Businesses donate to preserve city's heritage

Posted Dec. 8, 2006

The La Verne Heritage Foundation gives back to the community several times a year. This past summer, it was finally time for someone else to give back to the Heritage Foundation.

Lennox Industries and Hiatt Heating and Air Inc. donated their time and equipment upgrade to a 1940s ranch-hand house.

The house is in the back of Heritage Park in La Verne.

“We wanted to convert the ranch house into an office and museum,” said Robin Molina, president of the La Verne Heritage Foundation. “It will be great to have a place for people to use as an office space.”

The Foundation planned for the ranch house to function as an office for research and other business for the volunteer based organization.

The Foundation often hosts orange picking, hands-on history tours, and concerts in the park.

“We can also have performers change and prepare for their shows,” Molina said.

The Foundation is hoping this will allow them to put on more events for the community.

The work on the office in the ranch house has been ongoing for the last six years.

 It was this summer when Brian Hiatt of Hiatt Heating and Air Inc. decided they wanted to help the Foundation with their air unit.

“We felt we could help,” Brian Hiatt said.

“We knew it was a quality institution because my son Scott was the caretaker for the Weber House,” he said.

The Weber house is another historical building in Heritage Park maintained by the Foundation.

After Hiatt had visited the ranch house at Heritage Park, he decided he would work on getting some equipment to improve the insulation.

Hiatt approached his distributor, Richard Morales of Lennox, and after taking the trip with Hiatt out to see the ranch house, Morales decided he would contribute as well.

“Brian does great work,” Morales said. “This would be a great benefit to the community.”

After receiving approval from his bosses, Morales donated a state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning system.

“This system is the quietest and most efficient system we offer,” Morales said.

Hiatt is known for their custom work. Nothing they do is on newly constructed buildings; it is all on remodels or additions.

Hiatt donated not only the equipment, but his time as well.

He started the project in late spring.

Hiatt spent his weekends and some evenings working on the project, while maintaining his business.

“I was even there on the fourth of July,” Hiatt said.

Morales said he likes the Foundation because they are preserving the same time period that Lennox was founded, the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“We are so grateful for the work they did,” Molina said.

There were some setbacks but the project was completed this last summer.

Morales also said Lennox, Hiatt and the Foundation all share similar qualities.

They are all high quality establishments with a strong family history.

Rick Montañez can be reached at

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