Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Marvin Weese Home: Slated For Destruction?

A pattern we have seen before.
Here we go again, everyone. Think back to the Henry A. Darling home controversy, but this time with a clearly intact history that goes to the heart of what Sierra Madre is, and many hope will continue to be. The home in question is at 358 North Canon Ave, Sierra Madre. It is coming on the market soon as a land value type of sale. That is, the house currently located on the site does not count, and the party selling the property is looking to maximize their profit by attracting a deep pockets McMansion customer.

Reproduced above is a rendering of a 4,600 square foot starter castle that you can find contained in a real estate advertisement found on the front page of this morning's Los Angeles Times Home section. This is not in any way a photo of the existing small Spanish home that has been on the lot since 1931. It is what will replace it should those plans be allowed to stand.

Rather it is a very large project designed to be plunked down on this 25,097 square foot lot located at the base of the canyon. This is, of course, a very familiar pattern in our area. The sale comes with the plans for this item, just so you get the idea. Big lot, big house.

There is currently a 2 bed 1 bath 936 SQFT. home on the lot. A vintage, very charming (but obviously in need of some restoration) 1931 Spanish revival bungalow home. It also comes with a large art studio above the garage. The property last sold in 2008 for around $750,000. Many are reminded of Hugo Reid’s historic Spanish adobe home that is preserved at the Arcadia Arboretum.

It was designed and built by the artist Marvin Weese; his wife Myrtle also was an artist. Mr. Weese designed and painted both the home and the artist's studio above the garage. Both places must be preserved. Marvin Weese - with his own hands - painted and sculpted concrete to make it look like tile.

Marvin Weese also built this home himself. He was and remains a highly acclaimed artist, specializing in the California Missions.

The below screenshots come to us from a site run by the Sierra Madre Publishing Company. Click on each to enlarge, or view them on their original site here.


The following comes to us from a website called Live Auctioneers.


Below are some photos of the Marvin Weese house as it appears today.


Update from Preserve Sierra Madre

(Mod: This went out from Preserve Sierra Madre earlier today. As usual, they nail it. If you are not on the PSM mailing list you are missing out on a lot of important info.)

sierramadretattler.com

106 comments:

  1. Another opportunity to destroy our cultural heritage. I guess it's always about the money. Very sad.

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    1. We simply can't let this happen. Where does it stop? Until we look like Arcadia? If you want a bigger home, try buying a bigger home. The only problem it's the developers like MurSol who are doing this to us. They get the big profit and we get another McMansion that nobody wants as well as losing a piece of Sierra Madre's history. Quite a bargain I'd say.

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    2. It's all about the money folks. A developer will have no qualms about the Marvin Weece Home. We are the ones that have to care. Don't count on anyone else caring.

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    3. Think about this. If we just put out head in the sand we would now find ourselves transformed into Arcadia. Because we said Stop, there is now a better General Plan, better R-1 codes, a domolition ordinance and the Mira Monte house has not been turned into rubble.

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    4. Just another attempt at changing Sierra Madre into Greater Arcadia. Sorry but it's not going to happen. You see we don't see Sierra Madre as just a place to exploit for maximum profit. It's a community that values it's character and it's history. That house is part of who we are. It will be torn down over my dead body.

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    5. People are getting so tired of this. I think there will be a groundswell of support to save this home - at least I hope so. As this house goes, so goes Sierra Madre.

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    6. 9:33, where do you want to be buried?

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    7. We need an effective,simple argument against the "Property Rights" people. They are very powerful because they have a super-power ally - City Hall. Not that City Hall cares a hoot about anything but their right to a platinum pension+benefits+lifetime employment.But City Hall wants the new construction fees and has no regard for Cultural Heritage - despite their lies on the subject and despite appointing a stooge to 'protect' them.
      That is why the Building Moratorium,water restrictions on new construction,zoning,lot coverage/height needs to be rock solid and receive 100% support from CC and us.
      And watch out for the Insider/conflict of interest issue.The wife of a local contractor works in the Building Dept.

