Architectural Styles | Craftsman

craftsman style home

The Craftsman style house was partially reaction to what was perceived as the excesses of the Victorian period and was popular from 1905-1920.  There are many classic Craftsman bungalows here in Monrovia, as well as variations of the Craftsman theme.  This style of architecture is East Indian in origin.  Specifically, it incorporates a type of architecture developed in India by the British who, as colonists, combined the Indian architecture they found with architecture from ''home.''  The features commonly found in the classic one story Craftsman include the following: wide, exposed eaves and roof rafters, large supporting beams and braces, deep, shady porches which are supported by sturdy pillars of stone or wood, and front-facing gables.

Building materials are varied but are almost always found in nature as opposed to being man-made and then used in construction.  For example, ''natural'' building materials are redwood planks or shingles for the siding, river rock or dressed granite for porch foundations and supports, and chimneys.  Craftsman  houses may also have brick or stucco siding.

211 E. Lime Avenue

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2003

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This is a detail from the 1927 Sanborn map that shows the outline of the house that was located at 211 E. Lime Avenue. This illustration shows that there was a front porch that run the width of the house. The left hand part of the addition to the back of the house was the bathroom and the right hand side is a porch that was partially enclosed. The configuration of the addition is the same, though smaller, than the one on the house next door (215 E. Lime Ave.) which still stands.

The rectangle at the back of the lot with an A in it was where the garage was located.

Known Details

Block No: A

Lot No: 15

Landmarked? No

Construction Year: 1904

Architectural Style: Craftsman

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Style Altered? No

Location Changed? No

Owner(s): Louis Beer

Demolished? Yes

Subdivision: Town of Monrovia

The first owners of this lot were Lewis Beer and H. Gray.  The value in 1888 was $300 and drops by half the next year.  From 1890 to 1895, the property was owned by Josiah Holcomb Gray, and, after his death in 1892, by his wife, Anna.  No owner is listed for 1896 and 1897, and Anna Grey had moved to Arizona where other Gray family members had settled.  None of the owners made any improvements on the lot.

By 1903, the property was in the ownership of Lizzie H. Anderson, widow of Charles S. Anderson, who also owned Lots 16, 17, & 18.  A dwelling is listed in the tax record of 1904 as being valued at $600.  Lizzie Anderson most likely built the dwelling as rental property as tax records show her as the owner until 1916, but city directories list other people as living there.

The structure first appears on the 1907 Sanborn map as a simple rectangle with a porch overhang running the width of the front of the house.  In the back are two lean-to type add ons, one with a door opening into it from the house.  This was most likely the bathroom.  The other was most likely a utility porch typical of houses at that time.  The 1927 Sanborn configuration is exactly the same except for a garage added at the back of the property next to the alley.  Other than the 1911 permit for the sewer hookup, there is only one other permit issued and that was in 1919 for an addition valued at $800.  This may refer to the garage as the Sanborn maps show no additions from 1907 to 1927.

Though no pictures exist of the house, it was most likely of wood frame construction.  It had medium width ship-lap siding. According to Steve Baker, Monrovia City Historian, the house was very simple with some Craftsman-type detail.  Elizabeth Anderson, a widow, who lived next door with her son, though comfortable, would not have built anything more elaborate for a rental that she didn’t plan on living in.

The city directory for 1908-1909 lists Otis G. Smith, a salesman, his wife and daughter as living at 211 E. Lime Avenue.  In 1911, Wallace E. Hicks, a clerk for J.A. Fraulob & Co., rented the property.  The directory for 1913-1914 records George Conley, an employee for city waste, as living in the dwelling.

Sometime before 1919, Elizabeth Anderson sold the house to Thomas Quigley, a linotype operator for the Monrovia Daily News, and his wife Ada.   Quigley worked as a linotype operator for over 20 years, and as the Monrovia Daily News was only one block away at 115 E. Lime Avenue, it was obviously very convenient for him.  However, he still had a car;  the 1927 Sanborn map shows a garage at back of his property.

The 1930 census records the value of the house at $5,000.

His wife gave piano lessons in the house. It is unclear when Ada Quigley died, but the last voter registration that she appears in is 1936.  Voter registration records show that Thomas Quigley continued living in the house until 1946.  After that, he returned to Michigan and died in 1949.

The city directory of 1953-1954 shows the Camp family living in the house.  Steve Baker’s family was acquainted with the Camps, so Steve was able to tell me that the they were renting the house until they moved into a house they had purchased on May Avenue.

No one is listed in the city directory for the address for 1955, so the house may have been demolished shortly thereafter.

