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Historic Walker House brings light to San Dimas

Vacated in the 1990s, the Walker House has been restored and transformed into a cultural focal point in the city of San Dimas at the intersections of San Dimas Avenue and First Street.  The house now hosts the Saffron Restaurant, the Second Story art gallery and several other city festivals and events. Saffron Restaurant features a Pinot & Pizza night with wine selections starting at $5. The house was built as a hotel in 1887, then it was purchased by the Walker family in 1889 for a personal residence. / photo by Christopher Guzman

Vacated in the 1990s, the Walker House has been restored and transformed into a cultural focal point in the city of San Dimas at the intersections of San Dimas Avenue and First Street. The house now hosts the Saffron Restaurant, the Second Story art gallery and several other city festivals and events. Saffron Restaurant features a Pinot & Pizza night with wine selections starting at $5. The house was built as a hotel in 1887, then it was purchased by the Walker family in 1889 for a personal residence. / photo by Christopher Guzman

Erin Foltz
Staff Writer

The Walker House located at 121 San Dimas Ave. is a charming historical landmark tucked away in the San Gabriel Valley.

A Victorian building surrounded by lush trees and rose bushes, it is encircled by a large porch, bright picture windows, and stained glass above the inviting front entrance.

This structure is the new home of the San Dimas Historical Society, the San Dimas Festival of Arts, the San Dimas Rodeo and Saffron Restaurant.

Judi Smith, who works with the San Dimas Festival of Arts, said the Walker House is a great place for college students to explore.

“(It) has great historical value that relates to the foundations of the city of San Dimas,” Smith said. “Preserving a place like this (is) beneficial for the community.”

This is a building rich with historical importance.

It was originally constructed by the San Jose Land Company between 1885 to 1888 as a railroad hotel to encourage people to settle in San Dimas.

The Walker family purchased the hotel in 1889 to use as their personal residence.

The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It was leased in 1979 and adapted for use as a restaurant.

There is much to do and see at the Walker House all year round. Guided tours are given by the San Dimas Historical Society on the third Saturday of each month.

The San Dimas Historical Society Museum is also open to the public on the first and third Saturday of each month.

The museum will also be open in conjunction with the Second Story Gallery on the second Friday of each month.

The Historical Society’s archives, located on the second floor of the Walker House, will be open each Tuesday and Thursday.

Also, the San Dimas Festival of Arts hosts the Second Story Gallery open house on the second and third weekends of each month.

“It’s a great place for college students to visit because they can come in and get a cultural experience,” Smith said.

Also inside the Walker House is Saffron Restaurant.

Open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, the restaurant offers salads, burgers and sandwiches.

Breanna Edwards, the administrative assistant of Saffron, thinks that this restaurant is a great place for college students.

The restaurant’s Victorial ambiance gives it a different feel, Edwards said.

“It gives the impression that you need to wear a dress or suit and tie,” Edwards said. “Truth is it’s a great casual place for students to come explore.” Edwards said.

Saffron also offers themed outings such as Pinot & Pizza, which invites you to bring a friend and join them for $5 Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio selections and half-off on all small plates, including their signature pizzas and their delicious sweet potato fries.

This takes place every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Erin Foltz can be reached at erin.foltz@laverne.edu.

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