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508 S. Ivy Avenue



Among those who flocked to the new Town of Monrovia during the great  land boom of the Eighteen Eighties in Southern California was a young  architect, Luther Reed Blair.  Blair went into partnership with Uriah  Zimmerman, a building contractor, and the two men were responsible for  some of Monrovia's finest early buildings. The "Monrovia Planet": for  May 28, 1887 mentions that they had plans almost ready for the Orange  Avenue School, as well as the residences of M.S. Monroe, Jefferson  Patten, E.P. Large, and Dr. Stewart. 


Several months later the "Planet"  mentioned that Blair's personal residence was nearing completion at the  corner of Ivy and Olive Avenues.  Blair was active in Monrovia fraternal  circles as well as the business community, being a charter member of  both the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Masonic Lodge.

The general  stagnation after the collapse of the boom meant little work for those in  the building trades, and in 1895,  Blair sold the house to Andrew Ryder  and sought work elsewhere. The house was purchased in 1906 by Thomas  Wardall, who came to Duarte in 1878 and was prominent in that community before retiring to Monrovia.  Wardall was active in Monrovia real estate  during the boom, and again after the turn of the last century.

In  1910, the Wardalls moved into a new house in Wardall's Orange Grove  Tract, but retained ownership of the Blair House.  In 1927, the house  was moved sixteen blocks from its original location to 319 W. Duarte  Road, where it remained for nearly seventy years.  For over fifty of  those years, the house was owned by the Lisle family. When the last  family member to live in the house moved into a retirement facility in  1992, the property was placed on the market and the fate of the house  was uncertain.

That uncertainty was put to rest on April 12, 1993  when the Blair House returned to Ivy Avenue after a sixty-six year hiatus.  The City of Monrovia, through its encouragement and cooperation, was instrumental in making the project possible, and the  home of Monrovia's pioneer architect will be restored to appear as it  did on his drawing board so long ago.

The pictures here show the house at its present location.  The house is privately owned and is in the process of being restored.

Block No:

Lot No:


Construction Year:

Architectural Style:



Style Altered?

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11 & 12




Uriah Zimmerman

Luther Reed Blair



Luther Reed Blair


Town of Monrovia

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