There is a permit dated November 8, 1967, giving the owner of the property as the General Telephone Company.  The permit is for the demolition of a single family dwelling.  Another permit, dated 1968, is for a lawn sprinkler system and the owner still listed as General Telephone Company for a lawn sprinkler system.

The property eventually came under the ownership of the church that owned Lots 13 & 14, and is now used as a parking lot for the church.

217 E. Lime Avenue

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2003

Known Details

Block No: A

Lot No: 17

Landmarked? No

Construction Year: Unknown

Architectural Style: Craftsman

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Style Altered? No

Location Changed? No

Owner(s): Mable C. Menefee

Demolished? Yes

Subdivision: Town of Monrovia

The above picture shows Lot 17 which had been 217 E. Lime before the house was torn down to be replaced by a parking lot.  The rest of the lot is made up of Lots 18, 19, and 20.  The houses on these lots were also town down.  The picture at the bottom of this screen a wide angle view of the area where the houses once stood.

The 1888 tax record shows J.C. Anderson as the first owner of Lot 17, which was worth $300 at that time.

A small dwelling, with an address of 217 E. Lime, on Lot 17 appears on the 1907 Sanborn Map .  The 1913 map shows an additional small dwelling with an address of 217 1/2.  This structure may have been torn down as there is a building permit, dated 1949, issued to Miss Menefee for a residence at the 217 1/2 address.

The 1908-1909 Monrovia Directory lists C. Frank Jackson, a lineman for the Monrovia Telephone and Telegraph Company, as listing at 217 E. Lime.  The 1911 Monrovia Directory lists Mabel C. Menefee as living at 217 E. Lime.  Later directories list her as an office nurse, working for Dr. J.K. Sewell.  Ms. Menefee may have rented out a room of her house, a not uncommon practice, as the 1916-1917 directory lists Anna J. Sewright living at the address. She appears in no subsequent directories.      

In the 1926-27 directory, a Miss Estelle M. Nelson, a clerk McBratney's is listed as living at this address.

The residence zone for Lot 17, along with Lots 18, 19, and 20, was changed in 1960, as the first step in tearing down the houses on those lots.  In 1962, a Planning Commission Architectural review states that Lot 17 was 50 x 160 feet, it did not conform to building code or zoning ordinances,  and was at least 50 years old, as if age were some kind of crime. 

Because there are no pictures of this dwelling, the exact architectural style is not known.  But because a dwelling appears on the 1907 Sanborn map, it might be surmised that the house's architecture was similar to those on the rest of block which appear at the same time and are still standing.  That would it an early Craftsman with Victorian elements

229 E. Lime Avenue

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This illustration shows the very simple dwelling built on Lot 20 that the Crandall family used as a rental. Their own house with additional rental structures on Lot 21 is shown to the left.

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This photograph shows the site of the house originally on Lot 20. It would have been on the near side of the white fence. On the other side of the fence is W.A. Crandall house on Lot 21.

Known Details

Block No: A

Lot No: 20

Landmarked? No

Construction Year: Unknown

Architectural Style: Craftsman

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Style Altered? No

Location Changed? No

Owner(s): Martha Ward

Demolished? Yes

Subdivision: Town of Monrovia

The 1888 tax record lists Mrs Martha Ward as the first owner of this property, valued at $300.  The next year the property had dropped in valued by half, and the tax records list the owners as the real estate firm of Spence, Bicknell & Crunch.  In 1890 and 1891, tax records show the owner as E. Bunnell, and then Martha Ward returns as owner from 1892 to 1895 when the property was sold to W.A. Crandall.  By then, the value of the property was $75.

The Crandalls also owned Lot 21, but they didn't do anything with Lot 20 until 1909 or 1910 when they built a small dwelling valued at only $50.  By then the value of the property itself had climbed to $450.  They used the property as a rental and lived in their own home next door.

The 1907 Sanborn map shows the first dwelling, a  very small one, toward the back left of the property.  Over the years, many renters lived in the house.  The 1913-1914 Monrovia Directory lists  Clyde F. Stevenson living here, then in 1916-1917,  Lloyd and Lillian M. Parkhurst were the renters.  Mr. Parkhurst's profession is given as a nursery worker at Pioneer Nursery.  The directory for 1919-1920 lists Miss Wava Mowrey and P. Clara Mowrey as residents here. 

Mrs. Crandall kept the property for sometime after her husband died.  Eventually, the property was sold to William H. Beebe and his wife.

In the early 1960's, the California Water & Telephone Company acquired the property at 229 E. Lime with plans to turn into a parking lot.  For its employees.  The utility company had already purchased the three lots to the west of this address.  In 1963, the Lot 20 was re-zoned for parking, and the house was torn down because it was old, and because it was a house in an area zoned for parking, it was not in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.

