A controversial proposal to relocate and renovate the E. D. Goode House, one of Glendale's few remaining Victorian landmarks, moved forward when the city's Historic Preservation Commission agreed that the relocation will not destroy the house's historic value.
The commission, after a public hearing last week, voted unanimously to recommend to the City Council that the house be moved from 119 N. Cedar St. to Monterey Road near the Ventura Freeway, about a mile away. The city has yet to decide whether to allow a local businessman to renovate it as his commercial office or order it preserved for residential use.
The proposal has been criticized by some local architecture buffs and historians who feel the house will lose its historical significance if moved.
"The setting is as important as the house itself," said Margaret Hammond of the Glendale Historical Society, a private preservation group. Hammond told the commission that the Goode house should remain at its current location.
Eligible for Register
But George Miller, director of public works for the city, said the house will remain eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places at its new location.
Glendale builder Sal Gangi has agreed to buy the house contingent upon getting city approval to move it and use it as an office. Gangi wants to move the structure to residentially zoned parcel land he owns on Monterey Road and has requested a zoning variance from the city.
A member of the Rodriguez family, which has owned the house for more than 60 years, told the commission he is anxious to sell the house because rents from the property do not cover maintenance.
"Many things are woefully lacking. We don't have the resources to preserve and restore the building the way it should be," said Calvin Rodriguez.
The Goode house is one of two remaining Queen Anne-Eastlake-style homes in the city. Built by Edgar D. Goode, one of Glendale's founding fathers, it features intact stained-glass windows, French doors and ornate fish-scale sidings. But years of neglect have caused ceilings to collapse and the front porch to sag.
Last year, Rodriguez was ready to sell the property to another developer who wanted to tear the house down and build apartments. But that deal fell through when the city, prompted by that prospect, passed an emergency law to preserve sites of historical importance.
Sought Zoning Change
Glendale planning officials said that Gangi tried unsuccessfully to obtain a zoning change to build an office building on the Monterey Road property two years ago. The city's planning director, Gerald J. Jamriska, has said Gangi's strategy this time is to win approval for the variance by preserving the house in which he hopes to install his real estate development firm.
Gangi has called Jamriska's claim "nonsense." He said he is motivated by a strong interest in historical architecture and pointed out that, in 1984, he helped finance the renovation of Glendale's other Queen Anne-Eastlake structure, the "Doctor's House." It was moved to Brand Park, where it is open to the public as a museum.
Homeowners from the residential Monterey Road neighborhood, speaking at last week's meeting, told the commission that the proposed commercial use of the property would create noise, traffic and parking problems.
"It would stand out like a sore thumb," said resident Bev Baker.
The city's zoning department is expected to hear the variance request on Nov. 19. The issue will then go before the City Council for a final vote.