Los Angeles Real Estate Philanthropist Supports Marine Corps Toys for Tots.

toys-for-totsFueled by his belief that we all need to do our part to make our communities better for our children, Los Angeles based real-estate philanthropist, Howard Rudzki, has donated five cases of plush toys to the Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program.

“With so many children in need this holiday season, I hope this donation can help brighten the holiday season for children in need,” Rudzki said.  “We are in the midst of one of the worst recession in our country’s history and its effects have been felt in every city.  I wanted to do my part to help because I know that this may be the only gift that some of these kids receive this year.”

The Toys for Tots charitable effort started in 1947 in Los Angeles when Marine Corp Major Bill Hendricks was inspired by wife Diane’s attempts to donate a Raggedy Ann doll to a needy child, but couldn’t find a charity that would take it.

At her suggestion, he and a group of local Marine reservist coordinated and collected 5,000 toys for local children.  Their efforts were so successful that in 1948, Toys for Tots was launched as a national campaign.  Since then the program has collected and distributed hundreds of millions of toys to help less fortunate children throughout the United States so that they can experience the joy of Christmas.

Toys for Tots objective is to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

Real Estate Preservationist, Howard Rudzki offers Home Buy Tips

Los Angeles Home Philanthropist and Preservationist, Howard Rudzki, Offers Historic Home Buyers Tips on How to Avoid Potential Pitfalls

“Buying and restoring a historic house isn’t a small undertaking and it isn’t for everyone. Not only do old structures need special care, but they are full of surprises, and costs can add up quickly,” says Howard Rudzki, a prominent real-estate philanthropist with a passion for preserving the rich architectural heritage of Los Angeles.

To learn more about whether or not restoring an older home is for you, check out the following tips on what to expect and look for:

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1. Know what you are buying
Before you make an offer, know what you’re getting into, because historic homes require more than your average inspection,” Rudzki says. It’s worth the effort to have a contractor with experience in renovating older properties do a walk through to identify the critical issues that could include wiring, plumbing and bad foundations which may not be easily apparent and will require extra time and costs.

“Buyers also need to understand that they may not have all of the creature comforts that come with a new building,” he adds. “For example, in many older homes it’s difficult to have evenly heated or cooled rooms.”

2. Always budget more than you expect to spend

“Expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to opening up walls and floors,” Rudzki cautions. “When you start a renovation, you should budget and extra 15% for unforeseen setbacks that always occur. Every project I have ever worked on has an issue somewhere whether its asbestos, lead pipes, rewiring or water damage. These are serious and need to be addressed.”

3. Embrace the home’s character
Older homes have personality, uniqueness which is what makes them so special. Preserving those characteristics while also refreshing the look and floor plans is key.

Rudzki explains, “Renovating older homes is creative a creative opportunity, so I always advise people to embrace the home’s quirkiness. Sometimes homes have design elements that can’t easily be reproduced so you may need to work around those details.”

4. Hire a qualified team
Bring in contractors with experience in renovating older residences.

“While you may be a weekend DIYer, older homes are always trickier than you think,” Rudzki warns. To ensure you don’t have unforeseen headaches in the future, hire an expert and always ask for references beforehand.

5. Do your research
One of the most expensive parts of a historic home remodel is updating the heating, cooling, and electrical systems. Installing these may require you to tear out architectural details that make the house special.

Rudzki adds, “Today there are many solutions available on the market that let you upgrade key features without removing period details. This includes things like ductless heating and air-conditioning systems that offers renovators flexibility and homeowner more efficient heating and overall cost savings.”

Howard Rudzki Donates Toys to Children’s Hospital

Local Real Estate Philanthropist Howard Rudzki Donates Toys to Orthopaedic Hospital

Furthering his commitment to making a difference in the lives of children in Los Angeles , local real estate philanthropist, Howard Rudzki, has donated 10 cases of plush toys and 10 video game systems to Orthopaedic Hospital this holiday season.

The donation will be used to bring some of the comforts of home to young patients staying at the hospital during the holiday season. The plush toys and game systems were graciously received by the coordinators at the hospital, and will be handed out to age-appropriate children according to the hospital’s policies.

“Birthdays and Christmas are two times that are special in the lives of a child,” Rudzki said. “I think it is important to bring smiles to children’s faces, especially when they are battling illness or other challenges and I am hoping that this donation will make the stay of these children a little brighter during the holiday season.”

Eloise Helwig, a spokesperson for the hospital said that the toys and consoles are a welcome gift at Orthopaedic Hospital.  “This donation is more than just about giving toys and game consoles. It is the extra, added comfort that these young patients  will receive while they are here in the hospital.  We are so appreciative to Mr. Rudzki and all of generous donors who regularly support us.”

