Greene & Greene goes green: Restoration in Claremont focuses on conservation of the electric kind


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When the Darling Wright house, a 1903 Greene & Greene in Claremont, was restored, period authenticity wasn’t the only concern. Owners Andy and Blenda Wright (and the firm they hired, Hartman Baldwin) also wanted to make the home more energy-efficient.

Preservation is an act of conservation in and of itself, of course. But what types of technological advances would save energy without ruining the aesthetics?


Times staff writer Susan Carpenter writes:

Although solar panels and new windows are getting attention thanks to generous federal tax credits, they come with high costs and challenging aesthetics. Bulky photovoltaics don’t mesh with the shake roof of a 100-year-old Craftsman, and double-paned vinyl windows don’t fly on a midcentury modern classic, no matter how energy-efficient the glass may be.

Carpenter’s article details that push-pull between historic authenticity and modern sustainability. In the Greene & Greene in Claremont, the owners and architects decided to forgo creating energy with photovoltaics and instead focused on saving it. They improved insulation, put in LED lights in rooms such as the kitchen and installed low-flow replicas of vintage fixtures in the bathrooms.

-- Craig Nakano

Photos, from top: The kitchen of the Darling Wright house, now lighted with LEDs; Blenda Wright outside the Claremont home; the view from the front room, looking out to a pond. Credit: Gina Ferrazzi / Los Angeles Times

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