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Kimberly Crest

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Subject: Kimberly-Clark, Châteauesque, List of castles in the United States, Big Love (Fleetwood Mac song)
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Kimberly Crest

Kimberly Crest
Kimberly Crest house and gardens
Kimberly Crest
Location Redlands, California

34°2′16.21″N 117°10′20.87″W / 34.0378361°N 117.1724639°W / 34.0378361; -117.1724639Coordinates: 34°2′16.21″N 117°10′20.87″W / 34.0378361°N 117.1724639°W / 34.0378361; -117.1724639

Built 1897
Architect O.P. Dennis, L.P. Farwell
Architectural style Victorian, Châteauesque
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 96000328[1]
 # 1019[2]
Added to NRHP March 28, 1996

Kimberly Crest House and Gardens is a French château-style Victorian mansion located in Redlands, California. The property is a registered California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The house and gardens were built in 1897 for Mrs. Cornelia A. Hill, one of the pioneers of Redlands. In 1905, John Alfred Kimberly, a co-founder of Kimberly-Clark paper company, purchased the home to escape the Wisconsin winters, giving the family name to the property. The family celebrated the holidays at the property with a 90-foot (27 m) Magnolia tree adorned with 6000 watts of light.[3] The Kimberly family continued to live in the home until the death in 1979 of Mary Kimberly Shirk, the widowed daughter of John Alfred Kimberly.

Before her death, Mrs. Shirk challenged the city of Redlands to raise the funds to purchase the property around the home and turn it into a 39 acres (0.06 sq mi; 0.16 km2) botanical park. If the funds were raised, she promised to bequeath the mansion and its 6.25 acres (0.01 sq mi; 0.03 km2) estate to the city. The city raised the funds, and the surrounding grounds became known as Prospect Park. At her death, Mrs. Shirk left the home to "the people of Redlands" and used the proceeds from the sale of Prospect Park to establish the Kimberly-Shirk Association which continues to care for the home today.[4]

Prior to the conversion to museum, the mansion served as one of the filming locations for the 1981 movie Hell Night, starring Linda Blair. In the film, underground tunnels were depicted, but the house and the estate have no such feature. Later, grounds served as the setting of Fleetwood Mac's Big Love video. Shots depicting the inside of the home were filmed on a sound stage.


This three story Victorian mansion was designed in the Châteauesque style by Oliver Perry Dennis and Lyman Farwell, a Los Angeles-based partnership.[5] The building contains over 7,000 square feet (650 m2) of floor space. A near replica, The Magic Castle, was erected in 1909 in Hollywood by the same architects.[6]


The gardens that surround Kimberly Crest are exquisite examples of the Italian style favored by Victorian homeowners at the turn of the 20th century. Mr. Kimberly had the gardens created in 1909, complete with statuary and koi ponds.[7] Today the gardens are honorary members of the Inland Koi Society,[8] which now maintains the lily ponds.[4]

The mansion today

The Kimberly-Shirk Association has maintained the property since 1981 and continues the legacy of Mrs. Shirk's involvement in civic events. Kimberly Crest is open to the public for tours and can also be booked for weddings and private events.[4]



External links

  • Kimberly Crest House and Gardens – Official website
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