California Historical Buildings

California is home to many historical buildings that are over 100 years old which I have been really taking an interest in photographing the old buildings and learning about there history.

Stanford Memorial Church also known as Memchu was completed being built in 1903. Jane Stanford had the church built on the Stanford University campus that her and her husband founded as a memorial to her husband Senator Leland Stanford who had died in 1893. On the outside of the church there is a mosaic on Jesus blessing the people.

Winchester Mansion was starting to be built in 1884 by the widow named Sara L. Winchester. She was wife to William Wirt Winchester who was son to Oliver Winchester the creator of the Winchester Rifle. After her husband, child, and Oliver died Sara was told by a medium that the Winchester family was cursed by the spirits killed by the Winchester Rifle. The medium told her that she needed to move west to build a house for her and the spirits and she was told as long as she kept on building onto the house she would never die. The construction went on every day for 38 years until Sara died. Sara never used a blue print but would tell the construction workers what her and the spirits wanted. The house is quite interesting to visit because there are stair cases that lead to the ceiling and doors that lead to nowhere. The construction of the house is very unique.

Conservatory of Flowers is a large botanical greenhouse that was constructed in 1878. You can find the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The conservatory is the oldest remaining wooden conservatory in the United States. Originally the conservatory was bought by James Lick and he was going to place the conservatory on his estate but he died in 1876 before construction of the conservatory ever began. The conservatory was still in its crates when discovered and then sold off to a group of people which donated it to the city of San Francisco.

Villa Montalvo built in 1912 by James Duval Phelan. James Duval Phelan was a three time mayor of San Francisco, California and he was California's first popular elected U.S. Senator. Montalvo was a place of inspiration by many writers and artists that Phelan would invite to his estate. Some of the more frequent guest that would attend the estate was Jack London, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, Douglass Fairbanks and Edwin Markham.

Mission San Juan Bautista founded on June 24, 1797. It was the 15th mission out of 21 California Spanish Missions. The mission was named "The Mission of Music" because of Padre Estaban Tapis was musically talented and he brought fame to the mission with his music.

I have barely begun my hunt for historical buildings in California and I look forward to photographing the buildings that I discover and learning more about their history.

Photo credits: , Susan Pettitt.

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October 01, 2008


Great photos. Congrats.

September 28, 2008


Your wealth of information and willingness to share is fabulous. Thank you.

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