It’s fitting that the oldest building in the historic city of Fullerton is the former home of a real estate office. When brothers George and Edward Amerige founded Fullerton in 1887, one of their first projects was to build the Amerige Brothers Real Estate office, a one-room wood-frame structure. While the original location was at Commonwealth and Spadra (now Harbor), the building was transported to Amerige Park, where it now stands at 340 W. Commonwealth Avenue.
With the building going into disrepair over the years after seeing many businesses come through its doors–including a barbershop, a legal office and a milliner’s shop—concerned Fullerton homeowners, government officials and local business owners came together to help fund the renovation of the Amerige Brothers Real Estate office, which just recently had a ribbon-cutting on its carefully revamped model on July 16, 2013.
The city began the project in July of 2012, and a local nonprofit preservation outfit, Fullerton Heritage, picked up the efforts in March of 2013. Fullerton Heritage worked very hard to have the aesthetic elements of the building stay true to its original 1887 version. Updates included new paint jobs inside and out, replacement of shingles, rafters, and other termite-eaten wood components, new windows, and a sign based off the original Amerige Brothers Real Estate sign.
“These improvements have stabilized the building and made it safe,” said president of Fullerton Heritage Ernie Kelsey. “Because the walls have no studs, the ties between the walls, ceiling and roof are critical. Generations of termites had made those connections fragile and, in some places, non-existent.”
Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker mentioned that in addition to the stellar work by Fullerton Heritage, over 40 individuals, businesses and groups pitched in required goods and services or cash to help sustain the project, making the renovation a true community effort that Fullerton homeowners can be proud of. “Restoration of the Amerige Brothers Real Estate office would not have happened if not for the generosity of time and gifts from Fullerton Heritage, our local citizens, and businesses,” Whitaker said.
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