On October 17, at a standing-room-only event at the Civic Center Library, Alhambra Preservation Group honored four Alhambra homes with its annual Heritage Home Awards. Among the awardees was an elegant 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival home located in the city’s original Alhambra Tract. In a departure from its historic practice, APG chose, this year, to recognize the extraordinary care taken by a team of property developers to preserve this Alhambra landmark while also developing the adjacent property. In presenting the award to the principals of Arroyo Garden, LLC, APG President Christine Olson stated, “It is a very rare thing for any developer to go to the lengths that this team has to preserve a unique example of local history – especially without benefit of valuable preservation incentives like tax credits. We are proud to honor their efforts with our 2013 Heritage Home Award.”
The two-story Spanish Colonial Revival home was built on the banks of the Arroyo del Molino in 1926 by Alhambra builder Holly Charlton for Carl M. Cooper and his wife Hattie May McKay Cooper. Cooper was employed as the Vice President and General Manager of the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse Corporation. From his bedroom on the second floor, he could easily supervise the ongoing construction of the new Mission Playhouse designed by famed architect Arthur Burnett Benton, and located just a short distance across the arroyo.
The Cooper home is a classic example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture of the 1920s. A large two-story stucco residence, with terra cotta tile roof, clay vent pipes at the front gable, decorative wooden shutters flanking double-hung windows on the second story, and two balconies – one with decorative ironwork, and the second featuring a shed roof with wooden balustrade. The restrained design of the home is given a romantic focal point in the deeply inset paneled door, framed by a scalloped arch. A newly-landscaped front yard features mature agaves, palms and roses.
The Cooper house and its adjacent lot were purchased in 2012 by a team of real estate investors and developers who saw an opportunity to restore the home’s faded elegance while, simultaneously, dividing the large property into smaller parcels for the construction of additional homes. From the beginning, the Arroyo Garden team focused on preserving the essential, character-defining features of the Cooper house while adding modern amenities desired by 21st Century families. New copper plumbing, new electrical service, refinished hardwood floors, new heating and air conditioning systems and completely remodeled kitchen and bathrooms are just a few of these enhancements. Newly refurbished and restored to its former elegance, the Cooper house will continue into its second century.
The Cooper house is now on the market. For information, please contact Mark Paulson at Venti Realtors (626) 282-6121.