Here’s a fine outing for this spring Easter/Passover weekend: an architectural walk in Pasadena’s historic Prospect Park neighborhood, on the eastern bank of the Arroyo Seco above the Rose Bowl.
This area, designed as a housing development in 1906, boasts Sylvanus Marston clinker-brick portals on Orange Grove at Prospect Boulevard. Mature camphor trees create a shady arch over the wide, lovely boulevard as you enter from Orange Grove. You will find Frank Lloyd Wright’s La Miniatura in this neighborhood, as well as the extraordinary Gamble House and, on Arroyo Terrace, a spectacular collection of Greene & Greene houses. Park your car on Arroyo Terrace, and walk along that street, down Westmoreland past the Gamble House, and over to Prospect Boulevard. Walk the length of Prospect and, when returning, take the detour into Prospect Circle to see La Miniatura. This is a lovely walk of two or three miles, round-trip, depending on your detours.
Charles Sumner Greene House (1901)
368 Arroyo Terrace
Amid a cluster of Greene & Greene homes is Charles Greene’s own Craftsman dwelling, to which he made several additions over the years. Just next door, at 370 Arroyo Terrace, is the home built for Martha, Violet and Jane White, sisters-in-law to the brothers Greene.
Neighborhood Church (1972)
1 Westmoreland Pl.
Designed by Whitney Smith, this active, community-minded Unitarian church blends seamlessly into the neighborhood; it is a particularly discreet presence near its distinguished neighbor, the Gamble House.
Gamble House (1908)
4 Westmoreland Pl.
Built for David and Mary Gamble of Proctor & Gamble fame, this home by Charles and Henry Greene is as much famed for its perfectly executed functional interiors as its quietly gracious exterior, which is so beautifully sited on the property. The Greene brothers also designed its furnishings. Make sure to take the tour, which docents offer every 20 minutes on weekends from noon to 3 p.m., but take note that there are no tours on Easter Sunday. For details go to gamblehouse.org.
Cole House (1906)
2 Westmoreland Pl.
This Greene & Greene home was under construction when the Gambles were considering their property purchase, and is thought to have influenced them to buy the neighboring property and hire Charles and Henry Greene to design their home.
Alice Millard House (La Miniatura) (1923)
645 Prospect Crescent
Concrete-block construction (perfected in later Wright projects, such as the Ennis House) distinguishes this home, which was built for Alice Millard after the death of her husband, rare-book dealer George Millard. Alice was a rare repeat customer of the irascible Wright, and though the house was plagued by difficulties during construction and remains plagued by problems (like a leaky roof) today, its Mayan-influenced design is acclaimed by many as one of the architect’s most interesting residential works.
Hindry House (1909)
781 Prospect Blvd.
The Heineman brothers, Arthur and Alfred, designed this elaborate home without benefit of formal architectural training. A sketch for the entry hall’s fireplace is known to appear in a notebook belonging to Charles Greene, but it was not built to his specifications.