The Doheny Mansion: A Biography of a Home
by MaryAnn Bonino
“The Doheny Mansion: A Biography of a Home” is the chronicle of two Los Angeles pioneers and the house they created at 8 Chester Place. Edward L. Doheny, oil millionaire extraordinaire and his wife Estelle, who was a noted book collector, philanthropist and devoted supporter of the Catholic Church, rose from modest backgrounds to become local and national leaders, entertaining friends and colleagues at their downtown Los Angeles mansion. For five decades, a procession of international movers and shakers passed through its doors. Industrial barons, politicians, financiers, church leaders, journalists, artists and movie stars were entertained sumptuously under the gilded dome of the Dohenys’ Pompeian Room.
At the height of his power, Edward Doheny was among the world’s leading oil producers and owned a fleet of tankers. After he achieved unwanted media stardom at the center of the 1920s Teapot Dome scandal, his decline was almost as rapid as his sprint to the top a decade earlier. Estelle Doheny stayed loyally by his side, and as the châtelaine of a Victorian mansion she at first found dark and forbidding, she created an elegant city home in a private park with towering trees, flowering gardens and a sprawling steel and glass Palm House built for their collection of exotic tropical botanicals.
Today the Doheny Mansion stands preserved as a living monument to their lives and times. Through newly discovered photographs and years of research, author MaryAnn Bonino shines a new and glowing light on its creation and inner life, with a peek at a few ghosts in the attic.
$20 (plus $2.50 shipping & handling). Proceeds will be directed to mansion conservation.