2016 HERITAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 2016
Daniel & Sarah Owen Home
444 Grant Street
The Victorian styles evolved largely from the imposing, elaborate Gothic style, which appealed to the romantic Victorian idea that fashion, architecture, and furnishings should be beautiful rather than practical. A wealthy Victorian woman’s clothing involved corsets, hoop skirts, and dresses that used yards of fabric. It made sense for the trendy home designs to reflect that excess as well. The mental image of a “Victorian” home looks much like a dollhouse with elaborate trim and bright colors.
On December 19, 1903, the Citrograph posted “C.C. Amos has been granted a permit to build a cottage on Owen Street to cost about $1850.”
Welcome to 444 Grant Street, Redlands. This address is situated on the West side of the block between Home Place and Fern, lot 38. Service connection records show November 5, 1905 as the established date. The area is referred to as the Loma Vista Tract and is also now known as a Historic and Scenic District deemed Smiley Park Neighborhood. The homes located in the district take great pride in maintaining and fostering their character and heritage. When the Loma Vista Subdivision began in 1902 the houses on the west side of the street backed to an orange grove which was there until the 1950s. Most of the homes were developed without driveways or garages. Garages were added and cars used the orange groves to access the rear of the west side homes. A parklike backyard retreat with massive trees now flanks the early garage.
What makes this a true Victorian Cottage? It is the architecture, but the year in which it was built. Victorian houses were constructed between 1837 and 1901, when Queen Victoria was on the throne. However some people, including the Victorian Society itself, take ‘Victorian Architecture’ to encompass Edwardian, thus moving this time period up to 1910.
A kick from the Second Industrial Revolution nationalized the trend. Steam powered saw mills could create elaborate materials cheaper and faster. As a result, late Victorians became increasingly ornate.
The home is of modest size, currently recorded as 1,138 square feet, 3 bedrooms with one bath, but boasts tremendous curb appeal and some of the most extensive detail to be witnessed. These identifiable features on the exterior from top down are the two story steep pitched gable and end-gable, exposed decorative rafter tails, a chimney is still present but apparently, over the years, the fireplace itself was abandoned. Dressing the exterior are 3 types of shingled siding, Octagonal, Fish Scale, and Square along with shiplap siding. Gingerbread is present at the grill framing and cornice molding along the upper eaves as well as many other locations. The repeat of Hearts, Stars and Diamonds makes itself known.
A Classic three sided Veranda is present and boasts pillar posts that are turned and cut, with their own fancy brackets, balustrade, fine detailed cutouts in the shape of Diamonds in the matching pediments and a short set of stairs to finish it off. Residents would sit here in early years and wave to the passersby on their way to Gerber Market just two doors away at 456 Grant at the corner of Home Place.
Sometime between 1978 and 2004 one of the two front entrances was closed off creating the third bedroom. This entrance would have led into the Parlor entry or guest quarters with wide plank floors, sumptuous doors, baseboards, and casings. This room is finished nicely down to the baseboard corner posts also present in the upstairs landing and one of the two bedrooms on that floor. One of the very few modifications to the home was a 70 square foot annexation of the rear porch to become a kitchen extension in 2003.
The earliest residents here were Daniel and Sarah Owen in 1909. Daniel was the son of Charles E. Owen who lived at 204 West Olive. Grant Street was originally named Owen Street until 1905 when it changed to its current nomenclature. From 1917 to 1931 Theodore and Lucretia Doan made it their home. Doan was manager of the Home Builders General Agency located at 18 W. Citrus. As a result of the Great Depression the home fell vacant from 1931 until 1936. In 1936 Elmer R. Benedict and his wife Beryl made it their home until 1946. Elmer was an engineer. In 1947 Florence Coombe moved in and lived there until 1969. The longest term of residency of was just 22 years. At best count there have been at least 12 different owners to love this home through its life.
Susanne Pastuschek bought the home on September 13, 2012. The family lives there today and commits to continue the restoration and preservation this gem.
The Redlands Area Historical Society sends our Respect and Thanks to the Pastuschek Family for the continued love of this residence. Congratulations on your 2016 Heritage Award.
Researcher: Jill Huntsinger
Presented 20 June 2016