I went to Heritage Square recently. I had seen it from the freeway for years and always wondered about the place. It seemed odd, to me, that there would be all these Victorian buildings sitting next to the freeway and it made me wonder “why” as I sped pass on the Pasadena freeway. The land was given to the foundation to house two building from Bunker Hill back in 1969. Those two buildings were moved to the site but before any preservation work could be done to either of them both buildings were burned and completely destroyed by arsonists. That didn’t deter the founding members of Heritage Square; they simply went about the business of acquiring more buildings. All of the buildings at Heritage Square were set to be demolished but were saved by the organization. Note: Heritage Square does not allow indoor photography but I found some interior images of the Hale house in an old 1990 magazine.
The entrance to Heritage Square.
Their website is: http://heritagesquare.org/visit
The train station which was moved in from the Palms area. The Palms area is between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles. I would put it in the vicinity of Overland Ave. and National Blvd.
The Perry House. This house had an emptiness about it that I liked. It wasn’t filled with furniture so I was able to envision what my furniture would look like in it. Much bigger than it appears. The ceilings must be 14 feet on the first floor. The docent said in the winter you have to wear a coat inside it’s so cold in the house. I’ve always liked chilly rooms. It was my second favorite house.
The Hale House.
When you walk in the front door this room is immediately to the left. It’s the front parlor.
The foyer. It has a rather small, winding staircase compared to the size of the home.
This is looking from the front parlor into the back parlor through some pocket doors.
Valley Knudsen house. It looks like a toy house but it’s rather big inside. The docent, Dana, said the house was used in the film, Saving Mr. Banks.
The brochure’s run down on the structures.
Dana. He’s the best dressed docent I’ve ever encountered. He looks like he walked out of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. I wish I could walk around and look like that but I don’t have that dandy gene in me. Dana was well informed and a fountain of information. He was also polite and articulate. Call, find out when he’s giving a tour, and then go to that tour.
Longellow-Hastings House. While the house seems less than spectacular from the outside, it was by far my favorite house even though it appeared to be falling apart on the inside: peeling wallpaper, old linoleum on the floor, exposed lathe, grease and grime covering the kitchen walls, and holes in the floor.
The John J. Ford House. The exterior has been completely renovated but the interior needs major work. When in the parlor if you squint your eyes to the point where they’re almost closed you can envision how beautiful the interior will be one day.
There’s a church at Heritage Square. Its movement to this location had to involve a herculean effort. It’s huge.
Cornerstone of the church.
This is the Colonial Drugstore. It’s new and was built on site. It’s a replica of George Abraham Simmon’s Colonial Drugstore in Highland Park. Simmon’s family paid for the replica to be built and this structure opened in December of 2012 to house Simmon’s vast collection of pharmacy memorabilia.
Pharmacy counter view.
I want that Robomalt box.
Analax? And it’s fruity! Okay, I can’t say anything that would be appropriate so I’ll refrain from saying anything.
An image of Hale House from the time it was moved to Heritage Square.
The two houses on Bunker Hill (the Salt Box and Donagan’s Castle) that were moved to Heritage Square only to be destroyed by arsonists.
My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.
Kumor, T. W. (2003). The Hale house. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers.
Samuelson, J. & Winter, R. (1990, July). Heritage square: a Victorian preserve in the Arroyo Seco. Angeles, 60-67.