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Relocation Will Mark a New Era for Old Home

July 28, 1998|DEBRA CANO

A turn-of-the-century wood frame house with a musical past is about to get a second life.

The North Anaheim Boulevard house, with its porch arches and Shingle and Victorian styles, was once the home of Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers and was reportedly where Lawrence Welk practiced piano.

In recent years, however, the 92-year-old structure has fallen into disrepair, and its owner wants to use the land it sits on to build a new development.

In efforts to save the house, the city plans to move the structure about a mile to a vacant lot at Lincoln Avenue and Rose Street, where redevelopment officials said it will serve as a gateway to the newly established historic district. The relocation, scheduled for just after midnight Wednesday, will cost $32,750.

"It's worth the extra effort to save the house," Mayor Tom Daly said.

The house has a colorful history. In the 1920s, the Anaheim Business and Professional Women's Club held its weekly luncheons in the house. During the 1930s, it was a successful beauty shop; by the '50s it was the Hatfield family residence. In the 1960s, it was turned into a music studio.

Residents in the neighborhood near Rose and Lincoln support the city's preservation effort, which has saved 30 homes to date. But some have expressed concerns about plans to replace the home with a business center.

"We love the idea of preserving a historic home, but it's frustrating that a commercial business might go in there," said Debbie Nance, who grew up in the neighborhood and bought a house next to her parents' home on Vine Street.

A business would add traffic and possibly increase crime, Nance said.

City officials said they expect to select a developer as soon as possible to renovate the house. They said they plan to work with residents on the future use of the house.

"We do understand the neighbors' concerns, and we hope to come up with a solution that is acceptable to them," said Lisa Stipkovich, the city's redevelopment executive director.

The 1,890-square-foot house also was among 150 structures surveyed within the city's historic district, said Phyllis Mueller, Neighborhood Development coordinator.

Why save the house? "It has great architectural distinction--and it is a contributor to the historic district," Mueller said.

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