Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No. 190 - Kaiser House and Carriage House

Kaiser House and Carriage House

Kaiser House and Carriage House
c. 1889
1411 Carroll Avenue – map
Declared: 5/3/78

Yet another Victorian beauty on Carroll Avenue, this Eastlake-style house sits just to the west of HCM No. 188, the Winston House. Unlike with that home, we don’t know who the architect behind this landmark was, but we do know who the first owners were.

Kaiser House

Frank Kaiser was a 48-year-old widower in Louisville in 1888 when he up and married 18-year-old Ms Emma Vogel. They headed to California the next year, moving into this home in the new neighborhood of Angelino Heights (or Angeleno Heights). Soon after, they were joined by another pair of newlyweds, Joseph Mergen (Frank’s nephew) and his wife, Carrie (Emma’s sister). Here’s a photo of the couple of couples, taken in the early 1890s. We’ve got the Mergens on the left, Kaisers on the right.

Kaiser House and Carriage House, Winston House
Kaiser House and Winson House

Well, having a bride thirty years his junior had its effect on poor Frank – he died a few years after landing in L.A., in 1892, at the age of 53. And being married to Frank’s nephew was bad luck for Carrie, too. She died right around the same time, she just 21 years old. Other relatives came to stay at 1411, including Emma’s mom. Emma lived until in 1919, and Grandma Vogel died two years later. Will Vogel then bought the house.

Kaiser House
The designs on either side, flanking the central burst, don't match those in the black and white shot, do they?

Below is a clip of an 1894 Sanborn fire insurance map. You can see HCM Nos 188 and 189, side by side. At the left there’s also No. 191. And, to the right, is our old friend, No. 75, the Pinney House. Finally, in the upper-left, on Kellam Avenue, is No. 321, the Eastlake Inn. Let’s see if I’m still blogging in 2010 when this one comes up.

1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

At the time of the Kaiser House’s declaration in 1978, the Safer family had been living there for thirty-three years. They were the house’s third owners, buying it from a man named or not named Holland. It’s easy to see why the home – with no huge exterior alterations (I miss the roof's ironwork, though) – was designated a city landmark. However, according to a file in the city’s Office of Historic Resources, “… the real inspiration for the nomination is the interior dining room in perfect condition with a wall & ceiling relief finish [sic] in sculptured fresco.” I don’t know if this means there was an exterior dining room.

Kaiser House's Carriage House
The Kaiser Carriage House

All comedy aside, though. Comparing the pictures from a couple of weeks ago to the one taken nearly 120 years ago, you can see not much of the house has changed. The stone wall along the sidewalk is gone, of course, and the carriage house has been altered, but it seems every generation of homeowner has done its best in preserving this landmark. (You can see more changes in its next-door neighbor, the Winston House.)

Kaiser House and Winson House
Kaiser House

Up next: Luckenbach House

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