Sunday, April 20, 2008
Canoga Mission Gallery
23130 Sherman Way, West Hills – map
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 135 is a former stable built in the Mission Revival style in 1936 by actor Francis Lederer. You really need to know, as authentic as the building may appear, it’s only about seventy years old. It doesn’t date to the Spanish colonial days.
Even more importantly, you need to know Lederer got to make it with Louise Brooks, at least on screen, in Pandora’s Box.
Czech-born Francis Lederer and his wife, Marion (correction: Lederer didn't marry Marion Irvine until 1941; he had been married twice before - FBB), built these stables for his horses (well, for her horse, Gypsy, mainly) on their 300-acre Canoga Park ranch. Lederer, who would later serve as Honorary Mayor of Canoga Park, has more than seventy credits on the IMDb, most notably the afore-mentioned Pandora’s Box, directed by G.W. Pabst. Having made a ton of dough in real estate, he also founded the National Academy of Performing Arts in Studio City. He died in 2000 in Palm Springs where he and his wife moved after their home was damaged in the Northridge earthquake (the house, HCM No. 204, still exists as a private residence). Lederer reached the rip old age of 100.
As for the landmark, in the mid-1960s the city extended Sherman Way, cutting a swath through Lederer’s property. His wife, along with friends Jody Hutchison and Mary and Obdulio Galeana, destabilized and remodeled the building as a non-profit and cultural center. The Galeanas managed the gallery for twenty-seven years. Since 2001, the former stables have been home to Jill Milligan’s Hidden Chateau and Gardens, an antique shop that’s also “a popular site for parties, weddings, teas, and corporate events.”
Horses lived here:
Up next: St Mary of the Angels Church