Thursday, September 10, 2015

The So-Called Sierra Madre Historic Review of the Marvin Weese Home Was Done By A Company From Pasadena

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Well, wouldn't you just know it. That "recognized historic expert" we have heard so much about from a certain party doesn't really come from Sierra Madre after all. Despite all of the hype. Rather this mysterious historic review writing entity actually has its origin with a company in Pasadena. One that the people who currently own the property, and hope to sell it as a teardown site for a McMansion, apparently paid to write it. No bias whatsoever, right? Just pure and unadulterated history completely detached from any commercial or crass monetary considerations whatsoever. Yes, of course.

Here is the comment left on this site by listing real estate agent Micah Lachtman that mentions these not exactly Sierra Madre individuals. Folks claiming to have a keen sense for what is and is not of historic value in a house located here.


In Micah's "agent's remarks," which are put out there so other Realtors can have some talking points to go by, this "recognized historic expert" is seemingly identified as having a City of Sierra Madre government origin.


The statement, "Existing structures deemed not historically significant by the city," which would seem to clearly indicate that this conclusion has its origin in Sierra Madre's local government agency, is not at all accurate. Rather the source for Micah's erroneous claims is a Pasadena company that apparently specializes in writing reports of this kind.

Here is the name and address of this organization:


 If you go to their website (link) you can read the following quite ironic statement:


It is nice that this group can "build communities' legacies by preserving their historic resources," but in the report on the Marvin Weese home (link), which has true significance for many in this community, the Pasadena outfit known as the Historic Resources Group "deemed" that it has no real historic value. Leaving it vulnerable to being torn down.

A conclusion that the current owners, who wish to sell the site for its large lot and not what is built upon it, are probably not disappointed about. After all, their listing agent cannot stop talking about it.

Strangely enough, Marvin Weese, the artist remembered with great fondness by many Sierra Madreans, along with people all over California, is also the person who built both this house and studio with his own hands. Yet he is not mentioned in this report on the history of his home. Not even once.

An odd thing to have left out, right? The guy who built the place and then produced a considerable body of well known artistic work there?

Here is the report. It is a little wordy, with much of it boilerplate with content obviously adopted from other places and people to suit a preordained conclusion.

Guy Cammilleri is one of the two current owners. The other is his wife, Joyce. They are from Arcadia, of all places.


Again, how can you write a historic assessment of this house without once mentioning the name of Marvin Weese? The locally significant and celebrated artist who actually built the place with his own hands?

Unless, of course, your purpose was to white out any inconvenient facts because it would actually have real significance, and therefore not serve the interest of those who paid to have this so-called "historic review" written.

The interest being to enable the tearing down of the Marvin Weese home in order to maximize the property's value for someone who would like to build a McMansion there.

In other words, and as is usually the case, it is all about the money.

sierramadretattler.com

84 comments:

  1. I personally am still reeling from the loss of the Crawford house - the home where first were sown the information based seeds of doom for the the propagandizing gentry of our town.

    Never again.

    We must save the home of this great craftsman artist!

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    1. The slanty shanty with the droop stoop is truly missed by this community.

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    2. Any truth to the rumor that Josh Moran & Nancy Walsh started the demo of the Crawford Estate?

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    3. Unfortunately for them blogs can originate from anywhere.

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    4. The Tattler House should have been declared a national historical monument with a plaque in front and never been allowed to be touched. It could even have been a museum. That's where it all started.

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    5. I don't mind people wanting to improve a house - perhaps update it or add a room or two. But if you need or want a real big house, just buy a big house. There are alot on the market. My wife cried when we had to cut down a tree in our yard. Likewise, I would feel bad about tearing down a home and all the memories that surround it not just for the person's who lived there but for the neighbor's too.

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  2. I don't think the people who wrote this report knew about Marvin Weese. They didn't do the work they were hired to do.

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    1. Alot of that language in the report is just boilerplate gobbledegook to arrive at a certain result. Do you think these Arcadia residents care about the history of Sierra Madre? Why are so many of these problems coming from outside of Sierra Madre by people who don't live here and just don't care. Whether we allow this to happen to us or not is our problem.

