by John Neuuber
Claremont Heritage presents its 40th annual home visit on Sunday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Claremont Heritage conducted its first-ever home visit in 1982, and this year’s event marks 40 years of showcasing historic and architecturally significant homes to members and the public. live. Over the years, Heritage has welcomed thousands of people to discover the rich architectural heritage of this beautiful little town.
The theme of this year’s tour is “homecoming”. It’s a fitting theme as participants will visit homes that have appeared on the tour over the past four decades. You might even call it the “greatest hits tour”. The houses represent architectural styles built between the 1880s and 1960s, the period when most houses were built in Claremont.
The Home Visiting Weekend begins Friday, October 7, with the ever-popular ‘Sunset Reception’, where Heritage thanks and honors homeowners who have graciously opened their homes. The reception is also an opportunity to visit a historic house which will not be presented on Sunday. This year the reception will be held at the Gumby/Lowe House, which was a featured house on the 2016 tour. This unique house, with its irregular footprint on a pie-shaped lot, has historically been described as a Spanish colonial revival; however, the house’s masing and unpainted concrete walls are more reminiscent of an Italian farmhouse style. Art Clokey, creator of the Claymation character Gumby, grew up in this house.
Although the pandemic has temporarily halted many events over the past two years, Claremont Heritage staff, board members and volunteers have continued the home visit virtually. There has been such a strong response to the streaming tours that this year, in addition to the six houses on the tour, every visitor will have access to a virtual tour of one of Claremont’s finest historic homes – the 1887 Sumner House , built by one of the founders of Pomona College, the Reverend Charles Burt Sumner. It is the only large-scale Queen Anne Classic Victorian house in Claremont.
The home visit includes six homes:
Built: 1895, moved 1912 and 1920
Style: American Foursquare
Historical name: the Ewer house
This house is a fine example of the American Foursquare style, built in the late 19th and early 20th century. These houses are substantial and project strength and dignity. This house was originally on the corner of Bonita and College, then moved to College and Eighth Street before commissioning its current location on Indian Hill. This house was on tour in 1989 and 2012.
The Wright House
Historical name: Darling House
This Craftsman home was designed by Charles and Henry Greene and predates their most famous projects such as the Gamble and Blacker homes in Pasadena. It was the first house they designed outside of Pasadena and the first to receive international recognition when published in Academy Architecture in 1903. This house was toured in 1997, 2006, 2015 and 2018.
The Neiuber house
Style: Transitional Craftsman
Historical name: Les Platanes
This home was designed by Arthur Acker, a prolific Los Angeles-based architect known for his early 1900s Craftsman homes. He designed four other homes in Claremont. This house is also associated with historical figures of Claremont, including Winfield Palmer who was the first chairman of the town committee, precursor to the town council. This house was on tour in 1983, 2005 and 2015.
The Miller House
Style: Monterey Renaissance
Historical name: McKenna House
Architectural historian Robert Winter has described this house as “a complete expression of the Monterey revival on an elm-lined street that is absolutely beautiful.” The house was a project by the renowned architectural firm of Marston and Maybury who designed several other structures in Claremont, including the now demolished Claremont Spanish Revival Library. This house was on tour in 2018.
The Stoddard House
Historical name: MacDonald House
The MacDonald family moved into this home on the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, which must have drowned out the celebration of moving into a brand new home. While being an old ranch-style house, it has traditional features such as a hipped roof as well as modern features such as the use of concrete blocks. This house was on tour in 1990.
The Wiese House
Historical name: the Foster house
This home overlooking the hills of Padua was designed by Everett Tozier, a highly respected Claremont architect who designed many mid-century modern structures. The patterned dentil border around the roofline shows Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence on Tozier. This house was on tour in 2001 and 2011.
For more information on visiting Claremont Heritage Home, go to clarremontheritage.org.
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