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50th 50th Anniversary Celebration - West Coast*

In which city should the 50th Anniversary Celebration be based?

  • Downey

    Votes: 20 40.8%
  • Thousand Oaks

    Votes: 27 55.1%
  • Long Beach

    Votes: 3 6.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 2.0%

  • Total voters
    49

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Are you sure? I was absolutely sure the house was bought by the family that still lives there now. They tore the other half of the house down to build a new house for one of the daughters.

This website backs that up, mentioning in the sale history that the last time it changed hands was in 1997, which makes sense because Richard sold it the years after Agnes passed away (1996):

Last sold on 07/09/1997 for $685,000”

9828 Newville Ave, Downey, CA - 5 beds/4 baths
I'm not really sure how many times it has "turned over". I do recall something I read about the original post-Carpenters owner sold the house to his sister, or something along those lines. So I did make an erroneous assumption. Having lived in Southern California and bought/sold a few homes down there in suburban-type neighborhoods, there's a lot of turnover with these single-family homes. I was shocked to see 1997 was the last transaction on it. I will check my "facts" better in the future :).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I'm not really sure how many times it has "turned over". I do recall something I read about the original post-Carpenters owner sold the house to his sister, or something along those lines. So I did make an erroneous assumption. Having lived in Southern California and bought/sold a few homes down there in suburban-type neighborhoods, there's a lot of turnover with these single-family homes. I was shocked to see 1997 was the last transaction on it. I will check my "facts" better in the future :).
Yeah I remember reading it changed hands between the family as well, but it’s unclear why/whether that would show up on property history sites. Anyway, at least half the house is still there for us to visit. To me it still holds great historical importance as a place to visit.
 

ars nova

Active Member
Are you sure? I was absolutely sure the house was bought by the family that still lives there now. They tore the other half of the house down to build a new house for one of the daughters.

This website backs that up, mentioning in the property history section that it was “last sold on 07/09/1997 for $685,000”, which makes sense because Richard sold it the year after Agnes passed away (1996).

9828 Newville Ave, Downey, CA - 5 beds/4 baths
there is no excuse !! that house was a showplace. now it looks like a three car dumpster.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Some of my photos of Newville from 1999 and 2000 (apologies for the reflections on some of them, these are photos of photos but you get the idea :)).



I walked across the street to get the next shot, because I wanted a photo exactly as I'd seen it towards the end of The Karen Carpenter Story, as they go to the scene where they discuss Karen and divorce.





 
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Geographer

Well-Known Member
Some of my photos of Newville from 1999 and 2000 (apologies for the reflections on some of them, these are photos of photos but you get the idea :)).



I walked across the street to get the next shot, because I wanted a photo exactly as I'd seen it towards the end of The Karen Carpenter Story, as they go to the scene where they discuss Karen and divorce.





This is how I remember it as well. Very sad to see what happened. Just goes to show that the fans, back in '97 who were against the sale, were correct. A very important piece of Downey (and music) history is forever altered for the worse.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Wow. Looking at the picture of the house, I can't believe how much they let the landscaping go to hell. Very sad, indeed.
I would imagine it was very expensive to keep on top of the expansive gardens, front and back. But yeah, if someone was taking on a house of this size, you'd think they would have worked out the running costs before purchasing. The house began to fall into a gradual state of disrepair (inside and out) not long after I took the above pictures in 2000. By 2007 the word had gotten out that the whole house was due to be demolished. As it turns out, they only (only!!!) demolished the part of it which house their home recording studio where many hits were born.

The first link shows several pages of the house in its divided state and what the Japanese gardens at the rear looked like by 2007.

newville1

Carpenters House demolition?

Fans love Carpenters but not carpenters

Karen Carpenter Home may be demolished - LottaLiving.com
 
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Sue

Active Member
I wish I was coming!!! Regarding the house, I suppose Karen actually died in the house and although all the fun, music and happy memories were made there . It was really full of sorrow for the Carpener family and sometimes when things so tragic happen it’s best they don’t stay the same.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I wish I was coming!!! Regarding the house, I suppose Karen actually died in the house and although all the fun, music and happy memories were made there . It was really full of sorrow for the Carpenter family and sometimes when things so tragic happen it’s best they don’t stay the same.
I think once Richard lost his mother in 1996, there was no reason for him to stay in Downey. There was nothing left there for him but bittersweet memories of all his close family members that he’d lost. It’s no real surprise to me that he moved away not long after that but I was quite shocked he sold the house furnished. He must have really wanted a complete, clean break. I do wish though that he’d placed the Newville house into trust as a place of musical heritage. A sort of Gracelands for the fans. That would have been really cool.
 