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    2. 6:16 is right, They don't know anything about Marvin Weese. How can you write a report without knowing who the owner is?

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    3. I think they left that part out on purpose.

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    4. The damage would have been far less if they had just been more truthful.

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    5. The Marvin Weese Home needs to be preserved. Does anybody know if we can challenge the historical assessment that was done?

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    6. The report is a sham. If a researcher really digs into the history of this home and the people who built it, they can only conclude that it has historical value to what makes Sierra Madre what it is.

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    7. For all we know, all those owning an original Marvin Weese have a million dollar painting on their hands.

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    8. Marvin Weese was very active amongst the Laguna Beach artist community and well-known there in the 1940's. Don't tear down this home. Update it and add on a room or two.

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    9. Thank you. Just because the Pasadena House of Faux History doesn't know who this guy was doesn't mean he wasn't an artist of some importance. Shame on them!

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    10. Be assured that people are going to be accumulating alot of information about the Weese's. A potential buyer needs to understand that this may not be as easy for them to tear down as the realtor makes it out to be.

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  3. Plan approval expire after 180 days of approval if permits are not issued. The plans that the realtor is marketing are invalid.

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    1. So that 2008 "over the counter approval" is now is now 6 and a half years out of date? That is quite an error.

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    2. what? a lying straight commission salesperson? say it ain't so.

      remind me not to hire this real estate agent

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    3. It seems that this report was a whitewash and it may also reveal an inherent defect in the Demolition Ordinance which was brought up at the City Council meeting when the ordinance was formulated.. The concern was that the person who is paying for the "historical assessment" probably has some influence in controlling and influencing the outcome. Can you imagine the nod and wink when the developer says, "I'll give you an extra $1,000 if you make sure this house I want to tear down is not historically significant." Harabedian was the one who wanted the people wanting the demolition to pay for it - maybe not such a wise idea. Others like Delmar wanted the city to do an "historical survey" so that Sierra Madre can control its own destiny. Here's the first one and we can see how it going to be exploited. Now all the developers know or maybe already knew that this outfit in Pasadena is the go-to group if you want a historic assessment to come back negative.

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    4. Well its not over yet for the Buyer who may want to tear down this home. I hope that the historical assessment that makes no mention of Marvin Weese or that he built it with his own hands is appealable to the City Council where others can offer their own evidence that it is historically significant.

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    5. Good point. The Historic Resources Group, by leaving important facts out of their report, have turned this into a public debate. I'm not sure the people who hired them were looking for that.

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    6. The Weeses must be turning over in their graves to know that the home that they built with the sweat of their brow is being marketed as a teardown. Shame on you Micah Lachtman!

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    7. We're wasn't famous, sorry.

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    8. We're? As in "We're drinking kinda early this morning?"

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    9. It is not fame in the Khardashian sense we're talking about here, 7:44. It is what is culturally and historically important to Sierra Madre.

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    10. We're as in we're being disingenuous trying to promote that guy as being famous or historically significant. Just another bohemian in the canyon with a nice property.

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    11. You're talking subjectively when you are talking about art. In a Sierra Madre context this guy was very important. He was very good at what he did. Besides, if he wasn't famous before he sure is now!

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    12. Ok, He wasn't George Washington but he represents a part of Sierra Madre's history.

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    13. The question becomes how you define "historically significant". I'm sure to the owners in Arcadia and the Historic Resources Group in Arcadia, the fact that Marvin Weese was a local artist and built the place with his own hands, means nothing. To the people of Sierra Madre, its part of our history.

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    14. Micah Lachtman is misrepresenting the situation with that house. He has almost guaranteed that you can do whatever you want with that property. He doesn't realize that a buyer may run into a buzz saw on this one just the way the former owners of 126 E. Mira Monte did. Micah should talk to Reni Rose about that whole situation. He needs to revise his remarks to not make it seem so easy for potential buyers.

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    15. Weese was a noted artist and is listed in many publications as such. He's also a local artist who built the home himself. The house also looks like the historic Hugo Reid Adobe.

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    16. Don't bad mouth bohemians. We need more of 'em.

