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A Look at the Houses

April 11, 1998|DEBRA CANO

Here's a preview of several of the homes on the walking tour of Anaheim's Colony Historic District:

* 511 N. Clementine St.

From the curb, this two-story peachy-pink home with eclectic Spanish and Mediterranean influences begs the visitor to step inside. It features an oversized, arched living room window, decorative aqua wrought-iron and clay barrel tile roof.

Pass through the wrought-iron gate and into the outdoor entryway of Mexican pavers, and a colorful, large tile artwork of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the wall is eye-catching.

Follow the pathway to the arched oak front door with a peephole window. As the door opens, the S-curved staircase with wrought-iron railing greets callers.

That dramatic stairwell is what sold Michael Valenti, 65, on the home, built in 1929 for L.P. Nichols and his wife. Nichols was a math teacher at nearby Anaheim High School and had a hand in building the first postwar housing subdivision in the city.

Archways are repeated throughout the home, even extending to wall niches and the two showers.

Valenti, who has lived in the home since 1987, explains there is a telescope effect of the barrel-vaulted ceilings in three rooms. The study has an 8-foot vaulted ceiling. The adjacent dining room has a slightly larger vaulted ceiling, which opens to the expansive living room with its extra-high ceiling.

Hardwood floors, a fireplace accented in ceramic stone in the living room, and an updated kitchen with two sinks and two ovens add to this extravagant, 2,600-square-foot home.

The master quarters has a separate dressing area. The master bedroom is known as the "Green Room" because of the emerald-green glass knobs on the entry door and built-in vanity, Valenti says. The large upstairs bathroom--with a built-in laundry chute--has amber knobs on its cabinetry.

Off the staircase landing is a private sun deck surrounded by a 30-inch-high stucco parapet topped with aqua wrought-iron.

Valenti, who is retired, describes his home as open, airy and livable.

"It's really a delightful home, and to the extent we can, we like to share it with people," Valenti says.

* 503 N. Zeyn St.

Before Mike and Jennifer Tucker bought their Aeroplane Bungalow-style home that anchors the corner of Zeyn and Sycamore streets, the couple looked in other historic neighborhoods.

But once they entered the extra-wide front door, made of Juana Costa mahogany accented with three panels of beveled lead glass, they fell for the two-story house that resembles--with a little imagination--an old airplane--Mike Tucker says.

The house, which hints Swiss chalet attributes, is so named because the second floor looks like a cockpit and the roof of the first floor resembles wings, Tucker adds.

Painted blue-gray with white trim, the 1,700-square-foot house was built 83 years ago as part of a new tract that promised to bear walnut and orange trees on each lot.

"One of things we liked about this house is it had retained its original integrity," says Jennifer Tucker, a computer information systems project manager. "It has an organic quality--lots of wood, built-ins and architectural lines."

The first floor has a double living room with a built-in bookcase and desk made of slash-grain Oregon pine, a simple brick fireplace with wood mantel and wide French doors that open to the 70-foot wraparound porch and pergola.

A boot scrape, probably used years ago when the house was surrounded by citrus groves to wipe off muddy boots before going into the house, remains next to a brick and wood porch pillar.

Designed and built by Anaheim architect Charles Trudeau for Robert T. Rimpau Jr., an Anaheim businessman and son of a city pioneer, the house is rampant with dark wood. It's featured the moldings, the staircase to the dining room buffet and the china closet, accented with small squares of leaded glass. There are also dark wall panels stretching halfway to the ceiling and topped with plate rails.

The Tuckers are in the process of painting or glazing walls of every room to colors reminiscent of the early 1900s. For instance, they recently glazed the dining room walls a mottled sage green.

Casement windows--typical in Craftsman homes to let in plenty of sunshine and air--are everywhere. In the two upstairs bedrooms alone are 10 windows, which open out with the screens on the inside.

Mike Tucker, 44, a computer information worker, adds that the home tour is important for the neighborhood: "This section of Anaheim has the reputation of having old, dilapidated housing, but it just isn't true. It has hundreds and hundreds of great old houses that are like undiscovered treasures."

* 518 N. Lemon St.

This two-story Chalet-style Craftsman house, painted soft green to blend with the towering trees and landscape, features four clinker-brick piers standing like statues on the front porch.

At the front door, a wooden tongue-and-groove ceiling covers the porch.

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