style home on Alma Street south of downtown San Jose was a crumbling wreck defaced by graffiti, its fish-scale shingles marred by roof moss and wood floors littered with trash three-feet deep....

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