10-02 TalesOfBalboa Your Portal To Balboa Village California

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Goodbye Old Friends
Main St. Trees, Ficker House & Grey Goose

Last Month Three Balboa Landmarks Bit the Dust.


Main Street Trees


Main Street's ficus trees were originally planted in the early 1950's.


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This circa 1955 postcard shows the Main Street trees shortly after they were planted.


 Over the years these trees have grown to produce a mixed blessing for the Main Street merchants and visitors alike. True, they are beautiful and create a soft shade for the downtown Balboa area. But they also create major problems.

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This is Main Street before the trees were removed.


Their roots grow so fast and big they crack and buckle the sidewalks as well get into the sewer lines. So it was decided the trees must go as part of the upcoming redevelopment of the Central Balboa area.


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The trees came tumbling down with
 a crash.


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This is Main Street after most  of the trees have been removed and before the upcoming redevelopment.


The Grey Goose Apartments


The Grey Goose Apartments have been a part of Balboa legend and folklore as far back as anyone can remember. To get the full story, Click Here


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This old circa 1950 postcard reflects the Grey Goose in its glory days.


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The Grey Goose just before it
was demolished.


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A fond farewell to the Grey Goose.

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A sign displays the new homes to be built on the location of the Grey Goose.


Words Of Wisdom

When one engine fails on a twin engine airplane, you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.

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The Ficker House

Of all the homes in Balboa, the Ficker house was one of the most well known. Built in 1927, this 6,000 square foot home stood out as an example of old school craftsmanship and house building.

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The Ficker house in all of its glory.

 Located at the corner of 6th Street and Oceanfront, it was the envy of everyone who passed it while traveling down the Oceanfront boardwalk. Named after  its long time owner and Americas Cup winner Bill Ficker, the house is remembered by many for the lavish Christmas parties that were thrown there every year.

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The house was labeled and

After being for sale for many years with no takers, it was finally purchased by a developer to be leveled to make way for two grand ocean front homes.  When news of the upcoming demolition of the Ficker house reached Steve and Jeannine Abraham, they contacted the developer and arranged to get some time to disassemble the house for reconstruction in Northern California at a later date. After all, the lumber used in the construction this old house was the finest long grain cedar. Unheard of in today's house building.

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As the house was disassembled, it was loaded into the truck.

An enclosed eighteen wheeler truck was brought in and the house was painstakingly disassembled, labeled and put into the truck. Finally when time ran out, a bulldozer was brought in and in a few hours what was left of the house was reduced to mulch.

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A bulldozer was brought in to finish
the job.

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Within a few hours the Ficker house
was gone.

Viewer Email

I just wanted to drop you a quick note and thank you for the In Memory tribute to my grandmother on your website. It was a very sudden shock to me and my whole family, and it's amazing how much I miss her already.  I'm her oldest grandchild and I remember spending many a summer in Newport Beach as a kid while she was tending to the apartment building, renting to families all over the country. My grandfather would come down from Los Angeles on the weekends and help with a bunch of chores around the building and otherwise hang out with me and the other kids/cousins. As a resident of Northern California for over 35 years, every time I've gone back to Newport Beach through the years to visit my grandparents and all my wonderful memories I've felt as blessed as a person could be. With my last grandparent's passing, there will be a hole in my heart when I visit again but I'll never forget her energy, drive, laughter and love. Nana and Papa (as we called them) were truly the memory makers! Thanks again. You're website is great!!
Brent Morgon (son of Dennis Morgon, Venoa and Paul's oldest son)

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