clock menu more-arrow no yes
Some of the best Victorian homes can all be found in one place at Heritage Square Museum, which calls the French Mansard style roof of the Valley Knudsen Garden Residence “rather unusual” for the West coast.
Shutterstock

A mapped introduction to LA’s Victorian mansions

A guide to some of the very finest

View as Map
Some of the best Victorian homes can all be found in one place at Heritage Square Museum, which calls the French Mansard style roof of the Valley Knudsen Garden Residence “rather unusual” for the West coast.
| Photo by Shutterstock

It was during the Victorian era, from 1837 to 1901, that Los Angeles transformed from a small, dusty Mexican outpost into a Gilded Age American boom town. Thousands of homes were built during this time, and though many were lost, the structures mapped here survive.

They are a testament to the wide variety of Victorian architectural styles, from the Far East- and past-obsessed Moorish Revival and Richardson Romanesque to the Arts and Crafts-inspired Foursquare and Eastlake movements. There are also several brilliant examples of exuberant Queen Anne-style houses. Take a look.

See also:

Read More

1. Andrew McNally House

Copy Link
654 E Mariposa St
Altadena, CA 91001

Another Frederick Roehrig design, this Queen Anne-style mansion was built by Andrew McNally, founder of the Rand-McNally Publishing Company. The estate featured beautiful gardens, an aviary, and a private railway spur. Incidentally, McNally's grandson was the famed SoCal architect Wallace Neff.

McNally estate
By Cameron Carothers

2. Doctors House

Copy Link
1601 W Mountain St
Glendale, CA 91201

Built circa 1888, this charming middle-class Glendale house is a combination of the popular Queen Anne and Eastlake styles of architecture. Four doctors lived in the home over the years, as did the early movie star Nell Shipman. The house is now located in Brand Park and has been beautifully restored by the Glendale Historical Society. Docent-led tours are offered every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Doctors House.
Scott Lowe (CC BY-NC 2.0)

3. Idlewild

Copy Link
255 N Mayflower Ave
Monrovia, CA 91016

Constructed in 1887, Monrovia Historical Landmark No. 4. was designed by prominent California architect Joseph Cather Newsom. Its original owner was onetime Monrovia mayor William Pile, who reached the rank of general during the Civil War. Today, it remains just one of the many gems of architecturally rich Monrovia, with an interior boasting ornate woodwork, multiple fireplaces, and a dramatic staircase.

Idlewild.
By Susan Pickering

4. Baldwin’s Belvedere

Copy Link
301 N Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

Built by land baron Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin, this delightful cottage is nestled in the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. On the outside, the 1885, stick-style architecture makes this summertime playhouse look like it’s made of candy. The wraparound porch affords splendid views of what was once Lucky’s beloved Santa Anita Ranch. It was the center of many parties and romantic rendezvous during its prime, and is now open to the public through guided tours.

Baldwin’s Belvedere.
Shutterstock

5. Mrs. JH Hood House

Copy Link
494 Ellis St
Pasadena, CA 91105

This delightful 1886 Pasadena home is a charming example of the Folk Victorian style of architecture. These dollhouse like houses were much more functional than most Victorian styles, with family-friendly, regular floor plans and a lack of ornamentation—perfect for hardworking, everyday people.

Via Keller Williams Realty

6. Mary E. Denham House

Copy Link
297 S Orange Grove Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105

This American Foursquare house (with Richardson Romanesque influences) was designed by famed architect Frederick L. Roehrig in 1895. One of the oldest surviving Roehrig houses, it was situated on the ultra-fashionable “Millionaire's Row” in Pasadena. A reaction to fussy Victorian styles, American Foursquare emphasized boxy lines, “honest” carpentry and plain facades. It is considered a cousin to both the Prairie and Craftsman styles of architecture.

