|The Infant of Prague Convent (Stimson House), |
owned by the L.A. Province of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
(V. McCargar photos)
Even better, we were in the company of a trio of historians: Don Sloper, author of Los Angeles' Chester Place; Greg Fischer, a Downtown News columnist and former city planning official, and Jeffrey Malin, a business associate and friend of Greg's.
|Rare pyramid-beveled glass |
in the front door.
Stimson was a lumber baron from back East who is remembered as one of Los Angeles' foremost early developers. When he built his own home on fashionable Figueroa Street, he spared no expense nor architectural detail. The house, with its multicolored stone exterior and lush interior woodwork, would not be out of place in Chicago. A crenelated turret, on the other hand, is a little more alien in this city. But the overall effect is absolutely stunning, and that's just the outside.
|Foyer woodwork. The whole house|
looks like this.
The home has been beautifully maintained by the CSJs, who had extensive work done in the 1990s under the direction of Sister Jill Napier, CSJ. One of the many unusual features of the home is the graceful woodwork in the servants' quarters -- something wealthy homeowners typically didn't bother with.
Sister Judy told me that she and the other occupants are aware that they are living in a national treasure. "We know this is special," she said. "We're thankful every day that we get to live here."
We're thankful, too, that Mount St. Mary's College has such wonderful neighbors. If you'd like to see a few more pictures from our visit to Stimson House, consider connecting with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MSMCArchives.
|The wraparound porch on the southeast corner of the first floor. |
Even the glass is curved. (V. McCargar photo)