Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Tree Lane's Mansions - G.G. Green's Mansion, Gartz' "The Cloister", McNally's Mansion, Theosophical Society's Mansion

All that's left of Colonel G.G. Green's mansion, Colonel Green the "Patent Medicine King" and namesake of Pasadena's Hotel Green and Green Street, is just Green's carriage house, which is just south of the present Altadena Library, located at Maripose and Santa Rosa. In 1961, the Altadena Library Board of Trustees bought Colonel Green's southeast corner mansion located at Santa Rosa and Mariposa and the northerly estate grounds, minus the grounds of the carriage house, to build a new library. Architect Boyd Georgi was hired in 1964 to design the modernistic library which was completed in 1967.

Also, on the northwest corner of Santa Rosa and Mariposa, stood the imposing mansion of Altadena/Pasadena social activist Kate Crane Gartz, "The Cloister", where she held a Sunday salon from the 1920's through the 1940's attended by socialist and left-wing political activists, authors, and actors such as Charlie Chaplin, Upton Sinclair, Mary Sinclair, Gaylord Wilshire, Mary Wilshire, George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and other well known personalities of the day.

Gartz mansion is also gone, demolished after her death to be replaced by a Girl Scout campground.

On the southeast corner of Santa Rosa and Mariposa, we have the still extant Andrew McNally estate, showplace home of the map printing magnate from Chicago who built a maginificent edifice replete with a wing housing the interior smoking room of the "Turkish Pavilion" from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The mansion was surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens now subdivided for newer homes.

On the northeast corner of Santa Rosa and Mariposa, we have the imposing estate and gardens of the "International Headquarter of the Theosophical Society" which was formerly located on Point Loma in San Diego, a Utopian campus created by famed founder Madame Blavatsky.

The Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony will be this year on December 11. Here are the details, be sure not to miss it:

I like to tell everybody that I live near Christmas Tree Lane and in the shadow of Mt. Lowe, which I can see from my living room and bedroom window. Aren't we very lucky to live here?


  1. Thanks, again, for having the time and taking the time to inform us locals of our rich history! I hope to make some time next year - a resolution?!

  2. Cafe Pasadena, Hope to see you at the Christmas Tree Lane lighting this Saturday evening.

  3. I wish I had more time to post. I have several lifetimes (not all mine, of course) of information to be mined. Also, departed local spirits let me know they are not very happy with our present stewardship of the area and want to remind us to improve on their legacy during our time. It's up to us and following generations, but we need to set the course for positive change now.

  4. I hear you TA.

    Btw, yours was the 3rd invite to this Christmas lighting which I couldn't attend, unfortunately.

    Keep up the good work, hopefully in book form one day.