Friday, June 20, 2014

the ain renaissance continues...

Slowly but surely, we're seeing some changes on the street.  If you've not been around in a while, please come take a look as there are lots of upgrades and restorations to the original Gregory Ain designs currently at play.  New driveways have been paved (getting rid of the poorly maintained asphalt and even older concrete), new gardens have been planted (maybe not Garret Eckbo, but certainly inspired by our current water situation and the aesthetics of a modern garden), and fresh sanding and painting are happening up and down the street.  And you know what, it's a great place to live.  I can't believe how many kids are resident on Highview now, but it's great.  The pride is emerging in fun and unpredictable ways, and I'm so proud to be a ten-year member of Park Planned Homes. Time flies!

Since I can only manage to make a post once a year now (last time was nearly to the day!), I might as well make it somewhat worthwhile, right?  Well, unfortunately the posting theme seems to be bittersweet again, as this time I'm writing about losing another beloved member of the street. Thankfully, we're not losing this family the same way we lost Mr. Mims.  Rather, our neighbors on the northeast end of the street at 2858 Highview Avenue are headed back east to be closer to family and start a whole new career chapter. We are all going to miss them, and wish them a very fond farewell.  (Oh, and by the way, the driveway kegger sendoff party we had for them a couple of weeks ago was such a success, there has been a lot of chatter about making it a monthly haps... I say YES and I'm sure Gregory Ain would approve!)

Gregory Ain Park Planned Homes Altadena 2858 Highview Avenue walkway detail (not original)
Gregory Ain 2858 Highview Avenue - modified exterior walkway detail
So, of course with a move, that only means one thing: another of our Ain homes has hit the market. And this time it's a great one!  Though unable to finish the restoration work they had started on, our neighbors managed to make lots of improvements over the brief time they were with us (did you know that bottles from the 1970s were found in the ivy that was removed in front of the house??), but didn't get to realize their total vision.  That means of course that it's in nice shape, but still in need of some TLC as are all of our little 1946 experiments.  There are lots of pictures on the Curbed LA site, which is always a fun place to go see what's happening in the world of architecture for sale in Los Angeles, and of course you can get to it too on the listing agent Deasy/Penner's site as well.  And, if you clicked the link to the Google map above, you'll see the exterior from a couple of years ago.  Contrast with this:

Gregory Ain Park Planned Homes Altadena 2858 Highview Avenue exterior
Gregory Ain 2858 Highview Avenue - exterior

The curious thing about this home is that not only is the present resident an architect, but the prior owner was also an architect and a bit of an artist as well.  There are still vestiges of the previous owner's handiwork, both with little sculptural pieces around the house as well as some aesthetic uses of wood to create a feel of a larger home and some privacy too.  There is always that question of "do we keep what's been done already" or "do we restore back to original" and you never know what the next owner will decide.  For many of us, the decorative elements were always curious and tasteful, so never really felt like a distraction from the original simplicity of the house.  To each his own of course.  If you're interested in the house and want to know more about what was added or is slightly different from the original, I'm always happy to provide what I know.  Drop me a line.

Gregory Ain Park Planned Homes Altadena 2858 Highview Avenue walkway detail
Gregory Ain 2858 Highview Avenue - front walkway detail

Being one of the four corner lot properties on the street, it does have a larger footprint for the yard, including the nice entry way that is much wider than the rest of us.  The backyard is really quite large, even with the modest pool (a must in the Altadena summers!), and makes me a bit envious that there are so many trees.  You know, as Alec Baldwin said in Glengarry Glen Forrester, "Always Be Planting More Trees."
Gregory Ain Park Planned Homes Altadena 2858 Highview Avenue doorways
Gregory Ain 2858 Highview Avenue - front door, inside and out

Not much to say other than it's a killer property and one I'd snatch up if I felt it necessary to own two houses on the same street.  Hmmmmm...

We're going to miss you guys and good luck to the new homeowner - welcome to Park Planned Homes in advance!!



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