A fantastic way to learn more about the city of Torrance and its fascinating past is at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.
The museum, which helps keep the past of Torrance alive, is housed in the city’s first main library, which was built in 1936. It features a number of permanent exhibits as well as rotating exhibits that vary, and a collection of photos, documents, books and artifacts that paint a picture about Torrance’s past. In any case, it’s a good bet you will learn something new.
The museum proudly shows off a number of interesting exhibits and displays, such as the chronicle of Louis Zamperini. A 1936 Olympian from Torrance, Zamperini was lost at sea in World War II and later found to be alive in a Prisoner of War camp. You will also find the “Big Red Car,” an electric motor coach built in 1911 that has amassed an interesting history rolling throughout California.
The Torrance Historical Society promotes the history of the city through a number of events and programs. Events include walking tours of downtown Torrance, children’s programs and The Original Torrance Fall Tour of Historic Homes. There is also the popular Plaque Program, which has placed bronze plaques on historic landmarks throughout the community for more than 20 years.
The historical society was founded in 1973, while the museum first opened its doors in 1979. The museum is free and open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. and for special events. For a private tour or to conduct personal research, call the museum for an appointment.
Torrance Historical Society & Museum 1345 Post Ave. 310-328-5392
How much do you know about the history of Torrance? Find out more at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.
Interested in a walking tour of the historic homes around Torrance? Find out more here.
Do you know about the remarkable life of Louis Zamperini of Torrance? The Torrance Historical Society & Museum is a great visit.
Onyx is a banded stone not unlike agate. It was formed from limestone so it is a soft stone. Color variation comes from dissolving and redepositing of the limestone. Colors of this strikingly luminescent stone vary from white to black and every color in between. The appearance and color of onyx change with the variations in light. This makes it an exciting building material.
Onyx is as old as Biblical times but it was mostly used for jewelry and artist’s carvings. In Egyptian times, onyx was used to make pieces like bowls and other pottery items. Now, thanks to modern technology, onyx has been repurposed. Onyx tiles are now used as backsplashes on kitchen and bathroom counters, as wall tile in bathrooms, kitchens, family rooms, and dens oron shower wall surfaces.
Onyx floor tiles grace bathrooms, kitchens and foyers adding an air of opulence to your home. Because of their extreme color variations onyx can be used to create a focal point such as a bar or fireplace.
Onyx as a choice for building stones must be made carefully. While its color variation is much like marble, this substance is not nearly as hard as marble. Thus it must be handled and cut with care.
Valued for its almost endless variation in color, onyx is one of the most fragile of nature’s stones. Luckily, there are ways to offset this fragility. Onyx stones are often manufactured on a backing made of mesh or fiberglass. This lends tiles strength but the backing can make cutting the stone to fit a designated space tricky and time consuming. The surface on which onyx tiles are mounted must be perfectly even and stable. Otherwise the tiles may crack.
Tiles must be cut to fit using a diamond blade to produce a clean cut that is unlikely to shatter. If you are installing onyx floor tiles, it is important to use a cement backer board at least 5/8 inches thick before installing onyx floor tiles on the floor and ½” on walls.
Because tiles will vary in color and texture greatly even within a box, before you lay wall or floor tiles, lay the tiles out so you can see how they will appear. That way you will avoid “clumping” light or dark tiles together giving a “pinto pony” appearance that is attractive in a horse but not on a wall for floor.
Besides being easily cracked or chipped, onyx tile is also very absorbent. Thus you need to prevent it from soaking up moisture and getting stain marks. Seal liberally with an impregnating sealer especially made for porous stone. If you have done your job properly, water should bead on the stone surface like it would on a well waxed automobile. As soon as onyx tiles no longer beads water, it is time to reseal it.
Onyx is not as durable or easy care as granite, or marble. It requires care and ongoing maintenance. However, onyx tiles are becoming popular for walls, floors and counter tops because of this precious stone’s beauty.
You don’t have to be a master gardener to add a touch of green to your living space. Plants make your home look elegant or cozy depending on which plants you choose, where you put them, and how you display them.
Start simply with some supermarket or superstore potted plants. Arrange them in an interesting bowl and make them a center of interest in your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. A good choice is African violets. Make sure they get morning sun and are shaded from afternoon sun. Water from the base to avoid touching the leaves.
Make an oleander, ficus,fig tree, rubber tree, orother tall tree a foyer interest.
Use a large can from Pottery Barn or Pier One, even a garage sale. Put it on wheels for easy moving to clean. Provide moderate light avoiding bright afternoon sun. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry.
Try a topiary plant or a bonsai tree for a center of interest. Why not a window ledge topiary forest?
Some plants are not just beautiful or good for the air quality in your house they have more to offer the homeowner. Try planting herbs in small pots or create a window sill garden. Good choices are parsley, rosemary, chives, mint, and basil. They are right there ready for snipping when you want them for cooking or garnish.
Try your hand at an indoor tomato plant or alfalfa sprouts or start a yam or peanut plant from an eye or seed. These will be conversation pieces.
Use bulbs in clear glass bowls to give your house a spring look in winter.
Be creative. Try combining plants in a large container. You can set this outside your front door in the summer.
Try growing plants in hanging objects like fish bowls,teakettles, or birdhouses. Suspend them with macramé hangers.
Fill a bookcase in your den or spare room with pots of various plants of different colors and textures.
In your kitchen, create a vertical garden of herbs and succulents. Your garden could be in a macramé hanger from which you hang small pots. Your kitchen will smell wonderful, it will look welcoming and the air will be fresh...and your herbs are right there for harvesting to garnishing your favorite dishes.
You don’t have to be a gardener to add a touch of green to your home. Watering weekly is the most care many of these plants need.
That guest room may have looked quite presentable last fall. But with the prospect of summer visitors, it now looks tired. Here are some ways to perk up your spare room without paying a fortune to do so.
Your first concern should not be the aesthetics of the room. While these are important your number one priority should be to ensure that your visitors get a good night’s sleep. If they don’t it won’t matter how pretty their surroundings are!
Check out the mattress. Is it still in good shape? Is it a good quality mattress? Would you be willing to sleep on it?
How good are the bed linens? Keep the sheetssimple and layered. Get a good designer look for rock bottom prices by shopping at discount or linen outlet stores. Freshly launder sheets with a light scented or unscented detergent. Add a light weight blanket, and fluffy new pillows. Have extra pillows and blankets available. Limit decorator throw pillows to three. Include a bedside table or desk, an alarm clock or clock radio and a lamp.
Another perk is a comfy chair and ottoman for reading or watching TV. Include a dresser with empty drawers so they can unpack and a closet outfitted with nice hangers. Nice extra touches include a basket with books and magazines and a single cup coffee or tea maker and an attractive cup.
If your guests are sharing a bathroom, provide hand towels, bath towels, a washcloth, a nice bar of soap and individual hair products.
If you are redecorating, new bed linens and drapes make a world of difference. This might be all that is needed. Another quick fix is a fresh coat of paint. Choose something neutral and add color with paintings, throw cushions and/or bedspread. Try mixing and matching by painting three walls and adding a feature wall with striped wallpaper, a mural, or a unique paint technique.
Other amenities that are appreciated by guests include a full-length mirror and a dresser top or bathroom counter top where they can lay out toiletries. A luggage rack or low table on which to put luggage is also a nice addition. Shop for these items at discount stores, second hand stores, or garage sales.
Remember: Your aim is to make your guests feel at home by adding personal touches like a little fridge containing their favorite beverages and a basket of their favorite snacks.