September: Time To Clean House
4 weeks ago
The fact that sun bathing is an important part of the children's routine at the schools makes it desirable to separate the boys' and girls' divisions, according to Mrs. J. Ross Charles, president of the council.Donations to the preventorium were also important for the sponsorship of frail children from low-income families. The same was the case with summer camps for pre-tubercular boys.
As Mr. Blacker, the owner, is an old lumber man, he has taken great pride in having the best material obtainable for the house. Days and weeks have been spent in securing timbers which would suit his taste. The exterior works consists of a great deal of detail work obtained by cross timber work and wherever there is an exposed beam this is absolutely perfect, without a knot or chuck. Hand-wrought iron fastenings hold these timbers in place and will be allowed to rust to get the desired effect. Hammered copper sheets, formed into gutters and ducts, lead the rain water to the cement drains and are tarnishing to an aged look.
...Some of the lamps fetched $100,000 each, and at least one of the more imposing chandeliers sold for about a quarter of a million dollars. A handful of fixtures was sufficient to cover the price of the house. (Mr. English declined to give figures.)
Pasadena citizens, including Mr. Makinson*, loudly declared their outrage, and with the support of Pasadena Heritage, a preservation group, the city passed an emergency ordinance that slowed further removal of the pieces. Citizens guarded the house in cars parked out front.
Mr. English sold the Blacker House in 1988, never having lived in it. The removal of the fixtures had violated the integrity of Greene & Greene's design. The brothers had created interiors that were symphonies of carefully orchestrated parts, and suddenly the first violin section was missing in every room. One of the finest works of American architecture had been desecrated...