To Mickey Caldwell, a house is more than a place to make dinner and find shelter from the rain. It is inhabited by the ghosts of
the people who built it and lived and loved in it.
The older the house, the more people have passed thorough its front door, bickered in it’s kitchen, and slid down its laundry
chute.
Caldwell is among dozens of volunteers who have spent the past year roaming downtown neighborhoods with pencils and
clipboards, peering from the sidewalk into the porches and yards of strangers’ houses.
“There’s a value to them, a living history,” she said. “There’s still a downtown if we fight to keep these houses preserved.”
Caldwell and other history buffs have been working to create the cities first protected historic district – one that includes not just
a few streets, but the entire original pioneer colony that became Anaheim.
Their job has been to look past the peeling paint, security doors and scruffy lawns of aging homes that once were graceful and
charming and to envision the day when they could be again.
If successful, the residents will have done something that others have failed to do for 25 years: create the cities first ordinance to
preserve historic buildings.
“We want to turn around people’s perceptions of what this neighborhood is, “said Mike Tucker, who owns a 1915 bungalow on
Zeyn Street. “It’s not cheap housing, it is old historic housing.”
                                                              WITHIN A WILLOW
FENCE
In 1857, German immigrants from San Francisco paid $750 each to join a 1,165 acre wine making cooperative on the banks of
the Santa Ana River. A willow fence was built around the Anaheim Colony, as it was called, to keep cattle herds from
trampling the grape vines.
As the colony grew, increasingly wealthy settlers built sturdy, but mostly modest houses, in the German tradition that scorned
ostentation.
Many of those homes remain within North, South, East and West Streets – the boundaries of the old colony.
Today, the homes on Clementine Street, North of Pearson Park give the lie to a notion that downtown Anaheim is little more
than shabby bungalows and strip malls.
Eleanor Faessel’s house, across from the park’s duck pond and stately trees, was built in 1921 by Charles Boege, a trusted city
treasurer who created the major scandal of the day when he was convicted of embezzling $3,500 from the city.
Houses in this neighborhood, built in the 1920s and 1930s, have whimsical details like turrets, diamond-paned windows, plaster
cornices, striped canopies and river rock chimneys.
Several doors north of Faessel’s house, hamburger king Carl Karcher lives in a sprawling Spanish Revival home highlighted by
tilework and surrounded by verdant trees.
Nearby, a house with peaked roof and dormer windows was built by Lotus Louden, founder of the Anaheim Bulletin. Louden
helped drive the Ku Klux Klan from the City Council.
                                                                     MAKING
CHANGES
As currently envisioned, creation of the historic district would not ensure preservation of some 1,100 old buildings within the
original township. Property owners would still have the right to make changes as they see fit.
But they would be required to meet with historic planners at City Hall first, to learn about their buildings’ past and how the
architectural character of the building could be preserved.
Owners would then be asked to follow voluntary guidelines that emphasize the original character of the building.
For example, preservation buffs would like to see antique wooden windows repaired, rather than replaced with aluminum frames
that appear awkward on an older home.
Preservationists believe these changes detract from what historians call the architectural integrity of a building, and can lower its
financial value.
Under the proposal presented to the City Council last week, voluntary remodeling guidelines would apply only to buildings 50
years or older that haven’t been altered substantially.
History buffs don’t want to see their neighborhood suffer the fate of the Pickwick Hotel, a Mission Revival gem that was razed in
1988 to make way for a new City Hall.
“Everyone veers toward making everything mandatory, but I still think you should educate people so they want to do it,” Mickey
Caldwell said.
                                                                         DIVINE
GUIDANCE
Lisa and Corey Loprest had no particular interest in history before they bought a dilapidated house on Elm last year.
They only became aware afterward that their Victorian house, built in 1897, belonged to some of the city’s most important
pioneers.
John and Margaret Rea owned 80 acres of walnut groves named the Katella Ranch after their daughters, Kate and Ella. The dirt
road to the ranch later became Katella Avenue. The Reas sold their house in 1922, and it was moved to 125 Elm Street.
Today, the three-story wooden home sits on a shabby commercial side street and needs repairs, which the Loprests have
undertaken even though historically accurate fixes cost more and take more time than off the shelf hardware.
“We are Christians who believe the Lord really led us to buy the house, ” Lisa Loprest said.
                                             AEROPLANES ON WEB
Many Craftsman Bungalows remain along North Zeyn Street in good condition, attracting people who like the wooden structures
with wide porches and doors.
Mike Tucker and his wife bought their 1915 Aeroplane Bungalow on Zeyn Street six years ago, moving from Lakewood in search
of a bygone era.
Their house is knows as the Aeroplane style because it has wide roof overhangs reminiscent of airplane wings.
Public interested in Craftsman architecture has become a cult, with its own magazines, clubs, and even furniture makers. True
believers journey to Pasadena, where entire neighborhoods are built out in that style.
Today, Zeyn Street’s residents include retired people who arrived before Craftsman became chic, and younger couples seeking
their architectural dream.
Several years ago, Tucker became interested in investigating his house, spending hours in the Anaheim History Room at the
Central Library.
Later, when he decided to teach himself to create Internet Web pages, he used his historical research as a subject.
Today, Tucker’s Historical Web site has been visited by thousands of people, who can read about the proposed historic district,
take home tours, and read a treasure trove of stories about the city’s history.
“I’ve actually driven down the streets and seen groups of people with my Web pages doing a self guided tour – which is great,”
Tucker said. “You put that stuff out there and don’t know if anyone looks at it.”
                                          CATALOG HOUSES
Neighborhood Coordinator Phyllis Mueller, who formerly worked in Pasadena, was hired by the City’s Community Development
Department last year to help improve downtown residential areas plagued by low property values and blight.
One of her first activities has been to organize local history buffs to create a preservation district.
She would like to see downtown Anaheim get the same recognition for its old houses as communities such as Pasadena or Orange.
A volunteer committee of fourteen people and others spent more than a year digging into old ledgers and combing through
microfilm copies of old newspapers to create a historical record for some two hundred homes.
Volunteer researchers Gail Eastman, and her husband Ron, rode bicycles downtown seeking the twelve old houses they’d been
assigned, so they could document their current condition.
Then they spent many evenings at the library pouring over dusty handwritten old tax assessors’ books and yellowing directories,
finding the stories of the people who once lived here. The couple spent almost twenty hours researching each house.
They also looked up their own house on Illinois Street, which they believe was a catalog home build in 1924.
Many homes in Anaheim were once ordered from Sears or other catalog businesses, then shipped west by rail, complete with
lumber, light fixtures and even nails.
If history buffs can gain community approval, they envision a new kind of catalog – monuments marking the boundaries of the
historic district, commemorative brass plaques on the doors of houses and a series of showcase home tours.
“Anaheim is full of places for tourists to come to, but it would be nice for people to come here to see our community and what
we’ve done,” said Caldwell.
purbarThese 200 buildings were researched over the past year by volunteers and singled out in a
survey of central Anaheim residences with historic and architectural significance.  They are
among an estimated 1,100 that remain of some 1,400 old buildings noted in an earlier survey.
purbar

