Wednesday, July 1, 2015

• Brown House Update

I've been wanting to do a blog on the Brown House and the Wildomar Historical Society for awhile now. How convenient for me that Kristan Lloyd, of the WHS, was giving a presentation at today's Wildomar Chamber of Commerce breakfast... which just so happened to be Wildomar's 7th birthday.

Seven years in City-Years is like a week compared to London, or a day to Rome, or an
hour to Athens. We're still a long way from getting our balance, but we're inching forward.

Her presentation keyed in on the Brown House's future.

Kristan Lloyd showing a photo of the Brown House before it was moved to it's current location.
Also in attendance was the president of WHS, George Cambero, in that position since 2008.

The aims of the Historical Society are to preserve the history of our city that was founded back in 1885 by William Collier, Donald Graham and Margaret Collier... Wildomar is a portmanteau of their first names.

Here are the key points the way I heard them.

WHS would like to convert the Brown House into a Heritage Museum and Visitors Center. I was at the planning commission meeting where the developers of Baxter Crossing said they would make room for the Brown House (here's a link to that blog). Though I took it as halfhearted gesture, with them banking on WHS not coming up with the necessary funding to make it happen, when I heard it.

They need people to start talking about this project, get involved, donate time and participate in the fund raisers. (Like tonight's bell ringing at Wildomar Elementary, where they will be selling root beer floats... or as I was just corrected by Mrs WR... trading them for a small donation.)

I asked Kristan what the proposed budget is for the Brown House restoration project.

For restoration, I'm thinking $250,000. The inside needs to be gutted. There will have to be some restructuring on the inside. It needs to be ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act). The walk ways will need to be wider [for wheelchair access]. 

$250[K] is our low estimate. I'm sure people are like, "No, no I'm sure it's going to cost more like a million." We have an electrician on board that has restored [homes] in San Jose that wants to work on the project. 

One of our board members has project managers who would love to donate their time. It's just in a holding pattern [at the moment] and hope they still want to be involved in the next couple of years [as the project reaches that stage].

Some key issues the Brown House Restoration Project faces:
  • Having it officially recognized as a historic building. Something that is currently in process.
  • The Brown House isn't sitting on it's own land.
  • There was an assessment done in 2004, but the state hasn't responded yet as to whether or not that will suffice for the purposes of having it declared historical or not, or if they need to do another one. Which would cost between $5,000 and $6,000 alone.
  • There are issues with the condition of the structure. Whether or not it is even salvageable in the first place. Issues such as dry rot, termites, possible lead paint and/or asbestos... not to mention ADA concerns.
  • Getting the funds to fully restore the house so that it's fit to be part of a new development.
As the brown house sits today.


I like the idea of a Wildomar Heritage Museum/Visitors Center, especially at the proposed location. I just don't know how practical it is to try and restore an old building, especially one that has not had proper upkeep for the last 10+ years, attempting to bring it up to all the modern codes when building a replica would be a much easier way to go, and probably cheaper too.

I just got done watching a fantastic series on Netflix called The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents and one thing you'll learn is that the White House has been redone many times in its history. Old buildings just weren't built to withstand father time, and though the White House isn't the original structure, we still consider it the same place that most of our presidents have lived. 

Either way, this can't happen if the people don't get behind it. If you are interested in the Brown House being preserved you should get vocal about it, and plan on chipping off a few dollars along the way.

Check these links to the Wildomar Historical Society

•      •       

Time and tide wait for no man.
― Geoffrey Chaucer

Wildomar Rap is not an island, nor an archipelago.


  1. I think this thing is an eyesore and an embarrassment as a representation of the City of Wildomar. I do like your idea of a replica because it shouldn't matter whose feet walked on the floor before, but what it represents. What a terrible waste of money to try and restore that building, and I for one would not contribute a dime if it meant turning that piece of junk into anything. Yes, build a replica and stop wasting our time with your grandiose plans to change a termite-ridden piece of crap into something useful. Spend less, make a replica, and do our city founding fathers proud.

    1. Dear Anonymous, No one cares what you have to say. You are either trolling or in such a state of negativity and depression that you speak from your butt. In either case, seek professional help. Do you ever wonder why people are so annoyed with you? Its because you offer so very little in the way of progress and good will.

    2. I have been here for over 5 years, and every time my Mother comes into town she ask me, "WHAT ARE THEY GONNA DO WITH THAT ?" I replied: I have no clue.
      GETTO....! I live in the ghetto. How old is it.... it has a satellite dish. Code Enforcement must have been payed off. Needs to be condemned.!

    3. Troy,
      I've noticed the satellite dish too... I think I might have made light of it in previous blog. I was passing by it yesterday and took a good look at the front door. It's the type that had french windows in the upper half... but they all appeared to be smashed out from what I could see.

  2. Well, no, I don't wonder why "people are annoyed with me," because they're not. I was unaware it was my responsibility to OFFER anything, except my opinion.


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