banner search whats new site index home

Pasadena California
Arts and Crafts Architecture, 1895-1918

Portions of the text below were adapted from the National Register of Historic Places, Multiple Property nomination form (Single-Family Residential Architecture of the Arts and Crafts Period in Pasadena, 1895-1918). [] Adaptation copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.

Originating in England during the second half of the nineteenth century, the Arts and Crafts Movement was born out of a reaction to the deleterious effects of industrialization on the quality of manufactured goods and the separation of the worker from his product. Pasadena was one of three American centers of Arts and Crafts architecture that emerged at the turn of the century. During the period 1895-1918, the city excelled in both the quality and quantity of its Arts and Crafts residential architecture. The influence of the movement was first evidenced in the Shingle Style houses which date from the mid-1890s. By the early twentieth century, Pasadena's Arts and Crafts residences encompassed a variety of architectural styles including the Craftsman, Swiss Chalet, Prairie School, Anglo-Colonial Revival, Mission Revival and English-influenced (Tudor, Cotswold Cottage). Their simplicity of form, informal character, direct response to site, and extensive use of natural materials, particularly wood and rubble masonry, were a regional interpretation of the socio-economic and aesthetic reforms espoused by the movement's founder, William Morris. By the conclusion of World War I, in 1918, the most significant of the city's Art and Crafts residences had been built, although the movement continued to influence residential architecture into the next decade. Pasadena's Arts and Crafts architecture includes both single family dwellings and bungalow courts. As the bungalow court has been the subject of a previous National Register of Historic Places nomination in Pasadena, this multiple property listing focuses on the single family house exclusively.

The property type associated with this nomination is "Arts and Crafts Single-Family Residences in Pasadena," and includes two subtypes: the one- or one-and-one-half-story bungalow and the two-story house. Eligible properties may qualify for listing in the National Register under Criterion C, at the local level of significance, individually or as contributors to historic districts. Individual examples illustrate the high quality, range of styles, and distinctive characteristics of Pasadena's Arts and Crafts residential architecture. They attest to the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement on the local architects, designers, builders and craftspeople working in Pasadena. Properties which lack individual distinction may qualify as contributors to historic districts when together they represent a significant distinguishable entity. There are a number of potential historic districts in the city comprising neighborhoods which are visually coherent. Districts may include bungalows only or examples of both the bungalow and the two-story house.

Pasadena's beginning dates to 1873 when a group of settlers from Indiana formed the San Gabriel Orange Grove Association, and purchased land in the area of the old Rancho San Pasqual. As surveyed in 1874, the Association lands were bounded by the Arroyo Seco to the west, Wilson Avenue to the east, Villa Street to the north, and Mission Street to the south. Orange Grove and Fair Oaks Avenues were the major north-south streets. The earliest settlers came to the new colony to enjoy the climate and develop the land. Many saw the potential for farming enterprises; others came to speculate in land. By 1875, the colony was named Pasadena, more than forty houses were built, and a commercial center was developing along Fair Oaks and Colorado Avenues.

With the coming of the railroad and the real estate-boom of the 1880s, the new community attracted the attention of wealthy easterners and mid-westerners who began vacationing in the area to escape harsh winters. By 1890, Pasadena had grown from a sparsely populated agricultural village into a major resort town with a well-established reputation as a center of wealth and culture. Grand hotels were built to accommodate the seasonal visitors and many wealthy people built mansions along South Orange Grove Avenue (now Boulevard), which became known as "millionaires row."

By the turn of the century many of Pasadena's wealthy vacationers were making the city their permanent residence. About the same time, middle class and working class people began settling in the city, responding to booster literature which promised land at low prices and employment opportunities. By 1904 the area north of the original city boundaries was annexed; early settlers and landowners sold large tracts of land to developers who removed orchards and fields and divided the land into 50 or 60-foot lots. During the period 1900 to 1920, the population of Pasadena quadrupled from 10,000 to 45,000.[1] A tremendous building boom followed the population increase and residences influenced by the then popular Arts and Crafts movement were constructed throughout the city.[2]

Areas of Arts and Crafts Concentrations

Several areas of Pasadena are distinguished by their concentrations of Arts and Crafts architecture. Pasadena's Arroyo Seco neighborhood is one of the distinctive legacies of the Arts and Crafts movement. The Arroyo Seco is a natural valley extending from the San Gabriel Mountains to the north through Pasadena and into Los Angeles in the south. Although the area immediately east of the Arroyo was included in the original 1874 map of Pasadena (San Gabriel Orange Grove Association), it was then considered dangerous to health and personal security. Attracted by cheap land, artists and writers settled on the eastern bank of the Arroyo Seco. Soon it became the heart of the city's Arts and Crafts movement.[3] The "Arroyo Culture," as it was later called, included the artists Hanson Puthoff, Benjamin Chambers Brown, William Lees Judson and Jean Mannheim, the landscape architect Paul Theine, writer Mary Austin, the architect Louis B. Easton, and the designer Ernest Batchelder.

Other areas of Pasadena which developed in response to the topographic features of their sites, and which are noted for their Arts and Crafts architecture, are "Little Switzerland" and Oak Knoll. The former is a grouping of seven residences, designed by the architects Charles and Henry Greene, located along the upper portion of the Arroyo Seco (on Arroyo Terrace, north of Colorado Boulevard). The Oak Knoll neighborhood is located just west of San Marino. The area was subdivided in 1886 as part of the 1880s Southern California land boom, and was laid out with curving streets that followed the topography of the canyon rims; this street pattern contrasted with the usual grid-like plan of earlier subdivisions. At the turn of the century Oak Knoll was marketed as an "exclusive residence district," and attracted the attention of the wealthy. Development of Oak Knoll continued into the 1930s, and the area is equally well-known for its period revival style residences.

Another fine concentration of Arts and Crafts houses is located in Madison Heights, a residential subdivision located just west of Oak Knoll. The street pattern of the area conforms to the city's predominant grid pattern. The residences lining the streets of South Oakland, South Madison, and South Marengo Avenues are more modest examples of Arts and Crafts architecture, and include period revival styles of the 1920s and 1930s.

