The John W. and Anna George House is a beautiful example of the Craftsman style bungalow, an architectural form that reached its peak in the years before World War I and embodied dreams of the good life in Southern California.
The house was built in 1910 for John W. and Anna George. At the time, Ocean Park was a fast-growing resort area with both full-time and seasonal residents attracted by the area’s beach-oriented amusements and fine climate. Both the Georges were active in civic affairs—John as a city councilman and Anna in women’s clubs.
While the name of the architect who designed their home is now lost, he created a harmonious structure rich in details typical of the time. The low-pitched roof with multiple eaves creates the strong horizontal lines frequently seen in Craftsman-style bungalows, emphasizing the sheltering quality so essential to the bungalow’s character and reflecting the idea that a building should be “tied to the earth” and in harmony with its surroundings. The Craftsman style valued honesty and simplicity in decorative elements. Therefore structural features, such as the notched rafters extending past the eave lines and the posts supporting the porch at the front of the house, are both beautiful and useful at the same time. Handcrafted stained glass panels are found throughout the house, in line with the Craftsman preference for individually-made (as opposed to industrially-produced) items. The Craftsman ethic also valued a connection with the natural world and bungalows were often designed to mesh with a surrounding garden, thus promoting a healthful and relaxed lifestyle. In the George House an ample front porch, a glassed-in sunroom on the southeast corner, and several large picture windows elsewhere allow residents to enjoy the fresh air, space and greenery surrounding them as well as views of the ocean and mountains.
This house is one of the finest examples of the Craftsman style bungalow in Ocean Park today. It looks much as it did when first constructed thanks to sensitive repairs and restoration done in the 1980s. At that time the house was returned to its original gray color and the garden was renewed with landscaping typical of the 1910s. An addition made to the upper floor blends harmoniously with the original structure.