For those of you who have been following the saga of Apple Valley’s once beautiful but now ruined Hilltop House here at Paradise Leased, which has recently come up for sale, I have an interesting update to share. My friend Steve Richard is an Apple Valley architect who has long wanted to see something done to preserve the historic 20 acre site. He even launched a Facebook page devoted to the house with much information and many pictures. When he saw how many others out there shared his interest he began formulating a plan for how this quintessential high desert landmark can once again be a credit to the community. What he came up with is quite exciting and certainly worth considering. While I still cling to the will o’ wisp that someone will come and magically bring the house back to its 1957 origins I am nonetheless most intrigued by his proposal to repurpose the property for the whole community to enjoy as hiking trail/view spots. I was even more impressed when Steve showed me the design ideas, which are far more encompassing and engaging than I at first thought. It really is an amazing concept that not only utilizes literally the whole of Bass Hill it still doesn’t overwhelm the dramatic Hilltop House ruins.
I am fascinated by this bold and exciting idea and it may be the very best of both worlds. After all, in the event someone does buy Hilltop House and let’s say, miracle of miracles, they put it back to the way it used to be, well, we can look at it from far away and be satisfied it’s there I guess. However, a much more believable scenario is that a buyer will not want to put Hilltop House back at all but rather bulldoze the ruins and in its place erect a ginormous and shiny new McMansion, something we will all have to look at from far away for a looong time. Or a big restaurant or such other garish commercial venture. Opening up the site as a public hiking trail is sounding better and better all the time!
Steve has helped put together a grassroots organization to raise the necessary funds to purchase the Hilltop House site called Apple Valley Legacy Trail Steering Committee. Be sure and check out their newly-launched website here. There’s much info/photos and details on how to contribute to make the dream a reality.
As you can see, I’ve been warming to the idea just writing about it. What do you think Newt Bass, that sly genius of a promoter of his beloved Apple Valley would think of it? More importantly, what do you think about it?