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Home for Neglected Children Proposed as Historic Monument

January 08, 1989

The Los Angeles city Cultural Heritage Commission recommended last week that an 83-year-old Craftsman-style home in Highland Park be declared a historic-cultural monument, alleviating concern over its future.

The concern arose when a program for abused children that operated out of the home closed last year after 40 years.

The home, built with riverbed boulders, was designed by Los Angeles architect Robert Edmund Williams. It includes a stained-glass window by the Judson Studios of Highland Park.

Since 1948, the estate had been operated by the Hathaway Home for Children, a program for abused and neglected children run by Hathaway Children's Services, a private, nonprofit child welfare agency that also owns the property. In September, the agency closed the home and transferred the remaining youths, ages 6 to 13, to its headquarters in Little Tujunga Canyon.

The commission recommended that only the house be designated a historic-cultural monument, excluding 2 acres of grounds and dorms.

Brian Cahill, Hathaway Children's Services president, said the agency intends to keep the home for use as a community service center. He said the agency's board is considering selling the balance of the 2.8-acre site for development of single-family homes.

The commission's recommendation requires approval of the City Council. If the council grants the historic-cultural status, any proposed changes to the site would require approval by the commission.

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