Among the best preserved of the north side neighborhoods from the Arts and Crafts period is Bungalow Heaven (local Landmark District). It is located on the northeast edge of the original city limits, and represents the largest concentration of Arts and Crafts bungalows in Pasadena. Other neighborhoods with notable examples of Arts and Crafts residences on Pasadena's north side include the Garfield Heights Tract and Palm Terrace, both located west of Bungalow Heaven.[4]

The Arts & Crafts Movement

William Morris, the father of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, would have enjoyed the early absence of factories in Southern California. Always swayed by the beauties of nature, he would have especially admired Pasadena, a small town cut off by hills from easy access to Los Angeles. It was hardly a city at the time, but an urban complex showing the promise of being one. Although Morris lived most of his life in or near London, he claimed to detest the city. In his utopian novel, News from Nowhere: An Epoch of Rest (1890), he wrote of a day when London would be broken up into small towns where the air, freed from the smoke of factories, would be clear again. All work that was pleasant to do would be hand-crafted, though the onerous tasks would be given to machines hidden somewhere behind a grove of trees and surrounded with gardens. Otherwise the air would not be fouled by industry. Essentially the world would return to the Middle Ages of western civilization (though he might well have included the pre-industrial periods of all civilizations). Morris' mood was anti-city, anti-industrial, and anti-modern.

Although trained as an architect, Morris' only experience with house-building was his "Red House," at Bexley Heath near London (1859) .His friend, the architect Philip Webb designed it in a vaguely country house style of the English seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a period whose building was often used in the late nineteenth century as a substitute for the domestic architecture of the Middle Ages. Morris, his wife, and friends formed a kind of guild in order to produce the beautiful objects that eventually furnished the house. This enterprise was extended into a design and manufacturing firm, Morris and Company, whose products included stained glass windows, furniture, and wallpaper.

As in Britain, American Arts and Crafts architecture was only one of the many evocations of William Morris' ideas. The organized agents of these ideas were the Arts and Crafts and William Morris societies that sprang up across the United States at the turn of the century, first in Minneapolis (1895) and then in Chicago and Boston (both 1897).[5] Architecture was not a prominent interest of these groups, though the Chicago society did sponsor Frank Lloyd Wright's famous "The Art and Craft of the Machine" address at Jane Addams' Hull House in 1901. [6]

Morris' message was congruent with the nostalgia that many Americans had of a better day before industry had taken command. There were many protesters of the sins of a mechanical society. The most famous American literary figure who articulated this view was Henry Adams, the Harvard historian and descendent of two presidents of the United States.[7] Two Americans who most explicitly followed Morris were Elbert Hubbard and Gustav Stickley. Hubbard was the founder of an Arts and Crafts community called the Roycrofters, located in East Aurora in upper New York State. Stickley was a furniture maker and journalist whose United Crafts was located in Eastwood, New York, near Syracuse. These two men, along with other less notable believers, made Morris' Arts and Crafts movement a familiar topic in the United States.

Elbert Hubbard's colony at East Aurora was based on William Morris' principles. Its members produced furniture, light fixtures, and metal work, but they were principally known for their leader, Elbert Hubbard, who was an extremely colorful figure. He claimed to have met Morris when he was in England and wrote about his "Red House" in a series of books that he called Little Journeys.[8] Hubbard advertised himself, in fact, in a number of books published by his Roycroft Press, and also by a journal called The Philistine. He entertained some of the major figures in American industry and the arts at his Roycroft Inn. Hubbard's direct connection with Pasadena was his sister, Honor, who married Louis B. Easton. A manual training instructor turned architect, Easton designed a number of houses in Pasadena that reflect influences of the Arts and Crafts period.

Wisconsin born Gustav Stickley was not only a major furniture manufacturer, but also the publisher of The Craftsman magazine, the chief organ of the Arts and Crafts movement in America. Published between 1901 and 1916, it carried many articles on Pasadena architecture, most of them by Helen Lukens Gaut, a Pasadenan and a photographer of some merit. She wrote a great deal on Arts and Crafts bungalows and introduced the famous Pasadena architects, Charles and Henry Greene, to the American public through short essays and excellent photographs of their latest work.

The Greenes were the best known architects to come out of the Arts and Crafts movement in Pasadena. In fact, they rank along with Bernard Maybeck in the San Francisco Bay Area and Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago, as the premier architects of the movement in the United States. They were keenly interested in developments in the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Both read The International Studio, the British journal that was published as The Studio and then reprinted in the United States with added American material. It regularly carried articles and pictures of the latest work of Charles Annesley Voysey, M. H. Baillie-Scott and other Arts and Crafts designers. We also know that they read The Craftsman.

Charles Greene introduced an important connection with the British movement — his short but important visit with the English Arts and Crafts leader, Charles Robert Ashbee, founder of the Guild of Handicraft in East London (1889).[9] Ashbee was a fervent admirer of the United States and made several trips here usually on behalf of the British National Trust. A graduate of Cambridge University, he easily formed friendships with such American notables as Theodore Roosevelt and importantly Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1909, Charles Greene met Charles Robert Ashbee while he was on a visit to California to give lectures. Ashbee wrote of his meeting with Greene in his Memoirs. Greene took Ashbee and his wife, Janet, to Pasadena to see his houses and his furniture shop:

where they were making without exception the best and most characteristic furniture I have ever seen in this country. There were beautiful cabinets and chairs of walnut and lignum-vitae, exquisite doweling and pegging, and in all a supreme feeling for the material, quite up to the best of our English craftsmanship, Spooner, the Barnsleys, Lutyens, Lethaby. I have not felt so at home in any workshop on this side of the Atlantic (but we have forgotten the Atlantic, here it is the Pacific!). Here things were really alive — and the Arts and Crafts that all the others were screaming and hustling about, are actually being produced by a young architect, the quiet, dreamy, nervous, tenacious young man, fighting single-handed (Henry Greene must have been out of town) until recently against tremendous odds.

