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Historic Home Museums in Los Angeles

Historic Residences You Can Visit in LA


If you enjoy exploring the historic homes of famous, and not-so-famous people, there are a number of historic residences in Southern California that are open to the public as museums. Most of them are City, State and National Historic Landmarks There is some overlap with LA Local History Museums.

Return to Top Los Angeles History Museums, Los Angeles Museums Overview by Category, or LA Museums A to Z

1. Historic LA Missions and Ranchos

Ranch House at Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, used with permission
The Missions and Ranchos have such a unique position in telling the history of southern California that I have created a separate page for Los Angeles Missions and Ranchos.

2. Adamson House in Malibu

23200 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: (310) 456-8432
The Adamson House at Malibu Lagoon was built in 1930 for Rhoda Rindge Adamson and her husband, Merritt Huntley Adamson. The Spanish colonial Revival house can be seen on docent-led tours. The adjacent Malibu Lagoon Museum interprets Malibu history from the early Chumash Indians through Spanish California.

3. The Banning Museum

401 East M Street
Wilmington, CA 90744
(301) 548-7777
The Banning Residence, built in 1864, was the home of Phinneas Banning, a stage and freight entrepreneur who was instrumental in building the Port of Los Angeles. The 23-room Greek-Revival Victorian home has been restored with influences from the 60 years that the family lived in the home. 18 rooms and the Stage Barn are open to the public.

4. Bembridge House

953 Park Circle Drive
Long Beach, Ca
(562) 493-7019
Bembridge House is a 1906 Queen Anne Victorian house in the Drake Park, Willmore City Historic District west of Downtown Long Beach. The 18-room house has been preserved with its original high ceilings, hand-carved woodwork, and many original furnishings. The Bembridge House is operated by Long Beach Heritage and is open for tours on Tuesday afternoons and one Saturday a month with special holiday programs.

5. Boddy House at Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-4290
Boddy House is a 22-room Hollywood Regency mansion perched on a north-facing hillside above Descanso Gardens. It was built in 1937 by E. Manchester Boddy, publisher and owner of the former Los Angeles Daily News and includes many features that were state-of-the-art for the time. Visits and tours are included in Descanso Gardens admission, but the house is often closed for private events, so check before visiting.

6. The Doctors House Museum in Glendale

Brand Park
1601 West Mountain Ave
Glendale, CA, 91201
(323) 251-9697
The Doctors House Museum, owned by four doctors in succession before being acquired by silent screen actress, Nell Shipman, was relocated from central Glendale to its current home in Brand Park. The Queen Anne-Eastlake style home, built around 1888, is operated by the Glendale Historical Society, which was formed in 1979 specifically to save this historic house.

7. Doheny Mansion

10 Chester Place
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 477-2962
The Romantic Revival Doheny Mansion was built in 1898 by architects Theodore Eisen and Sumner Hunt. It was purchased by oil baron Edward L. Doheny in 1901 and remained the family home for 60 years. Its architecture includes Gothic, Chateauesque, Moorish and California Mission styles. The mansion is part of the downtown campus of Mount St. Mary's College. Public tours are offered several days a year. Group tours can be organized for 10 to 40 people.

8. Eames House

203 Chautauqua Blvd.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 459-9663
The Eames House was designed by Charles and Ray Eames as Case Study House #8 as part of The Case Study House Program from Arts and Architecture magazine. The Mid-Century Modern modular home, designed for the two architects after their children had already left the home, is now operated by the Eames House Foundation. The house can be visited on a person tour for up to 4 people for a hefty fee with at least a week's advance reservation reservation only. Group tours for up to 25 people can only visit the grounds, with a view into the house through the windows. Reservations are also required for these exterior group tours.

Visitors have to park on Corona Del Mar and walk up the drive so they get the full effect of the house's natural setting.

Exhibits about the Charles and Ray Eames and the house are on display at the Eames Office in Santa Monica.

9. Foursquare Heritage Center - McPherson Parsonage

1801 Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90026
The home and Parsonage of Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the Foursquare Church, is open to the public. The house is adjacent to the Angelus Cathedral in Echo Park. I haven't been inside, but it's an interesting-looking curved house.

10. The Gamble House

The Gamble House
© 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
4 Westmoreland Place
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 793-3334
The Gamble House in Pasadena was designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company. It is an one of the best examples of American Arts and Crafts style architecture and interior decoration, with the interior furnishings also designed by the architects. The house can only be visited on docent-led public tours.

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