Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Jennie Reeve Cottage
Remember awhile back, when I mentioned that there were three Greene and Greene homes built in Sierra Madre? Well, here is the smallest of the three, at a petite yet lovely 932 square feet.
Charles and Henry Greene designed this small cottage in Sierra Madre as a winter retreat for Mrs. Jennie A. Reeve, in 1906. They had previously designed a house (1903-04) and a rental cottage (1904) for her, both in Long Beach. At the time Mrs. Reeve, a widow born in Poughkeepsie, NY in 1838, was a civic leader in Long Beach, as well as an activist for progressive women's issues.
It has been said that the Greenes got much of their business through client referral, and this holds true here as well. The Greene brothers' first home built outside of Pasadena was built in Claremont in 1903, for Mrs. Reeve's daughter, Mary Reeve Darling. (This home benefited from an eco-friendly restoration in 2010.) Jennie Reeve then introduced the Greenes to Adelaide Tichenor, another Long Beach civic leader who founded their public library, and whose historic home, once the only home on the bluff in Long Beach, still stands.
Mrs. Reeve later wrote a letter to Charles Greene, commenting that, although the Sierra Madre cottage was "small and cheap" it was "convenient and artistic... but (you) could not build even a chicken coop and not have it artistic."
I'd have to agree with you, Mrs. Reeve.