Having only recently visited his friend Frank Lloyd Wright, it was natural that Ashbee would compare Greene's architecture to that of Wright:

Like Wright, the spell of Japan is on him, he feels the beauty and makes magic out of the horizontal line, but there is in [Greene's] work more tenderness, more subtlety, more self-effacement than in Wright's work. It is more refined and has more repose. Perhaps it loses in strength, perhaps it is California that speaks rather than Illinois, anyway as work it is, so far as the interiors go, more sympathetic to me. [10]

Pasadena's Arroyo Culture had its connection with Gustav Stickley and The Craftsman in George Wharton James, who lived at 1098 North Raymond Avenue in Pasadena. Between 1904 and 1905 he was associate editor of The Craftsman and around 1906 became a founder of the Arroyo Guild of Fellow craftsmen in Highland Park. He also edited and published the guild's journal, the Arroyo Craftsman. There was only one issue, dated October 1909, which introduced the architecture of Robert F. Train and Robert Edmund Williams, who practiced in Pasadena.

Through the writings and practice of Ernest Batchelder, another important link between Pasadena and the British Arts and Crafts movement was established.[11] In 1901, Batchelder moved to Pasadena and took a job at the Throop Polytechnic Institute as a manual training instructor.[12] Throop was a trade school, dedicated to giving its students training in practical matters, and was the forerunner of the California Institute of Technology. Its curriculum also included course work in the liberal arts and sciences. James A. B. Scherer, its president in the early days, wrote in The Arroyo Craftsman in 1909 that Throop was determined to give its students their "rightful heritage of culture...[for] an engineer should be more than a machine; he has a right to all the broadening enrichment of the mind that he can get." He continued: "Our theory of education is that it ought to fit men and women to do their actual work in the world, while providing them also with those refined tastes that turn much of the bitter of life into zestful enjoyment...character, culture, and good craftsmanship might well spell our creed; and Pasadena helps us to live up towards it."[13] The Arts and Crafts ideal of a marriage of the "hand, head and heart" could not have been better expressed.

While at Throop, Batchelder wrote a number of articles for Stickley's The Craftsman and also two books, The Principles of Design (1908) and Design in Theory and Practice (1910), the latter a collection of essays that he had written for The Craftsman. In 1905 he also traveled in Europe visiting crafts industries in Germany and France and ended up working for several months at C. R. Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft at Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds.

Batchelder's writing and touring anticipated his gradual withdrawal from Throop. His friend George Ellery Hale, a trustee of Throop, was transforming the trade school into a professional school on the model of his own university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Throop began to specialize in the sciences and in 1921 it became the California Institute of Technology. In 1909, Batchelder seeing this change brought a handful of his students to a school of Arts and Crafts in a shack on the property he had bought overlooking Pasadena's scenic Arroyo Seco.[14] With his students Bachelder began making decorative tiles, his own form of specialization. He soon had a factory, the output of which can be found today throughout Southern California and as far away as Vancouver, British Columbia, and New York City.

By the turn of the century, three American centers of Arts and Crafts architecture emerged — Oak Park, Illinois, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Pasadena, California. The architects and designers working in each of these centers developed their own regional interpretations of an Arts and Crafts architecture that drew upon locally available building materials and climatic conditions. In the upper Midwest, Arts and Crafts architecture associated with the Prairie School of Frank Lloyd Wright and his followers used brick masonry as the primary construction material, with wood used predominantly for exterior detailing and interior paneling. In California, redwood and other readily available woods were extensively used; dark clapboard or shingles were the favored exterior sheathing materials.[15]

As was true of Pasadena, the Arts and Crafts movement centered in Berkeley and found throughout the San Francisco Bay area was a product of suburban development. The intelligentsia of Berkeley proved to be a more receptive audience for the consciously theoretical ideas of Morris than was true of their Southern California contemporaries. These ideas were promoted by Charles Keeler in his little book The Simple Home (1904).[16] As his title indicates, Keeler advocated residential design that was adapted to the concept of the "simple life" and "simple beauty." Native redwood, preferably "rough-sawed boards or timbers" and large glazed exposures were two architectural elements Keeler believed were needed to adapt the Arts and Crafts house to the conditions of Northern California.

The Arts and Crafts architecture of the San Francisco Bay Area, constructed between 1895 and 1918 was invariably anti-urban and often picturesque in overall form. The shingled late Queen Anne house set the stage for the northern California Arts and Crafts house, as it did for houses in Pasadena. The buildings of Bernard Maybeck, nationally the best known of the Arts and Crafts architects, as well as Ernest Coxhead, A. C. Schweinfurth, Louis Christian Mullgardt, John Hudson Thomas, Julia Morgan, Henry Gutterson, and others reflect what has been referred to as "woodsy in atmosphere" by architectural historian David Gebhard.[17] He has observed that "because the materials and the structural forms [they used] tend to be traditional, old-fashioned, and earthy, the buildings convey a sense of belonging to their respective sites." A mannered use of architectural fragments, and incongruous plays of scale and material suggest a familiarity with the freer and often eccentric works of the English Arts and Crafts movement.[18]

Characteristics of Pasadena's Arts and Crafts Architecture

During the period 1895-1918, Arts and Crafts single-family residences were built throughout Pasadena. The emergence of Arts and Crafts architecture in the city was first evidenced in the Shingle style houses dating from the mid-1890s. By the early years of the twentieth century, the imagery utilized in their design followed the principal architectural modes of the day — Craftsman, Swiss Chalet, Prairie School, Anglo-Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, English-influenced (Tudor, Cotswold Cottage) styles. At that time these styles represented a conscious search for the supposed simplicity of pre-industrial times. All versions are meant to counter the excesses of the Victorian period by returning to a pre-industrial past when handicrafts displayed personal involvement in the products of a laborer's work. Features commonly held by all these styles were a simplicity of form, informal character, direct response to site, and an extensive use of natural materials — particularly wood and rubble masonry.