7. El Mio

Copy Link
5905 El Mio Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Built high on a hill in Highland Park, this 1887, Queen Anne-style home, known as El Mio (“My Place”), was occupied by the sociable Smith family for more than 60 years. When we think of Victorian architecture, we are probably thinking of this popular Queen Anne gingerbread style, which often includes asymmetrical features, pedimented porches, dramatic gables, stylized shingles, bay windows, towers, and multi-material ornamentation. Today, El Mio is still a private residence, lording over Highland Park in all its fussy glory. Image via Rachel

El Mio.
waltarrrrr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

8. Lummis Home

Copy Link
200 E Avenue 43
Los Angeles, CA 90031

This Southwestern stone castle was handbuilt over two decades by Charles Lummis, the “herald of the southwest.” The result was something quite remarkable—a house as unique as its owner. “Every window was designed to recall some building in Peru or New Mexico; some were located to permit a view of a favorite garden spot,” his daughter Tubrese recalled. “The hinges on the main entrance were forged in the shape of the sacred serpent of the Inca ruins of Tiahuanaco.” Even the fireplaces were unique, each featuring inspiring quotes like, “A casual savage struck two stones together—now man is warmed against the weather.”

9. Hale House

Copy Link
3800 Homer St
Los Angeles, CA 90031

This multicolored, turreted, upper middle class house was originally built in 1887 at the base of Mount Washington by real estate developer George Morgan. It has been called "picturesque eclectic," and is a mixture of the Queen Anne and Eastlake styles of architecture. The house was moved to 4425 N. Pasadena Ave. (now Figueroa Street) early in its existence, and bought by motorman James Hale and his new bride Bessie. The couple separated and Bessie converted the richly ornamented home into a boarding house. Many of the house's original interior features are still intact, including wainscoting in the foyer that is pressed paper made to look like embossed leather. The house is now part of the Heritage Square Museum in Montecito Heights.

Hale House, Heritage Square, Victorian
Hale House.
Shutterstock

10. Perry Mansion

Copy Link
3800 Homer St
Los Angeles, CA 90031

The 1876 William Hayes Perry residence is considered by many to be the first proper “mansion” built in Los Angeles. Perry was a self-made lumberman and a great friend of William Mulholland. He hired Kysor and Matthews, the revered architects of Pico House, to build the two-story Greek Revival Italianate at 1315 Mount Pleasant, in the then-fashionable suburb of Boyle Heights. The outside aesthetics have often been compared to a tiered wedding cake, and the rather dark interior features a fine marble fireplace and rich wood floors. Photos of the house at its original location show a mansion high on a hill, lined by magnificently landscaped trees. Today it sits flat near the entrance gates of Heritage Square Museum.

Perry Mansion.
Shutterstock

11. Innes House

Copy Link
1329 Carroll Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026

One of the first houses on the famed Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights, this two-story house was built in the late 1880s. It is a classic example of the theoretically affordable Eastlake style of architecture, which emphasized handmade features, expert craftsmanship, clean lines, geometric ornaments, and spindles.

Innes House, Victorian, Carroll Avenue, Angelino Heights
Innes House.
Shutterstock

12. Phillips House

Copy Link
1300 Carroll Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026

One of the most elaborate houses on Carroll Avenue, this 1887 stunner was the home of hardware merchant Aaron Phillips and his family. It was probably built by developers James B. Myer and George O. Ford, who constructed several houses on the street. According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Phillips home blends the two most popular Victorian styles: “The sharp angles, in both the shape of the house and its geometric decoration, typify the Eastlake style, while the overall decorative exuberance reflects the Queen Anne style.”

Phillips House.
Shutterstock

13. Wright-Mooers House

Copy Link
818 S Bonnie Brae St
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Located in the South Bonnie Brae Historic district, this multicolored wonder is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Built in 1894, it perfectly exemplifies the Victorian dictum of “more is more,” and is a combination of Richardson Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Moorish Revival styles. For the new money of boomtown Los Angeles, this exuberant combination of styles helped signal to neighbors that the owner had really arrived.

14. Eagle Rock Queen Anne

Copy Link
2700 Eagle St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

This 1895, Queen Anne-style house was built in the very trendy Victorian neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Today it stands as a faded reminder of what used to be.

15. Doheny Mansion

Copy Link
10 Chester Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Built in 1899 for the artist and socialite Sarah Posey, this fantastical home was bought only a year after Posey settled in by the legendary oil magnate EL Doheny and his wife Estelle. One wag called its style a “gothic revival mix of chateau-esque chimneys and attic windows mixed with Moorish revival door frames and Californian mission elements of heavy tile roofs and terra-cotta walls.” Others called its style “General Grant Gothic.” It is now part of Mount Saint Mary’s campus and remains a testament to the romantic sensibilities of the Victorian era.

