ne of the most treasured landmarks on the Monterey Peninsula, the Victorian “Hart Mansion” on the corner of Lighthouse Avenue and 19th Street in Pacific Grove was built in 1893 by Dr. Andrew Jackson Hart. While Time and Progress have taken a destructive toll on many of the grand buildings of the Victorian era, we are fortunate that Dr. Hart’s mansion stands today much the way it did over 100 years ago. For nearly 70 years, the Hart Mansion had remained in the Hart Family. After Dr. Hart's death in 1899 and the death of his wife Sara a few years later, their youngest son, Dr. Frank Hart, used the building as a sanatorium for his patients. After Frank's death in the late 1930's, his older brother Charles Hart converted the building into two apartments. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, the building was rented to a number of families, but none more notable than the wife and sons of Knut Hovden, the founder of the most renowned cannery in Monterey, now the home of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Hart family finally sold the property in 1962 to a young local artist named Roy Ami-Hamlin. Two years later, the property was purchased by two young couples who opened up the “Antique Castle,” offering antiques and selling home-made candy on the premises. In 1971, the property was sold to Raymond & Betty Bergerac, who moved up from Beverly Hills to open the legendary restaurant, "Maison Bergerac." After 15 years running the most popular restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula, the Bergerac’s retired and sold the mansion to Gernot & Rosemary Leitzinger, who opened Gernot’s Victoria House restaurant. About 15 years later, the Leitzingers sold the property to Bob & Lori Kohn of Pebble Beach, who leased the building to Robert Kincaid, another legendary chef ("Fresh Cream" of Monterey and "Robert’s Bistro" of Carmel), who opened "Robert's White House" restaurant. This website tells the full story of the Hart Mansion, beginning with the 19th Century land grants, the early history of Pacific Grove, the mansion's design and completion in 1893, and the story of each family who has owned the building since that time. This is the story of Dr. Hart’s mansion, the magical house he built, the town in which he lived, and all who have touched -- and will come to touch -- the history of one of California's beloved historical treasures.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Kohn is Chairman & CEO of RoyaltyShare, Inc., the premier provider of Web-based royalty processing and content management solutions for the music and entertainment industries. Kohn is co-author of Kohn On Music Licensing (Aspen Law & Business, 3rd Edition 2002), a 1,600 page legal treatise which USA Today called, “the bible on legal issues in the music world.” In 1998, he founded EMusic.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: EMUS), the pioneering MP3 music-download service which was acquired in 2001 by Universal Music Group. Prior to RoyaltyShare, Kohn served vice chairman of the board of Borland Software Corporation (NASDAQ: BORL) where he previously served as senior vice president and general counsel. Prior to that, he was an associate attorney at the law offices of Milton A. "Mickey" Rudin, an entertainment law firm whose clients included Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, and Cher. Kohn serves on the editorial board of the Entertainment Law Reporter and has taught law at Monterey College of Law in Monterey, California.