Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pasadena Heritage Modern Homes Tour for 2012 Featuring Ain Park Planned Home

So, indeed it's true, a revival is taking place.  It's happening so fast, life is passing me by!  I can't believe my last post was in October.  A grand welcome to all of our new neighbors!

Since that beefy post so many months ago, both 2787 Highview and 2853 Highview sold almost as quickly as they came on the market.  And 2768 Highview, which had changed hands just prior to the post, has gone through an incredible transformation both inside and out.  So dramatic in fact, the house has been included on the 2012 Pasadena Heritage Spring Home Tour, American Modern: USC Style and Beyond.  Though I'm a bit late to post about it (it is tomorrow, Sunday, March 25 after all...), I'm hoping this post will help get the word out.  You can also check out the Heritage Society's facebook page, which includes several images of each house on the tour.

Of the five homes on the tour, our dear little 1946 Park Planned Home is probably the most modest and least expensive of the bunch. That said, it most certainly has its place amongst the set because of Ain's profound influence on so many of the architects of southern California, not just through his association with USC.

gregory ain park planned home altadena - 2768 highview ave - driveway and garage
Gregory Ain - 2768 Highview Ave, Altadena - Driveway / Garage 


















Originally just 1,350 square feet of indoor living space, 2768 Highview is the only house on the street that has an addition that goes above the original roofline.

gregory ain park planned home altadena - 2768 highview ave - expanded bedroom
Gregory Ain - 2768 Highview Ave, Altadena - Expanded Bedroom (1950s addition)




What we generally understand is that an artist who lived in the home in the 1950s had a desire for a greater workspace, so he designed an extension of the one courtyard-side bedroom that extended the back of the house to the side of the garage.  The extension was designed with the pitch-line of the roof in mind, and included a reference to the Ain-designed clerestory windows found throughout the rest of the house.  The effect was an expansion that paid homage to Ain's vision, and did not dramatically alter the character of the street.

gregory ain park planned home altadena - 2768 highview ave - kitchen
Gregory Ain - 2768 Highview Ave, Altadena -  Kitchen Clerestory View



















Over the years, the home has had several owners, and our most recent neighbors have done a splendid job of bringing much of the original character back, while updating with contemporary solutions at the same time.  And while they were so generous to let me snap a bunch of pictures prior to the tour, I've not posted everything as the last minute preparations were taking place to get ready for the show tomorrow.  Many thanks for sharing your wonderful home!

In addition to the humble little Ain on the tour, this drive-yourself experience includes some spectacular houses.  Just over the arroyo in the San Rafael hills Poppy Peak area, another modest home: 1936's deSteiguer House, was designed by Ain's friend and contemporary, Harwell Hamilton Harris.  Local Pasadena stalwarts Buff, Straub & Hensman produced 1957's Thomson Residence, also in the Poppy Peak area.  A great modernist rancho designed by Harold B. Zook in 1951 for his own family is nearby.  And possibly the most recognizable yet unknown at the same time is the incredibly beautiful John Galbraith Cox House from 1959.  This Miesian-esque box sits unassumingly at the south end of the lower Arroyo, and may be familiar to some from it's appearance in numerous television and print ads.  An unofficial local nickname for the Galbraith design is the "tree house"because of the conifer growing through the front entry way.  All homes very much worth the price of admission.


It should be a great tour, with lots of styles and design solutions to take in.  I'm looking forward to it.  Hope to see you there!