12082016Thu
Last updateWed, 07 Dec 2016 3pm

News

Despite recounts, Registrar plans to call races

Despite an ongoing hand recount, clarity is about to arrive for the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills City Councils – and current top vote-getters Lynette Lee Eng and Roger Spreen are expected to be named winners tomorrow, according to the Santa Clara Co...

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Schools

JustREAD helps local English learner students

JustREAD helps local English learner students


Courtesy of JustRead
JustREAD volunteer Elenora Nelson works with a sixth-grader at Crittenden Middle School.

JustREAD seeks to broaden its impact on local students’ lives by adding to its volunteer pool.

The 12-year-old nonprofit organizat...

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Community

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context


Doyle
 

From guide dogs to culinary architecture, Los Altos native Alexis Doyle has worked across fields as a young scholar, but she had to learn to knit it all together – not only as a pre-medical student, but as a candidate proving her b...

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Sports

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Gerson Perez, right, battles a Sacred Heart Prep player for the ball in last week’s season opener.

Now in his 28th season as Mountain View High’s boys soccer coach, Jim McGuirk has s...

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Comment

The last hundred years: A Piece of My Mind

Some time back I stumbled across a binder that my mother had created when she took a class on writing memoirs back in 1998. At that time, I remember she tried to interest me in her writing, but I was busy and just nodded, glad she had found something...

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Special Sections

Blast from the past

Blast from the past


Gary Anderson/Special to the town Crier
The Donut Derelicts – a group of local car enthusiasts – check out the 2016 Mustang GT California Special convertible. The car is an homage to the 1968 model.

 

What better place to display a car wit...

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Business

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home


Megan Winslow/Town Crier
Restaurateur James Maltby now operates the restaurant at the local Courtyard Marriott.

When James Maltby closed his namesake restaurant last summer after a rent hike, many Los Altos residents wanted to know where the res...

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People

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

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News

Despite recounts, Registrar plans to call races

Despite an ongoing hand recount, clarity is about to arrive for the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills City Councils – and current top vote-getters Lynette Lee Eng and Roger Spreen are expected to be named winners tomorrow, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

Readmore

Business

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Maltby finds a new home – not too far from home

Megan Winslow/Town Crier
Restaurateur James Maltby now operates the restaurant at the local Courtyard Marriott.

When James Maltby closed his namesake restaurant last summer after a rent hike, many Los Altos residents wanted to know where the restaurateur would end up next. It turns out that he ...

Readmore

Sports

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Coach gets a kick out of Spartans

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Gerson Perez, right, battles a Sacred Heart Prep player for the ball in last week’s season opener.

Now in his 28th season as Mountain View High’s boys soccer coach, Jim McGuirk has seen it all. He’s worked with good teams that...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Los Altos Rhodes Scholar sees health within a community's greater context

Doyle
 

From guide dogs to culinary architecture, Los Altos native Alexis Doyle has worked across fields as a young scholar, but she had to learn to knit it all together – not only as a pre-medical student, but as a candidate proving her bona fides for a Rhodes Scholarship. She joined the...

Readmore

Comment

The last hundred years: A Piece of My Mind

Some time back I stumbled across a binder that my mother had created when she took a class on writing memoirs back in 1998. At that time, I remember she tried to interest me in her writing, but I was busy and just nodded, glad she had found something to interest her after my father’s death. No...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs Dec. 7 2016

LA Lutheran offers ‘Soothe Your Soul’ sessions

Los Altos Lutheran Church has scheduled three “Soothe Your Soul: Prayer & Poetry” reflection sessions, 6:30-7:15 p.m. today and Dec. 14 and 21 in the sanctuary, 460 S. El Monte Ave.

The evenings – designed for those ...

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People

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

Readmore

Schools

JustREAD helps local English learner students

JustREAD helps local English learner students

Courtesy of JustRead
JustREAD volunteer Elenora Nelson works with a sixth-grader at Crittenden Middle School.

JustREAD seeks to broaden its impact on local students’ lives by adding to its volunteer pool.

The 12-year-old nonprofit organization provides academic support for middle and high ...

Readmore

Special Sections

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Gary Anderson/Special to the town Crier
The Donut Derelicts – a group of local car enthusiasts – check out the 2016 Mustang GT California Special convertible. The car is an homage to the 1968 model.

 

What better place to display a car with direct links to the 1960s American muscle car tr...

Readmore

Stepping Out

'Christmas Ballet' leaps into Mtn. View

'Christmas Ballet' leaps into Mtn. View

David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Dancer Rachel Furst leaps in Smuin's “The Christmas Ballet,” scheduled to run today through Sunday in downtown Mountain View.

Smuin's annual production of “The Christmas Ballet” is scheduled to make a stop in Mountain View this week.

With ballet, tap, swin...

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Obituaries

ANNE KESTEN BERNSTEIN

Long time Los Altos Hills resident, Anne Kesten Bernstein, born July 12, 1931 in New York City, died peacefully in the comfort of hospice care on November 15, 2016.

Readmore

Magazine

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Courtesy of Camping
Patrons of Camping, a restaurant in Buenos Aires, enjoy the warm weather during last year’s holiday season.