Pasadena's single family Arts and Crafts residences include the one or one-and-one-half story bungalow and the two-story house. The bungalow is the housetype most often associated with the city's Arts and Crafts architecture.[19] Many of Pasadena's bungalows were custom-designed, often for the city's upper middle-class and wealthy residents. However, speculatively developed bungalows were also built, most of which were designed by builders. The popularity of this small dwelling in Pasadena in the early part of the twentieth century was an almost inevitable result of rapid growth of a middle-class population with moderate means. The bungalow provided respectability and the good life for the common people. In fact, the bungalow would probably have appeared without the help of the Arts and Crafts movement. Inexpensive housing adapted to the wallets of the people with limited incomes was an absolute necessity for the average citizen. The result, in some sections of the city, is block after block of bungalows contributing to the sense of Pasadena being "a city of homes." While not always individually significant, together they comprise neighborhoods coherent in architectural style and way of life.

Pasadena's late-nineteenth century Queen Anne or Shingle style house had a formative effect on the city's Arts and Crafts architecture. By the late 1880s, a desire to extend the house into the landscape (though still at a somewhat conceptual level) effectively modified the strident verticality of the Victorian era house. Its projecting first story porches, which in earlier decades read like appendages to the main building, were gradually embraced by a broadening horizontal expanse of roof. The designers of these houses which include the Shingle style houses found in Pasadena, elsewhere in California and throughout the United States, drew upon what architectural historian Vincent Scully has described as the "picturesque desire to be close to nature."[20] The historic precedent for the living porch as the means of introducing Americans to indoor-outdoor living was found in the widely-published early nineteenth century residential works of landscape architect/designer Andrew Jackson Downing and architect Alexander Jackson Davis.[21]

In late nineteenth-century California, the attempt to relate the house to the natural features of its setting, was furthered by the use of wood as an exterior sheathing material. Shiplap and clapboard siding were the main materials used for covering smaller houses; these materials, often in combination with shingles, were used for larger houses. Wood shingles were typically used when the form of the building included curved bays, towers or other complexly shaped protuberances. While a reduction (often to the point of elimination) of ornament was characteristic of the contemporary reformist attitude toward design, historical allusions were made through roof profiles, and loose references to the Colonial Revival and medieval (and later Tudor) traditions in the form of half-timbered patterning in the gable ends and diamond paned casement windows. Consistent with the widespread influence of the Richardsonian Romanesque on the Shingle Style, references to it were found in Pasadena in the use of large arched entries, and "eyebrow" dormer windows.

The influence of the Shingle style floor plan on Arts and Crafts residences, was particularly tenacious in the case of the two-story house, lasting well into the first decade of the twentieth century. The entrance to the Shingle style house built in Pasadena during the 1890s opened from a porch to the hall, or in some cases, directly into the living room. This feature conveyed a quality of informality, even in the largest houses. Wide passages, closed by pocket doors or framed by pairs of columns, provided access from the hall or living room to the dining room. In the two-story house, a staircase partially enclosed by vertical screens led to the bedrooms and private living spaces. Fireplaces drawing from multi-flue chimneys were often placed adjacent to the staircase.

Whether a bungalow or a two-story house, the Arts and Crafts domestic floor plan emerged from the late nineteenth century tradition, retaining its predecessor's informal character. The placement of rooms conformed to the shape of the lot, the contours of the land, or the location of trees and other natural features. Rarely did the bungalow have a central hall off which rooms opened. However, the gradual influence of the academic tradition beginning in ca. 1910 was manifested in a more formal first floor plan of the two-story house, and a more pronounced use of cross-axes in the planning of the bungalow and two-story house. The living room was the most important space, with access to a dining room through an opening which might be curtained with portieres to separate the rooms if necessary. The adjoining kitchen was reached through a swinging door and, indeed, often other rooms opened off the living room. If there was an upper story, its plan was also informal although the rooms did not always open off a hallway. Almost all Arts and Crafts houses in Pasadena (as is found elsewhere during this period) had sleeping porches on the upper floor.

The bungalow floor plans included L-shaped, U-shaped, square or rectangular, but all made the living room the focal point. Normally, most of the functions of living, sleeping, eating, and other utilitarian accommodations were on the first floor for the purposes of convenience and safety. The dining room was not only associated with a kitchen, but also served as a connection with bedrooms and a bathroom. In order to attain efficiencies of space, there were few halls. One usually entered the house directly into the living room. If there were two or more bedrooms a short hall accesses these rooms and the bathroom, of which there is usually only one.

The Arts and Crafts predilection for wood is evident in the interior of a Pasadena Arts and Crafts bungalow or two-story house, where wainscoting extends up to one or two feet from the ceiling — a direct holdover from the late Queen Anne style. The result was an interior darkness relieved only by lamps and a fire in the fireplace. The frieze above the paneling was usually painted in a light color, but sometimes was filled with stenciling or wallpaper. Typically the Arts and Crafts living room was oriented toward a fireplace constructed of brick, tiles, or boulders. In addition to its practical function of helping to keep the room warm, it also had a symbolic function as the center around which the family gathered in the evening. An open staircase was also a living room feature. The fenestration usually consisted of casement windows with screens inside.

The dining room was also paneled. Usually there was a built-in sideboard and sometimes a built-in roll-away bed. The kitchen was almost always painted a light color and was filled with the latest gadgets and built-ins. The bathroom was also painted white. The back porch was a common feature, and is reserved for utility functions. Although not universally present, a basement, usually a very small one, was built to house a furnace, though sometimes a floor heater was used for heating.

The integration of Arts and Crafts dwellings with the environment was an important element in its design, which in Pasadena was encouraged by the year-round temperate climate. The houses were often designed to fit the contours of a site, preserving trees and other natural features, and were typically set in a garden, whether formal or informal. A 1914 article in House Beautiful explains:

...the house and garden are often designed together so that the garden will conform to the lines of the house and the planting control the view, with the result that from within doors, interesting perspectives open, leading perhaps from room to room and finally through a glass door down a brick-paved pergola overgrown with luxuriant vines, or into a sunny courtyard, or broad shady veranda, furnished and used as a living room. Sometimes adjoining the dining room there is a porch where, all summer long, breakfast and luncheon are served in the open air."[22]

The use of local materials created a harmonious relationship between the house and the natural features of the site. In Pasadena, boulders from the Arroyo Seco were often used for foundations, porch piers, chimneys, retaining walls, and other decorative elements. California redwood was used for the exterior wall sheathing. Architectural details included articulated wooden structural elements, decorative tilework, and leaded glass windows designed by local artisans.

