MOUNT WASHINGTON -- The Hunter Ranch House has over the past century been moved twice to avoid being demolished, carved up into a fourplex, taken over by gang members and rejected as a historic landmark. But now, the restored Craftsman has a second shot at being declared a city historic monument.
On Thursday, the Cultural Heritage Commission is scheduled to decide whether or not to take the landmark nomination of the approximately 110-year-old residence under consideration.
The two-story, wood-shingled home that now overlooks Elyria Canyon Park was built for a grocery wholesaler and was originally located at 523 S. Kingsley Drive in Wilshire Center, according to the nomination.
In the mid-1950s, the home, which was to be torn down to make way for an apartment building, was moved from its urban locale to a canyon in the 75-acre Hunter Ranch property on Mount Washington. By the mid 1980s, the home had been abandoned, its interior with original woodwork, fixtures and finishings marred and vandalized by gang members, according to an account included in the application.
A nearby resident took an interest in saving the structure when it once again was threatened by demolition, this time for a 100-unit condo project that was never built. The developers gave away the house, which was carved into two pieces and hauled up the hill to its current location on Killarney Drive in 1987, which marked the beginning of a long and costly renovation.
An attempt to have the house declared a historic monument in the 1980s was rejected by the then members of the Cultural Heritage Commission, which found the property failed to meet the criteria necessary for it to be designated a landmark.
The new landmark application is challenging that earlier vote, claiming the Hunter House serves as an excellent example of an architectural style and represents the work of a notable architect. However, it's not clear who designed the home, though architectural historians assume it was the work of noted designer and builder Louis B. Easton, who constructed numerous homes in Pasadena and other areas. The building has been remodeled and modified several times over more than 100 years but has retained its style and historic character.
But in March, a subcommittee of the current Cultural Heritage Commission said that "substantial new information" and photos of the property warranted giving the residence a second look. It recommended placing the application before the full commission.
Will The Hunter House finally become a landmark? Stay tuned.
Update: The commission voted unanimously to take the nomination under consideration. A second vote will be taken after further review is conducted.