The city of La Canada Flintridge would spend at least $72,000 a year to maintain the historic Lanterman House as a museum under a proposal presented to the City Council Tuesday.
The 73-year-old house is near the center of La Canada Flintridge and is valued because it was built by Roy Lanterman, whose father, Jacob, was a key developer in the area, City Manager Donald Otterman said.
"The house is important to the city not only from an architectural standpoint but also from the background of the family as well," Otterman said.
A 12-member committee formed to study the restoration of the house recommended that a nonprofit corporation run the museum and provide about $23,700 of the estimated $96,000 needed annually to operate the proposed museum.
The city would provide the majority of funding and retain ownership of the property and the collections it houses, the committee's report said.
About half the projected cost for restoration and operation of the proposed museum would cover salaries and other staffing expenses, the report said.
The figures do not include insurance costs.
The projections were part of a 63-page report prepared by the committee and four consultants. The panel was appointed in March to study and recommend ways for the city to operate the Lanterman House as a historic museum, civic cultural center and organ recital facility.
The panel's chairwoman, Sue Schechter, summarized the report's contents for council members Tuesday and said the committee spent 15 weeks researching the project. The report addresses such issues as educational programs, cultural arts programs and potential impact of noise and traffic on the neighborhood surrounding the house.
The Lanterman House was built in 1915 at 4420 Encinas Drive by Roy and Emily Lanterman. Its architecture, with heavy wood and other natural materials, is typical of the Craftsman style that flourished in Southern California in the early part of the century, Otterman said.
Virtually all of the personal belongings and collections of three generations of Lantermans have been retained for display in the house.
In March, the city received a $500,000 grant for restoration of the house from the state's Historic Preservation Grant Program.
Schechter said the grant was the second-largest of its type in the California's history after the restoration of the state Capitol in Sacramento.
The council will discuss possible funding sources for the project in August. Councilman Chris Valente suggested the city may need to tap its reserve funds.
"We have $10 million and I don't want anyone to tell me it needs to stay there," he said.
The Planning Commission will hold public hearings on the report in September.