When I relocated from Mountain View to Buenos Aires in July, I knew I’d be stepping into winter. I packed my rain boots and heavy coat, and I set aside my longing for a p...

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Preserving the past: Local home turns 100


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town CrierLos Altos homeowners Armond and Marjorie King celebrate their homes centennial in July.

 

The 1.5-story Craftsman bungalow at 530 Cherry Ave. in Los Altos has been home to three generations of the same family and has witnessed two marriages, two deaths and two births.

It has remained much the same through the years – a timeless treasure – as more and bigger houses have sprung up around it and the orchards have vanished.

Owners Marjorie and Armond King wanted to maintain its original identity, believing it to be their “honor and duty.” And now they want to celebrate a milestone – the home’s 100th birthday.

So the Kings, with help from the Los Altos History Museum, are throwing their house a birthday party July 20. The celebration, open to the public, will feature period music by Paul Price’s Society Orchestra (Price is Marjorie’s son-in-law). And, of course, other family members will be there, too, including Armond’s cousin Dick Liewer, former assistant superintendent of curriculum for the Los Altos School District.

Split decision

The house is easy to find because of the large sign, “H. Bleibler Ornamental Ironwork,” out front. It’s from the Palo Alto blacksmith shop Armond’s grandfather, Herman Bleibler, opened circa 1905.

Since Bleibler built the Cherry Avenue house, it was only appropriate the sign be placed in front of it when the shop, on the corner of Forest and High streets, was sold in 2001. Bleibler’s wrought-iron artwork can still be seen in Palo Alto. (A photograph of author Kathleen Norris’ house showcasing Bleibler’s work hangs in the dining room.)

In 1910, the Swiss-born Bleibler and his German-born wife, Marie, purchased 5 acres of land, split evenly on both sides of Cherry Avenue. Marie held the deed to one side, while Herman held the deed to the other. Marie insisted that the family home be built on her side of the street so that if anything happened to Herman’s business, it would impact only the property on his side and their home would always be safe.

Their daughter Lucille Liewer lived in a house built in 1924 on his side of the street until her death in 2005.

The Bleibler house is sheathed in horizontal wood siding and has a small gabled dormer with a six-pane window sitting at the roofline. Ornamental ironwork railings enclose the recessed porch.

The house originally had two bedrooms, one bath and a sleeping porch. The bathroom has been remodeled and the porch is now a sitting room. Armond, a docent who keeps the model train running at the History Museum, transformed the upper story, or “attic,” into a guest suite.

The Bleiblers had the house wired for electricity, although it wasn’t delivered to them until a few years later when power lines were brought down Cherry Avenue from downtown. In the meantime, they used a diesel engine to run the water pump, cooked on a wood stove and read by the light of kerosene lanterns.

The living-room fireplace is constructed of bricks from Stanford Memorial Church, which fell during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Herman made the fireplace screen, andirons and fireplace tools, which are still in use. Not being used is his wrought-iron smoking stand, on display in the living room.

Herman also made the living-room light fixtures. His son Robert made the banister leading upstairs and the dining-room curtain rods.

The Bleiblers farmed their land and raised chickens, rabbits and hogs. Their children – Lucille, Robert, Alma and Josephine (Armond’s mother) – worked the farm, collecting eggs, feeding the animals and harvesting the crops.

“My grandfather always had big barbecues in the summer,” Armond said. “He set up long tables and then went out and killed a few chickens and rabbits and picked his own tomatoes. We’d sit around on warm summer nights and enjoy it.”

The Kings still sit outside on warm evenings, but on a raised deck built by Armond next to the old brick barbecue. The wrought-iron guardrail was salvaged from the ironworks.

Herman died in 1950, shortly after the Bleiblers’ 50th wedding anniversary, and Armond’s parents moved into the Cherry Avenue home with their three sons. Armond took ownership of the home in 1968.

Preserving the past

The living room is just the same as it was a century ago. A central bay window with double-hung windows on each side lets in light, and built-in bookcases on either side of the fireplace contain mementoes. A coved ceiling – typical of Craftsman-style homes of the 1900s – lends grace and dignity, as do the wood columns separating the living and dining rooms.

The dining room has tongue-and-groove wainscoting and a plate rail that wraps the room. A built-in breakfront has a mirrored pass-through to the kitchen.

The kitchen’s original cabinets, shelving and fold-down ironing board give a glimpse of what life was like at the time. A new addition is an electric stove that sits alongside a cast-iron stove.

Garage-sale finds such as a marble-topped commode and a vintage kitchen table add authenticity to the decor – thanks to Marjorie, who shares her husband’s passion for preserving the past.

And speaking of the past, Herman’s corrugated iron workshop at the back of the property is museumlike. Noteworthy, too, is Armond’s nearby “train room,” where he runs four different model trains. In addition, he operates a G Gauge train in the garden.

The Bleibler house was on the History Museum’s 2003 home tour. And it was the last stop on the Historic Bike Tour of Los Altos led by Gary Hedden of GreenTown Los Altos in September. The 75 bicyclists had lunch in the garden – a blast from the past. d

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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