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another home saved from the wrecking ball


Reader David McMurray points out a recent LA Times story on a Long Beach Craftsman saved from the wrecking ball. David walked his dog by this house regularly and was particularly happy to see it appreciated after years of neglect. Above photo by Christine Cotter, taken from the slide show at the attached link.

When Wendy Harn rescued a 1913 Craftsman from the wrecking ball in 1989, she didn't know much about the Long Beach house except that it was free. A developer had planned to demolish it to build condos, but first the city insisted that he offer the house to anyone willing to move it. Harn stepped forward, and the following year she relocated the two-story, five-bedroom behemoth from its Ocean Boulevard site opposite the Long Beach Museum of Art to her lot in the Bluff Park Historic District.

Twenty years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, Harn, a Long Beach native and assistant director in charge of crime analysis at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and her partner, Sasha Witte, are nearing the end of a painstaking renovation that makes the house radiate with new vitality. Here, Witte descends the entry staircase with a scroll-like banister — one of the elements that first attracted Harn to the house.