AKA: Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, Lake Tahoe, CA; Ehrman, Sydney and Florence Hellman, House, Lake Tahoe, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses; landscapes - parks - state parks

Designers: Bliss and Faville, Architects (firm); Walter Danforth Bliss (architect)

Dates: constructed 1903

3 stories, total floor area: 12,000 sq. ft.

Sugar Pine Point State Park, Lake Tahoe, CA

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The banker Isaias W. Hellman (1842-1920) purchased a Lake Tahoe, CA, parcel in 1897 and completed a large weekend house--named Pine Lodge--there in 1903. Hellman continued to buy adjoining parcels until, by 1913, he had amassed 2000 acres. In 1965, the State of California purchased 1,975 acres from the Hellman Family, and created from it Sugar Pine Point State Park. The house is now known as the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, and is used by the park for special events.

Walter D. Bliss (1872-1956) of the San Francisco firm Bliss and Faville became the architect for this house because of long-standing ties between the Hellman and Bliss Families. After Walter Bliss's father, Duane, left MA for CA during the Gold Rush, Duane became a Partner in the Nevada Bank, which the legendary banker Isaias W. Hellman took over in 1890. (Isaias Hellman's skill helped to recapitalize the failing bank by attracting investors from across the U.S.) The Bliss Family had deep roots in Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area and Walter had been born there; because of his knowledge of the setting and his family connections, Walter Bliss was the natural choice to design this grand country estate. Originally, the house site stood on a sand hill; workers transferred tons of topsoil and rock from elsewhere on Hellman property to serve as a proper foundation. The mansion had a number of ancillary buildings and structures on the property: a lakeside caretaker's cottage, children's house, tennis court, maids' quarters, butlers' house, ice house, coach house, tank house and two boat houses. Tel: 530-525-7982 (2009);

PCAD id: 14681