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2016 Pasadena Heritage Spring Home Tour

Feb 24, 2016

Rapor House patio - Michael LockeA. Quincy Jones and Glendale’s Webber House. Myron Hunt and the redesign of the Huntington Hotel. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House or La Miniatura in Pasadena. Paul Williams‘ hilltop estate for horse breeder Jack P. Atkin.

Local, famous architects building for others. What of the homes local architects built for themselves?

Pasadena Heritage‘s 2016 Spring Home Tour on March 20th is a self-guilded driving tour and makes available 5 houses…

No. 1: The personal home of Elmer Grey who designed such notable structures as the Pasadena Playhouse, the Huntington Art Gallery, and the Beverly Hills Hotel. For a time, he was in partnership with Myron Hunt, and later became involved in the Arts and Crafts movement.

 

Elmer Grey home; photo by Michael Locke

Elmer Grey home; photo by Michael Locke

 

Elmer Grey home; photo by Michael Locke

Elmer Grey home; photo by Michael Locke

 

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No.2: The “Rapor” House was designed by and for Conrad Buff and his wife in 1977.  It has been often noted how Buff & Hensman houses of this period present a very blank face to the outside world, but as one enters into them, they reveal their beautiful and highly livable nature.

 

Top right and above: Rapor House; photo by Michael Locke

Top right and above: Rapor House; photo by Michael Locke

 

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No. 3: Everett Phipps Babcock’s French-Normandy style mansion known as Babcock House. Babcock is known as well for the Singer Sewing Company’s building in Pasadena in 1926 and the exquisite 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival “Earl House” in La Cañada Flintridge.

The entry includes a tower staircase and Batchelder tile risers, and there are arched doorways, a formal dining room, butler’s pantry, dormer windows, and fireplaces in the living room and masterbedroom. The four bedroom four bathroom house has 4,690 square feet (436 m2), and was owned by Rob Schneider until being put up for sale in 2009.

 

2010_10_25_rosalind5_0

 

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No. 4: Hillman House is a Craftsman style, designed by J. Constantine Hillman who was also affiliated with Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey.

 

HillmanHouseFront

Hillman House photo by Andrew Bramasco

 

HillmanHouseInterior

Hillman House photo by Andrew Bramasco

 

Hillman was born in Portland, Oregon in 1865 and though where he acquired his architectural learning is unknown, he joined a partnership in Rochester, New York and soon became involved in the Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1904, he moved to California and opened a practice in Pasadena, continuing to craft Arts and Crafts style homes. He died in 1932.¹

 

HillmanHousePorch2

Hillman House photo by Andrew Bramasco

 

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Beside the drive-yourself tour, two “Hard Hat” tours will be led by Dennis Smith of Conrad Buff’s 1955 house that he designed for his father. One of which is a current project.

The tours will include seeing how Dennis made changes to the original plans in order to accommodate today’s standards and requirements while keeping to Conrad Buff’s design ideas.

House no. 5: Also included on the tour is Dennis Smith’s 1966 home. Dennis Smith, A.I.A. is a graduate of the USC School of Architecture (1960). Dennis worked for Buff & Hensman and other Southern California firms after graduation, but eventually returned as an associate with the Buff & Hensman firm in 1974, became a partner in 1988, and president upon Don Hensman’s retirement in 1997.

Dennis has made a valuable contribution to the firm’s legacy by restoring many of its classic homes. Restoration is a delicate balance requiring knowledge of the original work and a deep understanding of the principles involved. His own home, built in 1966, has been featured in architectural magazines and tours but suffered neglect after it was sold in 1982. Dennis and his wife were able to repurchase this home when it came on the market three years ago and he has restored and upgraded it since. (Text courtesy of Pasadena Heritage.)

 

Photo by Michael Locke

Photo by Michael Locke

 

Photo by Michael Locke

Photo by Michael Locke

 

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On March 15 at the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, Dennis Smith—a USC School of Architecture graduate and partner of Buff, Smith and Hensman—will lead a lecture, along with architectural historians, on an overview of “the residential design that defines Pasadena’s architectural ancestry.” (Location: Historic Blinn House. Cost: $20; $18 for members; purchase here.)

 

2016 Pasadena Heritage Spring Home Tour
Sunday, March 20th, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Locations vary; self-driving tour
Cost: $40, advance; $35, members; $45, day of event (for everyone)
Purchase tickets at Eventbrite
For more info, visit PasadenaHeritage.org

 

Rapor House patio - Michael Locke

Rapor House; photo by Michael Locke

 

All photos courtesy of Pasadena Heritage.

 

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¹ Information source: Arts-Crafts.com.

 




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