Designed in 1915 by Arthur Haley for Dr. Roy Lanterman and his family, the Lanterman House is one of few surviving pre-1920 residences in the city of La Canada Flintridge. It is also a fine example of arts and crafts architecture and design. It has 32 pairs of French doors, which provide natural light and heat and make all the rooms accessible to the interior patio and persola shaded perimeter walkway. The house retains its exquisite original interiors and furnishings, including elaborate hand-painted wall and ceiling ornamentation.
The house was made up of reinforced concrete in part because of the high risk of fire danger from the native chaparral surrounding the property but also because Dr. Lanterman’s relief role after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake made him particularly fire-conscious.
The Lanterman family, which boasted several medical and engineering professionals, seems to have had a particular interest in technology. This fascination with technology likely explains why their kitchen featured the latest appliances as well as innovative work and storage spaces.
Three generations of Lantermans, from 1874 to 1987 developed much of the Crescenta-Canada Valley. Up to the time the property was donated to the city of La Canada Flintridge in 1987, the residence was continuously occupied by members of the Lanterman family. Frank Lanterman distinguished himself as a professional theater organist and later held a long and illustrious career in the California State Assembly. Lloyd, Dr. Lanterman’s older son, was an engineer and was responsible for the bequest of his family’s property to the city. The house opened as a public museum on September 26, 1993.
The Lanterman House sits on 1.4 acres of restored lawns, gardens and majestic oak groves and comprises 11,250 square feet. The gardens have been carefully recreated to maintain the look of period landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants as well as original specimens. By looking over the shoulders of family members and friends in the photographs, one can easily decipher the plants which made up the skeleton of the garden plantings, Added to this were the nursery receipts and letters kept by Dr. Lanterman as a record of his purchases from local growers. The garden was truly an integral part of their home and serves as an expression of turn of the century Southern California living.
The museum features rotating exhibitions on the history of the La Cañada Valley and the Lanterman family on a yearly basis.
Open for public research, the Lanterman House History Center and Archive includes local history, historic photographs, early 20th century sheet music, Lanterman Family history, California’s legislative history, oral histories of Valley residents and archives of the Valley Sun newspaper.
In partnership with the local school districts, a history unit has been developed that brings all La Canada and La Crescenta third grade students to the Lanterman House. In total, more than 13,000 students have had a firsthand experience of local history. Specifically, high school and college students have served as interns and completed projects such as publications, oral histories, and archival search systems.
Architect Haley would be proud to know that after eight decades of family life, a restoration process and two decades of museum use, the Lanterman House is as good as new and offers visitors of all ages an inside look at the illustrious life of the Lanterman family.
Lanterman House Staff
Lanterman House Archivist
Board of Directors
Mary Lou Langedyke
Treasurer and CFO