Work Reveals Lanterman House’s Original Look

The strikingly well-preserved Lanterman House provides a vivid snapshot of life in La Cañada Flintridge in 1915.
With help from investments by the city of La Cañada Flintridge, the staff has kept the house in pristine condition, maintaining the integrity of the structure and decor of one of the few surviving pre-1920 residences in LCF.
Now Executive Director Laura Verlaque has turned her attention to updating the inventory of all the original artifacts inside the house for the first time since 1993, when the onetime home opened as a public museum.
About 95% of the artifacts inside belonged to the Lanterman family and “you cannot replace the authenticity of that,” said Verlaque, who took over as executive director in April.
Through the process of updating the inventory, Verlaque is able to go through the museum and look closely at the artifacts, rediscovering and appreciating the beauty and detail, for example, of the tiny pot with the apple burner in the corner.
Longtime docent Beth Neilson explained how this attention to detail has allowed the staff to reorient the house’s furnishings to be more similar to its original state. Upon closer inspection, Verlaque and Neilson discovered that one chair was specifically designed to match the light fixtures of the family room, which allowed the staff to shift the furniture around to offer a more accurate representation of how the home was originally arranged.
Not only will the project allow the staff to replicate the original setup more accurately, but it will allow for close inspection of the artifacts.
“It is necessary to document these artifacts because all of them together are what make the house so wonderful,” Verlaque said.
Verlaque is seeking volunteers to help with the historic house’s inventory process, which should last through the fall. Volunteers will work in pairs and have the rare opportunity to go into a museum and closely interact with the artifacts.
The artifacts will then be cataloged, photographed and their condition recorded, allowing for an updated photo gallery online and to “potentially have experts come in and speak on clothing, kitchen equipment or other artifacts of the time,” Neilson said.
For more information, contact lantermanhouse@gmail.com.

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