LocationAlhambra , CA
One of the stars of this week’s episode of the DIY network’s program “Restored” is a 1912 Arts and Crafts bungalow located in the Ramona Park area of Alhambra.
The owners of the home, the fourth since it was built by the Ramona Park Building Company in the early months of 1912, are Oscar and Joyce Amaro. They’ve long been active in the Alhambra Preservation Group. Oscar is one of two founders of the group, which began in 2003, and Joyce has also served as an officer.
This is the third season for “Restored” and their home will be featured on episode 6, which begins airing Wednesday, August 14 and will have multiple airings throughout the week.
One might ask why their home and why this program? This episode focuses on the restoration of a 1910 farm house located in Cherry Valley, California that is owned by a couple interested in organic farming. In the episode, host Brett Waterman tours the Alhambra home so that the couple might experience the final look of a restoration similar to what they have planned for their property. One of the goals of “Restored” is to show how 20th Century homes may be renovated using 21st Century preservation methods with excellent results.
“To have our house showcased on ‘Restored’ and have Brett compliment us on our restoration efforts really validated all the hard work we put into our home.” Amaro was quoted as saying in a post on the Alhambra Preservation Group’s web site.
The Amaros found the house in the For Sale listings in the Los Angeles Times Classifieds in the fall of 2000. The house was not in good shape when they first looked at it.
“I remember touring it at the open house. Most people walked as far as the dining room and then turned around and walked back out,” Joyce Amaro told the Alhambra Source.
“Oscar and I looked past all the nightmarish cosmetic changes that the house had undergone and a saw a house with good bones and a lot of potential,” she said.
She said the house is 1,670 square feet in size with common rooms–parlor, living room and dining room–toward the front of the bungalow and the kitchen and three bedrooms located toward the back. The lot size is 7,000 square feet.
The Amaros moved into the house in May, 2001, almost 89 years to the date that the first owners, Daily and Edward Geer, took occupancy. The Amaros still had a lot of work to do, which they accomplished over time.
According to Joyce Amaro that work included “stripping paint off the original wood in three rooms — dining room, living room and parlor. We had the entire interior re-plastered and repainted. We repainted the exterior of the house. We had the wainscoting and plate-rails in the dining room re-milled and re-installed. They had been ripped out at some point. We had the chimney rebuild—it had fallen in the 1987 Whittier quake and been rebuild in a shoddy manner. We also added built in bookcases on either side of the mantel in the living room.”
Joyce Amaro noted that her home was one of many in the area built by the Ramona Park Building Company, which was known for high quality homes. Ramona Park, at that time, was considered one of Alhambra’s first suburbs. She believes that a few of those fine homes remain in the area.
Full disclosure: Joyce Amaro is a member of the Alhambra Source advisory board. Advisory board members have no editorial control or access to stories before publication.