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West Covina house, inspired by the dreams of a Holocaust survivor, seeks $1.6M



On a hill off Citrus Street is the dream of a young girl.

Lush trees and lawn. Sunshine. Mountain views. West Covina is a far cry from the horrors of the ghetto in Vilna, Poland, where Pearl Good, then 12-year-old Perella Esterowicz, was imprisoned in September 1941.

“There wasn’t a blade of grass, not a leaf on a tree, and things were so crowded that she couldn’t even see the sky,” Michael Good remembered his mother telling him. “And so, my mom built this house.”

That house is now on the market for $1.595 million.

Known as the Good Family Residence, the 3,140-square-foot custom build has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a living room with a dropped and centered 360-degree fireplace.

A curved brick wall partially separates the living room from the dining space, with west-facing windows bowed to capture the sunset.

Glass walls, wood paneling and built-ins add character.

Pearl and her husband William Z. Good, a Holocaust survivor who ran a medical practice in La Puente, built the light-filled home in 1961 on a 1-acre-plus lot surrounded by rugged hills where cattle grazed. They hired the architectural firm Grillias, Savage, Alves & Associates to draw up the plans for a modern glass home, but the design?

Michael Good, 66, credits his mother for the vision.

Pearl Good borrowed inspiration from The Glass House, a National Trust Historic Site in New Canaan, Conn., built by its architect-owner Philip Johnson in the late 1940s, and consumed architectural books and magazines for ideas.

“She had seen these new cutting-edge houses with all the glass that was happening all throughout Southern California, and that’s what she wanted to build,” said Michael Good. The retired doctor from Connecticut is overseeing the sale of his childhood home on behalf of his twin sister, Anne, and their elder brother, Leonard.

Perched at the end of a long driveway, nature surrounds the property and offers privacy from neighboring homes. The house fronts a large backyard pool, in which the siblings used to play on kid-sized yellow boats.

Family photos show the whole family enjoying the pool area, including one of Pearl Good lounging on the patio with the hills in the background.

Inside, the kitchen separates the great room and the den.

The primary suite is secluded from the other bedrooms and boasts an oversized walk-in closet and an office.

All the secondary bedrooms are found to the right of the foyer, including the largest. It has a wood-slat divider that splits the 20 by 14 space in two, each half with a built-in closet, desk and set of drawers.

According to Michael Good, “the scars of the war” are apparent in some of those built-ins.

“If you pull up one of the desktops, it lifts so you can put pillows and blankets in it,” he said. “We always knew that if the Nazis came, that was where we were going to hide because kids could fit in those little places.”

While the home has undergone necessary upgrades, it’s still the place his mother dreamed up.

Michael Good hopes the next owner preserves it. This is where his parents raised a family and lived for all but the last years of their lives.

Pearl Good, 93, and William Z. Good, 96, died of complications from Covid-19 two years apart from each other in October 2022 and December 2020, respectively.

“It was light, and trees, and greenery and fresh air,” he said. “Freedom, it was freedom.”

Benjamin J. Kahle of Compass is the listing agent.

The house at 2943 S. Citrus Street will open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2.

Source: Orange County Register

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