Doheny Mansion.
Shutterstock

16. Stimson House

Copy Link
2421 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007

During the late Victorian era, mansions sprang up all over fashionable West Adams in a variety of styles. One of the most elaborate houses was the 30-room Richardson Romanesque “castle” of millionaire lumberman Thomas Stimson. Built in 1891, it boasted an interior featuring many of the different woods that had helped make Stimson so rich. It is considered “one of the most significant structures in the Los Angeles area.”

Stimson House.
ATOMIC Hot Links (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

17. Workman Temple Museum

Copy Link
15415 Don Julian Rd
Industry, CA 91745

Built in 1841 as a simple three-room adobe, this home base of the pioneering Workman family was updated during the 1870s. According to historians, the renovated house is “believed to have been designed by early Los Angeles architect Ezra Kysor... the picturesque country home reflects the architectural tastes that were popular in mid-nineteenth century America.” The original traditional adobe is still encased in the renovated structure, which is now part of the Workman-Temple Homestead Museum.

18. Banning House

Copy Link
401 E M St
Wilmington, CA 90744
(310) 548-7777
Visit Website

Built by port magnate Phineas Banning in 1864, this graceful white clapboard mansion is considered “one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the west.” The house’s design was probably based on homes from Phineas and his wife Rebecca’s Eastern youth. Phineas had rows of eucalyptus trees planted to surround the house, and the estate also boasted a large library, many imported furnishings and tapestries, and its very own artesian well. Only two miles from the port of Wilmington, this home soon became the first place encountered by many travelers to Los Angeles. The home was also the site of frequent “regales,” where champagne was “always on tap” and guests danced in the extra-wide downstairs hallway.

19. Bembridge House

Copy Link
953 N Park Cir Dr
Long Beach, CA 90813

This elaborate Queen Anne-style house is considered by many to be the the “most significant residential historic landmark” in Long Beach. A description of the exterior by Long Beach Heritage perfectly exemplifies its cluttered, magnificent style: “The [house] has a steep gable roof, a porch gable over the entryway, and a corner hexagonal tower crowned by a conical roof. It is clad in narrow shiplap siding, with a band of fish scale shingles between the two stories and inside the roof gable. A deep, continuous porch wraps around the front of the house, from the entryway around the corner tower. Paired Ionic columns support the porch. An ornate frieze of floral design runs under the porch eave, repeated above the windows of the tower. Decorative floral ornament fills the inside of the porch gable and the top of the roof gable.”

Bembridge House.
Los Angeles (CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. Andrew McNally House

654 E Mariposa St, Altadena, CA 91001
McNally estate
By Cameron Carothers

Another Frederick Roehrig design, this Queen Anne-style mansion was built by Andrew McNally, founder of the Rand-McNally Publishing Company. The estate featured beautiful gardens, an aviary, and a private railway spur. Incidentally, McNally's grandson was the famed SoCal architect Wallace Neff.

654 E Mariposa St
Altadena, CA 91001

2. Doctors House

1601 W Mountain St, Glendale, CA 91201
Doctors House.
Scott Lowe (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Built circa 1888, this charming middle-class Glendale house is a combination of the popular Queen Anne and Eastlake styles of architecture. Four doctors lived in the home over the years, as did the early movie star Nell Shipman. The house is now located in Brand Park and has been beautifully restored by the Glendale Historical Society. Docent-led tours are offered every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

1601 W Mountain St
Glendale, CA 91201

3. Idlewild

255 N Mayflower Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016
Idlewild.
By Susan Pickering

Constructed in 1887, Monrovia Historical Landmark No. 4. was designed by prominent California architect Joseph Cather Newsom. Its original owner was onetime Monrovia mayor William Pile, who reached the rank of general during the Civil War. Today, it remains just one of the many gems of architecturally rich Monrovia, with an interior boasting ornate woodwork, multiple fireplaces, and a dramatic staircase.

255 N Mayflower Ave
Monrovia, CA 91016

4. Baldwin’s Belvedere

301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007
Baldwin’s Belvedere.
Shutterstock

Built by land baron Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin, this delightful cottage is nestled in the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. On the outside, the 1885, stick-style architecture makes this summertime playhouse look like it’s made of candy. The wraparound porch affords splendid views of what was once Lucky’s beloved Santa Anita Ranch. It was the center of many parties and romantic rendezvous during its prime, and is now open to the public through guided tours.

