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Imperiled Historic Homes Given a 2-Week Reprieve

March 19, 1987

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted Wednesday to give a group of Highland Park residents until April 1 to find a new buyer for two California Craftsman-style homes threatened by demolition.

The homes, which date from 1912, are under consideration as city cultural monuments, which protects them temporarily. But they are also in escrow to Derek Ma, a Monterey Park developer who wants to raze them and build a 20-unit apartment building on the site.

The commission was expected to decide whether to grant cultural monument status on Wednesday, but agreed to the two-week extension at the request of Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alatorre, whose office is mediating the issue.

Commission officials said their action gives residents a chance to locate a historically minded buyer who would be willing to renovate and preserve the buildings, while it allows the current owner or Ma to recoup their losses by selling to a third party.

The homes, at 4967 and 4973 Figueroa St., are part of Professor's Row, a group of homes built for Occidental College teachers in the early 1900s. Both homes are featured in David Gebhard and Robert Winter's book, "Architecture in Los Angeles." One is called the Tustin house because the family that founded the city of Tustin lived there for many years.

California Craftsman homes take their name from the arts and crafts movement that was popular in Pasadena at the turn of the century.

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