The King House


As mentioned in a prior post, you must always be ready to share the history of your home.  So, come on in, let me tell you about the history of my home which I’ve discovered by researching historical archives, and

History: In 1929, CF Millen sold the land for the King House to Lee and Jennie King, under the stipulation that a home valued of at least $5,000 must be built on the site. Lee (born 1867) and Jennie (born 1874) were originally from Ohio and moved first to Utah, and then to Santa Ana in about 1920. Lee was a contractor. It is unclear if he was the builder. In 1930, construction of the home was completed.

The King’s chose to build in the French Norman Revival style. The French Normandy design style came into popularity following the first world war. With a growing middle class population in America, French chateaus became a model of inspiration in building their homes on a smaller scale, thereby creating a more affordable French styled home that came to be known as French Normandy. From the French chateaus, borrowed elements of steep roof pitches, high ridgelines, and dormers suggest the notion of a grand scaled estate. French Normandy and French provincial architecture details are often combined to create a style that is simply called “French Country”. While formally listed in the Historical Registry as Tudor, the style of the home has clear French influences.

Lee King was a car enthusiast and purchased a rare 1928 Locomobile 8-70 which remains in mint condition today. It is as well preserved as the home he built.  Lee King lived in the home until his death. The King family lived in the home until 1956 when it was sold to the Baxter’s. Clifford (born 1915) and Esther Baxter purchased the home in 1956. Clifford was a Santa Ana resident, and a parole officer. He ran for City Marshal in 1947 but was defeated. While he was a parole officer, Baxter led raids and testified about CA State Assembly Speaker Sam L. Collins’s involvement in a gambling ring. Baxter later admitted perjury and destruction of evidence in the case. He went on to become an attorney at Mize, Larsh, Mize, Hubbard & Baxter, and was the lead defense attorney for People v. Saterfield, where the jury verdicts found the defendant guilty of two counts of first degree murder and ordered the death penalty. After Clifford’s death in 1971, the Baxter family remained in the home until Walter Urie and Susan Fleming purchased the home in 1989, and they lovingly cared for the home for 23 years. Walter Urie is a commercial photographer and Susan is an artist. The home was sold to its current owners, Summer and Alex Martinez, in November 2012.

Features: The entry features the original chandelier and unique arches which appear though the entire home. The main floor features original hardwood floors throughout. Living room features original Batchelder Tile on fireplace, wood closet, and custom Iris stained glass. Both living room and dining room feature original mahogany windows and trim which have never been painted. The home still has the original glass knobs on each door, only one is missing.

The chandelier in the Dining Room is original and is hand painted to mimic Loetz Glass, a contemporary of Tiffany glass. The home has matching inset arched casings with original mahogany shelves. Vintage china adorns the shelves and is the Royal Worchester pattern (Princess Diana’s pattern), and was the owner’s grandmother’s set. The dining room table is from the 1940’s and was used by the current owner’s grandfather as a drafting table until his retirement. Vintage fruit labels decorate the dining room and are all vintage. Each has a special meaning to the owners.

Throughout the home, the lighting has been upgraded. The previous owners were artists and added spotlights to highlight their collection. The current owners placed their artwork to match the lighting.IMG_0900

The downstairs office features paneled walls and a desk that the prior owners left for the new owners.

The guest bath features original tile from 1930 on the walls and shower, and a reproduction floor. The wallpaper was chosen for its art deco feel, but modern touch. Notice the original glass pulls which adorn the built in cabinetry.

The master bedroom features the original closet, now a dressing room, and a remodeled master bath. The totally remodeled Master Bath has period tile work, large tub looking out to private courtyard, and walk-in shower with glass pony walls.

The Professional Kitchen features a 48 in. Thermador range, stainless steel appliances, custom birch cabinets, soapstone counters and travertine floors. The owners have maintained the French country feel despite having all the modern conveniences of a professional kitchen.

Upstairs, there is an office/loft, craft room, guest bedroom, and half bath assumed to have been added in the 40’s or 50’s. Out back, there is a 1200 sq. ft. game room (a.k.a “the Tap Room”) and workshop. The current owners use this space for parties, brewing beer and storage. It was built by the Baxter family who were also car enthusiasts and used the space as a garage.


3 thoughts on “The King House

  1. Pingback: House No. 5 | Neighborly Life

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