By Dana DOWSE
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Friends of
Rockhaven (FoR) is hosting an Old Hollywood themed fundraiser at the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, 4004 La Crescenta Ave. While RSVPs for the dinner portion of the event have closed, there is a party from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. that is free and open to the public. The party will include music, dancing, beverages, a brief meeting and update, and a silent auction. Joanna Linkchorst, president of FoR, shared that there will be more than 100 items available to bid on in the silent auction.
FoR is dedicated to promoting local history while preserving and restoring the historical Rockhaven property. The Rockhaven Sanitarium was opened in 1923 by psychiatric nurse Agnes Richards. She set out to create a haven where women could be treated with dignity and grace. In 1967, Richards passed Rockhaven on to her granddaughter Patricia Traviss. In 2001, Traviss sold Rockhaven to a large hospital corporation. However, the corporation found the property to be too costly to maintain and sold it to developers in 2006.
Not long after, the City of Glendale stepped in and purchased the Rockhaven property. The community voiced its desire for the property not to be changed and for the grounds to be open to the public for use as a community park, much like Descanso Gardens. But due to the economic downturn, the City of Glendale has not been able to clean and maintain the property nor restore it for public use. FoR stepped in to clean the property and provides tours once a month. Members were also able to get the property on the National Register of Historic Places.
But the future is still uncertain. Linkchorst shared that there are many proposals that have been made by developers to the city, but that Friends of Rockhaven would like a proposal that is chosen to preserve the interiors of the buildings.
“At this moment it is publicly owned and we have the opportunity to do something unique and great,” she said. In particular, Linkchorst supports a plan to create an outdoor restaurant and a museum. She hopes that Rockhaven will become a place for community events and where local artists could display their work and offer art therapy.
For more information see http://www.friendsofrockhaven.org/.