Historic Spanish Colonial Revival In Riverside Was Labor Of Love

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RiversideHe designed 33 homes in Riverside, California, and the one acclaimed architect Robert Spurgeon Jr. built for his parents, Robert Sr. and Lillian, is now up for grabs.

Riverside, albeit landlocked in the Inland Empire, is actually an ideal second home location for a few factors — it’s an easy hour drive to the beach, and less than 45 minutes to Disneyland, for one. It’s also home to Fairmount Park, an urban oasis with a stocked pond that is a refuge to several species of birds — and designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed New York’s Central Park.

And back in the day (in fact, when we say “back in the day” in this case, we mean exactly around the time Spurgeon built this home), Riverside’s close proximity to Hollywood, along with all its interesting architecture, made it one of the frequent spots film studios would pick for the perfect scenery for their movies, including the 1919 film Boots, starring Dorothy Gish.

On days you don’t want to drive to the beach or Disneyland, there is still plenty to do closer to home. The California Citrus State Park (Riverside is believed to be the birthplace of California’s citrus industry) provides ranger-led tours, fruit tastings, and more.

You can also tour the historic Mission Inn, and hike up to Mount Rubidoux, and the University of California Riverside offers 39 acres of botanic gardens, plus several museums.

From left: Robert Spurgeon Sr., Lillian, granddaughter Gloria, daughter Grace, and Robert Spurgeon, Jr. Right: An early photo of the home Spurgeon designed for his parents (Photo courtesy Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery).

It was this town that the Spurgeon family ended up settling in, living before in Chicago, New York, and Denver. His parents moved there not long after the younger Sturgeon returned to the country after serving in World War II, to assist his sister after her husband died. He joined the rest of the family not long after that, eventually building homes and properties all over Riverside, including the employee homes for Pinkerton Detective heir Allan Pinkerton, the rebuilding of the Porter House, and the Elijah Parker House.

But it was this California Spanish Colonial Revival home, tucked behind an elegant courtyard, and on grounds lush with gorgeous gardens, that Spurgeon built for his parents in 1927.

“As you enter you’re greeted by a soaring rotunda foyer and its parquetry wooden floors,” Team Famous Fred with Windermere R.E. Tower Properties said of the historical shelter. “Exquisite hand textured walls set the mood as you make your way through the home and step down to the spacious living room, with views from every window, hardwood floors, barreled ceilings, and original tiled fireplace.”

The formal dining room boasts stained glass windows, niches, and incredible views of the courtyard.

A spacious galley kitchen is bright and white, with a butcher block island and a breakfast nook that provides views of Mount Rubidoux.

A den with a fireplace, plenty of built-ins, leads to an enclosed sunroom.

And the four-bedroom, four-bath, 4,065 square foot home offers plenty of options for second home seekers, too.

“This home can fit a variety of needs, featuring two spacious bedrooms on the main floor (one with an en-suite), and two bathrooms,” Team Famous Fred said.

And while two of the bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as all the common areas, are on a single floor, a lower floor offers two more bedrooms and two more bathrooms, and has its own private entry, opening up the opportunity for also short-term vacation rentals, or even just a more private space for guests.

The home is listed for $848,000.