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Huntington Park : History Goes Up in Flames

March 05, 1987

A project by the city Redevelopment Agency that aimed to preserve a bit of history has turned to ashes.

An arsonist torched the Tweedy House last week, a 1911 colonial wood house that once belonged to one of the pioneering families of the City of South Gate. The house was going to be the centerpiece of the newly completed Pacific Plaza, a small shopping center on Pacific Boulevard.

"It was completely destroyed," said James Funk, director of redevelopment. "The person who set the fire didn't realize the significance of that home."

The City Council, acting as the agency, approved a request Monday by the developers of the center to build a single-story building where the historic house stood. Funk said the house was purchased by the agency, who then sold it to the developer.

This is not the first time a historic home acquired by the agency has suffered at the hands of arsonists, Funk said. In 1983, the agency purchased the two-story Lugo Adobe, a Spanish Colonial house built in 1847. The house, originally located on Gage Avenue in Bell Gardens, was set on fire two days after the agency closed escrow.

"We must be the kiss of death to history," Funk said.

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