Tour to feature historical homes


Ever wonder what the famous Lilian Rice row houses look like from the inside? The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society is allowing the public to get a peek inside some of the village’s most historical abodes during their row house tour from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 23.

The tour marks the first time all four houses have been opened to the public, according to society board member Sue Bartow.

In addition to the tour, visitors can enjoy a gourmet catered lunch of early California fare, beer, wine and festive music for entertainment.

Rice built the homes in 1926 as places for Santa Fe Land Improvement Co. workers to live; they needed homes located near the center of town. Each one was sold prior to construction so Rice was able to custom-design each to suit the owners’ needs.

All of the homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and all but one have been completely remodeled.

“They’ve been so lovingly kept in the historic footprint with modern day conveniences,” Bartow said.

The one known as the Spurr-Clotflelter House, the first one on Paseo Delicias, most resembles its 1926 roots, Bartow said. The home has the old cabinetry that housed an old-fashioned icebox and one very small shower stall by today’s standards.

Casa Blanca, the last house on the street, is the most beautiful, according to Bartow. It is known for its two deep-set windows in front, covered by large wrought iron grills.

Tickets for the tour are $50, and all proceeds will go toward the historical society.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or reserve a spot on the row house tour, call 756-9291.