The Harmony House Van Ness is a 1935 art deco home designed by renowned architect, Ernest J. Kump. The home is situated on historic Van Ness Boulevard in Fresno, CA. The home was formerly owned by Jeff Hall, a talented guitarist, producer and owner of Maximus Media, a local recording studio. Gina Leneé met Jeff back in 2002 when she hired Maximus Media to produce her first studio album, From the Heart. A single mom on a tight budget, Gina saved up to pay for 10 studio hours at $60 per hour to get the complete project done for just $600.
Originally, Gina intended to make one single copy of her recorded original songs, a keepsake to her daughters. After hearing about the recording, family and close friends asked for copies too. A "play by ear, and play by heart" pianist, Gina had always been shy to share the music she made up, but was encouraged to go ahead and make the CD. It was only later that Gina realized just how generous Jeff was in helping Gina reach her dream within her modest budget. Gina is humbled by the compassion and belief in her music that Jeff showed to her. To this day, Gina credits that encouragement as the start of a musical career that was beyond her wildest dreams.
Jeff's service to countless people, churches and non-profits in our community was matched only by his zeal for life. Those who knew Jeff remember his contagious laugh, enthusiasm, and bright smile. When someone asked Jeff, a man of strong faith, how he was, his answer was most always the same, "Its a great day, I woke up!, And the day that I don't wake up, will be an even better day." In March 2017, Jeff lost his long and courageous battle to cancer, and left his legacy of serving his community to his Maximus team. He is missed and remembered every day.
Around the same time, Gina had been looking for a home to buy in Fresno, after selling the home where she raised her daughters in Madera. She always loved the charming Fresno High neighborhood and many times drive down streets lined with century-old pine trees and daydream. In the 1930's and 40's, once the "jewel" of Fresno, Van Ness Boulevard was home to many of Fresno's influential families. It's also famous for it's annual Christmas Tree Lane, where Gina has made the annual Christmas tree lit drive, since she was a child. In a twist of fate, Gina was made known of Jeff's home available for sale, and she jumped at the chance to renovate the home into it's former glory.The potential of owning the home held a special meaning to Gina. She hoped that she could continue Jeff's love for entertaining friends and making music. Friends remember bringing their guitars and other instruments for well attended "jam" sessions outside by the pool.
A true artist at heart and a visionary, Gina saw the potential of the home in need of some TLC, and took the challenge of purchasing the home "AS-IS". It started what would be a year-long renovation project, while she and her daughter moved in to the jobsite. Curious neighbors and friends of Jeff made frequent visits over to talk to Gina, each sharing their favorite memories of the neighbor they remembered fondly. She decided to give the home a special name, with meaning, for what the home was previously and a mantra for her new future. One afternoon, the name "The Harmony House" came to mind. A perfect name to embody what Jeff was all about; friendship, community goodwill and of course, great music. Daydreams of spontaneous dances in a front courtyard, intimate house concerts and events to elevate artists of all kinds. Gina hoped to support her neighbors and fellow artists, just as Jeff did. February 2019 will mark the celebration of the first events at The Harmony House.
Gina is always looking for musicians and artists to collaborate with and create unique and meaningful events, Interested in performing at The Harmony House?
The Harmony House is available for rent for private events. For more information, please message Gina here.
To rent Studio G(etaway) at The Harmony House, please visit the air bnb link.