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    17. Micah needs to market it as a little jewel that could be updated and preserved and not just push the tear down.

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    18. true, 1:33, not bad-mouthing him... he's just not historically significant. I want to preserve the canyon and it's surroundings but this is a fake argument I can't support. I googled him this morning and, aside from some fellow with the same name on Facebook, the first website to come up bearing his name is this one. He just wasn't famous. sorry

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    19. Sounds like you're a potential buyer with other intentions.

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    20. say wha? I can't afford that

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  4. When the money gets a flowing then out goes any and all rules and regulations that were in place to prevent such transitivity from happening in the first place, white collar crime and criminals are lurking in Sierra Madre City Hall as you read this announcement.

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  5. Isn't it comforting to know that the future character of Sierra Madre is influenced by Guy and Joyce Cammilleri who live in Arcadia, the Historic Resources Group from Pasadena and realtor Micah Lachtman who lives somewhere other than Sierra Madre? I sleep better at night knowing that those kind of people will be determining what is and is not torn down in Sierra Madre.

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    1. Seems like a lot of people want to stick their noses in our business, and say things that are not true. And then tell us we said them.

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    2. Its the same with the Monastery, you have Jerry Pearson from Arcadia, Cam Thornton from Burbank and the Passionist owners in Chicago trying to force things down the throat of Sierra Madre. All these outside people know what's good for us evidently.

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    3. It's always the people outside if Sierra Madre who want to rob the town of its character to make the quick buck. The irony is that all the hard work of the preservationists over the years is what has made Sierra Madre real estate so unique and valuable.

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    4. That's why we have to have our own tight rules. We cannot expect people from Arcadia or other cities to care one lick about Sierra Madre. Some locals may be a little uncomfortable with the tighter rules but we really have no choice when there are so many developer vultures at our doorstep. Imagine what Sierra Madre would look like in 10 years if we had the same development rules as Arcadia has had.

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  6. Don't you think the Historic Resources Group might be slightly influenced by the people who are paying them? Don't you think they might be a little reluctant to produce an outcome that angers their client by concluding the opposite of what the client wants. And what if they went to another company that concluded the home was historically significant? Do they have any obligation to disclose that to anyone or are they allowed to cherry-pick the report that suits their purposes? What a fiasco!

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  7. It appears that Micah Lachtman will say or do anything to get a commission even if it means misrepresenting the orgin of that historical assessment report.

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    1. Leaving out the name of the person who actually built the house and studio does seem like a bit of an oversight.

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    2. No research was done at all other than stuff that any of us can do. If you want real research done, hire this guy in Pasadena the realtors use. He's called the Building...... He really digs in and gives you a thorough report on a home's history.

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    3. A lot of this report, especially the first part, seems very similar to Michele Zack's writings.

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    4. Boilerplates allow for a lot of copy and paste.

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    5. Its nothing but a whitewash to insure that the home gets demolished.

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    6. It's called pay to play. The Historic Resources Group would conclude that George Washington's birthplace had no historical significance if they would get paid by a developer wanting to tear it down.

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    7. I hear the White House is historically overrated.

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  8. In light of this, Sierra Madre may need to conduct its own, unbiased historical survey. It was Glen Lamdin and John Harabedian who didn't want that done and now another home with owners in Arcadia will be torn down by out-of-town developers who don't give a rip about Sierra Madre. Thanks Glen and John.

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    1. When we had the door just about shut, Lambdin and Harabedian saved us from the disaster preserving Sierra Madre's heritage would have brought down on us.

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    2. This was precisely the problem that certain City Council Members were concerned about when this was being debated. Delmar has been proven right that we should have done an unbiased and independent historic survey. Glen Lambdin said CEQA would come down on us and the sky would fall. Well, if the Weese house gets torn down its on him and Harabedian.

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    3. Mark this down.
      Delmar was smart and right.
      The others not so much.
      A pattern often repeated.
      Kudos to Tattlers for identifying another of the insider betrayals that Harabedian & Lambdin committed.
      We've just got to get rid of the dross from the CC.It will destroy our town.

