Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 21, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 2

Mountain View News Saturday, January 21, 2023 2 F.Y.I. Mountain View News Saturday, January 21, 2023 2 F.Y.I. 

Making the Pickard-Hoover Residence a Historical Landmark 

By Kevin McGuire 

In November 1932, a Presidential motorcade rode through Los Angeles—the final destination—Sierra 

The President was Herbert Hoover, who was said to have visited Sierra Madre on several occasions 
during the colder months to visit his son, Herbert Charles Hoover, who resided at a corner property at 
500 N. Michillinda Avenue in what is known today as the Pickard-Hoover Residence. Business owner 
Frank Pickard was the first owner of the Spanish-styled property, which was built in 1928 and sat on 

1.4 acres. Once the President’s son moved in, legend has it that the property was referred to as “The 
Winter White House.” 
Suzanne and Malcolm Edwards, the current owners of the Pickard-Hoover property, have applied to 
nominate it as a Historical, Cultural, and Architectural Landmark. Upon designation, the Edwards are 
hoping to reap the benefits of The Mills Act, which grants tax breaks to homeowners of historic homes 
in exchange for rehabilitation and maintenance of the properties. 

During the City Council meeting on January 10, 2023, a public hearing was held to discuss adopting 
Resolution 23-03, which would approve the historic designation of 500 N. Michillinda Avenue and 
approve a Mills Act contract for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Pickard-Hoover Residence. 

Associate Planner, Joshua Wolf, gave a presentation on the property and highlighted the criteria needed 
to receive the Historic Landmark designation. 

Historic Significance 

Criterion A - That the site is associated 
with local, state, or national 
cultural, social, economic, 
political, or natural history, 
events, or persons significant to 
the history of Sierra Madre, or 
it reflects significant geographical 
patterns, including those 
associated with different eras 
of settlement and growth, particular 
transportation modes, or 
distinctive examples of park or 
community planning. 

During a slide show, Wolf presented 
a photo featured in the 
Los Angeles Times, taken at the 
entrance of the Pickard-Hoover 
Residence, depicting Herbert 
Charles Hoover and his family, 
including President Hoover posing 
as a “Welcome Nation’s Chief 
Executive” photo op. 

On July 14, 1930, Mr. Hoover 
was featured on the cover of 
TIME, highlighting his accomplishments 
as an engineer, 
radio communications 
innovator, and advisor to foreign governments. During his residency in Sierra Madre, Mr. Hoover 
served the community as the Chairman of the Boy Scouts in 1935. 

Hoover Jr. and family on steps of Pickard-Hoover residence. Herbert 
Hoover Jr., on the left, and President Hoover on the right. -Credit: Los 
Angeles Times 

500 N. Michillinda Today - Courtesy Zillow 


Criterion B - That the architectural style is representative of the work or is one of a few remaining examples 
of a notable builder, designer, or architect, or it embodies distinctive characteristics of a style, 
type, period, or method of construction, or, is a valuable example of architectural achievement or innovation 
such as the use of indigenous materials or craftsmanship. 

The Pickard-Hoover Residence was built in a Spanish Colonial Revival style. Since it was built, there 
have been multiple additions to the building which altered the exterior appearance, but they were found 
to be compatible with the style of the original. 

Some of this charming home’s characteristics include: 

• Multiple side-gabled and low-pitched roofs and eaves with shallow or no overhang 
• Red brick patio and garden paths 
• Arched entryway with heavily carved door 
• Interior wood-beamed ceilings, and 
• Monumental fireplace mantels with brick or stucco surface and decorative tile. 
The property has four fireplaces, a guesthouse, and a pool house. And it’s certainly worth mentioning 
that there is a children’s area playroom in the theme of “Winnie the Pooh” designed by the author, A.A. 
Milne. He was a family friend of the Hoovers. 

Mills Act | Rehabilitation | Maintenance 

The Mills Act allows the city to enter into 10-year revolving contracts with qualified historic properties. 
Participants could receive 40- 60% property tax savings each year for newly renovated properties. 
Those tax savings are meant to give property owners some relief regarding specific restoration tasks 
and maintenance. 

Rehabilitation projects for the Pickard-Hoover Residence include repairing and replacing exterior features 
and systems. Roof maintenance, termite repair of the pergola, renewal of wood trim, and repair 
of brick chimneys are some external areas that need attention. 

 Systems-related work includes repairs to the heating and cooling system, new insulation, plumbing, 
and foundation repair. The total repair costs are estimated at $573,183. 
That’s $7,935 more than tax breaks would cover, a loss of revenue for the city annually. 

 Despite the cost incurrence, City Council generally felt the Pickard-Hoover Residence was a good 
investment for the city, approved the Mills Act contract, and adopted Resolution 23-03 unanimously. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
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