REAL ESTATE

The Votes Are In: Historic Suffragist House Snapped Up in L.A.

  • Huge Bedroom

    Huge Bedroom

  • Light Filled Living Area

    Light Filled Living Area

  • Restored Deck

    Restored Deck

A house with history and "herstory" is pending sale in the Highland Park -- Garvanza neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Restoring the 1887 Colonial Revival was a labor of love for the seller, who purchased the run-down home for $20,000 in 1969, according to listing agent Deirdre Salomone. Currently listed for $886,000, the home is part of a historic preservation zone, which helped fund an extensive restoration to the exterior.

The first owners of the home, physician and ordained minister Anna Howard Shaw and real estate investor Cora Pond Pope, moved from Boston to lead an early women's movement on the West Coast. "The women … bought the land and built the home to build the suffragist movement" Salomone says.

Unfortunately, the home had changed hands and fallen into disrepair over the years, even becoming a frat house before its current seller took over. A massive update took place on the outside of the home, including replacing the roof, reflooring the three decks, and repairing and restoring its 47 windows.

The surprisingly open and light-filled interior retains many of its original features, including pocket doors, brick walls, and even a light fixture with the original Edison bulbs intact -- and still working, the agent notes.

The living space includes two large sitting areas, a formal dining room, a kitchen, and an office. Salomone believes the layout was designed with meetings in mind, to organize and galvanize suffragist supporters.

These days, northeast L.A. has galvanized home buyers. The area has become a vibrant, popular location. The buyer -- an actor, producer, and director who draws inspiration from the area -- brings some Hollywood glamour to the neighborhood. He was "enchanted" by the 3,700 square-foot building, the agent notes, and plans to turn the home into a live-work space.

He should also plan to live-work on the house. For the seller, in his 70s and ready to retire to Palm Springs, it was crucial that a buyer appreciate that the home is still a work in progress after all these years, Salomone notes. "It was just important that the right person buy it, love it, and would take it to the next level."