Friends of Rockhaven File for Historic Designation

The Friends of Rockhaven, with Historic Resources Group, has filed an application for the nomination for historic designation with the National Register of Historic Places. The application will be reviewed by the State Historical Resources Commission in April 2016 and will include music of Babe Egan and her Hollywood Redheads during the presentation. Florence Egan was a resident at Rockhaven.

Rockhaven Sanitarium was founded in 1923 by psychiatric nurse Agnes Richards as a place where women suffering “mild mental and nervous disorders” could be treated with dignity and respect rather than suffer atrocities of the state-run insane asylums of the time. Richards believed that graceful surroundings in nature helped influence quiet in the mind. As a private institution run exclusively for women and owned by a woman (a rarity at the time) Rockhaven became popular among the Hollywood elite. Marilyn Monroe’s mother Gladys Eley called it home as did Billie Burke and many other actresses and entertainers. Abandoned in 2006, the decaying property stands in peril while its current owners, the City of Glendale, entertain bids from developers.

Friends of Rockhaven is a nonprofit organization committed to the preservation and restoration of Rockhaven Sanitarium as well as educating the public about its rich history. They have submitted their own plan to the City of Glendale to preserve Rockhaven as public park and community center. They will continue to apply for grants and work with the City of Glendale to open Rockhaven to the public, which was the original intent of the City of Glendale upon purchasing the historic property. FoR has sought the historic designation at the advice of California state representatives.

“Rockhaven’s history is important not just within the context of the Crescenta Valley or Glendale but it’s a huge asset to women’s history, mental health history, Hollywood history and the long term history of Southern California as a health destination,” said Friends of Rockhaven President Joanna Linkchorst. “Rockhaven matters and we believe that the State Historic Resources Commission will see that.”

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