Nearly every school kid in Pasadena has been inside the Fenyes Mansion as part of a lesson on Pasadena history and middle school students have served as junior docents. But the mansion, which served as the Finnish Consulate from 1948-1964, has been closed for renovation for more than two years.
At a black-tie gala on Saturday, the ribbon was cut marking the completion of the renovation, which cost $1.7 million, and reopening of the mansion. Laura Thompson, president of the Pasadena Museum of History Board of Trustees, held the official Pasadena golden scissors along with Mayor Bill Bogaard. The doors of the 1906 Beaux Arts home were then opened, and visitors could walk into a decidedly Downton Abbey time warp.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Gala Reopening Beneﬁt and 2012 Contemporary History Maker Awards Dinner was held, and silent auction items to raise funds for the museum were on display.
Designated a Pasadena Cultural Heritage Landmark in 1965 and a California Point of Historical Interest in 1993, the mansion was indeed a home, held for four generations by the Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo family. Tour guides point out the scratches on the bannister rails left by the four Paloheimo children as they slid down. In 1970, the Curtin-Paloheimo family gave Fenyes art and antique collection to the museum, and the beautiful campus became the headquarters of the Pasadena Museum of History.
During November, a series of members-only tours will be held, and the Fenyes Mansion will reopen for public tours on Dec. 7, 2012. For more information, visit the Pasadena Museum of History website or call (626) 577-1660.
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