Located in downtown Los Angeles, Orthopaedic Hospital provides care for patients with musculoskeletal disorders regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For more than a century the hospital has been committed to helping children lead healthy, active lives.

Historic Craftsman Home Restored by Rudzki

Historic Craftsman Home Restored by Philanthropist Howard Rudzki Is Recognized by Highland Park Heritage Trust

Situated on a gently sloping lot in Highland Park is a single family Craftsman home that has been restored back to its former glory by local philanthropist Howard Rudzki.  The residence which was built in the early 1900s underwent a year-long top to bottom restoration which included turned what had become a duplex back to a single family home.

“Los Angeles has so many wonderful older properties. Rather than tearing them down or allowing them deteriorate, I believe we have an obligation to care for the rich heritage that we have. Giving a home like this new life not only honors its history but also turns these architectural gems into livable spaces for the next generation of residents,” said Rudzki.

This distinctive Craftsman home beckons visitors onto its large front porch complete with an antique swing and views of the San Gabriel Mountains. The expansive open living area includes intricate artisan woodworking and exposed beam ceilings that display the structural features of the home.  A large fireplace anchors the open floor plan and is flanked by high windows and bookcases that serve as a focal point for the room. The home’s original Douglas Fir floors were saved and refinished and all of the doors and windows were custom built with dual-pane glass from the same period that were salvaged from recycling centers throughout Los Angeles.

The house offers three bedrooms each with a walk in closet, an office and two large bathrooms with double sinks, custom wood built-in vanities and claw foot bath tubs.  The home’s custom kitchen features Arts and Crafts inspired millwork cabinets that celebrate the spirit of the period, while its Monservatto marble counters and stainless steel appliances unite modernity with the home’s rich past. The large master suite opens onto a private deck in the back yard whose charming landscape takes this home from ordinary to extraordinary.

Highland Park Heritage Trust Honors Local Philanthropist

Rudzki  Honored with Community Preservation Award

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 The Highland Park Heritage Trust honored local philanthropist Howard Rudzki with a Community Preservation Award for his work on the restoration of a local Craftsman Bungalow.  The award ceremony was held Sunday afternoon at Temple Beth Israel.

“These historic homes are part of the fabric of this community and I am so honored to receive this award,” Rudzki said.  “I believe we owe it to future generations to preserve these treasures which both celebrates our rich history showcase the diverse that defines Los Angeles.”

Award winners received certificates from Highland Park Heritage Trust and certificates from the City of Los Angeles.  Presenters were Zenay Loera from José Huizar’s office, Melinda Ramos Alatorre from Gil Cedillo’s office, Anne Marie Wozniak  and Charles J. Fisher on behalf of Highland Park Heritage Trust.

The Community Preservation Awards demonstrate the ongoing pride that the community takes in its cultural and historical legacy. The nominations for the awards are not just limited to buildings. Over the years there have been a wide range of winners. In 1985 the restored 1927 International Harvester delivery truck used by Sparkletts received a award, as did a 1905 snorkel truck that was restored by Fire Station No. 12 (now at the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum), in 1982, the first year of the awards.

The reopening of the Southwest Museum tunnel with the restoration of the original dioramas was honored in 1996 (The tunnel has since been closed again by the Autry). The restoration of the artistic enhancement of the Garvanza San Pasqual staircase was a recipient in 2002. s

Businesses have also received many awards over the years. The Shell service station at Avenue 52 and Figueroa won an award in 1994. Cafe de Leche was a winner in 2010 and more recently Fresco’s Community Market, in Hermon, won an award in 2012.  Both local Jack-in-the Boxes have won; the one in Garvanza for its landscaping and the one in Highland Park for its then new Craftsman building.

 

1035 Dexter Built 1916
This front gabled Craftsman features a wide front porch with four Tuscan columns that are supported by concrete pillars. The owner did a complete renovation that included de-stuccoing the house and replacing nearly half of the clapboard siding. All the windows were recreated by using a single window that had been left under the house. A beautiful shade of salmon and a complimentary light green and white trim have breathed new life into this charming home. A Craftsman style wooden fence completes the picture. The owners are to be commended for their dedication to historic integrity in the renovation of this property and are truly deserving of the 2014 award.

Rudzki Restores a Boyle Heights Victorian

A Classic Painted Lady Gets a New Look from a Historic Home Preservationist Howard Rudzki

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3407 East Fourth Street in Boyle Heights is a lovingly restored classic “Painted Lady” Victorian, like the ones you would find in San Francisco. Originally built in 1895, this beautiful residence was refurbished by L.A. real estate preservationist and historic home buff, Howard Rudzki.

