Apparently we are now looking at something new in Sierra Madre. It can be called Potemkin Preservation if you like. I'll try and explain why you might want to use the term. Here is the way the Henry A. Darling house looked in its original state.
Just below is the ersatz version that is now nearing completion at 126 E. Mira Monte. Kind of an Army tank green and drab looking pile when compared to the far more colorful and differentiated original, even in its final sun baked state. Probably because most of the features that distinguished the original house left for the landfills of Los Angeles County long ago when nobody was looking.
However, what is more interesting here is just how large this house has become in the back. Think of it as Potemkin Preservation. Apparently if you fake the facade of a house and make it similar in appearance to what it was before being demolished, you can add as much in the back as you can get the City Council to allow. Masked mansionization, if you will.
Notice the additional structure added to the back to the right. Looks almost like a second house has been tacked on. Hard to get a clear picture because of the tree that is hanging over that additional portion of the joint, but I think you get the idea.
Here is a portion of that addition.
Here is a shot of the rather beefy left hand side, as you are facing south. But the real additional square footage hidden behind the Potemkin facade is clearly to the right.
In case you are not up on the term "Potemkin Village," here is the something from a website called Architecture Daily (link).
According to Russian legend, "Potemkin Villages"—entirely fake urban conurbations made to appear real—can be traced to it's namesake, Field Marshall Aleksandrovich Potemkin. In 1787, this soldier faced an unusual request: Catherine the Great demanded the construction of swathes of artificial settlements along her route to the Crimea in order to disguise, or veil, the run-down face of the region.
Here is the picture that accompanied the article.
I think it is an idea that has now been adopted in Sierra Madre. The Empress would be proud. Appearance over substance in a small town now giving way to the demands of the real estate market and the large amounts of money to be made.