Altadena's best kept secret is the Theosophical Society. The organization has been headquartered in Altadena since 1951, housed in two local historic buildings.
|Headquarters- 643 E. Mariposa Library - 2416 N. Lake|
Founded in New York in 1875, the non-sectarian organization went through more than a few hostile schisms, too numerous to mention here, but definitely interesting reading if you like gossip.
According to the society's literature, today the organization is a “worldwide association dedicated to uplifting humanity through a better understanding of oneness of life and the practical application of brotherhood. Unsectarian and nonpolitical, the objectives are:
- to form an active brotherhood among mankind;
- to promulgate the essential unity of all that is, and to demonstrate that this unity is fundamental in nature;
- to promote the study of ancient and modern religion, science, and philosophy;
- to explore the hidden side of nature and mankind.”
The Society's International Headquarters is located in a grand old house at the northeast corner of Mariposa and Santa Rosa Avenue. It's the last of three significant homes built on the same millionaire's row lot.
|The house today|
|Looking north from Mariposa. |
That's Echo Mountain in the
background, left of house.
Photo: Huntington Library
Soon after, Daniel Cameron purchased the property and built a new house in the trendier mission style, also designed by Roehrig.
|The second house|
In 1920 the mansion was "remodeled" (beyond recognition) by architect Myron Hunt, in the Beaux Art style. The house was purchased by the Theosophists about thirty years later, and has changed very little, except for the overgrowth of trees and bushes.
Theosophical Library Center makes available to the public a large and unique reference collection with significant works on philosophy, science, and the world's religions. Prominence is given to the ancient traditions of the Americas, Asia, the Near East, Africa, Europe, and Australasia, with sacred texts and commentaries arranged in the historical, cultural, and geographical context in which they evolved. In this way, the reader may follow the recurrent ideas that have helped people of all cultures find a deeper meaning in life.
|If you haven't dropped in, you're missing a little Altadena treasure.|
It's open daily from 2:00 to 4:30 or by appointment.
Phone (626) 798-8020