Hale House

      Hale House is a Victorian era mansion built in 1885 in the Highland Park section of northeast Los Angeles, California. It has been described as "the most photographed house in the entire city," and "the most elaborately decorated." In 1966, it was declared a Historic Cultural Monument and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The house was relocated in 1970 to the Heritage Square Museum in Montecito Heights where it remains open to the public.           Hale House was built in the 1880s by real estate developer, George W. Morgan, at the foot of Mount Washington. Built at an original cost of less than $4,000, the house was originally situated at 4501 North Pasadena Avenue (now Figueroa Street), but was moved to 4425 North Pasadena before it was purchased by James Hale. It is believed to have been associated with the old Page School for Girls which once stood directly across Avenue 44 from Hale House.         The house was purchased by James and Bessie Hale in 1901. The Hales separated a few years after purchasing the house, and the house remained with Bessie. She operated the house as a boarding house until the late 1950s and lived there until she died in 1966 at age 97. Move to Heritage Square Museum The house was inherited by Hale's niece, Odena Johnson, who stated her desire to dispose of it as soon as possible. When plans were announced to demolish the house and build a chrome and steel gas station in its place, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission stopped the demolition temporarily by declaring the house a Historic-Cultural Landmark (HCM #40) in 1966.     A column by noted Los Angeles Times columnist Jack Smith helped the preservation effort. Smith called the "faded old house" one of the few remaining from the "age of exuberance." Smith described the house's significance as follows: The house has been called 'picturesque eclectic,' meaning its designer took a scroll from here and a fleur-de-lis from there and put everything together with romantic abandon. … Because of its eclectic nature, the Hale house is said to embody, in one package, many architectural inventions of the late 19th century, that buoyant and capricious era.

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