Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Gill, Irving J., Architect (firm); Irving John Gill (architect)

Dates: [unspecified]

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10211 Pioneer Boulevard
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

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According to the noted landscape architectural historian David Streatfield, the Clarke House was one of the finest designs by Gill extant in 2008. Chauncey (1858- 1926) and Marie Rankin Clarke (1968-1948) commissioned the modern and idiosynchratic architect Irving J. Gill (1870-1936) to design a residence for them on a sixty-acre citrus grove in Santa Fe Springs, Built during 1920-1921, the Clarkes resided in the dwelling for only a short time before petroleum engineers found oil underneath it. In 1921, the Union Oil Company struck a gusher at its Bell #1 oil well in Santa Fe Springs, one of the biggest of the 1910s and 1920s in CA, causing investors to swarm into the area, buy and sell land, and pay drilling crews to sink test wells nearby to producing ones. By the end of 1921, 24 companies were drilling there, including established giants, Standard, Shell and Union, as well as smaller ones, including that of George Franklin Getty, father of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty. (See State of California, Mining Bureau, Monthly Chapter of Report XVIII of the State Minerologist, [Sacramento: CA State Printing Office, 1922], p. 616.) The smell and noise of the drilling drove the Clarkes out of the Gill house to a new ranch in the Coachella Valley. Chauncey Clarke believed the arid climate of the Coachella Valley mirrored that of the Arabian Peninsula closely, so he chose to raise dates and Arabian horses there briefly before his death in 1926.

Building History

Chauncey Clarke's family owned a successful distillery in Peoria, IL, before he relocated to AZ, where he engaged in gold mining ventures. He accumulated a fortune mining, and put some of this money into real estate holdings, first in AZ and later CA, where the two moved. They first resided in Altadena before moving to Los Angeles, where Marie became engaged with various progressive arts organizations.

Building Notes

Tel:562. 863.4896 or 562.868.3876 (2015).


The City of Santa Fe stated on its web site: "The recent restoration by the City of Santa Fe Springs includes improvements in the mechanical systems, landscaping and interior decoration. The estate is now available for weddings, receptions, meetings, and special events." (See "Clarke Estate History," Accessed 02/06/2015.)

PCAD id: 12723