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College Opens Doheny Mansion for Tours During Extensive Restoration Project

Aug. 28, 2009 -- The Doheny Mansion at Mount Saint Mary’s University, former estate of early-1900s oil baron Edward L. Doheny, opens for public tours at 9, 9:45, 10:30, and 11:15 a.m. on Sept. 19, 2009. In July, the College began the first extensive restoration of the home in 70 years, and visitors will be able to see this work up close.

The first phase of exterior renovations includes reinforcement of the roof and walls of the Gothic Renaissance-style Victorian mansion. The home's central architectural element is a cupola- capped turret rising from the ground floor to the left of the property's exotic, red-marble grand entry. The turret has begun to lean into the building, and contractors are adding steel supports to reinforce existing framing in order to prevent further damage.

Other major restoration includes exterior stucco work, painting the home's facade, and waterproofing and preserving the roof in addition to repairing damaged copper finials. The stained glass and dome in the famous Pompeian Room are being cleaned and repaired.

To support restoration efforts, the College continues to expand its group Friends of the Doheny Mansion.

Home to the Doheny family for nearly 60 years, the mansion was designed by Theodore Augustus Eisen and Sumner P. Hunt in 1898. Doheny and his wife, Carrie Estelle Doheny, frequently remodeled the mansion. Public tours, which cost $25 a person, include the first floor of the mansion and surrounding grounds. Some discounts apply. Call 213.477.2962 for tour information, or go to www.dohenymansion.org for tour information and other mansion news. The mansion is located near downtown Los Angeles at No. 8 Chester Place, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

To learn more about the Dohenys, read the book "The Doheny Mansion: A Biography of a Home," by mansion Curator MaryAnn Bonino. All proceeds from book sales go toward mansion conservation. The book is available for purchase through www.dacamera.org.

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