Annual Members’ Meeting and Holiday Celebration

Please join us from 3 to 6 pm next Sunday, December 4, for an afternoon of music, food, wine and conviviality as we hold our annual meeting and celebrate the holidays. This year’s revelry will take place at the spectacular Craftsman courtyard home of Rob Bruce and Greg Gill, built in 1915 and located at 280 Crosby Street.

Guests will be entertained by Robert S. Hilton and Breeze Smith, who perform improvisational music on an array of instruments, both conventional and unique. Robert plays creations of his own design, which he builds from repurposed materials, and Breeze is an expressive percussionist who can coax just the right sounds out of almost anything!

The annual members’ meeting, which includes the Board election, will be held at 4 pm.

This is a members-only event, so now’s the time to renew for 2017! You may pay your dues online; by mailing a check (payable to Altadena Heritage) to 730 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena, CA 91001-2351; or at the door on Sunday.

Here’s a tip: An AH membership makes a great holiday present … and, if you gift it early enough, your recipient can get to know fellow members at a fabulous party!

About Our Holiday Celebration Venue

Sited on almost an acre of land, 280 Crosby Street is a 3,100 square foot single-story craftsman courtyard house built in 1915 for the Ruth family, owners of the Original Mug bar in downtown Los Angeles. The Ruths purchased four lots – part of an apricot orchard “in the country” – to build a new home, and employed a family cousin, Edgar Dorr, to design it.

Dorr had worked for Heineman Brothers, a firm that specialized in designing homes for the middle class while borrowing heavily from the more well-known architects of the time. He was a victim of the 1918 influenza pandemic; 280 Crosby is the only known residential structure attributed to him.

The Ruth family sold the property in the early 1920s, after Prohibition was adopted. It went through two short-term ownerships before being purchased in the late 1920s by Christian W. Christiansen, who moved to Altadena from Chicago to landscape the Mountain View Mausoleum.

Christiansen and his long-term companion, Mr. Frank, spent the rest of their lives in the house, landscaping the grounds, until Christiansen’s death in the late 1950s. The William Brown family acquired it in 1961. 

The house, along with its gardens, had been suffering from neglect for a number of years when it was purchased in 1999 by its current owners, event hosts Rob Bruce (a former chair of Altadena Heritage) and Greg Gill, who set about restoring the historic home and gardens to their former glory. The house is currently undergoing partial restoration of the roof and exterior siding, so AH partygoers will get to experience a rare “renovation-in-progress” event!