House is now protected

first_imgA well-known Sunland-Tujunga home that resembles an Irish castle gained Historic-Cultural Monument designation from the City Council on Friday. Without discussion, the council voted unanimously to grant the distinction to the Blarney Castle, making it more difficult to alter or destroy the building. “I want to preserve this house the way it was for the people of Sunland-Tujunga as well as myself,” said Sarah Olson, who owns the castle and sought the designation. “I really believe that this is such a unique structure that it would just break my heart that it could be torn down or an apartment building put in here.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Olson’s effort came after a conflict last summer over attempts to raze the nearby Weatherwolde Castle to make way for new houses. That structure was preserved following a neighborhood struggle. While there is no immediate threat to Olson’s castle, she said she sought the designation as a preventive measure. The area’s castle-style residences are legacies of the Depression Era, when Tujunga’s abundant natural stone was the cheapest available building material, said Lloyd Hitt, president of the Little Landers Historical Society. “The actual dream of ‘your home is your castle’ became a reality with some people,” he said. The Blarney Castle was built in 1919, supposedly modeled after the Irish landmark, Hitt said. While little is known of the original builder, Hitt said the home was purchased in 1921 by Virginia Smith, the first female doctor in Tujunga and the proprietor of a nearby hospital. The castle had various owners in the ensuing decades, and Olson, who works for Warner Bros., bought it a year and a half ago. City planners surveyed the Blarney Castle and called it an “excellent example of Craftsman-style architecture” in one report. Despite the castle’s fortress-like composition of stone, wrought iron, dark wood, stained glass and arched doorways, Olson said it is not an imposing place to live. “It’s actually very warm. I’ve made it very comfy,” she said. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more