Restoration of a historic property can be a costly endeavor, but the results are fabulous when it’s completed with care.
Such is the case with the stately Kuns House in La Verne, CA. Tenderly restored by the historic home specialists at the Spectra Company, the resulting structure retains all of its history with enough updating to please luxury home buyers of today.
The home was built back in 1910 by Henry Kuns, one of the founders of the University of La Verne and the city. Today, the restored home sits right across the street from the appropriately named Kuns Park.
Ray Adamyk, founder and president of Spectra, said the home was “almost unredeemable” when his company bought the home for $400,000 last year. With a recent price reduction to $1.35 million, Adamyk and listing agent Patrick Downtain now are hoping to find the right buyer.
After decades of neglect, the home was on the verge of being demolished. The nearby university purchased the historic home a few years ago, hoping to avert the wrath of the wrecking ball and preserve a bit of the city’s history.
Knowing that they didn’t want it demolished or sold to someone who wouldn’t do a period-appropriate renovation, the university sold the home to Spectra. To put it simply, the college found the right restorers.
“We restored the the windows, siding, and doors,” said Adamyk. “The wood floors are all redone. We restored the entire basement. We added a garage outside, but we did it while keeping the history of the home in mind.”
One of the home’s most unique features is the giant vault door that Spectra re-purposed as the entry to a new wine cellar. Adamyk noted there was a built-in vault upstairs installed by a previous owner who collected rare coins, but his team decided to make use of the vintage vault door in the home’s basement.
Adamyk also explained that his company often sources historic hardware for restorations like this. Thanks to his company’s experience with whole-home restoration jobs, the home shines with and appropriate hardware, lighting and wood from the early years of the 20th century.
The Spectra team did modernize the kitchen—but kept natural, neutral colors consistent with Craftsmen homes and the time period.
“When you walk into the home, it looks like it did in 1910,” Adamyk noted. “All the historic fabric of the home was maintained. Everybody who’s walked through the home has loved it.”
Sited on a lot that’s about a third of an acre, the home is surrounded by seven mature oak trees. Adamyk extolled the home’s period-appropriate landscaping and the courtyard that circles the entire home. He spoke about how he’s used to seeing the melding of indoor and outdoor spaces in the Mid-Century homes he works on, but this home is unique in its foresight of marrying the two.
“Someone who’s going to be in the home for a long time,” he said. “I see someone who truly values the historic nature of the home and will be a great care taker. It’s going to be someone who really wants to be in this home.”
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