Sunday, July 1, 2007
Heritage Square, 3800 Homer Street – map
Well, I reckon if your goal is to live in a home that would attract tons and tons of attention, you could do much worse than setting up camp in this Queen Anne/Eastlake house.
What mysterious origins! Depending on whom you believe, either W.R. Norton or Joseph Cather Newsom designed this home for George W. or Charles Morgan, who may or may have not been a real estate man, in or around 1887. The original location was at 4501 North Figueroa Street (then named North Pasadena Avenue).
The fact it looks like a ‘CW’ and not a ‘GW’ in this shield above one of the front windows would make one think it was Charles and not George who was the original owner. Could it be a ‘G’? Or a 'P', even?
In 1901 or 1906, James and Bessie Hale (Jack Smith wrote the couple met while Bessie was waiting tables at the Pico House downtown) moved into the home, but that was sometime after the building had moved down the street to 4425 North Figueroa Street. Bessie lived until nearly ninety years old, and she ran the building as a rooming house until the late 1950s. A Hale niece owned the home until the city bought it for a dollar in 1970 (a pair college students were living there as official caretakers at the time). It was moved to Heritage Square Museum at a cost of about $25,000 that July.
Click here to see a shot of the Hale House either right before or right after the big move.
The redwood-framed building has been meticulously restored to its original colors (I couldn’t think of any other reason for this palette). The inside, too, with its five fireplaces, has been restored and stocked with period pieces from the turn of the last century. I would’ve taken pictures of the interior, but indoor photography is forbidden at Heritage Square because… well, I don’t know why.
The Hale House is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
Jack Smith. “‘May Day’ for an Old House” Los Angeles Times; February 2, 1970, pg. A1
Up next: 114 Deodar Trees