319 N. Harbor Blvd

This home, originally the 1931 Beck House, was converted into a Byzantine Catholic Church in 1974.  The property was sold to the current owners just over one year ago, and they have worked tirelesslyto restore it as a beautiful single-family home again.

Prominent features of the house include the huge arched, peaked window in the front and a working bell tower above the roof line that echoes a similar bell tower on the northeast corner of the property.  These towers, as well as the stucco fence enclosing the courtyard, are additions made by the Byzantine Church and retained by the current owners for their unique charm.

The property is entered through an arched gateway, leading to a front courtyard.  Along the walkway are a fountain and an outdoor fireplace – perfect for entertaining.  The massive front door is original to the home, and evokes a feeling of entering a mission building. Notice the niches, also original to the home, built in the entryway walls.
During the restoration process, Michelle Lieberman and her husband Lew Aguilar have uncovered original coved plaster ceilings and hardwood floors, and have meticulously restored the home.  In some cases where replacement was necessary, they have painstakingly worked to match the original features


Like so many streets here in the Colony, Zeyn Street is named for one of the original vineyard colonists.  When John P. Zeyn retired from farming and subdivided his land, Anaheim gained much of the “Northpark District,” the area north of Pearson Park.  Wilhelmina Street is named for his daughter “Winnie.”

321 N. Philadelphia St. Backs / Olesen

This honeymoon cottage for Fred Backs, Jr. and his wife, Jessie Melrose, the children of Anaheim pioneer families, was built in 1903.  This home is situated in the Melrose/Backs National Register Historic District, and is itself listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house originally faced Adele Street, but was turned one quarter in 1911 to match the adjacent home to the south belonging to Mrs. Backs’ parents.  To enhance family interaction, both houses had connecting walkways and French doors facing one another. The decorative Victorian-style fretwork in the front parlor is not original to the house.  However, since evidence existed of a decorative element here, similar existing woodwork from the senior Backs house was copied for use here.  Note the windows throughout the houses: there are a total of 42 diamond panes. A southern addition was built, most likely in the late 1920s, that served for a time as a separate rental property with its own entrance. In the adjoining wall of what is now the dining room, notice the top of the original kitchen window frame rising above the beautiful built-in cabinetry, as well as the wood stove vent in the ceiling.

Keith and Judy Olesen, the owners since 1986, have been active in historic preservation efforts for over 15 years.  They have maintained this home’s unique character which, as would not be unexpected for the time period, is a blend of Victorian and Craftsman elements.


A charming oriental-flavored Craftsman home, this house dates to 1911.  The house was custom-built next to the Melrose/Backs compound, which is not surprising as it was originally the home of Judge Homer Ames, a law partner and friend of Richard Melrose. After serving as Anaheim’s City Attorney from 1912 to 1925, Ames was appointed to the Superior Court.

This home is a one-of-a-kind design, not seen anywhere else in the city.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The delightful red front door with its Craftsman hardware is sheltered by an almost flat gabled portico supported by heavy brackets.  The pronounced horizontal feel is accentuated by a belt course just at windowsill height that separates the narrow clapboard siding above from the wider shiplap below.

The inside of this home is frankly dramatic, as surprising as it is intriguing.  The current owners have adopted bold coloration and decorating that is wonderfully unique and adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of the house.

Scott Rummage and Charles Coy discovered this house about four years ago, and have attended to every detail, preserving the old while embellishing both the interior and grounds with a contemporary flair.  The home has been recognized with an Anaheim Beautiful award.

Take a moment to stroll through George Washington Park adjoining the Melrose/Backs Historic District.  This park is a newly completed example of Anaheim’s commitment to celebrating its past while meeting the needs of current residents.  It evokes themes of the Arts & Crafts movement, and also features trellises with climbing roses and a bandstand.
This was the original location of Central School, later renamed George Washington School, one of Anaheim’s first school buildings.  The school construction was the first in California known to have been financed by a school bond issue.
While here, don’t miss the monument to the school on the park grounds.  This marker is in the style of the large monuments that mark the locations of the original entrances to the Anaheim Colony.  These are on Lincoln Avenue near East Street, on Anaheim Boulevard near North Street and again near the original South Street entrance.  A fourth marker is planned for Lincoln near West Street Lincoln follows much of the route that was originally Center Street, and Anaheim Boulevard, originally Los Angeles Boulevard, marked the major north-south route that would take travelers to Los Angeles.

This outstanding house, dating from 1882, was originally home to Hippolyte Cahen and his family.  One of Anaheim’s leading citizens, Cahen was president of the city’s second bank and a Town Trustee.  The house combines about four or five variations of Victorian and Queen Anne styles, and its design was influenced by a house in  Santa  Ana  that Cahen liked
The house was moved twice, first in 1911 and then again in 1977 when it was moved from the current location of City Hall.  The house shows the love of the Clendenen family who restored the home over the next quarter century.  Its rebirth is dramatic – it had been converted to a multi-family dwelling that was missing many original features.
The solarium/library has been added to the house, using beautiful old leaded glass walls that were once part of a Victorian-style building on Main Street in Disneyland. Inside the home, Ken and Susan Chinn and family have beautifully maintained the furnishings collected by the Clendenens.  This house
has been featured in numerous magazines, and was Anaheim Beautiful’s Sweepstakes Award Winner in 1999.  It is also one of the first participants in the Mills Act Program.
The beautiful homes on Vintage Lane were moved here in the area known as Heritage Square to save them from encroaching development.  These homes are not open for today’s tour, but you are welcome to enjoy viewing the architecture of each home. Please do not disturb the occupants.
Tours_2002tour.html-0This Craftsman bungalow was built in 1911 by the Benner family.  Joseph Bennersheidt (the family later shortened the name) was a metalworker who came to Anaheim in 1870.  Family- owned Benner Metals is still in the area.  The house was moved from south Lemon Street in 1984.
Tours_2002tour.html-1The 1907 Holman house is a fine example of a Colonial Revival style home.  It has a classic hip roof line with hip roof dormer centered over the front door.  This house, featured in the Anaheim Colony Historic District Preservation Plan, was one of the first homes to participate in the Mills Act Program.  Moved from Philadelphia Street in 1988.
Tours_2002tour.html-2This 1905 Victorian-style house was originally owned by the Grimm family.  The last of the homes moved to Vintage Lane, it came from north Olive Street in 1990.
Tours_2002tour.html-3Originally owned by Ferdinand and Louise Werder Backs, who were both from pioneer families. Construction was completed in 1904.  Backs was a civic leader and Anaheim’s first undertaker. Ferdinand and Louise were the parents of Fred Backs, whose honeymoon cottage at 321 N. Philadelphia Street is on today’s tour.  Visitors to this house included Madame Helena Modjeska, Andrew Carnegie, California Governor Hiram Johnson, and President Warren G. Harding.  The house was moved from north Claudina Street in 1987.  This house is on the National Register of Historic Places.