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Altadena’s Kate Crane Gartz House

Adolph and Kate Crane Gartz built  a spectacular $25,000 house on the northwest corner of Mariposa and Santa Rosa in 1908.  (The house was razed in 1953. Today the property is a Girl Scout camp.)

Kate Crane Gartz was heiress to Crane Plumbing Company.

AHS has only one photo of the home’s exterior so imagine our surprise when we came across the picture below on google images that shows the interior of the house.

Under the photo it says:  Drawing-room of
“The Cloister,” where radical lectures are given.

Author Michele Zack tells us that Kate Crane Gartz was “a woman of progressive ideas. The Cloisters, as their home was called, became the center for political, cultural, and civic activities in the teens and continued in that capacity after Adolph’s death in 1930.” (Altadena: Between Wilderness and City, 2003, p. 125 ) 

Mrs. Gartz was committed to social justice and political reform. For thirty years she hosted a salon for intellectuals including Upton Sinclair, Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein and others.