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    4. A lot of people voiced concerns about the demolition ordinance because the key trigger of determining the historical significance was in the hands of the party wanting the demolition. That didn't make any sense then and it doesn't make any sense now.

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    5. I think the burden of payment should be on the person who wants to tear something down. Maybe they should submit the payment to the City and the City chooses the company that will do the historical assessment.

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  9. Go Mod, Ya got em on the run! :)

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  10. I just re-read the post and the conclusion from the report. It says that this home does not meet the requirements to be lilsted on the National Register of Historic Places or the California Register of Historic Resources but is that the threshold that a home must meet to avoid the wrecking ball. I thought our Domolition Ordinance was not worded with such a high threshold. I thought it said that a home can be torn down if it has no historical "significance" whatsoever. I'm just not sure if everybody is operating under the same standard.

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    1. The report is not really anything about history. It is part of a sales pitch.

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    2. That sounds like the deciding factor to me, 7:26.
      What specific protection does our ordinance offer?

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    3. I think we need to go back to the ordinance and see how it reads. I thought there was a process where people could offer their own evidence as to the historical significance of a property. The stakes are too high to just allow the opinion of one person from Pasadena to determine the outcome here.

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  11. omg - I can only imagine what the report would say if it were written by a sierra madrean?!

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  12. If a buyer wants to tear this home down, that report should be appealed to the City Council and we should have the ability to offer a contrary opinion. Those folks in Pasadena don't know Sierra Madre and what's historically significant here. That report was a whitewash with a preordained outcome influenced by the people who paid for the report. Its a farce and once again, Sierra Madre pays the price.

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  13. Thank God we have Hinton and Hutt on the Planning Commission

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    1. Thank heavens Pevsner and Vandervelde are not on it.
      However, this still could be difficult.
      The commissioners are legally bound to make specific findings based on specific regulations.

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    2. The Planning Commission will play an important part in making sure that what get's built is compatible with the neighborhood. We need to make sure it never reaches that point because the house doesn't get a date with the wrecking ball.

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    3. What she said !

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    4. If they can tear it down I have a lot of confidence in Gina, Desai, Hutt and Hinton to make sure that it is replaced by something good. I hope we don't get to that point but that's a little consolation.

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    5. John Hutt in particular knows this stuff cold and he's looking out for Sierra Madre. The developers will have more than met their match.

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    6. Being a Realtor in Sierra Madre is a specialty position. Out of towners would be smart to butt out. You can't handle this town.

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    7. The only problem is that there are plenty of local realtors who would be more than willing to sell out the town for a commission.

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  14. Their monster house building plans expired years ago. If the new buyers want to build a super house, they will need to get inline for a dance with our Planning Commission. I suggest all of you Tattlers read up on our Canyon Zone Ord. it's different from the R1.

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    1. The property is not in the canyon. It's zoned R1

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    2. I hope that realtor Micah Lachtman is going to disclose all this. Otherwise he may face some legal problems down the road when the buyer finds out that the picture is not quite as rosie as Micah has painted it.

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    3. Anyone who can afford to spend a million bucks on a lot can afford a lawyer.

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    4. I'm not afraid of these lawyers. We just need to keep their feet to the fire and make sure they play by Sierra Madre's rules and not their own.

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  15. It depends on what criteria you are looking at. The City probably said the house isn't on any list nor has it been discussed as being significant. The Historical Resources group most likely looked at the house, not any of the previous owners and determined it was not a historical structure. They overlooked the fact that the builder was, in Sierra Madre citizen's mind important. So, first off, that should be pointed out at the next planning commission and the next city council during public comment to get the information on the record, recognizing that no valid plans or demolition permits have been submitted yet. Anyone with the facts, not what we've read on the Tattler, should do this. Not to disparage the Tattler, but real printed or historical facts and data go a lot further.

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    1. Would you have known about this story if you hadn't read it here first?

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    2. I think some of the neighbors know the history of this place better than anyone. They need to come to the next meetings and put that history in the record. Absolutley right.

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  16. I think the grass in front of city hall was historically significant.

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  17. Speaking of historical. Other than being old and beautiful does anyone know why the Henry darling house was called as such.

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