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Community: Tour offers glimpse into historic Glendale

September 18, 2013|By Joyce Rudolph
  • The "Wedding Cake" house is one of five homes featured on the Glendale Historical Society's "Classic Casa Verdugo" Home Tour on Sept. 29. Built between 1906 and 1911, this Eclectic Vernacular-style house has elements of architectural styles, including Folk Victorian, Craftsman, Mission Revival and Neo-Classical.
The "Wedding Cake" house is one of five homes… (Photo by Victoria…)

The local historical society offers guests on this year's home tour a chance to experience a taste of life as it was lived in Glendale in the early 20th century.

Titled Classic Casa Verdugo, the event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 29. It will raise funds for the nonprofit Glendale Historical Society, celebrating and preserving area's history and architectural heritage.

The tour's five homes are within walking distance of each other in Casa Verdugo, one of Glendale's earliest and most architecturally diverse neighborhoods, said society President Greg Grammer. One is a Mission Revival house built in 1907 that was once known as the Casa Verdugo restaurant, a tourist attraction for Los Angeles residents and out-of-towners alike. Inspired by the old California of Spanish Colonial days, the menu offered tamale and enchilada dishes while visitors were entertained with Spanish songs and dances.

Society members have planned a re-creation of the experience by inviting tour participants to dine al fresco on the verandas that wrap around the exterior of the house and backyard. The Border Grill truck will be selling a gourmet taco plate and beverage for $12.

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Also on the tour are three Craftsman-style homes and an Eclectic Vernacular-style residence known locally as the Wedding Cake House, Grammer said. The home was built between 1906-1911 and mixes elements from the architectural styles of Folk Victorian, Craftsman, Mission Revival and Neo-Classical. It is believed to be the only remaining example in Glendale.

“The reason they call it the Wedding Cake House is because it has elaborate Neo-Classical ornamentation that almost looks like a wedding cake,” Grammer said.

It has a compact, rectangular plan and a flat roof with a parapet, which is characteristic of Mission Revival styles, he said. The facade has short plaster columns topped with rose garlands and wreathes that are Neo-Classical elements. The double-hung wood sash windows and bay windows in the dining room are Victorian in style.

The Craftsman style is more apparent in the interior of the home, he said. Some of the interior character-defining features that are original to the house are the oak flooring, plaster walls and ceiling, board-and-batten wainscoting, wood beams in the ceiling, a brick fireplace with a wood mantle and the five-panel wood doors with the original Victorian hardware.

Participants will receive a map and can continue to walk around the neighborhood to view the exteriors of other homes in the area, he said.

Showcasing the homes in the Casa Verdugo area hopefully will inspire an effort by residents to pursue a historic district designation, Grammer said.

“We want to make sure that this special neighborhood is preserved for future generations,” he said.

Discounted tickets at $32 for the public and $22 for society members are available until Sept. 24, then the prices increase to $37 for the public, $27 for members. For tickets, visit www.glendalehistorical.org.

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JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at rudolphjoyce10@gmail.com.

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