Mt Pleasant House
1876 – Ezra F. Kysor and W. J. Mathews
Heritage Square, 3800 Homer Street – map
Mt Pleasant House, also known as the Perry Residence, is generally considered to be the oldest mansion in Los Angeles.
Architects Ezra F. Kysor and W. J. Mathews built this Italianate/Greek Revival home in 1876, the same year as they whipped up St Vibiana’s and a few years after Kysor came up with the Pico House. It was originally the home for William Hayes Perry.
Perry was born in Ohio in 1832, coming to L.A. as a carpenter in the ‘50s, starting up a lumber and supply business in 1861. He later served as Los Angeles Water Company’s president for twenty-five years and co-organized the Los Angeles Gas Company, which went on to install the first gaslights in downtown. Perry also sat on the Farmers and Merchants Bank board of directors as well as various and sundry other boards. He even became a city councilman. The 74-year-old Perry must’ve been awfully tired when he died in 1906. Perry’s great-grandson, actor Robert Stack, was born in 1919.
The landmark’s second owner was Judge Stephen C. Hubbell, a pretty big muckety-muck in his own right. Hubbell “came to Los Angeles in 1870 and was active as a banker, investor and as a member of the city’s first park commission.” Not insignificantly, Hubbell helped organize USC, becoming the school’s first treasurer, also sitting on its first board of directors.
In the spring of 1972, shortly after designation, it was announced the owners, Jack E. Huntsberger and his wife, were giving the house to the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America who had plans to move it to Heritage Square. For some reason, that relocation took more than three years, ultimately occurring on December 18, 1975. Fortunately, first on the list of rehabilitations was the removal of the home’s more recent pink stucco. For a black and white picture of the home all stuccoed, click here.
Now, some sources claim the Perry House stood originally at 1315 Mount Pleasant Avenue in Highland Park. Don't believe it. The true first address for HCM No. 98 was 1315 Pleasant Avenue in Boyle Heights, just up the street from long gone HCM No. 97.
The house is huge. It sports half a dozen bedrooms and a parlor, and they’ve each got a bath and a dressing room. Today, the home is furnished in period style and the downstairs is open to tours. Unfortunately, no indoor photography is allowed.
Mt Pleasant House, Hale House, and Valley Knudsen Garden Residence
Christy Fox. “Mansion’s 2nd Lease on Life” Los Angeles Times; May 14, 1972, p. D2
Up next: 1036 South Bonnie Brae Street Residence