Preservationists seeking to save “East Asian Eclectic” home from demolition

HERMON  —  Preservationists want a home that is slated to be demolished declared a city historic landmark. That would complicate plans to knock down the home, built in 1938 in the “Far East Asian Eclectic” style, to make way for the construction of eight homes under the city’s under  small-lot development ordinance.

The Cultural Heritage Commission is scheduled to decide on Thursday, Oct. 20, whether to take the historic cultural monument application submitted by the Highland Park Heritage Trust under review.

The two-story Lee Residence at 6111 Monterey Road was built for the family for Edgar K. Lee, a Chinese immigrant and Pasadena store owner who married Alice Stuart,  whose parents were among the first residents of Hermon, according to the landmark application.  The home reflects a blend of what has become known as “Far East Asian Eclectic” style with more traditional forms of the era. Says the application:

“East Asian Eclectic architecture, a derivative and referential style that borrowed forms and ornament directly from ancient buildings in East Asia, emerged as part of the larger Exotic Revival trend in Los Angeles in the 1920s and proliferated on a large (if geographically isolated) scale with the construction of Los Angeles’ New Chinatown in 1938. East Asian communities continued to use the style to define neighborhoods with ethnic association.”

The exterior of the home remains largely intact. The staff of the Planning Department has recommended that the landmark application be taken under consideration.

Update: The commission voted against taking the nomination under consideration.

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