Location: 211 21st Ave SW
National, State and Local registers; South Capitol National Historic District; Wohleb; Women’s History
|Lord Mansion 1938, Thurston County Assessor, Washington State Archives|
Lord Mansion today (2013), photo by Marisa Merkel
Clarence Lord was one of the most important figures in Olympia’s, and indeed the state’s, financial history. Founder of the Capital National Bank, he was also an investor in many other important commercial enterprises in this city, including the Olympia Knitting Mills and the trolley system, which brought electricity to Olympia. This mansion was built in 1923 and intended to be the most important residence in town, with the possible exception of the Governor’s Mansion (it was subsequently outshone by the nearby McCleary Mansion). It was designed by Joseph Wohleb and created Wohleb’s reputation as one of the premier architects of the northwest. Its elegant features have been retained, partly due to the efforts of Lord’s wife, Elizabeth Reynolds Lord, who donated her home to the state provided it was used for public purposes. For many years it was the location of the State Capital Museum as well as the home of the Women’s History Consortium. Its future is currently (2017) uncertain. Elizabeth Lord was a prominent member of Olympia society, active in the Red Cross and the DAR, as well as being very interested in local history and culture. The building is on the national, state, and local heritage registers.
The Washington State Historical Society catalog has many photographs and other items relating to the State Capital Museum. Enter search terms at their on-line catalog here to be taken to listings.