|Both historical and history.|
Oh, and pay for it all by splitting the lot. But that is another story.
Fisher, after having carefully looked the place over, told them that yes, the Henry A. Darling house was a property having some historical significance. And since the Browns, who were apparently not interested in having to come up with the considerable wherewithal it would take to restore the place, changed their minds, abandoned their locally controversial strategy, and sold it. Which brings us to the current owners.
And, as we already know, the Brown's concern about this issue was no secret. They had already bailed out because of it.
It is important to note that Charles J. Fisher only wrote his report after having been commissioned to do so by Mr. and Mrs. Kefalas. The Browns, who had been given news they did not want to hear by this noted Pasadena architectural historian, never saw the need to hire him to write any reports. They'd already heard enough. This was only done after William Kefalas had been told by the Sierra Madre Planning Commission to do so. Something that may very well become tantamount to having to pay for the rope they will hang him with this coming Thursday evening.
Despite his claims of innocence, I believe Kefalas must have known about this issue because another party had previously made an offer to buy the Darling home from the Brown family, and knew that architectural historian Charles Fisher had visited the home at their request. Because this guy was aware that the home would be found to be historically significant, he made a lower offer because ownership and restoration costs would be greater.
Taking all of that into account, my guess is Kefalas must have believed he could power through any such concerns by quickly destroying this historic house, thereby leaving the city with no other option but to allow him to finish the project as he saw fit. A legally dicey strategy perhaps, but one that has unfortunately worked for others in Sierra Madre. In other words, Kefalas thought he could get away with it. And as of this typing (11/28/16 - 11:43 PM), perhaps he has.
Which brings us to an even larger issue. A city that will not defend its laws and codes is not really a city at all. Rather it is merely an organized opportunity for wink and nod backroom deals with unscrupulous local players interested in just one thing, making easy money. You can write all the General Plans and fine preservationist ordinances you wish, but unless you back them up with significant consequences to those who would so badly abuse this community and its irreplaceable heritage for narrow personal gain, you have achieved absolutely nothing.
I cannot give you a link to the Charles J. Fisher report. It was forwarded to me by invisible hands and is not, to my knowledge, available on the Internet. But here is a portion of it. And do note the cameo appearance of The Tattler. I'd be lying if I told you I'm not pleased by the mention.