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Kohl Mansion celebrates 100 years: Mercy High School Burlingame has activities planned throughout year
February 06, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Mercy High School Burlingame is ringing in the 100th birthday of its Kohl Mansion this year.

With Mercy High School Burlingame ringing in the 100th birthday of its Kohl Mansion, the school is celebrating with a variety of events.

To begin, the school will host a local authors’ book night Feb. 25, then a historical improv night in March with Burlingame Historical Society’s “Living History Presenters” team, parties and night tours.

The mansion was built between 1912 and 1914 by Charles Fredrick “Freddie” Kohl for his wife Bessie. After his death in 1921, the mansion was sold to the Sisters of Mercy for $230,000.

“It’s pretty amazing in how it all started as a private home,” said Dianne Devin, associate director of events at the Kohl Mansion. “It’s developed into an incredible high school and a venue for corporate events and parties. It’s a big celebration for all of us on campus.”

After purchasing the home, the Sisters used the mansion as a convent and a motherhouse until 1931 when they opened Mercy High School for Girls. A classroom wing was eventually added and additional expansion projects followed. Today, the 63-room Kohl Mansion serves as the heart and soul of Mercy High School, Mercy Center and the Mercy Convent.

In 1982, the mansion was even entered into the National Register of Historic Places, which lists historically significant sites throughout the United States.

Although there are no events planned involving the students yet, the girls may get involved at some point, Devin said.

Other activities to be held at the mansion to celebrate the anniversary include a lecture on the history of the mansion by Michael Svanevik, a professor emeritus at College of San Mateo, on April 29. There will be a 100th birthday party on the green Aug. 10 with music, mansion tours, a classic car show, a slice of birthday cake and proclamations presented by community leaders and public officials. It’s open to the public and no RSVP is needed.

Additionally, the mansion will host its traditional holiday events Dec. 8 and 14. Space is limited for both the Café de Kohl and Grand Finale celebrations.

Registration for docent led night tours of the mansion will begin Feb. 10. A $15 donation is requested to help fund Kohl Mansion’s restoration and enhancement projects.

For a full list of birthday events, and to register for each, visit

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: mansion, mercy, events, school, night, birthday,

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