301 N Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

5. Mrs. JH Hood House

494 Ellis St, Pasadena, CA 91105
Via Keller Williams Realty

This delightful 1886 Pasadena home is a charming example of the Folk Victorian style of architecture. These dollhouse like houses were much more functional than most Victorian styles, with family-friendly, regular floor plans and a lack of ornamentation—perfect for hardworking, everyday people.

494 Ellis St
Pasadena, CA 91105

6. Mary E. Denham House

297 S Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

This American Foursquare house (with Richardson Romanesque influences) was designed by famed architect Frederick L. Roehrig in 1895. One of the oldest surviving Roehrig houses, it was situated on the ultra-fashionable “Millionaire's Row” in Pasadena. A reaction to fussy Victorian styles, American Foursquare emphasized boxy lines, “honest” carpentry and plain facades. It is considered a cousin to both the Prairie and Craftsman styles of architecture.

297 S Orange Grove Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105

7. El Mio

5905 El Mio Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90042
El Mio.
waltarrrrr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Built high on a hill in Highland Park, this 1887, Queen Anne-style home, known as El Mio (“My Place”), was occupied by the sociable Smith family for more than 60 years. When we think of Victorian architecture, we are probably thinking of this popular Queen Anne gingerbread style, which often includes asymmetrical features, pedimented porches, dramatic gables, stylized shingles, bay windows, towers, and multi-material ornamentation. Today, El Mio is still a private residence, lording over Highland Park in all its fussy glory. Image via Rachel

5905 El Mio Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90042

8. Lummis Home

200 E Avenue 43, Los Angeles, CA 90031

This Southwestern stone castle was handbuilt over two decades by Charles Lummis, the “herald of the southwest.” The result was something quite remarkable—a house as unique as its owner. “Every window was designed to recall some building in Peru or New Mexico; some were located to permit a view of a favorite garden spot,” his daughter Tubrese recalled. “The hinges on the main entrance were forged in the shape of the sacred serpent of the Inca ruins of Tiahuanaco.” Even the fireplaces were unique, each featuring inspiring quotes like, “A casual savage struck two stones together—now man is warmed against the weather.”

200 E Avenue 43
Los Angeles, CA 90031

9. Hale House

3800 Homer St, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Hale House, Heritage Square, Victorian
Hale House.
Shutterstock

This multicolored, turreted, upper middle class house was originally built in 1887 at the base of Mount Washington by real estate developer George Morgan. It has been called "picturesque eclectic," and is a mixture of the Queen Anne and Eastlake styles of architecture. The house was moved to 4425 N. Pasadena Ave. (now Figueroa Street) early in its existence, and bought by motorman James Hale and his new bride Bessie. The couple separated and Bessie converted the richly ornamented home into a boarding house. Many of the house's original interior features are still intact, including wainscoting in the foyer that is pressed paper made to look like embossed leather. The house is now part of the Heritage Square Museum in Montecito Heights.

3800 Homer St
Los Angeles, CA 90031

10. Perry Mansion

3800 Homer St, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Perry Mansion.
Shutterstock

The 1876 William Hayes Perry residence is considered by many to be the first proper “mansion” built in Los Angeles. Perry was a self-made lumberman and a great friend of William Mulholland. He hired Kysor and Matthews, the revered architects of Pico House, to build the two-story Greek Revival Italianate at 1315 Mount Pleasant, in the then-fashionable suburb of Boyle Heights. The outside aesthetics have often been compared to a tiered wedding cake, and the rather dark interior features a fine marble fireplace and rich wood floors. Photos of the house at its original location show a mansion high on a hill, lined by magnificently landscaped trees. Today it sits flat near the entrance gates of Heritage Square Museum.

3800 Homer St
Los Angeles, CA 90031

11. Innes House

1329 Carroll Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Innes House, Victorian, Carroll Avenue, Angelino Heights
Innes House.
Shutterstock

One of the first houses on the famed Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights, this two-story house was built in the late 1880s. It is a classic example of the theoretically affordable Eastlake style of architecture, which emphasized handmade features, expert craftsmanship, clean lines, geometric ornaments, and spindles.

