Endangered Architecture: LA Ranch House


Here is one of the latest endangered houses in the San Fernando Valley.  The one on the right is for sale, the one on the left is not.  Both are fabulous examples of adobe style houses, with a traditional tile roof.  Both are in the heart of old Van Nuys and were probably built in the 1930's or 40's.

The one on the left has a classic wide front porch, perfect for relaxing in the evening breeze after a long day.  There is the obligatory cactus growing out front, and a few well placed Italian Cyprus trees around the corners.    

The one on the right has a small enclosed front porch, making it more like an outdoor room.  Look at the huge picture window for the living room and I love the little round window on the facade.  The patios are probably paved with old hand made tiles.  And a peek inside will probably reveal a few well placed blue and white glazed tiles around the fireplace, or in the kitchen. 

Why is it endangered?  Because it's for sale.  

Based on my observations when it sells a speculator / developer will tear down the entire house - original hand glazed tile and all - and throw the whole thing in a landfill.  It will be replaced by a gaudy, overbuilt McMansion.  

The irony of course, is that the developer will try to recreate the feel of an old adobe hacienda with cheap tiles from China, bright yellow paint and cheezy, sloppily applied stucco.

I hope my prediction will be wrong.  After the house sells I'll post update photos.

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