Exploring the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion
As mentioned in a previous blog post, we are currently working on a historic renovation project at Pine Lodge, the famous Hellman-Ehrman Mansion on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore. This grand summer home was completed in 1903, designed by Walter Danforth Bliss for I.W. Hellman, a San Francisco business man and one of the founding fathers of the University of Southern California.
The house was outfitted with what were, at the time, the best modern utility systems, including electric lights and complete indoor plumbing. (We’re giving the once cutting edge wiring a much-needed update!) An expansive porch housed wicker furniture for lounging and a billiard table, while two stone rooms provided space for recreation and entertaining. The north room was the site of luncheons and other events, while the south room was used for games and featured a stunning collection of Native American baskets and rugs.
Fireplaces in the living and dining room provided heat for the home, as well as elegant focal points, and the dining room also displayed a beautiful mix of paneling composed of redwood strips and hand-woven grass. A northwest wing contains a kitchen, pantry, and staff dining room (necessary given the live-in staff of twenty-seven, plus two full-time chefs and occasionally sous chefs,who served the family and their illustrious guests).
Up an elegant spiral staircase, the second floor was comprised of a north-south hallway joining eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Other wings contained sewing and storage rooms, as well as staff quarters. Outbuildings around the property include a caretaker’s cottage, children’s house, maids’ quarters, butler’s cabin, ice, coach, and power houses, a free-standing dressing room, pump house, two boat houses, and the boatman’s cabin.
The property is quite impressive, both for its luxuries and its timeless style. In fact, the classic charm of the Old Tahoe estates is one of our primary inspirations here at the Truckee, California based firm of Dennis E. Zirbel, Architect. To see our modernized take on classic mountain architecture, visit our residential architecture portfolio.