“French Renaissance built with local materials”
The Kearney Mansion is located seven miles west of downtown Fresno. It consists of two buildings, a main residence and an adjoining servants' quarters. The two buildings are designed in the French Renaissance style, simulated through the use of materials indigenous to the area and through the use of Victorian stock moldings, all built by workers employed by owner M. Theo. Kearney. Both buildings have a basic rectangular form with walls of two-foot-thick unstabilized adobe brick, covered with a thin coat of plaster for waterproofing. The basic adobe structures are capped by a sophisticated roof structure, strongly influenced by the Schwab residence in New York City, which itself was a copy of Chateau de Chenonceaux. The high roofs, dormer windows, ornate pinnacles at the intersection of the high roofs, the simple ridgemolding, and lofty chimneys create a picturesque skyline. Today the mansion, operated by the Fresno City and County Historic Society as a museum, exhibits 50 percent of the original furnishings, including wallpapers and art nouveau light fixtures. Historic replicas of carpets and other wallpapers have been used where original fabric has been lost. The servants' quarters houses the museum store.The Kearney Mansion is located in the 225-acre "Chateau Fresno Park" (now Kearney Park), begun by Kearney in 1892. Rudolph Ulrich, the noted American landscape architect from New York, laid out the design for this park and the boulevard leading to it. Over the next fourteen years, Kearney turned a flat, barren landscape into one of the most beautiful parks in the United States. At the turn of the century the park may have contained more species of trees, vines, shrubs and roses than any equal area in the United States. The San Francisco Chronicle called it the "most beautiful park on the West Coast." The eleven-mile boulevard leading from downtown Fresno to the park was lined with alternating eucalyptus and palms, interspersed with 18,000 white and pink oleanders.
I love this place and the history it comes with. The park is beautiful and there's so many trees to sit under and have a picnic. We've come out here once in a while and let the dog loose and just relax. The park is so big that there's plenty of room for people to have several parties in it. The entrance to the park is $5 per car and the museum does charge as well, prices vary by age. The house is beautiful and interesting, but not as interesting as the history behind it and the man who owned the property. I don't want to ruin the story if you anyone here reading this does happen to visit it, but I just want to say it's a shame that man died, because there could have been a castle built right next to the house!! Also it's a great place for easter egg hunting, but that day get's really packed at the park.
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Kearney Mansion Museum
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