1329 Carroll Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026

12. Phillips House

1300 Carroll Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phillips House.
Shutterstock

One of the most elaborate houses on Carroll Avenue, this 1887 stunner was the home of hardware merchant Aaron Phillips and his family. It was probably built by developers James B. Myer and George O. Ford, who constructed several houses on the street. According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Phillips home blends the two most popular Victorian styles: “The sharp angles, in both the shape of the house and its geometric decoration, typify the Eastlake style, while the overall decorative exuberance reflects the Queen Anne style.”

1300 Carroll Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026

13. Wright-Mooers House

818 S Bonnie Brae St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Located in the South Bonnie Brae Historic district, this multicolored wonder is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Built in 1894, it perfectly exemplifies the Victorian dictum of “more is more,” and is a combination of Richardson Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Moorish Revival styles. For the new money of boomtown Los Angeles, this exuberant combination of styles helped signal to neighbors that the owner had really arrived.

818 S Bonnie Brae St
Los Angeles, CA 90057

14. Eagle Rock Queen Anne

2700 Eagle St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

This 1895, Queen Anne-style house was built in the very trendy Victorian neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Today it stands as a faded reminder of what used to be.

2700 Eagle St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

15. Doheny Mansion

10 Chester Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Doheny Mansion.
Shutterstock

Built in 1899 for the artist and socialite Sarah Posey, this fantastical home was bought only a year after Posey settled in by the legendary oil magnate EL Doheny and his wife Estelle. One wag called its style a “gothic revival mix of chateau-esque chimneys and attic windows mixed with Moorish revival door frames and Californian mission elements of heavy tile roofs and terra-cotta walls.” Others called its style “General Grant Gothic.” It is now part of Mount Saint Mary’s campus and remains a testament to the romantic sensibilities of the Victorian era.

10 Chester Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Related Maps

16. Stimson House

2421 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Stimson House.
ATOMIC Hot Links (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

During the late Victorian era, mansions sprang up all over fashionable West Adams in a variety of styles. One of the most elaborate houses was the 30-room Richardson Romanesque “castle” of millionaire lumberman Thomas Stimson. Built in 1891, it boasted an interior featuring many of the different woods that had helped make Stimson so rich. It is considered “one of the most significant structures in the Los Angeles area.”

2421 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007

17. Workman Temple Museum

15415 Don Julian Rd, Industry, CA 91745

Built in 1841 as a simple three-room adobe, this home base of the pioneering Workman family was updated during the 1870s. According to historians, the renovated house is “believed to have been designed by early Los Angeles architect Ezra Kysor... the picturesque country home reflects the architectural tastes that were popular in mid-nineteenth century America.” The original traditional adobe is still encased in the renovated structure, which is now part of the Workman-Temple Homestead Museum.

15415 Don Julian Rd
Industry, CA 91745

18. Banning House

401 E M St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Built by port magnate Phineas Banning in 1864, this graceful white clapboard mansion is considered “one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the west.” The house’s design was probably based on homes from Phineas and his wife Rebecca’s Eastern youth. Phineas had rows of eucalyptus trees planted to surround the house, and the estate also boasted a large library, many imported furnishings and tapestries, and its very own artesian well. Only two miles from the port of Wilmington, this home soon became the first place encountered by many travelers to Los Angeles. The home was also the site of frequent “regales,” where champagne was “always on tap” and guests danced in the extra-wide downstairs hallway.

401 E M St
Wilmington, CA 90744

19. Bembridge House

953 N Park Cir Dr, Long Beach, CA 90813
Bembridge House.
Los Angeles (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This elaborate Queen Anne-style house is considered by many to be the the “most significant residential historic landmark” in Long Beach. A description of the exterior by Long Beach Heritage perfectly exemplifies its cluttered, magnificent style: “The [house] has a steep gable roof, a porch gable over the entryway, and a corner hexagonal tower crowned by a conical roof. It is clad in narrow shiplap siding, with a band of fish scale shingles between the two stories and inside the roof gable. A deep, continuous porch wraps around the front of the house, from the entryway around the corner tower. Paired Ionic columns support the porch. An ornate frieze of floral design runs under the porch eave, repeated above the windows of the tower. Decorative floral ornament fills the inside of the porch gable and the top of the roof gable.”

953 N Park Cir Dr
Long Beach, CA 90813

Related Maps