This Place Matters: The Young-Satorette House

Posted on July 10th, 2019 by susanblake

The Historic Preservation Board’s featured Campbell Landmark home for July 2019 is the Young-Sartorette House at 1888 White Oaks Road.

Like many of our city’s Landmark homes, this house survived because it was moved, rather then being torn down. Designed and built by H. B. Painter in 1928, for Earl and Virginia Young, it was originally located on the west side of Bascom Avenue at the end of Woodard Road on three acres of land. This part of Bascom Avenue was then called San Jose-Los Gatos Road when the area was populated by walnut orchards and chicken ranches. The house sat near the rear of the property with a horseshoe driveway and formal gardens.

The house is a unique example of the English Tudor Revival Style with added French cottage motif. The arched front entry is framed by marble flagstone and features a capped turret. Although mostly hidden now by massive cedar trees, the five steeply pitched, gabled roofs and ornate front window details can be seen from the street. Earl Young was a local farmer and insurance agent and was Vice President of the Prune and Apricot Growers Association. The Youngs lived in the house until 1946, when they sold it to Collette and Charley Sartorette who raised horses on the property. Mr. Sartorette was also a well known local educator and served on the Cambrian School District’s Board of Trustees for many years. A Cambrian Elementary School is named after him. The Sartorette family lived in the house until the 1970’s.

In the late 1970’s, a large portion of Bascom Avenue was being developed for new housing, and the Satorette house was in the way. A significant impediment prevented the house from being torn down: It had been placed on Santa Clara County’s list of historic homes!

A Campbell couple, Rudi and Joanna Herz inquired about buying the house which Joanna “felt sorry for” because it was vacant, neglected, and covered with vines. The developer told them he would give them the house for free if they bought a now vacant lot and moved it to the back of the original property. They agreed, and in 1981 the 2,500 square foot home was cut from the foundation, rotated 180 degrees and slowly moved to its new location on White Oaks Road. After years of careful restoration and historic research, the Herz’s applied to have the house listed as a State of California Landmark which was granted in 2008. In May of 2009, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Besides the Young-Sartorette House, there are only four other buildings in Campbell that are honored in the National Register of Historic Places. They are: the Campbell Union Grammar School, the Campbell Union High School, the J.C. Ainsley Mansion and the Galindo-Leigh House.

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