Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Los Angeles Times: Sierra Madre home once doubled as a presidential retreat (Is it true?)

We originally posted about the Hoover House last Friday, but since then there has been a development. More on that in a minute. Usually when a house in Sierra Madre goes on the market for $3.75 million big ones, and it is located on a lot over an acre in size, it is more about the land than what sits on it. Even if the house is 5,810 square feet, and boasts of seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. No matter who used to occasionally visit there. Here is the Los Angeles Times take on this.

Sierra Madre home once doubled as a presidential retreat (Los Angeles Times link): Herbert Hoover Jr., the son of the 31st President, owned this Hacienda-style home in Sierra Madre for more than a decade starting in the early 1930s. His parents visited often enough that the residence became known as the Winter White House. The Hoovers added a child’s playroom with a built-in slide in homage to family friend and “Winnie the Pooh” author A.A. Milne. 500 N. Michillinda Ave., Sierra Madre 91024. Price: $3.75 million Built: 1928

All well and good, right? If you want to keep a large property in Sierra Madre from turning into four smaller properties, each with a new house on it, you establish the historic significance of the stately old home there originally. And in this particular case there is a kind of history involved. After all, it is not every city in America that can boast of having once been the host of a "Winter White House."

However, there is possibly a problem with all of this. I have been in touch with someone from out of state claiming to be a close relative of the Hoovers. So close that she refers to the 31st President of the United States as "Uncle Bert." This communication happened after our post on the Hoover House last Friday. And it is her contention that all of this "Winter White House" stuff is a bunch of malarkey, likely cooked up by the listing Realtor so they can get $3.75 million for the place. In other words, this entire media blitz could all be a lot of hype, orchestrated by some crafty Sierra Madre real estate agents bent on moving an otherwise pedestrian, though quite pleasant to look at, property.

This home did belong to Herbert Hoover Jr. He moved into the place in 1928, not in the "early 1930s" as the above article contends. However, his dad, Herbert Hoover, only visited the place as president one time. And rather than a west coast White House, which suggests that he spent a lot of time out here in California like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan did, the truth is he apparently only visited Sierra Madre once.

Which can make sense. This was an era when presidents didn't have an Air Force One to shuttle them back and forth across the country whenever they felt the need for some warm sunshine. And as you can see from the photo at the top of this post, Herbert Hoover did travel here by train. It was the preferred mode of transportation at a time when air travel was still in its relative infancy.

Going by train would take a considerable amount of time, especially when you are traveling cross country. It is not the kind of journey you'd really want to take all that often. Especially when you are a president tasked with trying to drag the country out of a calamity such as the Great Depression. There could have been security problems. Think of all the flying tomatoes.

So is this "Winter White House" thing mostly a cooked up invention of Podley Properties? A slender slice of history heavily embellished upon so they and their client can make some major bank on an interesting old house located on a far more valuable 50,133 square foot lot?

I just don't know what to say.

Organic Life Care: Sierra Madre's first cannibus shop?

Speaking of things that might or might not be, here is the screen shot of a business I stumbled across last night on-line when I was looking for something else. Link here.


Now before you rush downtown to pick up some free samples from the generous folks at Organic Life Care, you might want to check out that address first. I checked it out and here is what I found at 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.


I hate to burst peoples' bubbles twice in one day, but if the guy who refers to himself as "bud tender" is actually working at that address, he must be one very small fellow. So small he can fit into a post office box.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

52 comments:

  1. Realtors never make stuff up, especially when they're trying to sell a $3 million+ dollar home.

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    Replies
    1. You must have just picked up your free samples at Organic Life Care.

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    2. to be a realtor you must know the special language that attracts - creative fake news art-like words that paint a fabulous picture.... just imagine what you too could own, be a part of, etc. sometimes you get called out on the facts... lets see where this trail leads!

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    3. Washington slept here. At the Hotel Shirley I think.

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    4. imagine the folklore if they were selling the Buck?

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    5. Richard Nixon wrote the Checkers speech at the Buc. He was literally crying in his cups as he wrote it.

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    6. My favorite realtor-speak is "cozy."

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  2. Crafty Sierra Madre Real Estate Agent.
    That is the most civil description possibly for that particular agency and the history accumulated over years of "crafty" business dealings.

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    1. I've just done a brief search online for Hoover's trips to Sierra Madre, and if there were a lot of them, they are not on the web...so I wonder where the realtors got their facts. Or are they alternative facts?

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    2. There was no internet when hoover visited mr./ mrs. smartypants. No selfies were snapped either.

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    3. There were telegraphies.

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    4. Right, 8:50. Before the internet was total chaos. And no one kept any records, that were later uploaded...

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  3. The Vacuum Guy?May 2, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Truly a historic Sierra Madre Home Alone amongst the crowd.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLVOF3UkycE

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  4. Los Angeles Times, alternative facts, and Sierra Madre's own "orchestrayed hype" real estate agents. Nothing FAKE here.

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  5. you people are insane... A realtor told you this house was the western white house and it did in fact belong to a presidents son, and you find its historical merits dubious. Not long ago, a realtor called a house on Mira Monte "The Henry A. Darling House" and you had a historical orgasm.
    This town doesn't need a weed store, just charge admission into the canyon, and tell people to take a deep breath. That seems to do the trick...

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    Replies
    1. Well, if a realtor said it then it must be true.

