California Museums


Banning House Museum

By C. MacDonald

The Banning Museum
401 East M Street
Wilmington, CA 90744

WILMINGTON, CA—Thanks to a successful business man, Phineas Banning, Wilmington gained a reputation as a key Southern California location for transportation and shipping in the mid-1800s.

A highlight to any visit to Wilmington is the Banning Museum comprised of the Phineas Banning's country ranch home built in 1864. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, tours are offered by docents who guide you through the history of early Los Angeles, seen through the eyes of Phineas and his family.

The 23-room estate is graced with a rare collection of portraits, Banning family memorabilia, the ranch barn, gift house, and 20 acres of lush gardens & grounds.

Introducing Greek Revival architecture in Los Angeles., the Banning family lived in the home for over 60 years.

 The Father of the Port of Los Angeles and founder of Wilmington (Phineas Banning) enjoyed Southern California's mild climate and wasn't shy about making his estate a comfortable place for his family to enjoy. The Residence--a standout property--became a challenging asset for the City of Los Angeles to maintain when its Department of Recreation and Parks took over management of this City, State, and National Historic Landmark. Maintenance of the Residence, Stagecoach, Barn, and Gardens in cooperation with Friends of Banning Museum, a private non-profit corporation, has helped fund restoration and educational programs at the Museum.

  • built the 23-room residence in 1864
  • Subsequent generations lived in it until 1925
  • 1927 the residence, stagecoach barn, and the surrounding 20 acres of parkland were acquired by the City of Los Angeles.
  • Phineas’s great-granddaughter, Nancy Banning Call, hekoed lead the charge to restore the mansion to its original Victorian beauty.
  • The house interiors have been restored to their Victorian beauty
  • 18 rooms are open to the public.

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