There are no pictures of the house, but its outline on the Sanborn maps show it to have been a very small, narrow structure.  It was most likely a simple, wood-frame house with a shotgun format.  A shotgun house is one with a front-facing gable, one room in width, and two more rooms deep.

The pictures on this page show the large amount of space Lots 17-20 cover.

239 E. Lime Avenue

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2003

Known Details

Block No: A

Lot No: 22

Landmarked? No

Construction Year: Unknown

Architectural Style: Craftsman

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Style Altered? No

Location Changed? No

Owner(s): Warren H. Denslow, William Aaron Crandall

Demolished? No

Subdivision: Town of Monrovia

This house is located on the eastern edge of property which was owned by L.C. Lowry.  Mr. Lowry didn't own it for long, however, as the 1888 tax record reflects that the property was sold to someone else.  This person would be J.H. Rowly who owned Lot 21 and had a house on it.  HCrandall who bought Lot 21 and the Rowly House in 1889.

The Crandalls then built a small dwelling at the northeast corner of the property.  This small dwelling would be directly behind the house which appears today as 239 E. Lime.

The Craftsman at 239 E. Lime first appears on a Sanborn map in 1927.  There is a sewer permit for 1913, but because of the address changing caused by additional buildings on Lots 21 and 22, it is unclear if the permit address is for  the small back house or the Craftsman front house.  The name on this permit is Mrs. Annie Crandall, owner of Lot 21.

In 1923, a building permit was issued to W.H. Denslow, owner, to build a structure valued at $5000.  Denslow was a plumbing contractor and nephew of Mrs. Crandall.  Monrovia directories show him living at 235 E. Lime Avenue beginning in 1908.  Since this was his aunt's house, he may have actually lived in the small unit, which had the addressof 235 1/2, in the northeast corner of her property.  By 1923, he owned all of Lot 22, which included the small back house from the early Crandall days, as well as the house he was having built by contractor C. Cranlet.

The 1927 Sanborn map shows a generously sized structure with a porch running along the entire front of the house.  This is a typical feature of  Craftsman houses and can still be seen on the structure today.  On the completion of the Craftsman, the address for Lot 22 become 239 for the front structure.  The structure in the rear, which had been 237, was changed to 239 1/2.

The Monrovia Potential Historic Landmark Survey of 1996, created by the Monrovia Old House Preservation Group, notes the following observations made visually from the curb of the duplex at 239 E. Lime Avenue.  Visually from the curb, it is an excellent visual example of the Craftsman style of architecture; visually, the material or method of construction seems appropriate for a Craftsman; the architectural detailing, craftsmanship, quality and uniqueness are good; there seem to be few, if any, alterations that could be viewed from the curb; and the structure could be a contributor to the continuity and character of the street.

For more information on Craftsman architecture, click on Architectural Styles at the top of the screen

271 N. Myrtle Ave.

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271 N. Myrtle Ave.

Known Details

Block No:

Lot No: 1

Landmarked? No

Construction Year: 1920

Architectural Style: Craftsman

Style Detail: From the looks of the present house, it may have started out as having Craftsman details, but the house has been remuddled so badly that it's hard to tell.

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Style Altered? Yes

Location Changed? No

Owner(s): Norman Nicoll Croxon, Junior, J. Grace Worthen

Demolished? No

Subdivision: The Oaks Tract

The consortium of the Building & Investment Company of Monrovia subdivided this property which had been own by William N. Monroe (who was most likely a member of the consortium) in 1907.  In 1908, this property was valued at $350 and the taxes were $5.08.  The consortium paid taxes on the property for eight years without being able to sell it until 1916 when the company was assessed 42 cents for delinquent taxes.

Some time in the next four years, the property was purchased by Grace Worthington who had a wood frame house valued at $1,750 built on the property as an investment.  She was a school teacher in Monrovia and lived at 143 W. Greystone Avenue for many years.

It is difficult to determine exactly what style the house originally was as today it is very muddled.  The windows which may or may not be original have a Craftsman style look to them.  The windows on either side of the door may be original.  The door is definitely not. Even in a modest frame house of the early 1920s, there would have been at least a small porch directly in front of the front door.  Even more likely, the house would have had a porch that came out from the entire width of the house as Craftsman houses do and as the house directly to the south (267 N. Myrtle Avenue which was built at about the same time) has.  One can see how wide the concrete slab is in front of the house, an indication that there was originally a wider porch. 

The driveway on the left of the house can still be seen, but is now blocked by a fence.

Also view: Victorian | Spanish & Mediterranean | Period Revival | Public/Commercial | Shotgun