Carpenters fans campaign to save family's LA home

Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:14pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fans of 1970s pop duo The Carpenters are trying to save the Los Angeles home, where the brother-sister singers once lived and worked, from demolition.

The modest home and annex in suburban Downey became a magnet for Carpenters fans when it was featured on the cover of their 1973 album "Now & Then." It is also the place where Karen Carpenter collapsed in her bedroom before dying of anorexia in 1983 at the age of 32.

But the current owners have already torn down the annex that housed a rehearsal studio and have submitted plans to replace the 39-year-old main house, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.

Carpenters fan Jon Konjoyan, 57, is leading a campaign to save the remaining house from destruction.

"This house is our version of Graceland," Konjoyan told the newspaper. "They were such a huge American act in the 1970s. So many people loved them."

Jessica Parra, the daughter of the current owners, told the newspaper that her parents had accommodated fans for years, often inviting them inside, but had grown weary of the attention.

"In the beginning, we let everybody in. But honestly it became horrible, not only for us but for the neighborhood," Parra told the newspaper. "People peek in windows and take pictures. They leave flowers on the front porch."

Karen and Richard Carpenter had more than 20 hit singles in the 1970s including "We've Only Just Begun" and "(They Long to Be) Close to You." They bought the house in Downey for themselves and their parents in 1971. Richard Carpenter sold it in 1997 after the death of his parents.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Vicki Allen)