The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission on Wednesday voted to declare a 5-acre mountaintop estate in Silver Lake owned by an order of nuns a historic-cultural monument.
The commission's decision could foil an apparent attempt by the members of the Mexican-based Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception to sell the estate. The nuns decided to put the 22-room mansion on the market after the October earthquake left several large cracks in the structure.
The nuns' move has generated concern among neighbors, historical activists and supporters of a home for wayward girls that the nuns have operated there since 1953. The estate was formerly owned by Los Angeles oil heiress Daisy Canfield Danziger and silent movie star Antonio Moreno.
The mansion and grounds, which command a 360-degree view of the city, date to 1922 and were the site of lavish Sunday gatherings that brought entertainers, high society and the old Spanish families together.