2016 Mother’s Day at Castle Green: Tour & High Tea

Apr 28, 2016

Miles_Franklin's_waratah_cup_and_saucer_1904_a834001Some weeks back, we were invited to attend a private reception. Upon accepting we found the location was to be a penthouse at Castle Green. It had been some years since we’d been buzzed through the entrance wrought iron gate, walking under the “bridge,” up the front steps and into the handsome foyer. We smiled when we realized we’d have to take the elevator— the size of a water closet, the open grill and the iron gates clanging, a young man manning the helm—was he actually using a hand crank to heave us up six floors?

When we volunteered to help organize the first LitFest Pasadena book festival in 2011-12, our weekly meetings were held in Castle Green’s Grand Salon or Sun Room. The experience of walking up the marble and wrought iron staircase, winding down to find the small bathrooms, choosing a couch in front of a fireplace, or drawing up a rattan armchair on the sun porch—it was dreamy, cliché as it sounds. Roaming Castle Green is a step back in time that’s simply delightful.


Post card 1 west bldg


And, once again, the Friends of Castle Green invites the public to celebrate Mother’s Day by touring, posing, and sipping tea.

The Grand Salon, the Moor and Turkish Rooms, and more than 15 private residences are open during the public, self-guided tour, Sunday, May 8, 1-5 p.m. Also, new this year, folks may pose for complimentary Mother’s Day photos, complete with vintage hats and accessories of one’s choice.

Another new idea featured this year—one we’re eager to participate in—is a formal sit-down full service high tea in the Grand Ballroom. Tea Rose Garden and Perfect Equation Catering offer teas, seasonal teas, classic tea sandwiches, salads, scones, pastries, and desserts. Oh yes, and a fresh posie keepsake for Mom. (Advance tickets are required.)


Castle Green lobby

Castle Green lobby


Castle Green sun room

Castle Green sun room



Mother’s Day Tour & High Tea at Castle Green
Sunday, May 8th, 1-5 p.m.; high tea at noon
Castle Green, 99 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91105
Cost: $30, tour only (includes complimentary photo) (no elevator service available)
Cost: $85, tour & high tea, make reservations at Brown Paper Tickets
For more info, visit
Or call 1.626.807.6195


All illustrations and photographs courtesy of the Friends of Castle Green.

Castle Green Moorish room

Castle Green Moorish room


The Castle Green is 117 years old and listed in the National Register of Historic Places as well as a designated Pasadena Historic Monument. Built during the Late Victorian era, and now partially restored, including architectural details and colors, it was designed in 1897 by Frederick Louis Roehrig, a prominent Southern California architect as the first western annex to the Hotel Green.  The exterior is a fusion of Moorish and Spanish architectural elements, while the interior public rooms evoke Victorian and Moorish styles with many of the original furnishings. Within the heart of Old Pasadena, it has private, gated grounds which include a lily pond, arched walkways and a long veranda. (Text thanks to Friends of Castle Green.)


The Friends of Castle Green are a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the historic integrity of this iconic building which is the gateway to Old Pasadena. This year our tour will fund replication of the missing glass shades from the ceiling lanterns on the Veranda and in the Sunroom. We have commissioned Janusz Pozniak, a well known glass artist from Seattle to develop a prototype for the historic shades. Janusz was born in England and trained at the West Surrey College of Design and the Southport College of Art. He has had many solo exhibitions in both England and America, recipient of many awards and worked with the most prominent glass artists of today. These will be the finishing touch to the Castle’s Veranda and Sun Room light fixtures that the Friends have had previously reproduced. (Text thanks to Friends of Castle Green.)







Photo, top right, tea cup and saucer belonging to Miles Frankling. Royal Doulton – post 1922, “Waratah” design created by Lulu Shorter and first reproduced by Doulton in 1912. State Library of New South Wales [CC BY-SA 3.0 au (], via Wikimedia Commons.






Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena