The 2004 Historic Home Tour, Alhambra Preservation Group’s inaugural effort, introduced Southern California to homes that had remained hidden for more than a century and featured six homes in Northwest Alhambra’s Wuest, Bushnell and La Marguerita land tracts. These tracts of land were originally owned by Samuel Franklin Wuest, Adolph Graffen and John Carr, three prominent figures in early Alhambra history.
At the turn of the 20th century, Alhambra was a fashionable destination for transplanted Midwesterners, who saw Southern California’s future. The resulting building boom filled the city with trendy Arts & Crafts houses both large and small. While many have been lost, Alhambra still retains a significant collection of these beautiful homes.
The homes showcased on the tour were built between the years of 1906 and 1912 and all highlighted the Arts & Crafts style. Architectural details found in many of the homes included Douglas fir woodwork, original fixtures and built-ins, all character features that were popular in Craftsman homes during the first two decades of the 20th Century. Two of the homes showcased on the tour are featured here:
Constructed in 1906 by M.C. English, this was one of the oldest homes on the tour. The original owners were Fred H. Hamlin, a hatter by trade, and his wife, Elizabeth. Living with them, according to census records, were Edward and Etta M. Tutin (who moved to El Monte in 1917 to become farmers), George C. Henderson and J. Winslow Chick.
Painted sunny yellow and white, with beautifully landscaped front and back gardens, this well-loved home is a case study in classic Craftsman and updated styles. First to catch the eye is the Asian-influenced design of the substantial wooden knee braces that top the large re-done Arroyo Stone (river rock) piers on the front porch. A popular Craftsman-style material, Arroyo stone is also used in the chimney and the two small stone piers flanking the porch steps.
In 1906, Charles Laud hired C. W. Burdick, a local contractor who advertised in the Alhambra Advocate and Valley Vista newspaper, to build this bungalow. With the help of their six sons, Charles and his wife, Ellen, ran a construction firm out of their home on Raymond Avenue in the community of Dolgeville, now part of western Alhambra. The Burdick’s lived around the corner from Alfred and Anna Dolge, for whom Dolgeville was named. Dolgeville, a working class town, was annexed by Alhambra in 1908. Beyond the large maple tree, this one-and-a-half-story bungalow features classic Craftsman design combined with a long-ago renovation. The slopes of the home’s principal gable shade the upper story. A central dormer, detailed with two six-over-one, double-hung sash windows, echoes the detail of the main gable, with braces and exposed rafters. Overlap siding covers the ground floor and random-cut shingles face the upper half. Siding also covers the low porch wall across the façade.