Eastlake Victorian mansion was designed and built in 1887 by the
local firm of Blair and Zimmerman as a wedding gift for Milton
S. Monroe (the first son of William N. Monroe, after whom Monrovia
is named) and his bride, Mary Nevada Thomas, the only daughter
of the prominent Boyle Heights couple John M. and Jane Thomas.
The bride's parents provided the five acres of land; the groom's
parents built the nine-room house. The wedding was the social
event of the 1887 season.
Lawrence J. Marotta, Official Photographer of the Monrovia
Old House Preservation Group.
many other Victorian homes in Monrovia, this one was relocated
a little from its original spot as the area around it was developed.
As originally built, the house faced south, but was rotated 90
degrees as the land around it was subdivided. (In fact, the 1925
Chicago Bungalow across the street was built on land that was
the original Mills View garden).
did the mansion come to be known as Mills View? Well, despite
its auspicious beginnings, the marriage of Milton and Mary Nevada
ended in divorce, and the house became the property of Colonel
John H. and Elizabeth Mills. In those pre-smog days, it was possible
to see Catalina Island from the third floor tower. The Mills ownership
and the magnificent view combined to give the mansion its popular
exterior of the house features such elaborate Eastlake touches
as turned posts, spindle galleries, an elaborate frieze at the
roof line, and gables profusely decorated with scroll work. The
interior is equally detailed: mantels of Honduran mahogany, oak
and redwood; distinctive tiles for each of the fireplaces, windows
with geometric stained glass, doors with unusual panel designs,
and hardwood floors of oak, walnut and mahogany.
View is currently owned by one of the founding couples of the
Monrovia Old House Preservation Group (MOHPG), and they are painstakingly
restoring the flaking paint and other signs of wear. The extraordinary
detailing of this mansion makes it a favorite with movie production