Above right is the home at 621 E. Pleasant Street. The dining room is pictured (above right).

Santa Clara Valley Hospice Home Tour: 621 E. Pleasant St.

April 14, 2010
Santa Paula News

One of three California bungalows featured on the tour is this century-old house at 621 Pleasant Street, owned by Bill and Laura Phillips. Neighbors in the 600 block of Pleasant Street celebrated their centennial last August with a party and special birthday cake to recognize the long history of this neighborhood adjacent to Santa Paula High School.

The Phillips’ house has had a number of interesting owners over the years. It was built in 1909 by Englishman Charles Godwin, a carpenter builder who lived in the house for a few years until he sold it around 1912. By 1920, Horace McPhee lived in the house with his wife and four children. McPhee had become publisher of the Santa Paula Chronicle. The previous publisher was David Webster, who lived at the end of the block. McPhee’s oldest daughter, Edith Bristol, also lived in the house with her son, Horace Bristol, who was eleven at the time. Edith Bristol was also a newspaper reporter, and Horace Bristol would go on to become a renowned photojournalist, whose work is now featured in the Smithsonian. Edith Bristol went on to work for the San Francisco Call.

The Phillips purchased their home in 1989 and have been carefully restoring both exterior and interior in order to highlight the special features of the house. The bungalow is the largest home on the block, built with a fully developed second story under the high pitched gable roof with broad eaves and exposed rafter tails.  A large gabled dormer window features decorative brackets under the eaves and a wooden balcony. The large recessed front porch is accessed by wooden steps and is supported by a wood railing topped with tapered capped wooden columns.

The interior of the house is replete with numerous built-ins and special features. The large front door features an oval glass window and opens into the foyer created by enclosing a portion of the original porch, making it an extension of the living room. The focal point of the living room is the brick chimney and wood mantle surrounded by wood wainscoting.

Pocket doors open into the beautifully restored dining room with its gleaming wood wainscoting and built-in china cabinet. Bill Phillips, who completed most all of the restoration on the house, spent two years and over 400 hours painstakingly scraping paint from the beautifully grained fir. The Craftsman style is especially found in this room with the simple lines of the wood cabinet and high wainscot and the hanging Mission style light fixture over the dining table. The china cabinet has a pass-through to the kitchen with a generously wide serving height surface.

The den features a long window seat with built-in drawers. All of the bedrooms have built-in cupboards or drawers. The bathrooms were remodeled and a claw-foot tub added to the downstairs bathroom. Elephant figures of various sizes are found in every room of the house including one in the yard. They are good luck figures collected when Bill served as a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam and Laos.

When Bill isn’t working on the house, he is in the garage restoring and upgrading his classic 1972 De Tomaso Pantera automobile. Laura Phillips, who works for an environmental consulting firm, indulges her cooking hobby in their newly remodeled kitchen. The new wood and glass French doors open onto the deck in the terraced back yard creating an easy access for entertaining. Sons Jake and Matt grew up in the house and return often for family parties featuring their mother’s home cooked meals.

Also featured on this year’s tour are the California bungalows at 611 Pleasant Street, owned by Sam and Rose Arellano, and 617 Pleasant Street owned by Pete Wilson; the new Spanish Revival style residence at 624 Shasta Drive owned by Joe and Tami Bradley; and the Ventura County Farm Museum at the former Mill, 962 Railroad Avenue. The Glen Tavern Inn at 134 N. Mill Street will host the ice cream sundaes and plant sale providing a rest stop on the tour. Sundaes are courtesy of the Santa Clara Valley Bank and plants are provided by DoRight Nursery and roses from Otto and Sons.

Advance tickets are available for $15 at the Santa Paula Times (944 E. Main St.), Brownies Basement (866 E. Main St.), John Nichols Gallery (916 E. Main St.), Glen Tavern Inn (134 N. Mill St.), Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce (200 N. 10th St.),  and Santa Clara Valley Hospice Office (133 N. Mill St.). Tickets are also available in Fillmore at Mirage (508 Santa Clara & Central Ave.) and in Ventura at Lautzenhiser’s Hallmark store (1730 S. Victoria Ave.).

To order advance tickets by mail, send checks payable to SCV Hospice - Home Support Group, Inc. and mail to Santa Clara Valley Hospice, P.O. Box 365, Santa Paula, CA 93061. Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. After May 1st, please call 525-1333 for tickets and Will Call. Pick up tickets at the Ventura County Farm Museum (the Mill) at 926 Railroad Avenue in Santa Paula on the day of the tour. Tickets purchased on day of Tour are $20. For further information, call SCVH/HSG office at 525-1333.


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