Property

334 S. Myrtle Ave.

Image

Photo: This picture, circa 1920s, shows front entrance to the Renaker Funeral Parlor. The entrance faced west, but bodies were delivered through a side entrance around the corner on East Lime Avenue. no address for the Myrtle Avenue entrance of the Renaker Funeral Parlour.

Known Details

Block No: B

Lot No: 15

Landmarked? No

Construction Year: 1911

Architectural Style: Public/Commercial

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Style Altered? No

Location Changed? No

Owner(s): James John Renaker, Charles Taylor Renaker, James J. McLachlan

Demolished? Yes

Subdivision: Town of Monrovia

In the 1888 tax records, the owner of this lot is unknown, but the value of the land reflects its prime position as a corner lot on the northeast corner of South Myrtle and East Lime Avenues.  It is assessed at $800, and the value after equalization is $300.  The tax assessor’s book has no tax listed, but indicates the property has sold, but not to whom.  The 1889 tax records show Lot 15 (as well as 13 and 14)  belonging to Jas. McLachlan.  The lot’s value has dropped to $600, reflecting the bursting of the land boom bubble.  The taxes due on the property are $3.90, but the property is sold to H. Hart.

The earliest subdivision map shows the following.  The lots on the north, east, and south sides of Block B (the 100 block of East Palm, the 200 block of South Ivy and the 100 block of East Lime) all have north-south orientation.  The dimensions are 50 by 140 feet deep.  The back of each lot ends at the alley that bisects the block horizontally, east/west.  

However, lots 10-15 were divided so that they fronted on South Myrtle.  Their dimensions are 53 ⅓ by 150 feet.  The Sanborn maps show no structure on Lot 15 until 1913, and that structure is the Renaker Funeral Parlor.  It is unclear from the maps and directories what direction the front of this building faced when it was first built in 1911.

The first structure was owned by Charles Taylor (known as C.T.) Renaker.  In 1887-88, his father, James John Renaker,  had a funeral home/furniture/stationery store first in the Badeau Block, at the southeast corner of Colorado and Myrtle and then at 627 S. Myrtle.  J.J. Renaker died in 1904, around the time the funeral parlor burned down, and C.T. constructed a new building for the mortuary business, including an apartment on the second floor for himself, his mother, and his brother Leslie.

For decades, the address for the funeral home was given only as the corner of Lime and Myrtle.   It wasn't until 1926 that the city directories began to list an address, 334 S. Myrtle Ave., for the Renaker Funeral Parlor.  Specifically, the following addresses are all associated with the structure the Renakers owned on Lot 15.

  • 101 E. Lime
  • 103 1/2 E. Lime (likely Mrs. J.J. Renaker's address as she lived upstairs over the mortuary)
  • 107 E. Lime Ave.
  • 109 E. Lime Ave.

By the late 1930's, the address for the mortuary is 334 S. Myrtle and Lot 15 still has that address today.

Considering how long the Renaker Funeral Parlor was on Lot 15, it is surprising that there are no permits on file for the property before 1957.  In June of 1957, a permit was filed for a store built by the Worrell Construction Co.  At that time, the owner’s name is given as O.(?) P. McKelvey.  In December of 1957, the store is identified as an Anita Shop, a chain of dress stores which existed through the 1950's and early 1960's.

Since 1957, the structure has had numerous owners and morphed through numerous business, including, for a short time, a J.C. Penney