Architecture & Gardens

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The Gardens of Caltech

The Gardens of Caltech

We’re particularly fond of two of the many gardens on the most lovely 124-acre Caltech campus. Dabney Gardens, designed by landscape architect Beatrix Farrand in 1928, is a secluded and elegant courtyard behind a wrought-iron gate, home to olive trees, stuccoed and tiled walls, sitting and reading spots, climbing roses, a gorgeous wall fountains and [...]

Western Asset Plaza Courtyards

Western Asset Plaza Courtyards

Entering this huge commercial building via a walkway on Colorado, we’re aware of the right angles of sidewalk, walls and partitions. And then a chunky fountain set back from the street commands the realization that—ahh!—this is what public landscaping should be. Handsome, with clean lines and a cool gurgle, this glass-and-cement plaza is softened with [...]

Arroyo Seco-South Pasadena Woodland & Wildlife Park

Arroyo Seco-South Pasadena Woodland & Wildlife Park

This three-acre woodland garden along the L.A. River and the Arroyo Seco demonstrates the power of totally awesome community volunteers. In 1998, they began lobbying the city of South Pasadena, congressman Adam Schiff, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority to transform a nasty illegal dump into easy-access public parkland. [...]

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Founded in 1948, this 127-acre botanical park is a treat for travelers, local botany buffs and bird lovers—countless peacocks and pea hens roam the grounds, a “gift” from La Cañada, which donated some of the imported birds after they’d taken care of the town’s rattlesnake problem. Once part of Mission San Gabriel’s vast acreage, this [...]

El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill)

El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill)

This was the first water-powered mill in California, built in 1816 as part of Mission San Gabriel’s vast operations. Father Zalvedia chose this spot because of its water source, and he and his fellow padres then recruited Joseph Chapman, a Yankee and former pirate with keen logging and engineering skills, to handle the monumental construction [...]

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

If you have only one day to spend in Pasadena, this is it. The Huntington Botanical Gardens are, in a word, splendid. In each of the eighteen specialty sections, including the relatively new Chinese Garden of Flowing Fragrance, the landscaping is both formal and refreshingly beckoning. Railroad magnate Henry Edwards Huntington purchased this citrus-ranch property [...]

Arlington Garden

Arlington Garden

Surely you’ve noticed the beautiful phoenix that’s risen from the abandoned Caltrans lot along the Pasadena Avenue in Southwest Pasadena? Arlington Garden opened to the public in 2005, after surveys showed the desire for “passive development” on this state-owned, city-leased three-acre property (until the early 1960s, the site of the swell Durand mansion). Dawn-to-dusk foot [...]

Norton Simon Museum Garden

Norton Simon Museum Garden

Small enough for a quick stroll but large enough to lose oneself in, this gem is bordered by decomposed granite walkways that get slick when it rains—or so the nervous guards say when they force the grounds into lockdown during a drizzle. (California is not at its best when it rains.) Fragrant patches of lavender, [...]

Lacy Park

Lacy Park

Originally Wilson Lake in 1875, this 30-acre park was created by the city of San Marino in 1925, when it bought the land and drained the lake. It’s one of the prettiest parks in Southern California, landscaped with grand old oaks, sycamores, palm groves (labeled!) and a pristine rose garden and arbor, as well as [...]

Home Tours & Festivals

Home Tours & Festivals

Altadena Homes Tour Altadena Guild of Huntington Memorial Hospital 626.304.4678, altadenaguild.org Tour in spring Since 1952 this annual tour has benefited the important work of what is now called the Huntington Medical Research Institutes. With no shortage of worthwhile architecture in Altadena, we know it will be around for another 50 years. Architectural Tours L.A. [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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