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    8. The arguments against the property rights people is very simple: the neighbors have property rights also and even the community as a whole has a stake in these outcomes. The value of Sierra Madre lies in its uniqueness. If it becomes just like any other town then buyers have lots of options. But aside from values it's also the quality of life for the remaining residents. We bought here for the charm and character and yes that includes the Marvin Weese House.

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    9. What some people mean when they say property rights is developer dictatorship.

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    10. The good news folks is that some of these battles are coming up when we have the most pro-preservationist City Council and Planning Commission we have ever had. I say "Bring it on"!

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    11. City Hall only does what the laws allow them to do. It doesn't have anything to do with pensions. We are on a great path to changing the laws to protect our City but there is more to go if we want to save the property such as the Monastery and the above mentioned property. Thank the Spears for protecting their property near the above. Now we need to get going to protect this one.

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    12. We have to look out for out town. God knows no one else will.

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  2. If I had the money I would buy this house in a minute. What can we do to save it?

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    1. We need to organize. It looks like Preserve Sierra Madre will be involved. Get on their email list at PreserveSierraMadreNow@gmail.com I'm sure they will be letting people know what can and needs to be done.

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    2. I tried the last time it was for sale. Asking price was about $1 M. I'm surprised it sold for only about $750,000.

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    3. There were a lot of speculators who bought cheap when the market tanked and who had no intention of joining the community.

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    4. I sure hope we can stop this or better yet that the home finds a buyer who appreciates it's architectural details and history.

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  3. This needs to be stopped. Marvin Weese was a famous artist who lived in Sierra Madre and built this home. Deja vu with the 126 E. Mira Monte house all over again. The Brown family came to realize this town doesn't want to see its history torn asunder. I understand the new buyer for that house is preserving it. The person who bought the Marvin Weese Home had no intention to do anything other than an eventual wrecking ball. This must be stopped at all costs.

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    1. What's there now looks like an old Spanish Adobe. Who wants another McMansion in its place? We may need another rally to call attention to this travesty.

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    2. I don't even know what to say or describe my feelings after reading this post. Does it always have to be about the money? Is that what is always comes down to - the bottom line, the most profit you can squeeze out of any situation? Can't that impulse be moderated a bit by an appreciation for history and our cultural heritage.

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    3. I love the old Spanish style. Talk about charm and character. That place is a jewel. I don't think they will be able to demolish it because it was built before 1940. There is no way an expert would say it has no historical significance. In fact it should be on the registry of historic places.

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    4. Who runs the registry of historic places?

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    5. There are a number of state and national entities that may have an interest in preserving this house built by the noted artist Marvin Weese. It should not be torn down.

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    6. There has to be another solution than just tearing it down. People need to be creative here.

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    7. I wish I could buy it. I would leave it as is.

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    8. If the home was good enough for Mr Weese and his wife I'm sure it can be good enough for someone else. It needs to find the right buyer which isn't going to be the Felikians or the Browns.

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    9. We need to really get the word out on this one. Please forward the link to this Tattler post to everyone you know and have them contact the good folks at Preserve Sierra Madre.

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    10. Pass the word. This house should not be torn down.

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    11. Sorry, he wasn't really a famous painter. Nice property though. I'd keep it as is. Maybe a tidy little addition though.

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    12. Oohhh. An art critic!

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    13. I knew someting smelled bad.

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  4. Does anyone know the price they are asking and who the current owner is? Maybe we can appeal to them to save the home.

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    1. It's a hard thing to expect people to turn down a million dollars in cash...

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    2. Depends on your priorities. I've had clients who will sell a home for less money to the right buyer who appreciates their home. Yes, I'm in real estate but put preservation first.

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  5. If you need a bigger home add on to it but don't tear it down. There is too much history there. This is a classic case for why the City Council should do that historical survey they talked about.

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  6. When does the madness stop? Leave Sierra Madre alone. We don't want to tear everything down. Whoever buys this property and wants to tear it down ain't going to know what hit 'em.

