235 E. Lime Avenue
Block No: A
Lot No: 21
Construction Year: 1886
Architectural Style: Victorian
Style Altered? No
Location Changed? No
Subdivision: Town of Monrovia
An article in the Monrovia Messenger dated February 21, 1889, states that J.C. Rowley sold his house “...at the corner of Ivy and Lemon to W.A. Crandall the proprietor of the new mercantile establishment on Myrtle. The place is a pretty one.” This seems to be a mistake as Rowley didn't own any property at the corner of Ivy and Lemon, but he was the first owner of Lot 21 with (according to the 1888 tax records) an improvement valued at $300.
As can be seen the picture, the house still retains much of the exterior Victorian architectural elements. The second front door that faces east does not appear on any of the Sanborn maps, so it must have been added later when the house was carved up as a duplex. However, Steve Baker, historian for the City of Monrovia, states that there have been other houses from that era with two front doors. Fortunately, the second door matches the original Victorian front door. The front-facing gable with the small porch is similar to many other small Victorian houses from this period, including the Victorian cottage down the street at 215 E. Lime.
A plumbing permit dated 1912 gives the address as 235, and the owner as Annie Crandall. The 1913 Sanborn map shows a long narrow dwelling with a porch. This is the same footprint that the house still has today.
An additional structure, marked as a stable, is at the back of the property by the alley, and it straddles Lot 21 and Lot 22. A small, additional dwelling, with an address of 239, appears in the northeast corner of what is Lot 22. The stable is larger than most, probably because of Crandall had a buggy, horse and cow, according to the 1889 tax record. The second dwelling was used a rental for Annie Crandall's nephew, Warren H. Denslow.
By 1927, the stable has been converted into a plumbing shop with an address of 235 1/2. This was the shop of Warren Denslow, a nephew of Annie Crandall. After her husband died, Annie Crandall continued living in the house at 235, and her nephew had bought the house next on Lot 22, property which the Crandall's had previously owned.
For information on the rental and Denslow's house, please see Town of Monrovia Subdivision, Block A, Lot 22.
There is an undated permit for a residence valued at $300. The lot is described as being 50' x 160', but the building is only 20'x22'. Its location is given as near the rear of the lot. Since a small structure, first as a stable and then as accessory building, is shown at the back of the lot in 1907, it may be that it was torn down to be replaced by a dwelling on the same spot.
The undated permit has the name of Warren Denslow, nephew of Annie E. Crandall, as the owner, living at 239 E. Lime Ave. In 1953, Denslow took out a plumbing permit for 233 1/2, and he was still living at 239 E. Lime at that time. Previously from 1904 to 1914, Denslow had been living at the address of 235 E. Lime with his aunt and his wife.
By 1927, the original dwelling has been divided into two dwellings, a duplex. The stable at the back of the lot is shown as an accessory building, perhaps a garage. Another dwelling, also a duplex which parallels the original dwelling, has been built with an address of 237 and 239. Directly behind this duplex and at the back of the lot, up against the alley, is another building identified as a dwelling but also having the addresses as the Lime-facing duplex.
The picture shows the parking lot, looking east toward Lot 16 whose house managed to escape the fate of the house on Lots 17-21.
The Monrovia Potential Historic Landmark Survey, performed by the Monrovia Old House Preservation Group in 1996, made the following observations from the curb about the house at 235 E. Lime Avenue.
- Visually from the curb, an excellent example of Victorian architecture.
- Visually from the curb, a very good example of a particular material or method of construction.
- Visually from the curb, good integrity and alterations (the units added to the rear).
- Visually from the curb, an architectural contributor to the continuity and character of the street.