The Hale House
James and Bessie Hale purchased this residence in approximately 1901, and lived here in the early 20th century; their name is inscribed on the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C. But the original owner-builder is still unknown. So is the architect, though we are sure that the house was built in the late 1880's during the Treat Land Boom. It was moved from the corner of North Figueroa and Avenue 45 to Heritage Square in 1970.
The style -- Queen Anne with Eastlake decoration -- is characteristic of the years 1887-88, when throughout California the ample, sculptural forms of the former style were wedded to the Geometrical detail produced by the laths. The corner tower and the tall chimneys are evidence of the picturesque Queen Anne, but the elaborate decoration elsewhere is taken from illustrations of furniture by Charles Lock Eastlake, an English interior designer, who published a vastly important book "Hints on Household Taste" first in England (1863) and then in the United Stated (1872). Ironically what was intended to be advice on interior decoration was applied to the exterior detail, a fact that Eastlake heard about and deplored. It is nevertheless, a distinctive California phenomenon.
In the restoration great pains have been taken to present an authentic period piece, whatever offenses the original ideas present for contemporary taste. The colors of the exterior were reproduced after the most careful research, which means literally scraping all areas of the house and even lifting boards to get some hint of the color of the first coat of paint. What we discovered was that the first floor was mainly in shades of green and the second in shades of barn-red. This shocked us at first, but after comparing our findings with other restorations and books on exterior painting, we have determined that the Victorian palette of the 1880s was considerably more colorful than we had expected. (Quoted from a newsletter, circa 1970)
The Hale House was declared an historic-cultural monument in 1966, for the home's exuberant ornamentation which illustrates the Victorian style.
The Hale House is considered a symbol of America in the transitional Victorian age as it passed from a rural society of the 19th century toward a growing industrial, urban America.