Architecture lovers, history buffs, design students, and those visiting Los Angeles would all find something to explore at the Heritage Square Museum near Mt. Washington. A museum ticket includes a guided tour of the historic homes moved to Heritage Square from different corners of the city of Los Angeles, beginning with the Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument Program in 1961.
The homes at the museum are quite different from the modern architecture in other areas of Mt. Washington. In Montecito Heights, the homes at Heritage Square are examples of the Victorian architecture that was popular in Los Angeles in the 19th century and the early 20th century.
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For example, the Hale House (see picture below) was restored, including the original paint colors and interiors. George W. Morgan built the home in 1887, and it was originally located at 3800 Homer Street.
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The other homes at the Heritage Square include the Perry Mansion, which was designed by E.F. Kysor for William Hayes Perry. The Victorian Italianate home is known for the elegant stairway and the Corinthian columns. It was originally located in Boyle Heights.
An artefact from 1876, the Palms Depot brought visitors and newcomers to California via the Southern Pacific. Today, it is the museum store and visitor center.
It may sound unusual to us now, but houses with eight sides were once quite popular. The Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House (see picture below) is an example of the style. Some argued that octagon houses allowed more light and air into homes. The house was built in 1893 on San Pasqual Street for Gilbert Longfellow who was a farm owner.
Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House
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The gorgeous wood carvings at the Ford House (see picture below), built in 1887, are a sight to behold. The French Mansard roof on the Valley Knudsen House (see last photo below) exemplifies the unique architecture of the west. You’ll also be able to visit the Carriage Barn and the Lincoln Ave Church on site. A new addition to the museum is the Colonial Drug building. George A. Simmons’ family donated original pieces from his drug store, which were used in the museum’s recreation of the space.
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At the Heritage Square Museum, visitors enjoy performances, programming, weddings, parties, and learning about the history of architecture and life in Los Angeles. Heritage Square participates in the event Museums of Arroyo Day, alongside the Autry’s Historic Southwest Museum and the Pasadena Museum of History.
Valley Knudsen House
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Other famous homes to see in Los Angeles include the Lummis House, the Greek Revival Nickel-Leong Mansion, and the Gamble House. Mt. Washington is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, and it is located in the Northeast region. Founded in 1909, it sits within the San Rafael Hills. Eldred Street and the Southwest Museum are historic and famous sites in Mt. Washington. While in Los Angeles, also be sure to visit the Kidspace Children’s Museum, the Time Travel Mart, and the Audubon Center.
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