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The following are reprints of the original notes, articles and memos about the house from various sources.

       
Loma Vista property  
School property and annexation to City    

The following is reprinted from Ventura Magazine spring 2002, by permission of the publisher.

Greene & Greene In Ventura – once upon a time… 

In the world of architecture, there are very few names that inspire reverence and downright awe when just being mentioned. There is one architectural firm however, active in the United States around the turn of the 19th century, whose attention to detail in their perfection of the Arts & Crafts style home made them legends in the field. Their names were Henry and Charles Greene, brothers originally from Ohio, and their architecture firm was simply known as Greene & Greene. Their work in architecture is legendary, and there are examples of their exquisite work to be found in a number of places in southern California, most notably Pasadena where the men grew up. In Ventura however, there is only one example.

Shortly before the US entered World War I, Thomas Gould (b. 1885), a Ventura resident since 1887, and Ventura-born Mabel Bartlett Gould commissioned the Greene and Greene firm to design a home that would accommodate their young family. Thomas, who had a law degree from the University of Michigan, was a lawyer and farmer. Mabel’s father, Charles Bartlett (of the Bartlett Store) had given Mabel a gift of $10,000 towards building the house.

The original plans were for a much larger home on 10 acres of land above Poli, east of Crimea, that Tom's parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Crane Gould, had given the couple as a wedding gift. Mabel had expressed some concern that the house might be “too fancy” for them, and Henry Greene urged the Goulds to consider the upkeep and size. The failure of the Gould's bean crop that year halted the project. 

In the spring of 1920, Mabel and Tom decided to try some “country living” on acres of land they had accumulated since 1912, bordered by the present day streets of Loma Vista, Foothill, Agnus Dr and Willowick Dr., including the current site of Loma Vista Elementary School. In 1923, they asked Henry to design a new, more modest home on this ranch. In typical Greene & Greene fashion, Henry Greene lived with the family periodically throughout the summer to ascertain their lifestyle and to evaluate the light, breezes, etc. before making his final site selection and beginning his design. It was to be one of the last Greene & Greene houses built in southern California.

Built in 1923-1924 by contractor Clark Still of Ventura at a cost somewhere around $30,000, the Gould’s home was a testament to simplicity, pride of workmanship and the often awe-inspiring design of Henry Greene. The Gould’s celebrated Thanksgiving in their new home in 1924. They and their children Richard and Margaret had plenty of room, with 3 large bedrooms on the main floor, a large dining room, a den, an immense living room, comfy kitchen and lovely gardens outside the windows. The gardens were a result of Mabel’s decision to have Theodore Payne, noted Los Angeles specialist and pioneer in the use of native plants, do the landscaping. Upstairs, the Gould’s eliminated a sleeping porch from the original plan, and left the bathroom partly unfinished until the 1940s when Mabel's sister, Effie Bartlett Daly, moved into one of the two extra bedrooms. In 1981, under the guidance of Greene and Greene specialist and Restoration Consultant Randell Makinson, the second-generation owners, Richard and Virginia Gould, modified the original upstairs plans and added the existing dressing areas to each bedroom, an additional master bath and a common sitting room/office with views of the foothills.

What is so apparent when you see the house up close is the amazing tightness that happens where wood meets wood. Typical of many Greene & Greene homes it is stained a natural color with Henry’s signature tint of green added to the secret formula stain. The floors, made of either oak or maple, are seamless throughout the house, and even the handles of drawers were hand-fashioned INTO the wood itself. Other Greene & Greene touches that inspire the reverent to take yet another breath are the stained glass panes in the dining room designed by Henry Greene and the way the sun comes in at day’s end, welcoming everyone back home. Mabel had a built-in desk added to the den next to a small fireplace that backs up to the larger Batchelder tile fireplace in the wondrous living room on the other side. The views of the ocean, somewhat hidden by the now towering oak trees out front, can be seen by any of the south facing windows and especially from the 2nd floor bedrooms that also have views of the foothills.  

What was also apparent to the two of us as we walked through the house was a real feeling of warmth and happiness, perhaps emanating from the wood itself. The Gould family, now living at opposite ends of the US, invited us in to share their family home with them, and it was obvious from the moment we met them that their smiles had long ago become a part of the character and personality of their grandparents’ home. A great big hug and thanks to the Gould family who so graciously allowed us a glimpse in to real Ventura history. We can only hope that new owners will revere the home, as it reveres the land it has become a part of.