The Reeves House at 219 North Avenue 53 and the Morrell House next door at 215 North Avenue 53 were built in the early 1900s. They were nominated for Historic-Cultural landmark status in 1988 to prevent them from being demolished for new apartment building construction. They were awarded the status that same year.
The fire "apparently gutted the Reeves house and then spread next door to the Morrell House," says the Eastsider. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Craftsman Morrell House was built in 1906 and designed by Charles E. Shattuck, an architect "known for country club designs and who designed the first mausoleum in Southern California," Charles J. Fisher told the Los Angeles Times in 1988.
The Reeves House, a Colonial Revival home, was built in 1904.
The landmarking of these houses and several others in 1988 spared them from demolition and helped establish the large historic district that includes much of Highland Park, Eastsider says.