Rudzki has had a passion for historic houses for as long as he can remember.  “Having a chance to preserve these iconic treasures of L.A. culture is why I love what I do,” Howard explains.

“My friends will tell you that I’m always trying to get people to notice and appreciate the many historic homes we have throughout L.A.”

And this Boyle Heights classic is truly one of a kind. The house offers a unique, yet very functional floor plan with a formal parlor area that opens onto a large wrap-around porch.

Boasting  12 foot high ceilings, wood doors and windows, antique and reproduction period lighting and rich refinished Douglas Fir floors throughout the two floors.  Period-style antique bathrooms feature colorful tile work and mini-claw foot bath tubs and the classic-designed kitchen is anchored by a beautiful antique stove.

In the back of the house is an enclosed sun porch that could be used as additional bedrooms or as office space. One block walk to the metro gold line stop and easy bus access, this beautiful home is only an eight minute drive to downtown L.A.

“There is a lot of care and commitment that goes into maintaining this type of home and it isn’t for everyone.  But if you love brightly painted houses, beautiful wooden details and wide shady porches, then you might want to consider buying a Victorian,” he adds.

 

Highland Park Classic

L.A. Preservation Buff and Philanthropist Howard Rudzki Delivers Modern Take on A Highland Park Classic

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6021 Meridian Avenue in Highland Park sits on a corner lot with views that extends from Dodger Stadium across the beautiful Arroyo Seco. Restored by real estate philanthropist and preservationist Howard Rudzki, the classic Spanish-style home blends old world charm with contemporary comfort.

Built in 1922, this redesigned home delivers a modern take on a Highland Park classic.  The main living space features high ceilings, lots of natural light and exposed woodwork highlighted by two stunning built-ins. There’s easy flow to the breakfast nook and kitchen which is finished with stone countertops and dark wood cabinetry.

From drawer-pulls to window latches to period-inspired lighting, Rudzki paid attention to all of the wonderful small details that fill the home. Storage is ample, including large closets in both bedrooms. Bathrooms are finished in Saltillo tile and cool fixtures like a pedestal sink and soaking tub.  Slip out the French doors to the outdoor areas: a patio beneath a pergola and a sun-splashed roof-deck atop the garage – ideal for entertaining.

Today, Highland Park is among Los Angeles’ most happening neighborhoods.  Located northeast of the city, this quaint suburb is built on gently sloping hills.  In the past, it was considered the hot-rod capital of Southern California. Today mom and pop cafes, book stores and fitness studios line its streets.

“This neighborhood has retained its small town feel, and yet you are just minutes from L.A,” said Rudzki.  “It has a rich history and culture and wonderful old homes.”

Offering sweeping 360 degree views, this refurbished, well located home will put you right in the heart of it everything.  It offers easy access to the Metro Gold Line, as well as walking distance to intersection of York and Figueroa which is home to several of the hippest restaurants and vintage boutiques in the city.

 

 

Local Philanthropist Howard Rudzki Helps Save Highland Park’s Historic Homes

“Highland Park is changing fast and it follows the gentrification that is happening all across Los Angeles, said real-estate philanthropist and preservationist, Howard Rudzki.  “Residents, entrepreneurs, restaurants, shops and small businesses are all moving in.”

Tucked away in Northeast Los Angeles, Highland Park is a hilly suburb that lies along the Arroyo Seco water shed .  Once known as hot-rod capital of Southern California, classic cars still lend to the city’s retro vibe which is accented by mom and pop stores lining its streets instead of brand retailers.  It is also one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods and home to dozens of artists who have lived in the area for years.

With a passion for restoring historic homes, Howard felt Highland Park had unrealized potential.  He started buying homes in the area in 2011.  Not just homes, but specifically Craftsman and Victorians that were badly in need of repair. Since then he has restore dozens of them back to their former glory.

“I love this area because it is still feels like a small town, but you are just minutes from the one of the biggest cities in the world,” Howard added.  “It has a rich history, wonderful old homes and has become more desirable with the opening of the Metro Gold Line.”

When Howard first visited Highland Park, there really weren’t many retail establishments other a handful of Mexican restaurants and Cafe de Leche, a neighborhood staple since 2008.  But today this area is one of the most vibrant in L.A.  The change happened slowly, first on the residential side, followed by retailers from cafes, to bookstores, to drycleaners.

“When I started buying historic homes here, the market was low and many of them were in foreclosure.  For me it was a great opportunity to not only help restore these beautiful structures, but also to impact the gentrification in a way that helped to preserve the neighborhood’s cultural integrity.”