John and Diana are traveling around the country with a 37-foot RV and an 18-year-old cat. This is their story.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Andres Pico Adobe
This is the second oldest adobe home in the Los Angeles area. It started as a one-room, single-story about 1834. The home was built by the Indians of what was then the ex-San Fernando Mission. Sometime between 1846 and 1860 the land around the house was owned by Andres Pico, the last Mexican governor of California. He chose, however, to live in the convent of the mission. His brother lived in the house at the time and added the dining room and present library. That same man, Pio Pico, passed the land on to his adopted children and at that time the adobe was modernized by adding a second floor. Other improvements were added to the house to produce an up-to-date Victorian residence of the mode of 1873. The building has undergone about 4 restorations since then. On Monday we took a guided tour of the home. We had been encouraged to visit the adobe by a friend we met at First Lutheran. She volunteers at the historic home.
This is a corner of the living room. All the furnishings are of the Victorian era. Behind the chair on the right is an Edison cylinder phonograph. The house has many antiques, from dolls to quilts to vintage clothing and branding irons. John asked if movie studios use the clothing and he was told that not only is the clothing used, but also movies have been made in the home, as Zorro. This home is a very important piece of the San Fernando Valley history. On the grounds of the Pico Adobe is the Lankershim Reading Room, which is one of the last remaining vestiges of the Lankershim Ranch. That ranch once covered the southern half of the valley. The Reading Room was built in 1904 and, before residing at the Pico Adobe, it was used for a time as a research library at Roy Rogers' Canyon Chapel in Topanga Canyon. It is an octagon-shaped building made of redwood in the Folk-Victorian Style. What we found most fascinating about it are the sash pocket windows which slide down into seven panels of the building. When they are all down the building has a gazebo look to it. Today it serves as a mini-museum and contains artifacts pertinent to the valley's history.