Sunday, April 19, 2009

COMMENTARY The Flanders Mansion: A National Register of Historic Places Resource

The Flanders Mansion: A National Register of Historic Places Resource Worthy of Being Maintained in Public Trust for Present and Future Generations of Carmelites

IMAGINE: Filoli, specifically its’ beautifully-preserved Georgian Revival house in Woodside, California, designed between 1915-1917 by the prominent San Francisco architect Willis Polk and opened to the public in 1976 as a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, subdivided from its’ 654-acre “rare and historically-important” early 1900s country estate and no longer “dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment.”

IMAGINE: Flanders Mansion ("Outlands”), an English cottage design which is a substyle of the Tudor Revival, one of the first structures in Carmel of this pictorial style of architecture and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, designed by noted San Francisco architect Henry H. Gutterson and constructed in the early 1920s, subdivided from its’ 35 acre Mission Trail Nature Preserve and no longer owned by the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea and held in public trust for present and future generations of Carmelites.

Filoli, ”recognized as one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century” and “a cherished resource for the community valuing education, volunteerism and diversity,” consists of a 36,000 sq. ft. beautifully-preserved Georgian Revival house, a 16–acre English Renaissance garden, a 6.8 acre Gentlemen's Heritage Orchard and a trail system that transverses five different ecosystems for docent-guided nature hikes and visits to the Sally MacBride Nature Center, is valued as a California State Historic Landmark and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Similarly, the Flanders Mansion Property, adjacent to the Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden and situated in Mission Trail Nature Preserve, is valued as a National Register of Historic Places resource. One of only three National Register of Historic Places in Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Paul Flanders Mansion, also known as “Outlands in the Eighty Acres,” is an English Cottage Tudor Revival Style historic resource-the only example of that style in the area. Historically speaking, Flanders Mansion is historically significant for its architecture. Built in 1924, Flanders Mansion has been owned and maintained in the public trust by the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea for the last 37 years (1972-present). Situated in Mission Trail Nature Preserve, an environmentally sensitive habitat area and home to countless varieties and species of trees, shrubs, plants and birds, Mission Trail Nature Preserve is also a historic park, encompassing the trails Father Serra, the Franciscan Padres and Sebastian Vizcaino took between the Carmel Mission and the Monterey Presidio-the only portion of the original route remaining.

And just as the Filoli Center, a charitable 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, manages and maintains Filoli, the Flanders Foundation, a non-profit organization, can transform the Flanders Mansion into a jewel of a small cultural, natural history and education resource displaying Carmel’s art collection, preserving city archives and educating residents and visitors about Carmel’s identity, development and evolution. Moreover, Flanders Mansion, owned by the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea and managed and maintained by the Flanders Foundation, would significantly enhance the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s cultural image.

Lastly, proponents of maintaining the Flanders Mansion in the public domain, owned by the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, need only heed the literal meaning of Filoli (“Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life”) to rally community support for the preservation of the Flanders Mansion by the Flanders Foundation and the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea!

Published & Written by L. A. Paterson, Carmel-by-the-Sea Resident

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree! Very well written!