05282017Sun
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to...

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Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 20...

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Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities ...

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Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in ...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

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Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maure...

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Business

A familiar face takes the

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin ha...

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People

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

3/30/31 - 5/17/17

Shirley Hemphill Magarian, age 86, passed away in Pasadena, California.

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News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to see that vision with a new wayfinding program the...

Readmore

Business

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar

A familiar face takes the

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin had the option of leaving Los Altos when First &...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis

Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Los Altos High ma...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities such as the Center for Age-Friendly ExcellenceR...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Courtesy of Sara Boadwee
The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna began her ministry at Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos in February.

Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos enters a new era with the calling of the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, who serves as the ninth rector of the church.

Ranna began her mi...

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Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 201 Almond Ave.

A second meeting is slated 3 p.m. ...

Readmore

Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen Wadiak has worked in the Silicon Valley communi...

Readmore

Stepping Out

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

Photos Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Blachappella, above, is set to perform at “Arts Razzle-Dazzle.”

Los Altos Stage Company will highlight performing arts in the community with its “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” event, slated 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Proceeds will support youth edu...

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Magazine

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
Seniors sing carols at the Grant Park holiday party. The Senior Commission aims to expand such programming.

 

Gary Anderson is a former member of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Senior Commission. Following is his update on local senior services a...

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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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