Presented by the California Heights Neighborhood Association (CHNA) and sponsored by local realtor Lewis Ebersole, the tour will showcase five vintage homes, two gardens and a refreshment house in the California Heights historic district of Long Beach, which consists mainly of modest Spanish, Tudor and Neo-traditional style bungalows dating from the early 1920s through the World War II era, as well as earlier Craftsman bungalows relocated after oil discovery in nearby Signal Hill.
Guest speaker John Brinkmann, founder and publisher of American Bungalow Magazine, will present the virtues, livability and charm of small-home living. Local historian Rachel Rifkin will conduct recorded interviews with residents wishing to share their memories of Cal Heights in an effort to build a historic record. Sweet Lucie’s vintage ice cream truck’s organic ice cream, two restored iconic Helm’s Bakery trucks featuring local Sweet & Saucy Bakery treats, antique autos, and local home improvement and restoration resources will also be featured.
The tour, which began in 1997, draws 600 to 800 visitors, with more than 100 volunteers dedicating their time throughout the day, according to John Royce, CHNA president.
While highlighting the value-added aspects of maintaining and restoring the neighborhood’s historic fabric and sense of place, the home tour remains the largest source of income for the volunteer-run CHNA, providing funding for ongoing community improvement projects and public outreach, including historic lamp-post restorations, Cal Heights ReLeaf, weekly Clean Streets clean-ups, CalHeights.org, The Heights newsletter and other community events and projects.
Past projects include the Cal Heights mural at Orange and Wardlow by Art Mortimer, historic district street signage and a neighborhood information kiosk. The group’s activities also include local community partnership projects along the Bixby Knolls commercial corridors and beyond.
California Heights earned the 2012 Neighborhoods, USA Neighborhood of the Year award, recognizing the Home and Garden Tour and the community projects it funds.
Bicycle racks will be provided at each location courtesy of Bikeable Communities Long Beach, and the Cal Heights Trolley will provide free service throughout the tour.
Tickets are $20 pre-sale and $25 at the door. All tickets include a Cal Heights Local Dining Discount Card and the home tour brochure, featuring house portraits by Ellen Kirk.
Residents may purchase tickets online through Oct. 18 at calheights.org or mail checks to CHNA Home Tour, postmarked no later than Oct. 11, to 3553 Atlantic Ave #350, Long Beach, CA 90807. No paper tickets will be issued.
Volunteers will receive a free ticket to the tour. Those interested may leave their name and contact information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (562) 424-6727.