Riordan Mansion

Riordan Mansion

During the stormy weather, our tour guide, Amy, introduced us to the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park. Lumber baron brothers Timothy and Michael Riordan married sisters, Caroline and Elizabeth Metz, and raised their families in a duplex mansion with separate living quarters and a large common recreation room. This remarkable 13,000 square-foot home, built in 1904, is an example of the American Arts & Crafts Style. Charles Whittlesey, chief architect for the Santa Fe Railroad’s stations and hotels, designed the home which features a rustic exterior of log-slab siding, volcanic stone arches, and hand-split wooden shingles. The interior includes open floor plans, exposed structural elements, walk-in closets, and built-in storage features. It made use of hot and cold running water, skylights, and stained glass. Simple, functional handcrafted furniture designed and built by Gustav Stickley, a premier exponent of the American Arts & Crafts Style, is on display. The impressive Steinway piano conveyed the interest in music and, of course, I was pleased to see built-in bookshelves lining the walls filled with books.

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