The siting of the Arts and Crafts bungalow and two-story house usually had a front yard and a backyard that was somewhat larger. The front yard almost always remained open to the street. The backyard was typically large enough for flower and vegetable gardens and often a croquet court. For reasons of efficiency there was little gardening at either side of the house, one side being given over to a driveway from the street to the garage (and its predecessor the carriage house) at the rear of the backyard. While individual dwellings were designed to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces, neighborhoods were often unified by the use of features which included street trees, common set-backs, retaining walls, and entrance piers.

The Craftsman style, as it was characterized by writer Una Nixson Hopkins in 1908, developed during the Arts and Crafts period, and has become strongly identified with Pasadena's Arts and Crafts architecture.[23] In historic and current literature this style, when applied to the design of a bungalow, is also called the "California" style.[24] The Craftsman architectural image combines references to the Swiss and Japanese traditions of domestic architecture with the characteristic aesthetic values of the Arts and Crafts movement. The distinctive exterior features of the Craftsman bungalow and two-story Craftsman house include a front porch, usually with a shallow pitched gable roof. The main body of the house, also with a pitched roof, rises slightly above this porch. Typically the proportions of the houses are wide and low, effectively conveying a gravity-bound character to the dwellings. This feature assumes mannered proportions when stone or stuccoed piers are thickened under the weight of large wooden beams and rafters that support thin, albeit broad roof planes. Where there is a half-story it is usually surrounded by windows or fronted by an open sleeping porch. When the partial second story reads as a dominant design feature, the dwelling is referred to as an "airplane bungalow" in contemporary literature. The surface of a Craftsman bungalow is usually shingles or clapboard stained or weathered brown. Occasionally stucco is used on the chimney or foundation.

Another architectural mode that was the product of the Arts and Crafts period was the Prairie School. This style first developed in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and other Chicago-area architects, and was identified by the Wright as the "New School of the Middle West."[25] A west coast variant of the Prairie School developed in Pasadena during this period. The prevalence of two-story Prairie School dwellings built in Pasadena during the Arts and Crafts period may reflect the links that existed between the city and the upper mid-west. Not only did a number of prominent citizens come from the Midwest, but some of the leading architects practicing in Pasadena at the turn of the century came from the Chicago area. Before Myron Hunt came to Pasadena he had been one of the youngest members of the group of Chicago architects associated with Frank Lloyd Wright.[26] Elmer Grey, who was to be Hunt's associate, came from Milwaukee for health reasons. Aside from these direct connections, work's designed by Wright, George Maher, Walter Burley Griffin, Robert C. Spencer, and other young Chicago architects were receiving increased attention in The Architectural Record, and popular magazines. Ladies Home Journal was particularly energetic in its presentation of their work. In Pasadena, Wright's "A Fireproof House for $5,000" (published in April 1907), appears to have influenced the design of several Prairie School houses in Pasadena. These dwellings are characterized by a low horizontal square box with a hipped roof; the quality of horizontality is emphasized by projecting a porch, pergola, or to the side, a porte-cochere from the central volume.

The largest number of dwellings reflecting the influence of the Prairie School in Pasadena are in the form of the two-story classical rectangular box. The design is symmetrically composed, with monumental-scale piers or columns supporting projecting porches and/or balconies. The California interpretation of this house is typically carried out with stucco walls and tile roof, features which may reflect the Mission Revival, or more generally, a regional preference for Mediterranean precedent.

By the time of the Arts and Crafts period, several historically-based architectural images were in general currency. In Pasadena they included the Swiss chalet, English-influenced dwellings (Tudor manor house, Cotswold Cottage), Mission, and the Anglo-Colonial Revival. The Japanese influence, which was frequently discussed in contemporary literature is, with a few exceptions, limited to roof details and decorative feature, particularly the entrance lantern. In the case of the Craftsman bungalow its use is frequently coupled with elements of the Swiss chalet. While these modes differ in their architectural elements, as historic styles they looked back to a simpler day that was perceived of as uncorrupted by industrialization. All reflect a nostalgia for the past. All are anti-modern in the sense that they draw upon tradition rather than innovation for their effects.

The Swiss, Tyrolean, or Bavarian chalet was a style that enjoyed considerable popularity in the design of the bungalow and the two-story Arts and Crafts house. As fundamentally an architecture of stained wood, in which wide overhanging eaves and balconies helped integrate the outdoors as part of the living space, the style was well-suited to the goals of the Arts and Crafts movement.[27] The two-story chalet was easily adapted to steep sites, and many of the finest examples constructed in Pasadena, as well as the San Francisco Bay region are so located.[28] Several groupings of two-story Swiss chalet houses have been identified in Pasadena. The ubiquitous feature of the Craftsman bungalow — its front-facing low-pitched gable roof that terminates a wide front porches was derived from the chalet.[29] For this reason, contemporary bungalow books often associated the Craftsman bungalow with the chalet.

The design of the English-influenced Arts and Crafts houses in Pasadena was based on the precedent of the Tudor manor house and the Cotswold cottage. Both trends had influenced works associated with the British Arts and Crafts movement. Climatic conditions in England resulted in a domestic architecture that had a more insular spatial quality than was typical of the California houses.[30] In Pasadena, the Tudor house was usually a two-story dwelling, though the deep sweep of the roof pitch, dropping to the point that it hovered over the entrance porch or first story bay windows, created the appearance of a story-and-one-half dwelling. Front-facing gabled bays or dormer windows were articulated by decorative barge-boards or half-timbering. The Cotswold cottage in Southern California was typically one- or one-and-one-half story, though a few two-story examples were constructed. Its rambling plan and low-pitched roofs covered with a thatch-like shingle pattern was intended to convey the impression of a house that literally grew out of the land and materials from its site.

