A queen and her realm

HomesBuilding MaterialMetal and Mineral

Ever since this Queen Anne was relocated in two pieces from 4th Street and Grand Avenue in 1928 to a spot off Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach, it's been the talk of the neighborhood.

The steeply pitched, cross-gabled roof, classical porch columns, fish-scale shingles and shiplap siding make it hard to ignore.

The drought-tolerant and low-maintenance landscaping that current owner and horticultural guru John Schoustra has added over the last 20 years has only increased the buzz: Ginkgo trees provide the summer and fall colors, a giant magnolia pops during the spring, and 20-foot-tall Japanese maples add burgundy to the mix. The lawn edging is outlined with San Francisco cobblestones.

Inside, necessary repairs were made without compromising much of the 1919 home's historical character. The popcorn ceilings were scraped, the peeling plaster was removed, and the walls were insulated and drywalled. All the curved archways were replastered by a craftsman and brought back to their original shape.

A 6-foot-by-18-foot east-facing solarium keeps the home naturally heated. A Gothic-looking stucco mantel was removed from where the original brick fireplace had been before the home was moved, and a traditional gas fireplace was added in the living room.

The kitchen, which is large for the period, has a breakfast nook and a pantry where built-in spice cabinets and a natural refrigeration system (cool air was drawn up from the foundation through slatted shelves) provide another link to the past. Even the paint color -- an apple sage green -- is textbook Victorian.

Schoustra theorizes that when the home was near downtown Long Beach, it was positioned to take advantage of the ocean breezes, and the original transom windows circulated the cool air throughout the second floor. When the plaster came off the walls, there was enough space to add a built-in bookcase at the top of the stairs. Extra molding found in the garage was used to match the rest of the trim.

Although a few fixtures were replaced, the pink tiles, floral wallpaper, rectangular tub/showers and pedestal sinks reflect the 1930s era.

real.estate@latimes.com

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Lauren Beale, Real Estate, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to homeoftheweek@latimes.com.

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