We haven’t released our Top 100 Cottages list yet but wanted to share some history on one of the Top 100 before it gets bulldozed next week so you can take one last walk past it this weekend and remember it before it is replaced by a lot-filling modern home. The plans look to be more along the lines of soulless modern rather than modern farmhouse but from their IG it appears that the developer has churned out plenty of both of these styles which now dot our Flower Streets.
We’ll save the full story for the Top 100 profile on 514 Acacia but this lovely home remained in the same family for the past 60+ years starting with a dancer who appeared in several Hollywood films in the silent movie era.
It was built by developer G.C. Kroenke, a San Bernardino developer, in 1942 who bought almost half of the block that includes the even side of the 500 block of Acacia and the odd side of the 500 block of Begonia. Unclear if it was on speculation of the coming post-war housing boom or just as a summer home for he and his wife, Myrtle, he would hold onto it until 1947. Perhaps because he had such a large parcel of land, he didn’t stay within the traditional 30’ x 118’ lot dimensions for 514. It actually takes over half of the parcel next to it making it a little more than 50% larger than traditional Flower Street lots at 47’ wide.
After 2 more owners that lived in the house for about a decade, it was sold to Theresa Allen in 1958 and it would remain in her family until 2020. Born in Indianapolis in 1908, she moved to Hollywood to pursue a showbusiness career and picked up credits in 6 movies in 1929-1930 including The Vagabond King and Happy Days. She was a chorus girl in several of the movies and had small roles in the others. In 1931, she gave birth to her daughter, Theresa L. Smith and retired from Hollywood at age 22.
It is unclear if and for how long they were married but Theresa’s father is famed Disney composer Paul Smith. Smith arranged and scored some 70 cartoons over the next 25 years including Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, and Cinderalla. He received multiple Academy nominations for his work arranging music and won the Oscar for his score of Pinocchio. In 1994, he was posthumously made a Disney Legend by the Disney Studio.
Disney Composer Paul Smith was a legend, arranging and scoring over 70 cartoons.
Theresa Allen would live in the house for the rest of her years, passing away in 1997 at age 89. Her daughter, Theresa L. Smith, who had become Theresa Colesworthy, inherited the house and kept it for the last two decades. She passed away in 2019 and her heirs were quick to accept an offer on the house.