PL+US Project: Modjeska’s Arden


Modjeska House, also known as Arden, is a house designed by Stanford White in Modjeska Canyon, California. It is significant for being the only surviving home of Helena Modjeska, a Shakespearean actress and Polish patriot. The property is located in a live oak grove on the banks of Santiago Creek in Modjeska Canyon, California.

Helena Modrzejewska, later known as Helena Modjeska came to America with her husband Count Karol Bozenta Chłapowski in 1876 from Poland, and created a communal oasis with her friends, artists, writers and other free spirited personas. To design a large Victorian country house, she hired one of America’s leading architects, Stanford White. They named it “Arden” after the forest setting of Shakespeare‘s play As You Like It and planted gardens with olive trees, palms, English yews, white lilac, and crown of thorns. It was their home from 1888 until 1906.

Ola Gurdziel performing the role of Modjeska during the Night of the Museum at the Granary in May, 2022

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