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Goode House Renovation Seen as Feasible but Not Lucrative

December 12, 1985|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

The Glendale Historical Society has concluded that private renovation of the 97-year-old Goode House, threatened with demolition, could be financially feasible, although not particularly profitable.

A study by the society suggests that the house be converted either into offices or a bed-and-breakfast inn.

In the report to be presented next week to the Glendale's Historic Preservation Commission, the society recommends that the house at 119 N. Cedar St., which is privately owned, be sold to a developer. Renovation could be "just profitable enough to make it interesting," the study says.

However, Judith Johnson, who directed the study, conceded that a developer "is not going to make a great deal of money by saving the house, certainly not as much as he would if he tore it down and built apartments."

'Civic-Minded Person'

Johnson said one potential buyer, whom she declined to identify, already has expressed interest in preserving the house, possibly for commercial use. She described the potential buyer as "a civic-minded person, not a developer looking to make profits."

The house, once owned by E. D. Goode, called the "Father of Glendale" because he led the petition drive for incorporation, is one of the most significant architectural and historic properties in the city, according to the report. It is the last example of Queen Anne-Eastlake architecture on its original site in the city and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The property earlier this year was scheduled to be sold to a developer who planned to tear down the building to make room for an apartment house. The City Council temporarily blocked the action when it adopted a historic-preservation ordinance last summer that prohibits demolition of the house and other historic sites without city approval. The developer then backed out of the deal and the property is still for sale.

The house could still be demolished if the council determines that the cost of renovation is too great. Calvin Rodriquez of El Cajon, who owns the property with a brother, said he has no plans to renovate the house, but has not requested permission to demolish it.

Feasibility Study

The society's report includes a feasibility study done voluntarily by the Evergreen Development Co. of Glendale. The computerized study found several options for preserving the house, situated on a two-lot site. Four bungalows, built in the 1930s, also are on the site. The society has not made the financial study public, saying that it prefers to negotiate privately with potential buyers.

An option recommended as most feasible by Bruce D. Pomeroy of Evergreen Development proposes converting the house to offices, demolishing the bungalows and replacing them with a new, two-story office structure. The proposal would require city approval of a zone change from multifamily residential to commercial use.

Another alternative suggested is to rehabilitate the bungalows and house for conversion to office use or a bed-and-breakfast inn. Victorian houses restored as inns are becoming increasingly popular on the West Coast, according to the historical society. Johnson said the Goode House and its bungalows could be converted into an inn with up to 12 guest rooms.

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