Historic Fenyes House

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Fenyes Mansion, Pasadena

I got a rare opportunity to tour the Fenyes Mansion Sunday during one of only two days in the year this 103-year-old house — designed by architect Robert Farquar — is open to the public.

What’s amazing about viewing any historic building is the feeling you get of going back in time once you step through the portal. Visitors Sunday — and there were many — were transported to early 20th Century, when Eva Fenyes would paint en plein air paintings in her solarium. Or when she and her family and friends would put on plays in the sitting room to the north which featured a theatrical balcony.

Docents spoke of the kitchen, where a gas stove and ice box were considered luxuries, and where the Ben-Hur spices lined up in the walk-in pantry, not far from Mrs. Fenyes picnic baskets which she often loaded up with food and took out on the lawn when the light was right for one of her watercolor paintings.

In the solarium, seen below:

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One could imagine Peter Sellers as Chauncey Gardener, contemplating his vines while espousing simplistic philosophies of life. I’m referring to the movie “Being There” which was filmed on the premises.

I’m glad Pasadena respects its historic resources. It makes a city so much richer.

This entry was posted in environment, land use, Pasadena by Steve Scauzillo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

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