More than two years after the landmark 1906 Fenyes Mansion at Pasadena Museum of History was closed for extensive repairs, PMH docents once again stand in the elegant foyer and bid visitors a warm welcome.
The Fenyes Mansion is a unique historic property, having housed four generations of the Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo family. Today the legacy of this philanthropic family is carried on by the Paloheimo Foundation, which funded the $1.7 million renovation project. The exterior of the Mansion has been repainted white with dark brown trim - a match to the original 1906 color scheme. The roof was redone, and the balustrade around the central roofline was recreated. A new HVAC system was also installed. Many of the interior rooms were repainted, and the floors and wood trim throughout were refinished. In addition, the Mansion closure made it possible to repair and/or restore select items in the house including a number of the Oriental carpets, which were restored by Pashgian Brothers with funding provided by the El Molino Questers.
Special "Spotlight Tours" are being developed and will be offered intermittently throughout the year. Please refer to our Programs and Events Listings for updates.
Architecture and Furnishings
Antique furnishings, oriental carpets, wood paneling and floors,
curving staircases and an excellent collection of California
impressionist paintings enhance the Beaux Arts elegance of the
Mansion. The spacious three-story, 10,162 square-foot residence
by the prominent architect Robert D. Farquhar was completed
in 1906. In 1911 another renowned architect, Sylvanus Marston,
designed a two-story concrete addition, which includes a study
and laboratory space on the ground floor and a solarium and
From Cultural Gatherings to Consulate...
Once a gathering place for Pasadena's glittering social and
cultural life, the Mansion later became the first Finnish Consulate
in the Western United States. In addition, the legendary film
director D.W. Griffith used the beautiful house and gardens
as a film location in 1912, becoming the first of many to recognize
it as a perfect setting when aristocratic elegance is required.
Among the Mansion's more familiar credits are Peter Sellers'
satirical masterpiece, Being There (1979) and the Emmy-award-winning
Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977), in which
it played the "role" of the White House. Most recently, it was a featured location in the Hugh Jackman/Christian Bales hit The Prestige (2006).
The Fenyes Mansion was designated a Pasadena Cultural Heritage
Landmark in 1965 and a California Point of Historical Interest
in 1993. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.