Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heritage Square: Enchantment

The Hale House.

When John and I were first dating we once stopped by the Heritage Square Museum. It was closed, but we always meant to go back. A peek down the quiet avenue was a glimpse into history.

Every time I drive by on the Pasadena Freeway and see the Victorian spires peeking out over the rooftops of Montecito Heights, I wonder: What's in there? Last Sunday I found out. If I were allowed only one word to describe what's in there, I would say "enchantment."

Heritage Square Museum is a mini-neighborhood of eight buildings, all built between 1876 and 1899 and all moved from their previous locations. (Plus there's a pretty cool old train car.) The five houses, one train depot, one carriage barn and one church are in different phases of preservation. Some are fully restored and furnished, some are still being studied and planned, almost all can be toured. Most of them are examples of Victorian and Edwardian architectural styles now rare in southern California.
Close-up of the train car, a recent museum acquisition.

Originated in 1969 as a haven for the last two remaining structures from Bunker Hill, Heritage Square Museum serves "to preserve, restore and interpret" structures that were saved from demolition and transported to this spot. Three of them (the Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House, the Carriage Barn and the Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church) are from Pasadena.
Looking toward the Valley Knudsen Garden Residence from the porch of Hale House.

The original Bunker Hill buildings are no longer there. Just seven months after they were moved to Heritage Square they burned in a vandal's fire. (I encourage you to enjoy the Bunker Hill links. They are amazing.)

I took 271 photos on my tour. I'll post more over the next few days. I promise not to post them all.

How many times have you driven by Heritage Square Museum and wondered? Just go. Be enchanted. And I recommend you take a date.
Part of a collection of antique manhole covers at the museum.

27 comments:

J+P said...

Okay, so maybe you're not the only nerd in the house.

Dina said...

A vandal's fire? Oi, shame.
I love the manhole covers.

Hilda said...

With those pastel colors, the Hale House looks like a dollhouse. Very charming. Heritage Square sounds like a wonderful place. I know I would enjoy a tour if I were there.

Shell Sherree said...

What a wonderful idea! It is enchanting. I'm looking forward to seeing more - especially the pretty cool old train car! {Not wanting to be bossy, of course...}

Andreea said...

271 photos, wow :) I'm would like to see more. Hilda is right, it does look like a doll house.

Italo said...

Such an enchanting place, full of history and beauty.

Leif Hagen said...

The Hale House is super fantastic! I'd buy it at any price if I won the Powerball lottery! Beautiful photo!

Katie said...

Simply amazing! The Hale House is a kapow of fantastic colors and styles and you had me at that photo. But wait, you had more! Heritage Square sounds like a wonderful place to spend the day and take lots of photos (do share as many of them as you'd like). I'd love to visit someday (and yes, I'll bring someone who I think would appreciate its architectural wonders).

Christina said...

You're right: I've driven by and wondered. Now I know I have to stop.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

To help everyone plan their trip, admission is $10 and includes a tour of the buildings. Just an FYI.

Jean Spitzer said...

Thanks for going someplace I've also wondered about, but never stopped to see. Now it has to go on the long "to see" list.

Laurie said...

Isn't it wonderful? I could shoot 200 pics there, too. Lovely images. MOre! More!

HearkenCreative said...

Wow: now you have convinced me that I need to get the kids and myself down there. Thanks!

"How many times have you driven by Heritage Square Museum and wondered?" Every time I ride the Gold Line I look over there and think I've got to visit.

I'm really interested in the train car and depot. It fascinates me that L.A. could have been a mass-transit city were it not for the automobile companies and their tactics back a century ago.

tom said...

thanks for giving me a glimpse into pasadena, i have an old roommate who lives there and now I can see some of what he sees

Petrea said...

I had to restrain myself while writing this post because there's so much to tell. Each building has its own history and I don't want to give it all away. You'll have more fun if you go to the museum. For folks who may not be visiting soon, the links will give you a lot of history.

Anonymous, thanks for the info. People can also click on the Heritage Square Museum link and it will take you to the museum's website for all the info and more photos.

Katie, if/when you visit, I hope we can double-date.

Vanda said...

Oh wow, what a fairy tale house! I love it!

Bellis said...

Whenever I've been ready for Heritage Square, it hasn't been ready for me. But you've inspired me to check up on their opening times and get down there.

Pascal Jim said...

The Train Depot was known as the "Palms Station" on the Pacific Electric Rail Line from Los Angeles to Santa Monica.
Moved over 18 miles to H/S.
The Hale House was originally located om Figueroa Street, a mile away, but the move was difficult because of the Pasadena Freeway. A gas station now resides on the Hale site, however' a beautiful residence still stands next door on Fig.
Another visual treat is the drive on Pasadena Avenue, just south of H/S

Ms M said...

That sounds like an enchanting place! Love the colors of the house. Maybe someday we'll be able to visit.

Terry said...

I've been speeding by for decades and, like everyone else, I've never visited. And I don't think I've ever seen a single person there. A roadside ghost town.

It took every ounce of discipline I had to not spend all day visiting your links instead of working for a living today. Guess what I'm doing tonight?

Can't wait for more!

J+P said...

This blog is so cool.

S.W. and Company said...

That house is beautiful!

Cafe Pasadena said...

This blog is hot.
And so are you.

Petrea said...

It's a treasure! (Check the website for times, Bellis.) Can't believe I haven't gone over and over again, because it changes as funds come in so it's worth returning from time to time. I highly recommend it.

Thanks for the info, Pascal Jim. Some of that is available on their website, but I didn't know that about the residence next door on Figueroa or the drive on Pasadena Avenue.

This is fun to blog about. More tomorrow.

AmyR said...

I am in love with that house. I am planning a coup...er, invasion...something.

I can't wait to check this place out Petrea! :D

Sarah @ Different Dog said...

Thank you for your article and pics on Heritage Square. I've been wanting to go there my whole life, and now that I'm leaving area to go to the midwest I am going to make a point to go there and see everything in full!
Love your blog and will keep up with happenings after I am far away.

Petrea said...

AmyR: Invade. I think they'd love it.

Sarah: I was just reading your comment over at Altadena Hiker. Isn't that always the way? I think I finally rushed out and saw the Art Institute about a week before I left Chicago. Where in the Midwest are you going? There might be a City Daily Photo blog there, or your could start one.