Hellman-Ehrman Mansion


Sugar Pine Point State Park, Lake Tahoe, California


California State Parks and Recreation Historic Preservation Program

Structural Evaluation Services


National Register of Historic Places

Hellman- Ehrman Estate, Sugar Pine Point State Park

(added 1973 - District - #73000401) 

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W | A Associates provided a structural evaluation for the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation, of the stone rubble foundation supporting this expansive wood frame "summer home" built in 1903 on the shore of Lake Tahoe.  The investigation identified structural deterioration in the masonry and wood framing below the floor and provided recommendations for the repair of the deficiencies as well as actions to prevent future deterioration.


In 1897, San Francisco businessman I. W. Hellman began buying property at Sugar Pine Point and by 1913 had acquired nearly 2000 acres. His grand but informal summer home, called Pine Lodge, was completed in 1903 and was considered to be one of the finest in the high Sierra. His daughter, Florence Hellman Ehrman inherited the estate and she and her husband Sydney spent many summers here entertaining family and friends. 


The building site was originally a sand hill. Tons of topsoil were brought from the back country to provide the base for lawns and gardens. Most of the building materials for the house were obtained locally; the granite from Meeks Bay and the lumber from Hobart Mills, north of Truckee. 

The house, designed by Walter Danford Bliss, was equipped with the best and most modern utility systems including electric lights and complete indoor plumbing. Steam generators produced electricity until commercial power was available in 1927. Water was obtained from General Creek and later pumped directly from the Lake. 

In 1965 the house and 1,975 acres of the estate were acquired by the California State Park System. Today the house is maintained as a house museum and as an example of the opulent tradition in Tahoe summer homes.