December 13 & 20
Sunday Tours of the 1928 H. Lee House
3205 Olive, Civic Center Park, Lemon Grove, 91945
$2/person; free for children 12 & under (must be accompanied by an adult).
Exact change is appreciated.
Built in 1928 at the height of the American Country Home Movement, the two-story H. Lee House was designed by ex-patriot British architect Frederick Clemeshaw and built by ex-patriot Scottish carpenter and cabinetmaker George Simpson. The pair also built the Tudor style Simpson House in Lemon Grove in 1926, and Clemeshaw designed the Mission Beach Plunge.
The house was commissioned by Harold Lee, a San Diego automobile dealer, in the Tudor Revival style, which was popular nationwide and in Europe from 1890 - 1940, and especially during the prosperous 1920s. Designed in the English Tudor medieval style, the house's architectural elements include a steeply pitched, hip-gabled roof, multi-paned windows, massive chimney, decorative quatrefoils, exterior and interior half-timbering with plaster infill, interior structural crossbeams, oak floors and paneling, original entry door with heraldic knocker and interior doors with original hardware.
The H. Lee House once stood on its own hill on Troy Lane just off Palm Street until the coming of the six-mile extension of State Route 125. The house was first moved in 2000 by Hansen of Santee. Ultimately, after marathon arrangements involving multiple agencies and jurisdictions, the house was towed across the trolley tracks at Main and Central at 10:40pm on July 12, 2002. The City of Lemon Grove capped this heroic effort by relocating the house on city-owned land that became Civic Center Park a year later.
The Lemon Grove Historical Society, on a long-term lease with the City, is responsible for restoration, maintenance and management at no cost to taxpayers. The house serves as the City's cultural center and is a popular site for social rentals.
During the tour, no large bags, backpacks, baby strollers or pets (except trained service dogs) are permitted inside the H. Lee House. The first floor is handicapped accessible, as is the rear gazebo courtyard. For those who cannot climb stairs to the second floor, photographs are available for viewing per federal ADA guidelines.
The Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive, directly opposite the H. Lee House, will also be open for tours from 1-3pm on Dec. 13 and 20.
Information: (619) 460-4353.
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