For Charles Fletcher Lummis, the editor of Land of Sunshine (later Out West) and writer Helen Hunt Jackson, the author of Ramona (1884) the appeal of the Mission Revival represented values consistent with the Arts and Crafts movement — harmony with nature and a retreat from the reality of an economy of exploitation.[31] Their mythologized view of California's Hispanic past created an idyllic view of the life that surrounded the Franciscan Missions and vernacular adobes of the ranchos. One and two-story Mission Revival houses of the Arts and Crafts period perpetuated traditional architectural features of stuccoed walls and tile roofs, although occasionally wooden shingles were used for the two-story dwellings. Square towers or belvederes projected from the roofline. At the ground floor, the living space was extended through the use of arcaded porches; these also provided a sculptural quality to the typically thin, box-like character of the Mission Revival house. Arched windows located near the entrance are also used as a reference to the Hispanic arcade. Decorative plasterwork surrounding window and door openings helped relieve the plain wall surfaces.

During this period, advocates for the Anglo-Colonial Revival style argued for the simplicity of its form, and saw it as the embodiment of purer time-essentially the same values that were used by supporters of the Mission Revival.[32] These shared attitudes explain the pervasive influence of an Arts and Crafts architectural "syntax" in Colonial Revival house designs despite their loose references to prototypes found along the Atlantic seaboard. Symmetry played a stronger role in the composition of the one and two-story Anglo-Colonial Revival dwelling than in most other house types of the period; it effected the placement of windows and other exterior features. Typically a porch stretches across the entrance facade of the one-story Colonial Revival house in Pasadena. Simple heavy columns support the rafters and beams of a pergola. The Dutch Colonial, originating in the historic regions of New York and New Jersey, was particularly influential on the Colonial Revival house during this period, since its low, extended roof pitch helped to visually anchor the house to its site. As an inheritance of the late nineteenth century Colonial Revival (which constituted one aspect of the Shingle Style) wood sheathing, particularly over- all shingles formed the exterior skin of the Arts and Crafts dwellings.

Architects and Builders of Pasadena's Arts and Crafts Houses


By the turn of the century, Pasadena was attracting, often for reason of health, a large number of well-trained architects including Charles and Henry Greene, Alfred and Arthur Heineman, Joseph J. Blick, Louis B. Easton, Sylvanus B. Marston, Reginald D. Johnson. G. Lawrence Stimson, Frederick L. Roehrig, J. Constantine Hillman, Robert D. Farquhar, Leonard A. Cooke, J. Frank Kavanaugh, Louis DuPuget Millar, Train and Williams, Myron Hunt, and Elmer Grey. In general, Pasadenans building new houses were fiercely loyal to them, preferring them to the architects of Los Angeles or elsewhere. In a 1918 article, Chicago architect Peter B. Wight noted that the Pasadena area has, "a larger proportion of educated architects...than in any other community which has come under my observation" and they "are more generally artists other parts of the country."[33] For the most part, the architects designed larger, or more pretentious houses for the upper middle class although they also designed smaller-scale dwellings, often on a speculative basis, for the middle class.

By the early twentieth century, Pasadena's architect-designed Arts and Crafts houses gained national recognition and were featured regularly in Stickley's The Craftsman and other similarly oriented journals. This recognition was also shared by the editors and authors of professional architectural journals as well as popular shelter magazines, including Ladies' Home Journal, House Beautiful, and Good Housekeeping. These early articles, which tended to emphasize the development of the bungalow, presented a cross-section of works that reflected the California, Tudor, and Anglo-Colonial Revival examples. Among the most frequently published designers of these works were Joseph J. Blick, Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, Alfred Heineman, Greene and Greene, and Charles W. Buchanan. The presentation of Pasadena's role in the Arts and Crafts movement shifted in the literature published from the post-war period through the 1970s. During that time, greater emphasis (often to the exclusion of all else) was placed on the works of Greene and Greene. This can be explained in part by the contemporary interest in regional redwood construction and a fascination for Japanese sources of design.[34]

Among the most important of Pasadena's Arts and Crafts architects are:

Charles and Henry Greene

See Charles Sumner Greene (1868-1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870-1954).

Arthur and Alfred Heineman

The Heineman brothers were born in Chicago, but moved with their parents and siblings to Pasadena in 1894. They worked together from about 1909 to 1939. Arthur (1878-1972) was a real estate man with no architectural training, but who got into design because he discovered that land sold more easily with a house on it. He employed young designers to carry out his ideas. Alfred (1882-1974) was also a speculator in land and was without architectural schooling, but he had a natural talent in design and had, according to his own account, taken a course in design from Ernest Batchelder at the Troop Polytechnic Institute.

After much coaxing, Arthur took an examination and became a certified architect with Alfred as his uncertified associate. Together they built many large houses in Pasadena and Los Angeles. Pasadena residents discovered that the Heinemans gave them houses that were comparable in style to the Greenes and for much less money.

Alfred in particular was responsible for may high art bungalows built in Southern California. Even more significant, he sold his designs to a number of companies that sold plans from booklets which were distributed throughout the United States. The Los Angeles based Sweet's Designing and Building Company put Alfred's design for a bungalow on the cover of their booklet advertising that their designs were "just a little different." As a result, Heineman bungalows can be found throughout the country.

The Heinemans also designed bungalow courts for people of more modest means. Putting aside the idea that a bungalow must be surrounded with a garden, they increased the density of housing. In their Bowen Court (1910) on Villa Street they imposed thirty-six tiny bungalows on a relatively small property.

The Heinemans survived the decline in interest in the woodsy Arts and crafts movement. They were able to practice in all the period revival styles of the 1920s' even taking on the Streamline Moderne in the 30s.

