The Lanterman Foundation sponsored a home tour of historic Chula Vista in La Cañada on Sunday.
“This is sort of an outgrowth of a heritage house tour that we’ve had three times [before] of older and potentially important houses in the Crescenta-Cañada valley,” said Melissa Patton, the executive director of the Lanterman Foundation.
The Spanish Colonial house was built in 1929 and is currently owned by Paul and Karen Hackett. Located on Orchard Lane near Palm Crest Elementary School, Chula Vista was known as the “Showplace of the Valley.”
George Hoag, 1872-1948, who was a salesman for JC Penney, originally built the home. He worked his way up the career ladder and was chairman of the board from 1922 to 1926. The house, which was originally nine acres, was his vacation home. Now it sits on one acre.
The architect of what one neighbor said was Hoag’s “dream home on Orchard Lane” was Charles Kyson. Kyson studied in Paris and Rome and, in the 1910s, he designed sets for the entertainment industry.
The Hacketts bought the home in 1976. Despite the years, the house has retained its original architectural integrity, and the couple has held weddings and Christmas parties at the house.
The Hacketts were married in the 1960s and have four children, three girls and one boy. The girls all slept in one bedroom and their son’s room was a sleeping porch that was converted into a bedroom. A ladder from downstairs led to the sleeping porch.
The house has three bedrooms (one for guests) plus the sleeping porch and five and a half bathrooms. In the guest bedroom, there is a convenient laundry shoot for guest’s linens.
Paul Hackett led the tour through his home. As guests entered the front door, they passed below the Hoag family crest. Throughout the home, the artwork of Karen, who owns Tirage Art Gallery, was prominently featured. The home had a servant’s quarters and an office outfitted with a fireplace.
The home boasts many unique features. For example, a spiral staircase with an unknown metal on the stairs’ railing was seen. In one of the rooms there was stained glass steel. Marred by a BB hole through it, the Hacketts couldn’t find anyone who knew how to remanufacture the material in order to make repairs. The front door is original and engraved with a star. Ninety percent of the light fixtures are original.
Though a lot of the house is original – including the front door and 90% of the light fixtures – changes were made over time. Paul told of when, during one of Southern California’s earthquakes, the house’s chimney fell and had to be rebuilt. After another earthquake, a rainstorm damaged the roof, which couldn’t be repaired but instead had to be redesigned. Gates are no longer there.
“It was built for entertaining because [Hoag] was an important executive,” Karen said. “He sold the house in 1939 and eventually moved to Newport Beach and opened Hoag Memorial Hospital.”
To learn more about other events the Lanterman Foundation is hosting, visit http://www.lantermanfoundation.org/.