Now, my favorite part of this entire museum tour was… The Music Room! Not only is it known as such, but it’s also the third largest pipe organ theater in the world!
Another fun fact I had been wanting to share in previous Nethercutt posts but decided to save it for last is that our ever charming and knowledgeable tour guide is an accomplished concert pianist and musician! He definitely knows his way around the musical instruments of the establishment. He is also the one ensuring that all the historical pieces in the museum are well-maintained and still functioning!
All throughout our stay inside the Music Room, we were treated to demos from the pipe organs, especially from their prized Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ sitting at the heart of the room, and their European orchestrions. These musical instruments are automated like all the others in Nethercutt. The most spectacular demonstration will be given by the end of the tour when everyone’s done taking a look at all the antiques. The tour guide assembles everybody at the center, sets the pipe organs to play, and they take it from there – doing the entire thing on their own. The Wurlitzer’s podium rises as it is about to begin. We were serenaded with a medley of songs from Broadway. During our visit, the song highlight was The Phantom of the Opera’s All I Ask Of You, which also happens to be one of my favorite songs of all time!!! For someone who took up English and Theater Arts in college and to hear it being played LIVE from a vintage pipe organ, which was what they used back in the day, was an experience I’d never forget! I sang along to the melody and imagined myself as Christine Daae on centerstage. The sound – melody, rhythm, tempo… everything was just authentic, pure music!!! I felt like I was in an opera house in the early 1900’s! (I was unable to capture this on video though as it’s strictly prohibited.) They organize concerts here approximately six times a year. Inquire for the concert schedule at the receptionist’s. Tickets are free and limited to four per household.
One of these instruments (in photos below) came from the Netherlands and has been around since the 1700’s…
Also on display is the magnificent King Louis XV Style Dining Room. As can be seen in the photos below, the chairs bear no armrest on the left side. The reason behind this is because men carried their swords and sheaths on their left at all times and this kind of seating made it more convenient for them.
You shouldn’t miss this elegant and cute piece by the Dining Set –
After the show, the tour guide will lead you back to the Lower Salon. You can either leave or choose to visit the Merle Norman Cosmetics shop next door. (As mentioned earlier in my first blog entry on Nethercutt Museum, the Nethercutts are also the proprietors of said make-up brand.) What we did though was we took that quick tour around the 1937 Canadian-Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive #2839 and the 1912 Pullman Private Car #100 California. It’s located at the back of the Nethercutt Museum.
Description from their official website (www.nethercuttcollection.org) —
1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive #2839:
#2839 was built by Montreal Locomotive Works and is resplendent in its Royal maroon, gold leaf, gloss black and brushed stainless steel livery, is a testament to the grand era of steam locomotive engineering. The Hudson type is a 4-6-4 wheel arrangement and was a high-speed passenger locomotive with a top speed of 90 mph.
1912 Pullman Private Car #100 California:
Custom built by Pullman in Chicago, Illinois for Clara Baldwin Stocker the eldest Daughter of local Pioneer “Lucky” Baldwin. This railcar has been beautifully restored back to 1912
Also, another fun fact from the tour guide, the wooden panels inside are made of Cuban mahogany. Here are photos of what’s inside the locomotive and private car —
Marvel at the fancy bedrooms too!
Last stop was in the Engine Room and then you can find the exit to the side.
And this ends my oh-so-worth it tour around Nethercutt! When you’re in LA, you shouldn’t miss this place.
Wanna book a tour? Here are the details taken from their Visitor’s Info papers that you can grab a copy of at the receptionist’s desk in the museum.
Address – 15200 Bledsoe St., Sylmar, CA 91342, across the street from the Nethercutt Museum
Admission is free & by reservation only. Children must be 12 years and older.
When to Visit – Entrance by guided tour only, offered every Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 am or 1:30 pm, and are approx. 2 hours in length. NO VIDEO RECORDING AND FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY. Closed Sunday – Wednesday, and all major holidays, Memorial Weekend, 4th of July, Labor Day Weekend, Thanksgiving Weekend & 2 weeks during Christmas holiday
For Interior Tours of the Locomotive and Pullman Rail Car, it’s open twice a day (weather permitting) 12:30 nn and 3:45 pm for approx. 15 mins. Not handicapped accessible.
Reservations – Please call (818) 364-6464, Tues-Sat, 9 am – 4:30 pm for more information… What we did though was we directly went to Nethercutt Museum on Saturday morning and booked right then and there, which I think’s better, since you can go around the museum and look at its vintage automobile collection while waiting for the guided tour at the Nethercutt Collection to start. 🙂