Library/Music Salon Bookcase: St. John’s Seminary

Library/Music Salon Cherry Bookcase

This 25′ cherry bookcase was built as ten individual cases and assembled on-site at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California. The Wallace Neff designed Library was endowed by the Doheny family who stored art treasures on the second floor. By agreement with the Church, the collections would be preserved there until they became property of the Church on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Estelle Doheny’s death. At that time, a Christy’s auction was held to raise money for the buildings’ maintenance and improvement. I was honored to receive the commission for the upstairs Music Salon/Library bookcase. Shortly after this picture was taken, a Steinway grand piano (circa 1929) found it’s home just behind the fore-ground couch

Client: St. John’s Seminary
Date: 1991



Three middle cases, 16″ deep bolted together to become the break-front section of the project, then two end cases 12″ deep completed the assembly. The crown and pediment fastened to the top making the overall project about twenty-five feet long and just under 10′ tall at the peak of the pediment. Working at the Seminary was about as close as I could ever imagine to being a Renaissance craftsman commissioned by the Church. During construction and installation we were treated with great consideration and respect.



The cherry crown mold (shown here up-side-down), was five inches tall and constructed of five separate pieces, spline-joined together.



The original sample of the fluted columns that separated the bookcase sections measured five inches wide with four 5/8″ flutes.