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Otto House

Otto House

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Location: 126 N. Balcom Avenue
1925: Craftsman Bungalow

Otto House

This two-story house sits in the middle of a one-acre parcel that still contains many of the original orange trees. In addition to the 6,000-square-foot house, the site contains the original two-car garage. The house is an outstanding example of the Craftsman bungalow design with some unique features not present on others of similar vintage.

One unusual feature is that the residence has always had a stucco exterior from its original construction. Most Craftsman bungalows had an exterior of wood siding, which was the standard for the time. Another unusual feature is the large picture window that faces the street. Normally, the large windows of the 1920s were broken into smaller units or panes within the overall opening; this window is one piece of glass.

A covered porch extends around the west and south sides. The porch columns and walls are brick with stucco finish. The roof is multi-gabled and massive in design with composition shingles and wide overhangs. The gutters are incorporated into the roof design and are invisible from the ground. There are the typical Craftsman touches in the interior: hardwood floors, wood trim and paneling, built-in shelving and counters, wood sliding doors between the main rooms, and a tiled fireplace and hearth. All of these features have been well preserved.

The Otto family has continuously owned the property since it was bought for $10,000 in 1925, and where the house was built for $15,000 for use as a winter residence.