Take a Tour of the Villa Aurora


The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club is hosting a docent-led tour of Villa Aurora. People are asked to assemble at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, December 7, for a 3 p.m. tour. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to PPDC and the Villa Aurora. All residents are welcome, one does not to be a member of the club to sign up for the tour.

Villa Aurora, located at 520 Paseo Miramar, is an artists’ residency and a venue for international cultural encounters in the former home of German-Jewish exiles Leon and Marta Feuchtwanger.

As an interdisciplinary residence, Villa Aurora carries the memories of the artists and intellectuals who found refuge in California during the Nazi era, and who at the time had significant influence on cultural life on the West Coast. Every year, Villa Aurora and the Thomas Mann House award up to twelve fellowships to artists, composers, authors, and filmmakers.

Villa Aurora celebrates the contribution of German and European artists and intellectuals of the 1930s and 1940s and offers a variety of arts and cultural programs.

The Feuchtwangers purchased the 14-room Spanish Colonial Revival-style house of 6,700 square feet on a 19,000 square-foot lot for $9.000 in 1943.

After Lion’s death Marta Feuchtwanger bequeathed the house and Lion’s library to USC.

In 1989, a non-profit organization in Berlin, the Friends of Villa Aurora, bought the house from USC and commissioned the architect Frank Dimster, a USC professor, to renovate it.

The entire house was lifted to build a solid foundation, the hill stabilized by cement pillars, an AC system was added, the heating system and pipes replaced and the whole house was rewired. After the various renovations had been accomplished, the Villa Aurora was placed on the list of Historical Landmarks in Los Angeles.

If a resident has never been in the house before, it is remarkable. It was on the Woman’s Club Home Tour years ago, when this editor had the privilege of touring it.

For tickets: click here.


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