Pillars of History : Preservationists Seek More Concessions on Goode House Project

Times Staff Writer

Historic preservationists have won assurance that the Victorian Goode House in Glendale will not be significantly altered in a plan to build senior citizen housing around it, but they are pressing for further concessions that the developer contends are inconsistent with city design ordinances.

David L. Smith, president of the Glendale Historical Society, said a condition imposed last week by the city Environmental and Planning Board requiring that the house be restored according to federal guidelines is a major victory for preservationists.

"This marks the first time that the City of Glendale has ever acknowledged that any work on a historical building comes under the protection of the federal Environmental Quality Act," Smith said.

The house, vacant and run-down, is targeted for restoration as a private office building by the Cedar Broadway Partnership, which also plans to build 40 apartments for senior citizens in a horseshoe-shaped structure that would wrap around the rear of the house.

Smith and attorneys representing the Glendale Historical Society said they will press for additional requirements that new development around the Goode House conform to federal guidelines regarding construction on historic sites. They said this would ensure the house's eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places.

Federal guidelines require that original architectural features be preserved, and that new buildings stylistically complement the historic building and its setting.

Inclusion of a site on the national register protects buildings from future alterations or demolition and provides tax credits for whoever restores and owns the building.

"The setting is part of the historic character of the building," commented Smith, who said he will voice "friendly opposition" to the developer's plan.

William F. Delvac, an attorney representing the historical society, proposed that the apartment building around the Goode House be set back from the street so as not to hide the house. He also suggested that apartments--instead of the planned recreation center--be built on the third story in the portion that wraps behind the house.

But the developer, Joe Ayvazi of the Cedar Broadway Partnership, said any change would counter ordinances guiding the city's Design Review Board, which has already given its preliminary approval of the plans.

"We already have too many masters to please," said Marlene Roth, the developer's consultant.

Smith said the historical society "is not against the project." He added: "We feel the project is 95% there to having one that we are all proud of."

The two-story house at 119 N. Cedar St. is the only example in Glendale of Queen Anne-Eastlake architecture on its original site. It was the home of Edgar D. Goode, a pioneer businessman who led a petition drive that resulted in the city's incorporation in 1906.

The Goode House is owned by Calvin Rodriquez of El Cajon and his brother. It has been in the family for decades. Cedar Broadway Partnership has an option to buy the property so long as the city approves its plans for restoration and development.

In 1985, threats that the house might be demolished spurred the creation of the city's Historical Preservation Commission. The Goode House is now included on the city's list of sites believed to be of historical significance.

The restoration and construction proposal, which was approved by the commission in June, requires final authorization from the Glendale City Council. The matter is scheduled to be heard by the council July 19.

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