A few weeks before all the storms decided to take over California, we were experiencing the best weather here in LA. The temperature was moderate (not too hot or cold), the sky was super clear, and the sunsets were the best I had ever seen. Not wanting to waste such a beautiful day, I decided one Sunday to do some local sightseeing. So I called up my sister, packed up baby, and headed straight for the coast. We found a particularly nice spot on the cliffs of Palos Verdes that had stunning views of Catalina Island and the Southbay. As we meandered along the coast, just talking and catching up, we stumbled upon a little neighborhood church hugging the cliff’s edge. I was immediately drawn to the church’s architecture, so we decided to explore the grounds.
As we strolled through courtyard we found ourselves on a terrace overlooking the ocean. The views were stunning and the atmosphere was completely serene. We eventually wandered off and continued our walk up the coast. As the sun set, I was reminded of just how lucky I was to live in such a place and equally as lucky to spend such a beautiful day with my family.
Did you really think I was going to end the post and not give you some history of the church? Of course not!! Being the history nerd I am, I immediately went home and researched the church that day. What I learned was before it became the Neighborhood Church it originally was a mansion. Yes, a mansion. Built-in 1927 as a summer residence for wealthy merchant J.J. Haggarty, the building was constructed to resemble a Mediterranean villa. At one point the largest home in Palos Verdes, Haggarty’s villa was comprised of nearly 20 rooms and included a private pier as well as a conservatory. With Italian Renaissance frescoes decorating the interior and Ralphealesque decor throughout the home, the Haggarty mansion was a jewel amid the developing community of Palos Verdes Estates.
So there you have it. Leave it to me to find an old historical mansion on a leisurely Sunday stroll, haha. If you’re interested in reading more about the Haggarty mansion check the Neighborhood Church website or check out this 1928 newspaper article published in the Palos Verdes Bulletin.