Wednesday, April 2, 2008

the forgotten gem

The Los Angeles Conservancy has called the Lydecker House a "forgotten gem" of the San Fernando Valley.
Aside from some very minor details, The Lydecker house is in mint condition. The Lydecker House was not recreated to look like a streamline moderne house from the 40s.
The chrome molding wrapping around the kitchen is the original chrome molding, the tile in the powder room is the original tile, and the rounded wood paneling in the den is the original bent wood.

Many people ask how has this architectural capsule been preserved? It was a forgotten gem - the key word being Forgotten.
After Howard Lydecker moved out, the author of the Dan Dunn comic strip artist Norman Marsh moved in. When Marsh moved in, he was in his 60's. Presumably, he liked his new house. After 10 years, when most people get the remodeling bug, Marsh was 70's. Either he didn't have the time, the energy, or the desire to remodel.

In total Marsh lived in the Lydecker House for thirty years - till he was in his 90s. He changed almost nothing. In 1980, 40 years after the Lydecker House was built, Marsh replaced the original roof -- the only repair neighbors remember him ever doing.
Most people look at a 20 year old house as tacky, but a 40 year old house is "retro" "antique" or "vintage."

The new owners scrubbed off thirty years of benign neglect, made no changes to the structure and added a deck in the back yard (which is in keeping with the original style of the house.) The next family made plumbing upgrades and appreciated the house for what it was... a forgotten gem from another era.

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