Hugh and Aimee Tucker McCulloch Residence


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 2011

Hugh and Aimee Tucker McCulloch Residence
1766 Canyon Road

“One of the most attractive homes ever erected here,” reads the Redlands Daily Facts of January 29, 1927 in reference to the Hugh and Aimee McCulloch residence. Adjoining the property of his brother Robert, Hugh and his wife Aimee set their home on the crest of a knoll commanding beautiful views of the mountains of the valley, including at the time a view through to the Cajon Pass, and of the home itself. Using the same architect, William E. Rabbeth, as his brother and using the same builder, Garrett Huizing, the Hugh McCullochs set about creating a showplace in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, popularized due to Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona(published in 1884) and reinvigorated by the San Diego Panama-California International Exposition of 1915 in Balboa Park. Garrett Huizing is known for combining architectural styles and this home is no exception as it also has Mediterranean Revival style influences.

Part of an area known as the Country Club Park subdivision, The Redlands Daily Facts of June 12, 1926 outlines the perks of building in the area, including that Arthur Gregory provided a written guarantee with each land sale that he would provide oil and gravel roads. The home, as detailed in the newspaper during construction, was built for the sum of $21,300. Special attention was given to construction techniques that aid heating and cooling. Rooms were specifically situated for the views.

The two story irregularly shaped plan is based with a poured concrete foundation, basement, loggia, terraces, and walls.Details of the home include a dull red Spanish clay roof, cross gabled, in three shades and exterior beam work in natural redwood. The exterior finish was constructed of three coats of cement stucco. The multi-paneled recessed front door with its custom decorative hardware and quoined and rope detail are in keeping with the Mediterranean Revival style of articulated door surrounds. The numerous windows are either multi or single paned, many with arched shutters and wrought iron closures. Several windows are covered with Spanish influenced iron decorative grills. Of particular interest are the many windows with carved wooden grills and shutters behind the grills. At the rear of the house on the second floor are exposed support rafters in the Spanish tradition. The garage has a plain parapet and flat roof. Walled courtyards surround the rear of the house and are entered through plain arched doorways and multi paneled doors.

Of particular interest are the local companies and craftsman involved in the construction of the home as noted in the Redlands Daily Facts articles about the home, including the Fletcher Planing Mill, Redlands Plumbing, and Lew Gist, the cement work. Sunset Tile Company of Redlands supplied all tile.

Hugh McCulloch selected the site of his home to build next door to his brother, Robert. Of Scottish and American ancestry, he too worked at the family coffee and sugar plantation in Cuba, United Sugar Company, which later sold to the Cuban American Sugar Company. Hugh married Aimee Tucker of New York in 1914. Aimee’s father was a printing press inventor and educated his daughter for two years in Belgium after a proper east coast education. Aimee and Hugh lived in Cuba until his retirement in 1925. As the Redlands home was completed in 1926 and they were getting settled, Hugh died in 1927.

In his November 30, 1974 “With a Grain of Salt” column for the Redlands Daily Facts, Frank E. Moore wrote about the bells of Redlands. In his book by the same name, he reprints his column and tells that the large bell in the courtyard at the Asistencia was cast in 1856 in Troy, NY and comes to Redlands from the McCulloch sugar plantation where it was used to call in workers from the fields. Frank Moore stated he saw the bill of lading and that it was Hugh and Aimee McCulloch that had the bell shipped here. Aimee donated the bell in memory of her husband in 1948. Aimee continued to live in the home until her death at age 94 in 1963. Aimee is said to have been an astute investor in the stock market. Her death and will warranted articles and a column in the Redlands Daily Facts as she bequeathed $20,000 in $5,000 amounts to the First Congregational Church, Redlands Community Hospital, University of Redlands, and the A.K. Smiley library.

After her death, the home was sold to Dr. Steve and Mary Loper who lived in the home until 2008. The current owners, the Garretts, purchased the home in 2009.

Redlands Area Historical Society congratulates Dr. Eldridge and Nancy Garrett, Jr. on their 2011 Heritage Award.

Researched/written by Kathleen Beall