In 2010, Alhambra Preservation Group presented a Heritage Home Award to the owners of the following Alhambra homes:
1909 Arts and Crafts
Property’s Original Assessed Value: $1,200
This home was built by George Weir, a skilled carpenter and craftsman. He began construction in 1909. He and his family lived in Alhambra for many years, but they never did reside in this house. As was typical of the early Arts & Crafts movement, this home displays a unique hand-crafted design, celebrating the skill and artistry of the builder. It features a low-pitched gable roof with strong overhangs, exposed beams and rafter tails. There is an unusual treatment of the gable ends – an arrow motif that serves a decorative purpose, as well as the functional purpose of attic ventilation. The home is beautifully proportioned and symmetrically laid out. A brick chimney with molded concrete quoining (intended to resemble cut stone blocks) is centered on the front facade, and flanked by two large living room windows, each with leaded glass panes in the transom. The wooden window trims feature a “cloud lift” design. The front porch wraps around the northwest corner of the building, and the arched knee braces used in the portico are repeated at the south gable. The use of molded concrete blocks is repeated in the piers supporting the porch columns. The three windows in the den, at the south end of the building represent a gothic design, and they incorporate stained glass at the top.
1910 Arts and Crafts
Property’s Original Assessed Value: $2,050
The earliest residents of record for this home were James and Hattie Hersberger. They were quite comfortably well-off, having retired to California from Buffalo, New York, where James had been the owner of an oil company. This home features a classic Arts&Crafts design typical of the period. There are four broadly tapered columns, clad in stucco, that frame the deep front porch and the porte-cochere that extends across the driveway. The exterior finish is composed of shingles above a stuccoed base. The front door is centered on the front facade, with a large stained glass window in the top half. Two picture windows are symmetrically placed on each side of the entry. The broad central gable of the roof is parallel to the street – it features exposed beams and rafter tails. The upper story has a gabled dormer at the north end, with a paired arrangement of french doors and double hung window. This arrangement is duplicated on the south side, under a shed roof with a slight set back to provide modulation and break up the mass. The open veranda on the second story is bordered by a low parapet, and can be accessed through these french doors.
1927 Spanish Colonial Revival
Property’s Original Assessed Value: $2,750
This house was built in 1927 by James W. Henderson. The Henderson family came to Alhambra from Ogden, Utah – James and his wife Thelma, along with their young daughter Wilma. James was a livestock salesman. He must have been quite skilled in construction as well, because the neighbors all admired the fact that he built this beautiful home himself, and they commented to each other upon his careful attention to detail. We don’t know whether he built this from a kit, or whether he simply copied details from other homes of this style that he admired around Alhambra. The Spanish Colonial Revival style was extremely popular in this period of the mid-to-late 1920’s. It is exemplified here by the use of arched windows and doorways, an entry courtyard that is framed by a low tiled wall, smooth stucco wall surfaces, wrought iron detail and a terra cotta tile roof. The front entrance is given prominence by the round tower design, which features a scalloped cornice detail and decorative quoining around the arched doorway. This entry tower is topped with a weather vane is a bullfighting motif. The breakfast room at the east end of the building is set in a shorter, faceted tower. When built, this home would have derived a good deal of its value from its most prominent neighbor, the lavish Midwick Country Club, whose 208-acre boundary was just to the east.
1910 Arts and Crafts
Property’s Original Assessed Value: Approx. $1,500
William and Mary Deats were retired from a lifetime of farming in the Midwest, and they came here with their two grown sons – Dexter was a carpenter, and Francis was a house painter. Most likely they built their family home together in 1910 with their own hands. This Arts and Crafts bungalow features a gable roof with a single gabled dormer centered on the ridgeline. Latticed grids in the gables allow for air circulation in the attic. The broad front porch is supported by four square wooden columns, each with a T-shaped detail at the point of support. These columns are set on mortared stone piers. The porch has a painted wooden floor and ceiling, and is surrounded with a low wooden railing. There is a brick chimney at the north end, and the home is clad in clapboard siding. On the first floor there are two large picture windows, each with transoms composed of multi-paned lights arranged in a diagonal pattern. This design is echoed in the upper story, with a picture window flanked by multi-paned windows in a diamond array. The oak front door is centered on the facade, and is framed by two sidelights.