Frederick Louis Roehrig

Frederick Louis Roehrig (1857-1948) was the son of a famous professor of linguistics at Cornell University and thus was a student there, receiving a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1883. After spending a few years studying and traveling in Europe, he returned to America and married. In 1886, during the land boom in California, Roehrig moved to Pasadena with his bride and father, where he set up a practice until he opened an office in Los Angeles. He continued to have commissions in Pasadena, but also designed houses in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.

His first major designing assignment was for a large addition to the Hotel Green in 1893. He followed the vaguely Spanish Romanesque style of the original building (Strange and Carnicle, 1887), but when in 1898 he was asked to construct another addition across the street from the old hotel, he decided on a play upon the Islamic mode, a move probably occasioned by the popularity of Louis Sullivan's Transportation Building at the Chicago world's fair of 1893. In 1904 he designed the Pasadena Presbyterian Church in a strange interpretation of the Gothic style.

He was obviously eclectic in his taste and this brought him to the Arts and Crafts mode which, at the turn of the century, was only one of many choices for architects of the period. He gave Arts and Crafts touches to many of his buildings, but the most thorough commitment to its principles was the Arthur Jerome Eddy house of 1905 (demolished in 1972). It resembled a Spanish adobe on the outside, but the interior was one of the grandest displays of redwood framing and paneling in the United States. Although Eddy, its owner, claimed that it was a structure that evolved out of functional requirements, it probably owed its exterior form to the so-called "Ramona's Wedding Place" (the Estudillo House, 1829) in San Diego and more directly Charles and Henry Greene's Bandini house (1903) in Pasadena.

The other outstanding Roehrig-designed Arts and Crafts house in Pasadena is the Bella D. Scofield house (1909) which still stands at the corner of Del Mar and Orange Grove Boulevard. It owes much on the exterior to Purcell and Elmslie's Prairie School architecture in the Midwest. The interior is obviously based on Frank Lloyd Wright's Susan Lawrence Dana house (1902-1904) in Springfield, Illinois.

The Eddy and Scofield houses were Roehrig's finest contributions to the Arts and Crafts movement. He continued to work almost until his death in a variety of styles. He later got into the Regency Moderne in his Department of Water and Power Sub-station (1935) in Pacific Palisades.

Joseph J. Blick

Born in Clinton, Iowa, Joseph J. Blick (1867-1947) attended the public schools of Clinton and then moved to Pasadena in 1887. At first he worked for his father who was a contractor, but soon was apprenticed to T. W. Parkes, a former Englishman with membership in the Royal Institute of British Architects. His commissions in Pasadena included Thaddeus Lowe's villa on Orange Grove Boulevard.

Blick was in the office of Parkes for six years before opening his own practice. Two of his major commissions were the Scottish Rite Cathedral (1924) and the Star-News Building (1924-25), both of which still exist. He was best known, however, for his residential architecture. Mainly he worked in the Shingle Style. Some extant examples are the Folsom house at 745 Bellefontaine Street, the Brown house at 515 West California Street, and the Post House (1903) at 360 South Grand Avenue. All of these have good Arts and Crafts interiors.

Blick also tried his hand at the Mission Revival. Most of these residences (most were on Orange Grove Boulevard) are gone, but one remains in another part of town — the Macomber-Lunkenheimer house (1906) at 1215 Wentworth Avenue.

Louis B. Easton

Louis B. Easton (1864-1921) was born at Halfday Lake, Illinois, and educated in the public schools there. After graduating from high school he went to the Illinois Normal School in Bloomington and received a teaching certificate in 1890. While working for his degree, he met Honor Hubbard, a sister of Elbert Hubbard, the self-proclaimed apostle of William Morris in America, and they were married. He took a job as an instructor in manual training at the high school at Lemont, Illinois, and was made principal of it in 1893. His evenings were spent in his workshop where he designed and built sturdy furniture. Several of his pieces were displayed at a handicraft exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1903.

About that time he became ill, apparently of a respiratory ailment. In 1902 he left Lemont and moved his family to Pasadena. He soon recovered his health and, after consulting a pattern book, built his own house on Marengo Street. He received many compliments on it and was emboldened to try his own design for a handsome Arts and Crafts house on the corner lot next door. Since it sold quickly, Easton decided to become an architectural designer as well as a furniture maker.

The architect Myron Hunt thought so well of Easton's work that he engaged him to build a beach house for the Hunt family at Clifton-by-the-Sea. Other Southern Californians, interested in roughing it, chose Easton to design their houses, Easton encouraging them to participate in the construction. Such a person was Carl Curtis, an electrical engineer turned chicken farmer. He and Easton built a sort of compound of rustic bungalows off Washington Street in Altadena. Another client wrote in The Craftsman magazine (1912) in reference to her Easton-designed house: "There are no 'fake' beams or posts in the house; every stick of timber is just what it appears to be, and does just what it seems to be doing."

Advertising himself as getting a "maximum of effect with the minimum of expense," Easton built about twenty-five houses in Pasadena and its vicinity. The coming of World War I meant less building activity, however, and Easton moved with his family to a ranch near Anaheim, where he farmed until his death.

Elmer Grey

Elmer Grey (1871-1963) was born in Chicago, but his family moved to Milwaukee shortly thereafter. After receiving his education in the public schools, he entered the office of the Milwaukee architect Alfred C. Clas as an apprentice. He opened his own office in 1898. Early he showed his talent as a delineator owing a great deal to the drawing style of the Midwestern designer Harvey Ellis.

Grey's first building was a house (1898) that he built for himself as a country retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan near Milwaukee. Incredibly, basing their decision on this one design, the American Institute of Architects made him a Fellow. In 1900 he read a paper on "Indigenous and Inventive Architecture" to the Chicago meeting of the Architectural League of America. After expressing a few conventional comments on the need for honesty and simplicity in architecture, it turned into a panegyric of praise for Louis Sullivan, who being present, saluted Grey in kind.

The young architect seemed on the road to success when the first of recurring nervous ailments caused him to seek a happier climate than was offered by Wisconsin. He tried Florida, then Nevada, and then California where he settled for a time at Avalon on Catalina Island, then Hollywood, and finally Monrovia, noted at that time for its good air.

