Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Jekel, Henry L.A., Architect / Civil Engineer (firm); Henry Lewis Adrien Jekel (architect/civil engineer)

Dates: constructed 1921-1922

1 story, total floor area: 2,436 sq. ft.

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5063 Magnolia Avenue
Wood Streets, Riverside, CA 92506

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This one-floor plus basement residence was built in 1921-1922 for the Buffalo-born architect, Henry L.A. Jekel and his wife, Amanca Zacher Jekel. It was designed to have a Spanish character, in keeping with the predominant trend in Southern California architecture of the period.

Building History

An article in the Riverside Daily Press reported that Henry L.A. Jekel (1876-1960) and his wife, Amanda (1880-1970), had decided to settle in Riverside, CA, from Buffalo, NY, in 1921. They would erect a new house rapidly: "Henry L.A. Jekel, the noted architect, has purchased a lot on New Magnolia avenue, north of the home of Mayor and Mrs. Horace Porter, where he plans the immediate creation of a Spanish bungalow." (See "Henry Jekel To Make Home Here," Riverside Daily Press, 06/16/1921, p. 5.)

A writer for Sunset magazine, Vera Heathman Cole, described the new house in 1923: "It is of stucco construction over metal lath, 58 x 42 feet, and finished in a soft terra cotta, suggesting the old-rose tinge of an adobe and harmonizing effectively with the roof-shingles, which are stained a dark reddish-brown, and with the dark finish of the window gratings. The casings of the French doors and windows are white. From the doorway at the side one enters a hall which opens onto a living-room, dining-room and sun-room. Beyond the dining-room is a screened patio, the floor tiled in rich red, a huge olla the central feature.The spacious kitchen, finished in ivory, has every convenience. There is a breakfast nook and a screened work porch, with trays, an electric washer and an adobe cooler. In the large cellar is a furnace."

As outdoor living areas were considered nearly as important in Southern CA as interior ones in the 1920, she also described the exterior: "Shrubbery in keeping with the Spanish motif has been planted, palms, cacti and blue-gray century plants contributing their strange beauty. A five-foot concrete wall, broken by curves and open spaces, surrounds the property, terminating at the rear in an out-of-doors fireplace and grill for picnic occasions in the garden, This wall, as well as the double garage, is finished in the same warm tone as the house, typical of the coloring of casas in old Spain." (See Vera Heathman Cole, "An Attractive Home," Sunset, 02/1923, pp. 61-62.)

Building Notes

The 1930 US Census indicated that Jekel's house had an estimated value of $15,000, significantly more than neighboring residences. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Riverside, Riverside, California; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 0044; FHL microfilm: 2339919, accessed 08/12/2019.)

PCAD id: 23055