6211 Painter Avenue has close ties to Whittier's most well-known founders Jonathon and Rebecca Bailey. It was built in 1907 by their son, Edward Bailey and his wife Esther. Edward and Esther had two daughters: Ruthetta, who was an infant when the family moved in, and Estaline, who was born the year after the house was built. There have been several owners, including Mary and Ralph Cole, who owned a jewelry shop on Greenleaf. George Gillespie, an agent for the Standard Oil Company, owned the home during the 1920s. Craig and Rebecca Hill lived here from the late 1970s through the Whittier Earthquake and are responsible for rebuilding the foundation and saving much of the house's original fabric. Michael and Traci Long bought the house in 2003 and lived here until the current owners, Craig and Carmen Fox, purchased the home in 2014.
This house was built at the close of the Victorian and beginning of the Craftsman eras. (The Victorian period for architecture is roughly 1850-1910, while the Craftsman period began around 1900.) Victorian characteristics include the somewhat steeply pitched hipped roof with extending gables and narrower eaves than were typically found in later homes. Also note the pattern of glass in the front window, which was the inspiration for the newer glass in the front door and its sidelights. The tripartite gable vent on the front facade is suggestive of classical details inspired by our country's 1876 centennial. Inside find high ceilings and doorways, original maple floors, and original bathroom fixtures. Note the style of arch between the living room and dining room. The arch is original, although unusual for either the Victorian or Craftsmen styles.
The Fox family has made a significant effort over the last two years to restore the home as closely as possible to when the Bailey's occupied the home. Original features have been maintained, or meticulously recreated from pictures and clues uncovered during the renovation. They painted the exterior after meticulously researching colors that would have been used on a house of this style in 1907. (It took them a few months of evenings and weekends, but they did it all themselves!) Early pictures show the window under the front gable was originally stained glass, so the Fox's replaced the newer window with a c1880's stained glass window from a church in Kansas.