Lomaland had public buildings for the entire community and several private homes. The home of Albert G. Spalding, the sporting goods tycoon, was built in 1901. The building combines late-Victorian wooden architecture with historical motifs such as the modified Corinthian column (now shaped like a papyrus leaf) and flattened arches. The amethyst dome was restored by a team of scholars led by Dr. Dwayne Little of the Department of History and Political Science in 1983.

(Below) The Spalding residence in 1904

Archives, Theosophical Society, Pasadena, California 91109 PLNU# 1 673-3 - 2679.tif

Spalding Residence Features

The wood trim inside the Spalding home was the work of the sculptor Reginald Machell. Machell's Symbolist style attempted to give form to Theosophical principles; the repeated octagonal floor plan oriented around the central dome symbolized the perfection of the universe.

Collection of Dr. Dwayne Little PLNU# HV4

Theosophical Design

The interior decor of the Spalding home was typically late-Victorian. References to classical antiquity are mixed with ornate, manufactured domestic furniture items. This mixture of furnishings is a sharp contrast to the deeply-carved geometry of the doorjambs and the whitewashed purity of the interior dome.

An important component of Theosophical Design was to move in the direction of the arts and crafts reform and a rejection of the overly-decorated interior. Several designers in the emerging modernist movement, such as Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandisky, were influenced by Theosophy.

Archives, Theosophical Society, Pasadena, California 91109 PLNU# 2 KTDR27.tif