On the Town: Historical society defends Glendale Craftsman style

On the Town: Historical society defends Glendale Craftsman style
Home tour docent Leanne Reynolds points out the concrete porch of the Beggs House that was poured and then stamped with a square design. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

The Friends of the Glendale Historical Society recently spent an educational afternoon touring five beautiful Craftsman-style homes built from 1902 to 1915.

This architectural style was inspired by the late 19th century's British Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized the use of local natural materials as well as handcrafted woodwork and decorative items, Greg Grammer, the historical society's president, stated in the program's introduction.


The Craftsman style was quite prominent up until the 1920s in communities throughout the American West, such as Glendale.

In modern times, however, Craftsman homes are being demolished and replaced by high-density residential developments.


To make the community aware of the threat to Glendale Craftsman architecture, the historical society designated 2017 as "The Year of the Craftsman."

Appropriately, this year's annual fundraising home tour carried the title "California Craftsman: Glendale's Vanishing Heritage."

One of the tour's homes, the Beggs House, is in the Casa Verdugo neighborhood that has submitted an application to Glendale for designation as a historic district.

Historic district applications are a grassroots, neighborhood-led effort that the Glendale Historical Society supports. The society provided a grant toward the nomination to offset the city's application fee, Grammer said.

Funds raised from the annual home tour and other society events go toward the historical society's preservation advocacy efforts, which include historic landmark nominations and historic district grants.

When a residential property receives a historic landmark designation, it ensures homeowners will keep the structure's exterior true to its original character.

Inside, owners are free to make as many alterations as they wish, said Scott Smissen, a docent stationed at the Beggs House.

Docent Scott Smissen explains the Craftsman-style architecture of the Beggs House during the Glendale Historical Society's annual home tour.
Docent Scott Smissen explains the Craftsman-style architecture of the Beggs House during the Glendale Historical Society's annual home tour. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

The home was built in 1915 and purchased in 1917 by Charles and Lola Beggs, who filed a permit in 1925 to move the house from Louise and Dryden streets to its present location.

The property has been nominated to the Glendale Register of Historic Resources.

The first Christmas the Beggs moved into the house, they decided to plant the holiday tree in the frontyard. Today, it towers over the home and, as part of the historic designation, it will be forever protected from removal.

The Beggs House has the typical three colors integrated into its facade. The olive-hued window frames pop against the muted green clapboard siding.

Red ruffle brick is used in the porch rail supports and chimney. The term ruffle brick comes from the manufacturing process that makes each end of the brick rough while the sides are left smooth.

The screen door's oak frame adds a fourth color to the palette.

Smissen noted that most homes of that era were stained rather than painted, and many featured dark colors. The photo of the house taken in 1925 showed the home was either cream or white.

Some homeowners of that time chose a lighter color, he said, because they thought the dark colors were too depressing.

The front porch looks like it was made with concrete squares, but once poured, the lines were stamped into the wet concrete, Smissen said.

Campbell Center benefits from poker tournament

Close to 50 poker enthusiasts recently participated in the third annual Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament benefiting the Campbell Center.

Adding to the atmosphere, several Campbell Center clients welcomed the guests and helped serve dinner.

The three winners were Al Landegger, third place; foundation board member Jamie Gonzalez, second place; and foundation board President Todd Stokes, first place.

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at