Saturday, November 25, 2006

Roving to Monrovia

Nov. 24, 1907

The Times real estate section takes a look at what was then the distant suburb of Monrovia, 22 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The writer notes the increasing use of concrete and stone, explaining that the cost of lumber is forcing builders to use other materials. The writer also notes the broad, shaded verandas of three featured homes as well as the outlines of their roofs.

The story highlights the home of B.R. Davisson on East Orange Avenue, H.M. Slemmons (or Slemon) on North Myrtle Avenue and the home of John C. Rupp at Ivy and Greystone, built for $6,500 ($133,403.21 USD 2005).

Without exact addresses, it would be difficult for me to locate the Davisson and Slemmons homes, but I took a pleasant drive out to Monrovia recently to look for the Rupp house and was happy to find
that it is still standing and in beautiful condition. In fact, it was nice to discover that the neighborhood has quite a few well-maintained historic homes; a contrast to the condition of the houses I located in Pico Heights.

I had a brief chat with the homeowner who gave me a tour of the grounds. He said that Rupp, a financier, built the home for his wife, but that she decided it was too far from Los Angeles and wouldn’t live there. That’s apparently true, because Rupp put the home on the market in 1911.

Note that the ad for the home mentions a solar heater. I have no idea what this was and the homeowner didn't know anything about it. Obviously a subject for further research.

The homeowner also mentioned the Monrovia Old House Preservation Group, which has a website and offers a self-guided tour. I cannot vouch for these folks, but it does sound interesting and the area has some lovely old homes.

To get to the Rupp house, take the Foothill Freeway and get off at Santa Anita in Arcadia. Turn north and go to Foothill Boulevard and then turn right (east) and then left on Ivy. The home is at 269 N. Ivy. While you’re there, look at the large stone house on the northeast corner, built in 1894. I’ll post some pictures when I get the film developed (we’re old school around here).

e-mail: lmharnisch (AT)

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