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    1. I'm sort of tired of the axeholes who move into town and then start demanding that their "dream" home is at our expense and neighborhood character

      If this happens I'll make it a point to stop by and tell them "welcome to Sierra Madre you $%!@/"

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    2. For the people who don't understand why we care, you just don't understand Sierra Madre. There's a mindset and sense of community that you just don't find in other towns.

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    3. The buyer will be running into a buzz saw. The only way they can pay that kind of money is if they tear it down. That's the problem. But they may not know if they can tear it down until after the close of escrow. So not doing the historical survey was actually a good thing by creating uncertainty.

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    4. 12:49 - you're scaring the children. Take it easy

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    5. I think the kids would agree with 12:49.

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    6. Historical survey was completed and it was deemed non-historic. Micah Lachtman, listing agent, Lachtman@yahoo.com

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  7. the kraft estate came down but new owners told the city that the home will look just the same...that has now set a prescient
    ( not enough coffee to spell)

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    1. They always say it will look the same or that it will be their retirement home. I'm tired of the lies.

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    2. Dream home. Don't forget that one.

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    3. We've heard those promised one too many times.

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    4. Just a pack of lies to get it built.

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  8. Is there a lot split planned for this property?

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    1. They don't meet the requirement.

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    2. Mica Latchman is the realtor of record. Coldwell Banker.

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    3. It is not large enough for a lot split. It is ina R-1-15,000 zone. Also, the square footage that the realtor lists is incorrect. There is a house on a lot behnd (that was split off in the 1980's by the way) that has a driveway along the side of this lot that takes away about 2,500 sq ft.

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    4. Mica Latchman doesn't do any business to speak of in Sierra Madre so he doesn't care what happens. Tell me who the present owner is. Have they been living in the property? Any buyer needs to know that they will have a bigger fight on their hands then what the Browns faced. It will come down to the historical assessment that is required to be done since it was built before 1940.

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  9. Preserve Sierra Madre needs to get involved in this one.

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    1. They're in. Trust me.

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    2. As people dig into this the more the outrage will grow.

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    3. This could be a bigger issue than the Mira Monte house. Please tell me the realtor is not Rene Rose again. I hope she learned her lesson that even though she is an Arcadia resident, she needs to care about the residents of a Sierra Madre and recognize that we don't want our village to look like her hometown.

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    4. 8:06. Have you joined or are you one of those that let the others do the heavy lifting while you sit back and wring your hands.

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    5. 12:36, it's unlikely that anyone posting on the Tattler has not participated.

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    6. There is genuine outrage over this. Look at those pictures and knowing the history. It must not be torn down.

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  10. Someone has evidently lived there since 2008 so the home is clearly inhabitable. It must be saved from the wrecking ball. The Henry A. Darling house was saved and now the Marvin Weese house needs to be saved. It must be saved.

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    1. Aren't the current residents the ones who had an architect draw up the plans?

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    2. Please tell me the architect is not John Vanderweldt.

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    3. Of it's an out of character McMansion then it's his design.

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  11. I have a 1947 G.I. tract home here in Sierra Madre it should be preserved as tribute to all the men and women that fought in ww2

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    1. In which gastrointestinal tract did you get your G.I.?

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    2. Next to the monastery unfortunately.

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    3. At least we can still retain our sense of humor.

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    4. Good to see the operation was successful.

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    5. you could move it over next to the Richardson house and the chicken ravioli museum

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  12. This place is advertised in the L.A. Times this morning for $988,000. It says 25,097 square foot flat lot with plans for a 4,500 square foot home. It says coming soon. Coldwell Banker. www.Lachtman.com What happened to the demolition and building moratoriums?

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    1. Keep a careful eye on this one. We can stop it but we have to hold people's feet to the fire. If we cast a blind eye to it, City Staff will rubber stamp it and before you know it you will see a big pile of rubble where once stood an historic and charming home.

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    2. New owners would know about those and could wait.....

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    3. The "seller" can say anything they want in an advertisement. Dosen't mean it is true.

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    4. They need to disclose to buyers that this property is subject to the demolition ordinance. The realtor probably doesn't even know about it. Without that ordinance in place it would be impossible to stop the demolition.

