Monday, July 5, 2010

The Hansen Mansion

The most famous landmark in Coronado is the Hotel Del. The second most famous landmark on the island is the Hansen Mansion.

Built in 1898, ten years after the Hotel Del was completed, the mansion was originally owned by a man named A.P. Stephens and was later sold to Marshall O. Terry, former surgeon general of New York, in 1915 to be used as a retirement home. Leo Hansen bought it at auction in 1950 for a reported sum of $21,000...his wife Helen still lives there today.

I went to high school with Noah and Angie Hansen (Leo and Helen's grandchildren) and happened to be in the right place at the right time this 4th of July to receive a tour of this amazing house with my wife Megan. Noah, who gave us the tour, actually rents the 3rd floor with his wife and son so he knew all the ins and outs of this historical landmark.

I'll admit it, I think history is cool, so I was in hog-heaven during the tour. We got to ride in the elevator, see a secrete passage, walk into a couple of vaults, and tour the grounds. As you can probably tell, the Hansen's have resisted the urge to remodel and have instead maintained all the original charm and old world character of this great house. Which to me is perfect, and because it is an historical landmark we don't have to worry about it getting bulldozed and turned into condo's in a few years.

My bucket list just got that much shorter.

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