Eighty-three years ago, Mike Reagan built a 950-square-foot farmhouse near Old Main and Florista streets in Los Alamitos.
Today, the one-story, red-and-white building, since increased to 2,700 square feet, has been turned into a production plant and offices for the News-Enterprise, which publishes three standard-size weeklies and one shopper.
Paul and Gerry Erskine, husband-and-wife owners of the newspapers for 21 years, have transformed the seven-room, two-bath building for use as a business.
Improvements include painting, wallpapering, paneling to accent the original Early American decor, central air conditioning and heating. Nine Tiffany lamps illuminate desks in the news room and reception areas. The deep-pile carpeting in the news and sales areas has been cleaned and retained.
Vinyl floor tile complements the carpeting and used brick.
Newspaper House at 3622 Florista St. is functional. The former living room has become the news room and front office. The dining room is the sales office. The garage has become the paste-up room.
Three bedrooms have been converted into a typesetting room, photo darkroom and publisher's office. The kitchen and breakfast areas are used by employees during work breaks and lunch.
The east wall section in the news room is floor-to-ceiling brickwith two fireplaces. The smaller one is a barbecue. Gerry Erskine's desk is in front of shelves displaying the 38 awards and citations the News-Enterprise has won through the years.
Conditional Use Permit
These have come from organizations in Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Rossmoor, El Dorado Estates, College Park, Cypress and La Palma.
Although Newspaper House is located in commercial/office zoning, the Erskines are operating under a conditional use permit pending installation of fencing around the back of the property and additional parking spaces mandated by the City Council.
Meanwhile, a structurally sound but dilapidated frame house has been transformed into a handsome business address while preserving its original architectural integrity.