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'Castle' Concerns

July 16, 1989

I have just read Art Sandford's "King of Castle Frets Royally Over Remodeling" (June 11), and I find that the ignorance that many people possess regarding sensitive remodeling of an older home is not limited to those who are simply sold a bill of goods by an insensitive or greedy contractor.

I looked at the photo of the Sandford's charming Fillmore home and mentally compared it to my own 81-year-old home in Highland Park, which happens to be a Los Angeles City Historic Cultural Monument.

While I have no problems with the Sandford's desire for more living space and certain modern conveniences, such as a shower and central air conditioning, I do find fault with the idea of changing the design and character of this house with stucco and new (most probably aluminum) windows. A second-story addition on this particular house is another item that has to be looked at very carfully as to what it will do to the overall feel and architectural integrity of this home.

The idea we are looking at now is to dig out the basement area and replace the brick foundation with a modern one covered with a brick veneer to match the original. This will give us three additional rooms and a third bathroom, as well as bringing the house up to modern seismic standards, which is a very important factor in Southern California. I hope that the Sandfords might be willing to consider this option.

There is also the possibility of adding on to the back of the house, if there is room to do so, but any addition should be designed to go with the rest of the house, as in shingle siding and wooden windows.

CHARLES J. FISHER

Highland Park

Fisher is past president of Highland Park Heritage Trust.

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