I love architecture. So last weekend I went on a Sierra Club walk of Greene & Greene houses in Pasadena. This tour, one of four, covered the southwest portion of Pasadena. Please note, not all the houses depicted are by Greene & Greene. I just took pictures randomly of buildings and scenes that looked interesting to me.
Pasadena is an incorporated city about eleven miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles and approximately 22 miles from where I live in Culver City.
I decided to take the Metro train system all the way there as the starting point of the walk was advertised as just two blocks north of the South Pasadena station. I took the Expo Line to the Red Line to the Gold Line. My first time on the Gold Line so that was pretty exciting.
But once I got off the train those two blocks north turned out to be more like two miles… and uphill. But no matter, I can always use the exercise.
The brothers Greene were architects working mostly in California during the 1890s and early 1900s. They designed houses and bungalows in the style of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. In some instances, they even designed the furniture and fixtures.
The above photo is definitely not of a Greene house… more like something you would find on a southern Plantation.
I really enjoyed myself on the walk. It was one of those beautiful southern California March days. The sun was shining, the birds were singing. And the temperature was perfect for walking.
Obviously, this is also not a Greene & Greene house! This is an example of what I call Southern California eclectic. A mishmash of Mission Revival, Mediterranean, Spanish, what-have-you. I love it!
The ability to walk is the greatest gift. I can walk anywhere and have a great time by myself. Or I can enjoy the company of friends. Or, like this day, meet and talk to a group of new people who have similar interests.
I learned on this walk that Caltrans owns a lot of the houses in this neighborhood. They were acquired decades ago for the proposed extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway from Alhambra to Pasadena which never happened. Some of these beautiful homes are rented out. Others langor in disrepair like the one above.
As anybody who knows anything about me is already aware, I am a Los Angeles tour guide. While I enjoy that profession, a lot of my jobs consist of taking busloads of tourists to see “Hollywood” (whatever that means to them) or Rodeo Drive or Universal City Walk. I have nothing against those places but they do NOT represent Los Angeles. I wish those tourists could see neighborhoods like these as part of the four-hour (or less) whirlwind tour of LA before making up their minds what LA is all about. However, being the vast city and county that it is, that is not possible.
I like the symmetry of the triangular attic window echoing the triangular pediment over the entryway.
See the sleeping porch extending from the second floor balcony? Ah, those balmy southern California nights… without all the nasty insects you would encounter in other parts of the country.
Another eclectic design. Barn style? I like it.
One of the (many) influences of Greene & Greene architecture was Japanese design. The lanterns out front welcome the visitor on to the property.
Love the rough texture of that brick chimney.
I think Hansel and Gretel live here…
Of course, Pasadena is most famous for the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. It is a year-round business and this lovely mansion is the headquarters. Many many moons ago when I worked for Nestle/Carnation, my boss’s daughter was one of the Rose Queen’s princesses. So, we were all invited to the crowning ceremony here. It was a gorgeous day and back then I would take any excuse to get away from the office!
The detail on this Victorian is exquisite.
A door worth coming home to.
And the palm trees wave farewell as we say goodbye to Pasadena and start the train trek back to Culver City. One of these days I must write a blog post about the ubiquitous Los Angeles palm trees. Too many things to write about. Too many other things needing my attention.
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