Archive for February, 2015

ImageA meticulously restored 1906 Victorian Transitional Bungalow, located in the Wuest tract of Alhambra, was recently honored with Alhambra Preservation Group’s 2014 Katherine Hildreth Memorial Heritage Home Award. In presenting the award, APG President Christine Olson remarked that in the three years since purchasing the home, its owner has done an extraordinary job of restoration, preparing this historic gem for another century of functional use.

This impressive home is located near the former Red Car line that carried passengers along Huntington Drive, to and from the business center in downtown Los Angeles. In 1906, the original owners, Fred and Emma Shuttleworth, purchased an unimproved lot from Samuel Wuest. Fred Shuttleworth, a Freemason, hired his fellow lodge member George W. May to build a five-room cottage for his family. Sixteen years later, in 1922, the Shuttleworths had a small guest house constructed at the rear of the property. It, too, was a one-story bungalow, which closely matched the style of the original home. As a rental unit, the additional income helped to ensure a comfortable retirement for the elderly owners.

The Shuttleworth home was designed as a Craftsman bungalow, incorporating elements of the earlier Victorian style in its window treatments and interior details, such as the Birdseye maple woodwork, dentil moldings, high ceilings and tall windows. The Craftsman style is characterized by the rustic texture of building materials, including shingles and redwood siding; a low-pitched roof with exposed rafter tails; and a covered front porch supported by substantial posts. There are two large bay windows – one in the front parlor, and another in the dining room. Most of the original double-hung windows are still present, featuring a distinctive diamond pattern in the upper section.

When the current owner first saw the home in 2011, she fell in love with its expansive dining room, which features a small Victorian fireplace and mantle, flanked by turned maple columns and detailed scrollwork. In restoration, instead of replacing the too-worn-to-be-refinished hardwood flooring with a less-expensive laminate material, the owner special-ordered maple floorboards to match the original. The beautiful grain of the new hardwood maple floors lends an elegant quality to the 108-year-old home.

Helping to transform the social dynamic on the street by creating a sense of neighborliness and community spirit, the owner installed a Little Free Library in her front yard, constructed from salvaged fencing material. This is the first such library to be officially registered in Alhambra. Even as this home celebrates its history and its place in the local community, its environmentally conscious upgrades (including solar panels and an electric vehicle charging station) position it solidly in the twenty-first century.

This is the last in a series of articles featuring the 2014 Heritage Home Award-winning residences.

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Replacement.WindowsIs your house too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer? Do you often feel air leaking in around your windows or under your doors? Are you interested in planting drought-tolerant blossoms this spring like California Poppies to conserve water? Are you curious about the steps you can take to simultaneously create a more energy efficient home, save planet Earth and save money?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then Alhambra Preservation Group’s upcoming evening seminar entitled Energy Efficiency and Historic Homes is for you!

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Reese Hall at the Alhambra Civic Center Library, located at 101 South First Street, Alhambra, for presentations by a panel of energy experts including Lisa Novick of the Theodore Payne Foundation, Scott Campbell of Window Restoration and Repair and Dan Thomsen of Building Doctors. Issues such as financial incentives, preservation challenges facing historic homes, and real-world examples will be addressed, followed by a question and answer session for each speaker. Light refreshments will also be served at this event.

“From Arts and Crafts to Spanish Colonial Revival, Alhambra’s historic architectural styles and their characteristics embodied energy efficiency when they were designed a century ago,” states Christine Olson, President of Alhambra Preservation Group. “This seminar will help residents unlock the energy efficient design-elements built into their historic homes and discover new tips for making their home energy-ready for the next 100 years.”

To RSVP for this event, please e-mail info@alhambrapreservation.org or call (626) 755-3467.

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