'The Jungle' Author's Literary Home Gets Discounted

The historic home of The Jungle author Upton Sinclair, originally on the market in Monrovia, Calif., for $1.5 million has been reduced to $1.3 million. Built in 1923, it has 2,380 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. In 1971, it became a Registered National Historic Landmark. National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.

Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction, making this house far more exclusive than being designated on the National Register of Historic Places, which has over 80,000 listings.
Upton Sinclair
was a prolific writer, publishing over 90 novels in his lifetime. He converted part of the garage of this home into a study, and wrote most of his later works there. His book The Jungle was published in 17 languages and was a bestseller around the world. After President Theodore
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Roosevelt read it, he ordered an investigation into the meatpacking industry which led to the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act, both in 1906. Sinclair wrote Dragon's Teeth in 1942, the year he moved into this home. It chronicled the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1943.

The home was designed by architect Frederick H. Wallis in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. While the federal government does not forbid changes to national historic landmarks, local historical societies will often place restrictions on renovations to maintain the architectural integrity and historic value of the home. In addition to the official recognition as a landmark, there are also benefits such as tax incentives for rehabilitation and eligibility for grants from the Historic Preservation Fund.This particular property has a contract with the City of Monrovia which reduces the property taxes in favor of continuing historically correct maintenance.

Cecilia Farnum of Century 21 says "This is the perfect home for someone interested in owning a vintage home, a piece of history. It is the only monument to Upton Sinclair, and he wrote very fondly about the house. You have to want to be a custodian of something very precious, and be content with keeping it the same as it's always been," she adds.

Indeed, it might be the perfect home for you to write your next chapter in.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow her on Twitter @thedesigndiva.

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