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    5. There is a water meter moratorium but this lot obviously has a water meter. There will be a strong discussion on the demolition as the age of the house falls under that new ordinance. Size of lot cannot be split. It was split once already in 1986 and a drive-way was carved off to the west side of the lot to the new house built in the rear (on the legally created 17,851 sq ft lot--as per LA Co Assessor parcel's website). The listing has the square footage of the lot listed as 25,097. This is wrong. The lot split required a private drive-way which took off 2,866 sq ft. so the actual size of the lot is 22,077. Certainly big enough to build a 4,500 sq ft house but our job is to see that what they do is right for the neighborhood. Push like crazy to save the Weiss house and modify it to a somewhat large dwelling. Love the advertisement that it is surrounded by magnificent estates. Drive by and you will see what that language really means. Such foolish fakery. There are some beautiful old homes but I dare say those homeowners never tell their friends drop on by to my Sierra Madre estate.

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    6. It's all a bunch of you know what.

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  13. Looks like the old Arcadia two step to me.

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  14. Caroline!!! What trees are here to be saved? Would any of them have to come down to build this "dream"house?

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    1. They should not be allowed to cut down any of the beautiful trees on that property.

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    2. Too bad we don't have a tree commission.

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    3. Say thanks to the Green Mayor, Johnny Edison.

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    4. The Green idea was none other than our friend Nancy Walsh. John just went along.

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    5. Johnny Electric used to babble endlessly about being green. Did nothing, of course. Dirty Edison wouldn't dig it.

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    6. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Joshie Moran and Nancy Walsh get credits for an assist on eliminating the Tree Commission. Especially ol' Josh. Did you know he loves this town? That is, except for the trees.

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  15. Does anybody know who the Sierra Madre Art Publishing Company is? Marvin Weese seems to be its only topic.

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  16. Why can't people appreciate good taste anymore??? Such a beautiful place to live. If I was wealthy I would buy it, fix it up and leave it how it is. There is no justice anymore...

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  17. I wish I could say differently, but if someone knocked on my door and said "I'll give you $950,000 in cash for your property," I think I couldn't afford not to take it.

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    1. Judas sold out for the 30 pieces of silver also.

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    2. hyperbole much, 2:40?

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    3. Morals are expensive, unless you're already wealthy.

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    4. 1:43 - do you play the California Lottery?

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    5. 2:40, kind of harsh. Most people have got a number they couldn't walk away from, depending on how many people in their family they have to take care of.

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    6. True, 3:55. And sometimes they're just bastards.

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  18. Oak trees in the footprint and exended major branches out into the drip line will all be in the discussion. If anything is impacted by an expansion (add-on), new construction and the like, would all have to be addressed in a protected tree plan with a hired licsense arborist. Everyone, keep your eyes on the property. Anyone near-by get photos, good google earth shots. What has typically happened all over town in the past is that a tree(s) come down and then the plans are submitted. The ordinance can put a stop to an impending project for several months (year or two) if such a stunt is caught.

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    1. Good point. Please document the property now. Trees have a way of disappearing in the night.

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  19. It's good to know its on Preserve Sierra Madre's radar screen. If we give them some help we can save this home just the way the Henry A Darling House was saved. The battle cry now is "Save the Marvin Weese House"

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    1. Sierra Madre. The little town that talks back.

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    2. Only in Sierra Madre would this project have a very difficult time.

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    3. True. Most cities have completely bamboozled their gullible residents. Not here thank God.

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  20. This is in the canyon, so the rules they have to abide by are in the Canyon Zone.

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  21. This is outside the boundary of the canyon zone.

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  22. what happened to the old carter cabin at the canyon entrance?

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  23. Existing preliminary plans by Ewing Architects, Inc., incorporate both existing structures on the property as well as preserve all trees. In addition, one of the city's recognized historic experts deemed this property as not historically significant. I admire and appreciate Sierra Madre's passion for preservation. Very truly yours, Micah Lachtman, listing agent, Lachtman@yahoo.com .

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    1. Uh huh. Now tell us about the 2008 part. You left that out. BTW: this is not Pasadena. "The City" has no secrets. K?

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