We're taking a Huell Howser inspired detour for this week's Complex Love over to Heritage Square, the historical living museum right off the 110 Arroyo Seco Byway. We've passed it countless times, always craning our necks, catching the glimpses of beautiful Victorian era dwellings hidden inbetween Downtown and Pasadena. But a couple weekends ago, we finally dropped by for a weekend tour of the 8 surviving structures of Los Angeles' past that reveals how much we've lost, and how much there is still left to save.
Unfortunately, due to museum policy, we were not able to take photos of the interiors, which was a shame, because the real meat and potatoes of visiting these historic buildings is seeing the interiors in various states of repair/disrepair. The handcrafted and opulent Perry House and the peacock Hale House are both in pristine refurbished condition, with fully appointed rooms with some of the original furnishings of the previous owners. But personally, what I especially appreciated seeing was two of the unfinished interiors. The Ford House and the Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House are both still in the early stages of being cleaned and researched. We saw layers of paint, wallpapers, and flooring, alongside the marks that revealed how the buildings were subdivided into multi-unit apartments through the different incarnations of the buildings' histories. It's an amazing deal for $10 per person; an hour and half guided tour into Los Angeles' past where you leave wondering how LA could have been the San Francisco of Southern California if we protected these buildings with more perseverance.