Portlander

Active Member
After looking at the list of attendees this evening, I was really surprised to find that around 75% are males. Was I naive in thinking that the vast majority of Carpenter fans were women throughout my adult life? Wow, guess I was out of touch with the actual "traveling" fan base! :)
 

Kaisu

Member
After looking at the list of attendees this evening, I was really surprised to find that around 75% are males. Was I naive in thinking that the vast majority of Carpenter fans were women throughout my adult life? Wow, guess I was out of touch with the actual "traveling" fan base! :)
I can only talk on my behalf... But as much as I would like to come, I'm not travelling that far away alone. It's not safe/easy specially when you have to navigate to Thousand Oaks. I hope someone can take pictures or even recap the event somehow. It would be great to us who can't be there.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I can only talk on my behalf... But as much as I would like to come, I'm not travelling that far away alone. It's not safe/easy specially when you have to navigate to Thousand Oaks. I hope someone can take pictures or even recap the event somehow. It would be great to us who can't be there.
After researching this I found that Thousand Oaks is around 40 miles from LAX and that the best way to get there - if it’s affordable - is to go by shuttle taxi. You can share a group vehicle with others heading in the same direction or book your own. The cost is around $80 one way if you want a private shuttle. You can use an online app to book your driver in advance. Otherwise it’s a nightmare by public transport and involves two or three changes. I’m pretty well travelled and even I didn’t fancy the hassle of the public transport option.
 

CarpentersToYou

What I feel has come and gone before...
I can only talk on my behalf... But as much as I would like to come, I'm not travelling that far away alone. It's not safe/easy specially when you have to navigate to Thousand Oaks. I hope someone can take pictures or even recap the event somehow. It would be great to us who can't be there.
What do you mean not safe? You would take a taxi from the airport to the city like you would in many cities.
 

Kaisu

Member
What do you mean not safe? You would take a taxi from the airport to the city like you would in many cities.
It would be too expensive to take taxi when going to Thousand Oaks. And I wouldn't feel safe traveling alone that far away, to what feels like another side of the world to me.
 

CarpentersToYou

What I feel has come and gone before...
Well your english seems proficient and you would be travelling to an occidental country. Seems more like you’re just talking yourself out of it. Plenty of us will be travelling solo and at least a handful from Europe. Come on. Merrier the more!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Plenty of us will be travelling solo and at least a handful from Europe. Come on. Merrier the more!
I’m coming all the way from England on my own, spending a week in New York first before making my way over to LA via Chicago and Dallas for this. The more I think about it, the more excited I am to meet all the fans at the hotel or in the bar on arrival on that first day of the celebration. As the Coldplay song title goes, Adventure Of A Lifetime!
 

Portlander

Active Member
Kaisu, I understand your concerns of traveling especially when you would be arriving in our second largest city all by yourself. Would be sad for you to miss this event knowing there may not be another one in the future seeing the last one was 20 years ago. Maybe you could find another Carpenter fan in Finland that would also like to attend the celebration and you could both travel together. You still have a few months to plan and work out the logistics.
 

Kaisu

Member
Kaisu, I understand your concerns of traveling especially when you would be arriving in our second largest city all by yourself. Would be sad for you to miss this event knowing there may not be another one in the future seeing the last one was 20 years ago. Maybe you could find another Carpenter fan in Finland that would also like to attend the celebration and you could both travel together. You still have a few months to plan and work out the logistics.
Thank you for the encouragement.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Kaisu, go for it! When I was in my early 20s I drove my car all the way to Chicago on my own (1100 miles) ... I had a wonderful time.

I have a feeling you're being influenced by all the "don't go to America, you're liable to get shot" stuff on the internet. You're probably in more danger in city traffic anywhere in the world than you would be while in the U.S. Millions of people navigate all around the country on their own, so I would say give it a try -- you're bound to make everlasting memories and make some lifetime friendships. Maybe someone else in the group would be willing to hook up with you and offer a ride to the event.
 
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