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Builder Wants to Move, Renovate Goode House

September 04, 1986|DENISE HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

A local builder wants to renovate and move the E. D. Goode House, a Victorian landmark in Glendale whose threatened demolition last year led to the creation of a municipal Historic Preservation Commission.

Sal Gangi, the prospective new owner, says he has reached an agreement to purchase the 98-year-old house contingent upon getting city approval to move the house and use it as an office.

However, city Planning Director Gerald J. Jamriska on Tuesday expressed reservations about whether the city will grant a zone change that Gangi needs to convert the home into offices at its proposed new location.

The house, built in 1888 at 119 N. Cedar St., is one of two remaining Queen Anne/Eastlake-style homes in the city.

Gangi has proposed moving the house to a residentially zoned parcel of land he owns on Monterey Road near the Ventura Freeway.

Jamriska said Gangi tried unsuccessfully two years ago to obtain a zone change to build an office building on that property.

This time, Gangi's strategy, according to Jamriska, is to win approval for the zone change by preserving the house. But he said this approach may not work.

In addition, some local preservationists oppose the move, saying the house will lose part of its historical integrity and may be damaged by freeway vibrations and pollution at the site Gangi proposes. They also said that moving the house may make it ineligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

'More Historical Value'

"It has much more historical value on the original site," said Margaret Hammond, vice president of the Glendale Historical Society, a private group. She said her organization will protest Gangi's plan when it is reviewed by the city's Historic Preservation Commission on Sept. 25.

Gangi said he was motivated by a strong interest in historical architecture, pointing out that in 1984 he helped finance the renovation of Glendale's other Queen Anne/Eastlake-style home, the "Doctor's House." It was restored and moved to Brand Park, where it is now open to the public as a museum.

The Goode House was built by E. D. Goode, one of Glendale's founding fathers. It features intact stained-glass windows, French doors and ornate fish-scale sidings.

Gangi said he reached an agreement to purchase the house several months ago from owner Calvin Rodriguez for an undisclosed price. Rodriguez, whose family has owned the house for 66 years, was unavailable for comment.

Rodriguez last year was ready to sell the house to another developer who wanted to tear it down and replace it with apartments. But that deal fell through when the city, prompted by that prospect, passed an emergency law to preserve more than 30 sites deemed by the city's general plan to be of historical importance. That law also established a Historic Preservation Commission to review any change to those buildings.

Had No Provisions

Until 1985, Glendale had no provision to preserve historic structures, and several buildings were destroyed, including the Egyptian Village Cafe on Brand Boulevard, which was torn down to make way for an office and retail facility.

In recommending that the house be preserved, the Glendale Historical Society said the residence appears to be virtually unaltered and has preserved its "delightful and characteristic decorative elements intact."

But years of neglect have caused ceilings to collapse and the front porch to sag. The house has been divided into two units, which currently are rented out, Gangi said.

He said he is cleaning and repainting the outside of the house in anticipation of moving it.

Jamriska said he expects little or no controversy over the displacement, which he termed a minor factor in the city's decision.

"It's mainly a land-use and zoning issue," he said.

Gangi said he intends to build an 18-unit apartment building on the Cedar Street site and is also looking into purchasing nearby property.

Gangi's proposal must be approved by the Environmental Review Board, the Historical Preservation Commission and the City Council.

Vonnie Rossman, chairwoman of the preservation commission, said that she hasn't seen details of Gangi's plan but that it sounds interesting. "As members of the commission, we are always anxious to preserve our traditions. We want to find the logical and equitable solution."

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