Sightseeing Tour Description
For Richard’s once-a-year birthday adventure, we invite you to join us for an all-day outing exploring the history, landscape, amusements, foodways and built environment of Orange and Los Angeles Counties. No need to pack a picnic lunch, as we will stop at an Indian food buffet, with the meal cost and birthday cake included in your ticket purchase.
This is a one-time only sightseeing tour that will never be repeated. Stops include no less than three National Register landmarks, including a mid-century modern business park and community center (William Pereira’s 1962 Hunt Foods campus and Library in Fullerton), a magnificent Mission Revival mansion (Frederick Roehrig’s 1894 Neff Estate, the centerpiece of map king Andrew McNally’s Windemere Ranch in La Mirada), a time capsule mid-century bowling center (Anaheim’s Linbrook Bowl for a self-hosted libations break) and a stunning Monterey Revival citrus growing estate (Roland E. Coate’s 1927 Casa de Parley Johnson in Downey). Plus birthday cake, good company and drive by views of aerospace landmarks (Gordon B. Kaufmann’s Vultee Aircraft rotunda at the Downey Space Plant) and roadside attractions (Harvey’s Broiler, mid-century motels and reptile farms).
To learn more about this all-day excursion, read on for descriptions of three of the sites we’ll be exploring at length.
In Fullerton — architect and historian Alan Hess will join us for a tour of William L. Pereira’s 1962 Hunt Library. The library was gift to the community from Norton Simon’s Hunt Foods Charitable Foundation, and is beautifully situation within a master-planned 25.8-acre park like campus and sculpture gallery landscaped with mature trees, decorative walkways and Japanese-inspired plantings. The rail-side project was overseen by master landscape architect R. Dudley Trudgett, with the library grounds designed by Robert Herrick Carter. We are thrilled to share this lesser known example of Pereira’s Imperial California aesthetic vision, and to share the story of how the community’s love for the library, which closed in 2013 and is presently rented by the adjacent church, helped get it named to the National Register and how that group continues to advocate for its future public uses. (Further info: Learn more about the history of the Hunt Center and Library, about the ongoing discussions about the Library’s future, and about our Pereira in Peril consciousness raising campaign.)
In La Mirada — we’ll visit Neff Park, a 10-acre site on the National Register that still contains several historic buildings from Andrew McNally’s Windermere Ranch, among them the Neff Estate, an early Mission Revival mansion designed by Frederick Roehrig in 1894. McNally’s daughter Nancy and her husband Edwin Neff farmed citrus and olive oil on the 2200-acre ranch for many decades, and it was here that their son, the architect Wallace Neff, was born and formed his romantic and innovative vision of a distinctly Southern California style. The ranch was subdivided in 1953, with Neff Park retained in the family, to eventually become a community park and house museum. During our tour, you’ll learn about the McNally-Neff family, the region’s agricultural history and the dedicated work of the La Mirada Historical Preservation Advisory Council, which maintains and interprets the landmark.
In Downey— we’ll visit the Casa de Parley Johnson (1927), an expansive Monterey-style working citrus ranching house commissioned by Automobile Club executive Parley Johnson and his wife Gypsy. The Johnsons allowed architect Roland E. Coate carte blanche to articulate his theories about the Monterey as the ideal style for a Southern California residence, meshing the early Spanish Colonial influence with native California forms to create an environment for a formal yet unpretentious lifestyle. With its enclosed classical gardens designed Florence Yoch, and indoor/outdoor patio and balcony spaces, the nearly unaltered house and grounds tell a story of cultured ranch life of boom years Southern California. You’ll learn about the Johnsons and Florence Yoch, the citrus industry in Downey, and how the Assistance League of Downey maintains and activates this remarkable National Register landmark.
We look forward to celebrating Richard’s 51st birthday with you on a madcap Southern California adventure inspired by one of our grandma Cutie’s favorite sayings, “Lucky when you live in California!”
Information about this tour
Tour runs from 10am to 4.30pm (6-1/2 hours).
Check in for this tour is 9.30am for a 10 am sharp departure. We will return around 4:30 pm. There are no paper tickets: your name will be on a list at check-in. We will stop mid-day for an Indian buffet lunch (vegetarian options included), and you should bring anything (non-alcoholic) you’d like to drink during the day. We will supply birthday cake, coffee and water. Please dress appropriately with comfortable walking shoes and layers. This tour occurs rain or shine.
Please see below for parking information. We are recommending that all attendees park in the parking lot listed below because we are returning after dark. No other nearby pay lots will be open when the tour begins.
Please do not park in the small Urban Radish parking lot, as we will be gone all day. Paid lot parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to Urban Radish at 660 Mateo St. Lot is cash only, $7. Ticketed passengers will receive additional instructions via email several days before the tour. Please contact us with any questions or if you have not received the instructions.
Urban Radish is a gourmet market with a full kitchen, offering sit-down brunch and deli counter take-out service. If eating before the tour, please give yourself enough time so you can be at our tour check in table at 9:30am.
This is a special event tour, and no discount coupons accepted.
No audio or video-taping without permission. We regret that there are no refunds for passengers who miss our departure.
661 Imperial Street
Los Angeles 90021