Thursday, March 6, 2008

House Proud

When real estate agent Jeremy Hardy and his family bought the "Dayholme" it was in sad shape. Over time they've nursed it to health—repairing plumbing, replacing fixtures and remodeling. Once that was done you'd think they'd take a rest. But they followed up with the process of turning their home into a Pasadena Historic Landmark, which may have taken as much work as remodeling.

The Dayholme was built in 1921 for Clarence P. Day, a landscape engineer and contractor who developed the area around it as Eldora Park (now Eldora Road). Later, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, it became the home of Henry T. Wilfong, the first African American to sit on Pasadena's Board of City Directors.

Is discovering your home's history enough reason to go through the Landmark Process? Well, Landmark Designation could increase the home's value. And there's the Mills Act, which might help reduce property taxes. And a historic home deserves to thrive.

Plus, when you understand that the Hardy's efforts have put their home on the same list as the Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena City Hall and the Gamble House, you realize there may be another reason for all that work: pride. And you begin to understand why people care so much about fixing up their bungalows, Craftsman homes, Victorians and what-have-you, all across the historical spectrum.

My house was built in 1924. By California standards, it's an antique. I love the woodwork, the Batchelder fireplace, the old fixtures. I also love my neighborhood, my neighbors, my town... Hey! I love my home! That's another reason for going to the trouble of the Landmark Process! I wonder if anyone important ever lived here...


Ben Wideman said...

Awesome post. We've only lived in Pasadena for half a year and we already are finding it hard to leave town.

Jim said...

The home looks super, I cant imagine it ever being in bad shape. Our house was built in the late 40s early 50s, but its very difficult to get a history of it. I do know the lady who lived here before us was big in the County Republican party....I dont think she gave a forwarding address.

marley said...

It looks like quite an English house. Very nice looking.

Ken said...

What a nice home.
All to often older homes whether they need repair or not are simply torn down and monster homes or condos are built in their place.

Petrea said...

Ben, I know what you mean. We left for a while and all we thought about while we were gone was getting back here.

Jim, there's a guy here called the "house biographer." The post was getting too long to write about him! I hope to post about him one day.

It does look English, Marley! It's called "Tudor Revival" style. My house is done in a similar style. "Tudor Revival" was popular here in the 20's.

Ken: Fortunately, Pasadena promotes historical preservation--it's one of the local charms.

800 Pound Gorilla said...

What a gorgeous place. Thanks for the obvious love and care you've put into it.

You wondered if anyone important had ever lived in it. I won't judge that. But, look at the Historical Landmark records at City Hall.

You'll find that I lived there for 10 years (1968-78). Since I became the first African-American ever elected to office in the City of Pasadena (1973-77) they used that as a basis for the declaration of Historical Landmark.

Subsequent to that time, I became a three-time Presidential Appointee, had the second largest black CPA firm in the United States, and have headed at least two National Trade Associations, and been on too many national Advisory Boards to mention.

Not famous...maybe, but well-recognized in my field.

But the 10 years that my family lived in that house, are pivotal in my life. It helped form the base for all I later became.

Henry T. Wilfong Jr., MBA, CPA
President, NASDB
Current or Former Positions:
Three-time Appointee of Governor and President Ronald Reagan
Pasadena, CA City Councilman
Member, Bush-Cheney Transition Team-SBA Advisory Group
Member, Department of Energy, Small Business Advisory Committee
Associate Administrator for Minority Small Business/Capital Ownership Development, SBA
Member, National Council on Policy Review-Black Capitalism
Member, Presidential Task Force on International Private Enterprise
Member, California Council on Criminal Justice
Member, NASA Advisory Council
Chair, NASA Minority Business Resource Advisory Committee
Co-Chair, Unity Network and Black Republicans for Obama/(BRO)

Petrea said...

Mr. Wilfong, indeed my blog has been visited by a celebrity! I'm honored you dropped by.

My entry may be confusing and I'd like to clear things up; The home pictured is not my home but the home of the Hardy family, who did the fixing up. I mention in paragraph 2 that you lived in the house. Certainly your residence is one of the major reasons for it being a historical home.

In the last paragraph I refer to my own home, not pictured, and wonder if anyone important ever lived there. But no such luck, I've seen the records at City Hall.

By the way, a couple of things I didn't have room for in the post: in a booklet issued in the 1980s called "Orange Heights, the Treasures on Your Block," you are mentioned in relation to the house. Also, Jeremy Hardy had a "house biography" done. He received copies of newspaper clippings about your local political activities during your tenure in the house. From a 2008 perspective, the underlying racism you faced is obvious. (Or should I say you "faced it down"?)

Black Republicans for Obama? Yeah, I can see that.

800 Pound Gorilla said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Petrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
800 Pound Gorilla said...


AAAAWWWWWW, you're too kind. Glad that you and my daughter get to see what your father and I helped bring about.

November can add a fitting crown to it all. His election won't be a panacea. But, it will go a long ways toward helping roll the pebble up the hill.

800 Pound Gorilla said...


I ran across the home again, while doing some political googling. So pleased that you've made the house so "famous" by your entering it.

Hank Wilfong
Savannah, GA
(former Pasadena City Councilman and former resident of 492 Eldora Rd.)

Petrea said...

Now I get it. It's easier to find this post through Google than going back through all my posts. Thanks for the tip!

I'll think of you on election day. Oh yes, we can!

800 Pound Gorilla said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
800 Pound Gorilla said...

I miss Pasadena, something fierce. But, I also LOVE Savannah. The house down here, is awesome, too.

And, the trees remind me so much of Pasadena, back in the day.


Petrea said...

For some of us, the REAL new year's day is January 20th, 2009.