Friday, June 19, 2009

Hintz Construction, Anaheim

Folks seemed to like yesterday's post, so I thought I'd bring your attention to this similar 1950s postcard advertising the homes of the Hintz Construction Co. of Anaheim. The postcard comes from Vic Stapf's wonderful Photos of the Forgotten website.
I started digging up a little more information about Hintz, but didn't expect to find much. I was wrong. First, the basics,...
The president of the company was John T. Hintz, who was involved in at least eight local tract-building firms in the late 1950s. Gilbert J. Hayes acted as sales agent on most of these tracts.
The black and white image above is from Hintz's "Riverview Estates" development, which was on sale in Spring of 1957 near Walnut Ave and Hart St in Orange. (Bizarre factoid: Over Easter weekend, "Easter Bunny clowns" were positioned along local streets with signs and balloons to point the way to the "big Easter frolic" that awaited potential homebuyers.) A second set of "Riverview Estates" was built at the same time near Clinton Ave. and Trask St. in Garden Grove.
That same year, Hintz began construction of a 106-home tract at the northwest corner of 9th St. and Katella Ave. I believe the image below depicts a home in that tract.
In May 1958, the O.C. Planning Commission also okayed another 44-home Hintz tract at the southwest corner of Bolsa Ave. and Euclid St. in Garden Grove. You get the idea. Hintz Construction was doing a booming business.
Perhaps it was a portent of trouble to come when one of Hintz's business associates took off from the Orange County Airport in an airplane owned by Hintz. When detained by authorities at an airport in Illinois, he claimed he had every right to use the plane and that John Hintz had no business contacting the authorities.
Then the real trouble hit the fan. In March 1960, the O.C. District Attorney brought six real estate men - including John Hintz - into Anaheim-Fullerton Municipal Court on charges of violating the state Business and Professions Code. According to the L.A. Times, Hintz was charged with making "material changes in the financial structure after submitting to the real estate commission [his] planned method of handling the contracts of sale on the homes." The case was complicated, involved many parties, and resulted in a major "second trust deed" mixup. At least 200 O.C. homeowners faced forclosure. Hintz pleaded not guilty. (Two years later, the Garden Grove Union High School District sued Hintz on a related matter.)
Going back through newspapers of the time, I can't find how the case ended or what happened to the homeowners. Does anyone know?


Anonymous said...

These look very similar to homes that I've seen along Irvine Blvd. in Tustin as well. Any connection?

Mike H Hintz said...

its very likely these are part of the tracks of homes built by the crews run by the hintz-hanson builders as they've built several thousand homes in southern california. thanks for asking.

one of the hintz clan

Jeff Stokes said...

I believe he also built a small tract of homes in the backbay of Newport Beach.