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    2. The Darling House is historic because it is representative of early Craftsman architecture. The Hoover Junior House is supposedly historic because his father stayed there often, though there is no information on the internet that substantiates this.

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    3. 9:25, the internet is vast. Surely you can find sites where you find the posters reasonably sane.

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    4. Yeah, but then they wouldn't let 9:25 in.

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  6. President Hoover did have a house in California. But it was in Palo Alto.

    Herbert Hoover: Widely regarded as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history (certainly in the bottom 10), Herbert Hoover's name became synonymous with the Great Depression, which struck a few months after he took office. He was the first president to have lived in California.

    Hoover was born in Iowa but went to Stanford University in its inaugural year of 1891. It was there that he met Lou Henry, who was from Acton, an unincorporated town in Los Angeles County. They would marry in 1899. It was Lou who designed the couple's only permanent residence, a unique structure built on the outskirts of Stanford University. It now serves as the home of Stanford's president.
    http://www.laweekly.com/news/5-presidents-who-called-california-home-7726215

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    1. here is the most obvious question. If President Hoover had his own place in Palo Alto, why would he need to stay at his son's house in Sierra Madre?

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    2. Maybe because he wanted to visit his son and see his grandkids.

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    3. Hoover is "enroute to Washington to take up his official duties..."
      So he wasn't president yet when he visited...

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  7. How can a Mail Boxes Plus address possibly be a retail establishment with staff to help and how can you sell medicinal and recreations cannabis products on-line?

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    1. It appears that you can claim to have a business in Sierra Madre by taking out a post box there. The Mountain Views News uses the same address.

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    2. The Mountain Views had a hard time staying in an office. The last place they rented in an office building, there were complaints about someone living there.

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    3. Interesting. Maybe I'll start a car company there.

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    4. 2:23 - No surprise there.

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  8. Not on the historic list. Ripe for demo and replacement with six McMansions.

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    Replies
    1. There are rules in place. I trust our planning commission to uphold the rules.

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    2. Planning commission doesn't enforce codes...they make them.
      Given that the lot @ 500 n. Michillinda is completely surrounded by other houses and has only one access point, subdividing the lot will prove to be difficult.

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  9. The LA Times now has an article up about Vasken Gourdikian.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-pasadena-firearms-list-20170501-story.html

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  10. Southern California StoryMay 2, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    More Hoover Hootenannies...

    "Hoover was a Californian with close ties to Sierra Madre: his son and daughter-in-law (Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hoover, Jr.) lived with their children on Sierra Madre Avenue. This perhaps inspired a "loyalty bonus" that awarded him eighty-eight more local votes than Roosevelt in the election of November 1932."

    This is in our local history book, seems to be a different address than what the realtor has provided...

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  11. Look at the caption of this photo: "President Visits Son. President and Mrs. Hoover are welcomed to Glendale, California, by a young admirer as their train stopped en route to Sierra Madre, where they visited the home of their son, Herbert Hoover Jr. Before going back to Washington, D. C"

    http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/president-visits-son-president-and-mrs-hoover-are-welcomed-news-photo/516578232?#california-president-visits-son-president-and-mrs-hoover-are-welcomed-picture-id516578232

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    1. You mean the one that the Tattler has leading the article today?

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  12. Trying to walk a fine line here without denigrating the reputation of our local Podley folks, but they are all about staging and presentation. I'm sure they take pride in this, and more power to them. But, when you're in the market for a home, you quickly learn to take everything they say, and every photo they take, with a healthy dose of skepticism.

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  13. Dispensaries are not allowed in Sierra Madre.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Or at least until they are.

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    2. I thought they were allowed everywhere, with restrictions close to schools.
      Dr. Sami has had that green cross up for years.

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    3. In the ganja world he is known as Dr. Smiles.

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  14. Stop the deep inhalation.
    Real Estate Agent and prior owner of Podley, also had the Historically Survey on file, on the Darling House. Just like a poker player holds their cards close, she held that information close until the listing of the property was under another reality, or so it had that appearance.

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  15. Looks like the weed seller is a delivery service. So you send in money and then there's a knock on the door?

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  16. If Hoover visited that house, the price should be discounted.

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    1. Or perhaps a memorial shanty should be built by the pool?

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    2. Be sure to count the silverware after he leaves.

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    3. Special discounts on freight train rides.

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    4. Hooverville Hobomadre

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  17. One can not say that all real estate agents are lying money grabbers. Four years ago we bought a house through a real Rose of an agent and found that person was honest and worked hard for us and our family. I will not mention the office but I can say not all realtors are bad.

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    1. If they were so great why wouldn't you mention them?

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    2. It's a mistake to think a realtor is a friend, or that he (or in your case, she) had your best interest at heart. It's business, and they are in it for the money.

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    3. 10:28, how long have you been in town? A Rose of a realtor? Ya know, wink, wink.

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  18. Although embellishing the Hoover connection is really a lie and should be deleted, the price is not that bad. In 2015 my husband and I sold our house in Sierra Madre, on Oak Crest, 1.19 acres, for 2.85M. That was about $770 per sf; the Hoover house is only $645 per sf. I've dealt with Sue Walker at Podley Properties, and although they were not the listing agents on our house (because they did not want to go as high as I wanted), I found Sue to be scrupulously honest and a great realtor.

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