Feeling Mod All Over

Mar 9, 2012

If mod is your thing, then Pasadena Heritage‘s Spring Home Tour could be the perfect fit. On Sunday, March 25th—over a period of seven hours—you have the opportunity to witness and absorb five local homes that exemplify mid-century modern architecture. You can kick off this event by attending a reception on the evening of March 20th at the 1979 Buff & Hensman-designed King House (pictured).

Conrad Buff was the quiet one; he worked emotionally and from the point of view of the artist-craftsman, “creating warmth and human connection that counter-balanced the austere geometric framework” of B&H designs. Donald Hensman was the extrovert of this duo. He leaned towards combining “precise order and simplicity with fun and spontaneity.” With the King House, they took what was originally an abandoned storage lot that had been created by the construction of the freeway bridge along the 134 West and built a modern “jewel” that nestles in the Arroyo framed by that rather imposing bridge. King House was admitted to the national register of historic houses in 2009.

The self-driving tour leads you from the deSteiguer House (Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1936/1951) and the Thomson House (Buff, Straub, and Hensman, 1957), to the Altadena Parked Planned Homes (Gregory Ain, 1947-48). These residences were all designed by students and teachers from the School of Architecture, University of California.

Modern architects who studied outside of the state are represented by the Cox House (John Galbraith, 1959) and the Zook home (Harold Zook, 1951).

Once you arrive at the homes, trained docents will be available to impart streams of information on the architect(s), architecture, and the original owners.

American Modern: USC Style and Beyond
Champagne Reception, Tuesday, March 20, 5:30 p.m.
Self-driving tour, Sunday, March 25, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit



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