10182017Wed
Last updateTue, 17 Oct 2017 5pm
Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project


Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s F...
LAH archer competes in world championships with Team USA

LAH archer competes in world championships with Team USA


Courtesy of Erik Schwartz
Los Altos Hills reside...
Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’...
Peninsula Youth Theatre gets 'Creepy'

Peninsula Youth Theatre gets 'Creepy'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Mo...
LAPD gains new officers, promotes others

LAPD gains new officers, promotes others


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier

The Los Altos Po...

Los Altos converting streetlights to LEDs

Streetlights in Los Altos are undergoing an upgrad...

Foothills Congregational hosts justice forum

Foothills Congregational Church has scheduled “A F...

News

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project


Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s First Street Green project show a three-story office building next to a public village square above underground parking.

The local development company planning an office redevelopment and public par...

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Schools

Study session examines MV-LASD partnership as school-site search continues

Representatives from the Los Altos School District and the Mountain View City Council last week participated in a study session that explored using a zoning strategy to facilitate acquiring land in the San Antonio shopping center area for a 10th scho...

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Community

Foothills Congregational hosts justice forum

Foothills Congregational Church has scheduled “A Forum on Justice Issues: The Courts” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos.

The first in a series of forums on issues of justice in the region will focus on the Santa C...

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Sports

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Ben Parker races to the end zone in Friday’s game at Homestead. The junior scored a pair of touchdowns.

The Los Altos High football team’s execution may still be lacking at times, but it...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Use native plants to replace stinkwort

As a professional, I have been converting weedy hillsides in Los Altos Hills back to native grasslands and wildflower fields. During that time, a new noxious weed, stinkwort, started growing along Interstate 28...

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Special Sections

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more


Courtesy of Devin Roberts
Freewheel Brewing Co.’s head brewer Alisha Blue trained in Germany and worked in the United Kingdom before brewing in the Bay Area.

Founded in 2012 as the only brewery making traditional cask-conditioned British-style a...

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Business

LARC prepares Matrix launch

LARC prepares Matrix launch


Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
Los Altos Research Center plans to open its doors next month to introduce the Matrix, a new data-sharing program that seeks to take on and eventually replace the internet.

While Peet’s Coffee & Tea on State Stre...

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People

KURT MOTOGAWA

KURT MOTOGAWA

Kurt Motogawa, beloved husband, devoted father and friend to all passed away very unexpectedly on October 7th while vacationing in Florida. He was 56.

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News

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s First Street Green project show a three-story office building next to a public village square above underground parking.

The local development company planning an office redevelopment and public park in downtown Los Altos has cancelled its plans fo...

Readmore

Business

LARC prepares Matrix launch

LARC prepares Matrix launch

Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
Los Altos Research Center plans to open its doors next month to introduce the Matrix, a new data-sharing program that seeks to take on and eventually replace the internet.

While Peet’s Coffee & Tea on State Street bustles with customers, things are much quieter...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Ben Parker races to the end zone in Friday’s game at Homestead. The junior scored a pair of touchdowns.

The Los Altos High football team’s execution may still be lacking at times, but it’s hard to find fault with the Eagles’...

Readmore

Community

Foothills Congregational hosts justice forum

            Foothills Congregational Church has scheduled “A Forum on Justice Issues: The Courts” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos.

            The first in a series of forums o...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Use native plants to replace stinkwort

As a professional, I have been converting weedy hillsides in Los Altos Hills back to native grasslands and wildflower fields. During that time, a new noxious weed, stinkwort, started growing along Interstate 280, then its seeds spread off the freeway onto town...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

New LAUMC pastor inspires with belief in the power of good

New LAUMC pastor inspires with belief in the power of good

McShane

Kathi McShane greets with an assuring smile. The new senior pastor of Los Altos United Methodist Church exudes positive energy and inspiration.

A belief in good strikes at her core – it’s a belief that provides strength as she leads the large church and its congregation into the future...

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People

WILLIAM NORTH WELCH

May 13, 1955-September 24, 2017

Longtime Los Altos resident William (Bill) Welch passed away and joined his beloved mother in heaven. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humor.

Readmore

Schools

Study session examines MV-LASD partnership as school-site search continues

Representatives from the Los Altos School District and the Mountain View City Council last week participated in a study session that explored using a zoning strategy to facilitate acquiring land in the San Antonio shopping center area for a 10th school site.

A transfer of development rights (TDR) i...

Readmore

Special Sections

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

Courtesy of Devin Roberts
Freewheel Brewing Co.’s head brewer Alisha Blue trained in Germany and worked in the United Kingdom before brewing in the Bay Area.

Founded in 2012 as the only brewery making traditional cask-conditioned British-style ales on the Peninsula or in the South Bay, Freewhee...

Readmore

Stepping Out

TheatreWorks production of 'Prince' enters 2nd week

TheatreWorks production of 'Prince' enters 2nd week

Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Members of the ensemble create the sacred burning bush in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s world premiere of “The Prince of Egypt,” a new musical by Stephen Schwartz (music/lyrics) and Philip LaZebnik (book). The production runs through Nov. 5.

TheatreWorks Si...

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Obituaries

WILLIAM NORTH WELCH

May 13, 1955-September 24, 2017

Longtime Los Altos resident William (Bill) Welch passed away and joined his beloved mother in heaven. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humor.

Readmore

Magazine

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stephanie Braun, from left, Adam Braun and Marty Braun of Mountain View and Michelle Evans, Chloe Knapp and Kevin Knapp of Sunnyvale swing at a recent Las Madres gathering at Marymeade Park in Los Altos.

A parent is born at the same time as her first child, and remad...

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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

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The Town Crier presents:
The 129th Rescue Wing Aids in Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Read the full story about the rescue here.
 

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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.

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