Lanterman House Director Says Goodbye to Mothering the Local Landmark

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
In her 25 years as executive director at the Lanterman House, Melissa Patton will retire having helped establish the local museum as an integral part of the La Cañada Flintridge community.

When Melissa Patton hugs the Lanterman House goodbye for the last time on Aug. 31, she’ll know she transformed the historic home into a space that is used, as Lloyd Lanterman hoped, for the public good.
Since it opened as a public museum in 1993, the house has become a place for schoolchildren to learn about local history, for researchers to mine area archives and for community members to admire the beauty of the old bungalow-style home.
Patton, who was responsible for making sure all of that came to be, is retiring after 25 years as the only executive director in the museum’s history so far.
“I love this house,” she said. “It’s very much a big character in my life. I do this funny thing when I close up at night, I pat it and say, ‘I’ll see you in a couple of days, girl.’
“It will take some getting used to, not to have that responsibility, not to be concerned all the time about the welfare of a nonliving thing.”
Designed in 1915 by noted architect Arthur Haley for Dr. Roy Lanterman and his family, the Lanterman House is one of few pre-1920 residences left in LCF.
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