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:
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.