East Adele Street

North Janss Street

  • 301
  • 427

South Kroeger Street

  • 113
  • 125
  • 207

North Lemon Street

  • 302
  • 308
  • 501
  • 502
  • 518
  • 521
  • 607
  • 615
  • 703
  • 709 – 717
  • 747

South Lemon Street

  • 604
  • 711

West Lincoln Avenue

  • 710
  • 1010

South Melrose Street

  • 203
  • 214

East North Street

  • 215
  • 219
  • 1001

West North Street

  • 623

South Ohio Street

  • 204
  • 330
  • 405
  • 410
  • 414
  • 418
  • 419

North Olive Street

  • 325
  • 719

South Olive Street

  • 115
  • 116 – 118
  • 119
  • 402
  • 409

North Philadelphia Street

  • 303
  • 307
  • 317
  • 321
  • 511

South Philadelphia Street

  • 609

North Pine Street

  • 301
  • 318
  • 322
  • 331
  • 425

North Resh Street

  • 119
  • 123
  • 221
  • 302

North Rose Street

  • 501

East South Street

  • 216

West South Street

  • 204
  • 316

East Sycamore Street

  • 506

West Sycamore Street

  • 122

North Vine Street

  • 108

North Vintage Lane

  • 188
  • 200

North West Street

  • 211
  • 414
  • 415
  • 418

South West Street

  • 203
  • 406
  • 410

East Wilhelmina Street

  • 114
  • 125
  • 200
  • 211

North Zeyn Street

  • 503
  • 514
  • 521
  • 603
  • 630
  • 631
  • 734
  • 735
  • 751
  • 757
  • 760
  • 202
  • 206
  • 226
  • 228
  • 308
  • 309
  • 502

East Alberta Street

  • 302
  • 306
  • 407
  • 411
  • 501 – 503

South Anaheim Blvd

  • 440 – 454
  • 703

South Atchison Street

  • 111
  • 207

East Broadway

  • 202
  • 224
  • 312
  • 324
  • 403
  • 507
  • 510
  • 1108

North Bush Street

  • 512
  • 516

South Bush Street

  • 325
  • 327
  • 411

South Citron Street

  • 121
  • 205
  • 323
  • 327
  • 417
  • 805
  • 216
  • 226
  • 412
  • 714
  • 727
  • 746

South Claudina Street

  • 76
  • 601
  • 500
  • 510
  • 514
  • 521
  • 601
  • 630
  • 700
  • 717
  • 724
  • 730
  • 734
  • 750
  • 754

South Clementine Street

  • 519
  • 601
  • 625

East Cypress Street

  • 129
  • 302
  • 308
  • 312
  • 900

South Dickel Street

  • 600
  • 617

East Ellsworth Avenue

  • 200
  • 219

West Elm Street

  • 125

North Emily Street

  • 217
  • 221
  • 317
  • 423

South Emily Street

  • 611
  • 719

North Harbor Blvd

  • 319
  • 415
  • 727

South Harbor Blvd

  • 538
  • 546

North Helena Street

  • 200
  • 208
  • 212
  • 685

South Helena Street

  • 314
  • 700

South Illinois Street

  • 319
  • 330
  • 508
  • 511
  • 513

South Indiana Street

  • 326
  • 415
  • 531
  • 549
  • 559