He began to take long horseback rides, and it was on one of these rides that he met Myron Hunt, another architect, with whom he would form a partnership in 1905 that would last five years. His work with Hunt produced houses in a number of styles — Mission Revival, Beaux-Arts, English Tudor and shingled Craftsman — all simplified. In 1907 the firm designed its masterpiece, the open-air Polytechnic School in Pasadena.

This was their only contribution to "progressive" architecture. Most of their buildings were conservative in the styles of the times. During and after their partnership Grey came back to the influence of the English Arts and Crafts architect, Charles Annesley Voysey, whose buildings were well covered in the International Studio journal that Grey would most certainly have seen. His own house (1911-12) has Voysey touches beyond the fact that it is covered with stucco, the English architect's favorite material. The interior of his Margaret Coleman house (1934) could easily be mistaken for the work of another English architect, Sidney Barnsley.

Myron Hunt

Myron Hunt (1868-1952) was born in Sunderland, Massachusetts. His family moved to Chicago when he was very young. He graduated from Lake View High School in 1888 whereupon he went to Northwestern University for a couple of years and then transferred to the new architectural school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he received a degree in 1893.

He married Harriette Boardman, a graduate of Smith College, and after a long honeymoon in Europe during which Myron studied the architecture of the early Renaissance in Italy, the young couple settled in Evanston, Illinois, and built a house in the Shingle Style. Hunt became the Chicago representative of the Boston architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge which had inherited the practice of the renowned architect Henry Hobson Richardson. While he was in Chicago he attracted important friends: James Gamble Rogers (later to be the chief architect of the Yale campus), Richard Schmidt, Hugh Garden, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Hunt owed little to the Prairie School in the houses he built in and around Evanston. They lack its concern for horizontality. They have broad eaves and ranks of diamond-paned windows in the fashion of the Prairie School, but they are closer to the vaguely Tudor style favored by Gustav Stickley in his The Craftsman magazine. The roofs are generally of a high pitch and the exterior walls are usually shingled above and stuccoed below. The interiors are woodsy with paneling up to a frieze. Hunt's first commission in Pasadena (1903) at 295 Markham Place and his own house (1905) at 200 North Grand Avenue are both in this mode.

In 1904 Hunt formed a partnership with Elmer Grey that lasted until 1910. During this period Hunt's work turned strongly toward Beaux-Arts Neo-Classicism, but it did produce one monument of the local Arts and Crafts movement in the open-air classrooms of the Polytechnic School (1907). After breaking with Grey, all of Hunt's designs were in the period revivals of the times and Hunt ceased to be an Arts and Crafts architect.

Sylvanus Marston

Sylvanus Marston (1883-1946) was born in Oakland, the son of a land developer. The family moved to Pasadena when he was very young. He was educated in its public schools and graduated from high school in 1901. He attended Pomona College for two years. He then entered Cornell University and was in the first class to take a degree from its new four-year College of Architecture.

On returning to Pasadena he was commissioned to design several Arts and Crafts houses, possibly under the influence of the Greenes for whom he is believed to have worked during his summer vacations from Cornell, though there is no proof of such an arrangement.

Very early in his practice (1908) he was employed by the local land developer, Frank G. Hogan, to design a group of eleven bungalows around a central court. Hogan's idea was to create winter homes for wealthy easterners that would in their design develop the impression of roughing-it in California and at the same time be well-appointed with all the conveniences of home including Persian rugs and servant's quarters. First Marston carried out this idea too well in an expensive design worthy of the Greenes. Hogan told him to go back to the drawing board and simplify the detail. Marston complied and the result was the St. Francis Court, some of whose houses still exist although moved from their original location on what is now Colorado Boulevard.

This may have been the first bungalow court anywhere. The idea caught on in Pasadena and indeed all across the United States and Canada. But Marston is best known for the houses and other buildings that he designed after forming the partnership of Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury in the 1920s. In that period he easily moved from the Arts and Crafts work of his youth to the period revivals.

Louis DuPuget Millar

Millar (1877-1945) was born in Monkstown in Ireland. His father was a successful architect in Dublin and sent his son to private schools and then to Trinity College from which Louis was graduated with a degree in engineering. In the then usual British manner he gained his architectural education as an apprentice — in this case in his father's office.

After his marriage in 1906, he and his wife immigrated to the United States first settling in Riverside and then Los Angeles. He joined the Los Angeles firm of Jeffrey and Van Trees and became a registered architect in 1908. In 1911 he moved to Pasadena and opened his own office in partnership with George A. Clark, a local haberdasher turned architect. He also seems to have worked for the contractors Austin and Grable.

His first house in Pasadena was for E. J. Cheesewright, an interior designer and fellow-Britisher. It was vaguely Cotswold in design with rolled eaves edging a roof with shingles that imitated thatch. The interior of the house was thoroughly Arts and Crafts except that, unlike other Pasadena houses in that mode, it had no wainscoting. The walls were of painted plaster. The rooms were therefore brighter than most local Arts and Crafts work.

Millar had a real sense of style and with Clark and others, designed houses with a distinctly British look and often on or near the banks of the Arroyo Seco. He also remodeled a number of Victorian houses, the one at 535 Fremont Drive being a residence on an old pig farm in the Arroyo. Like other Millar designs it and its out-buildings have simulated thatched roofs.

G. Lawrence Stimson

Stimson (1882-1939) was a builder who after a short career in that field moved into architecture. He was born at Washington Court House, Ohio, and got his education at a private school in Cincinnati. After he and his parents had moved to California he studied at Pasadena High School and then the Throop Polytechnic Institute. His biographer says that "he studied architecture abroad," but the comment is so vague as to raise questions, particularly since his first job was in a jewelry store in Minneapolis. A late reference to his architectural training is equally troubling: "In order to attain new ideas, Mr. Stimson traveled considerably, and during 1921 made an extended trip to South America, studying the architecture of that part of the world."

As a matter of fact his greatest expertise seemed to be in real estate and commercial ventures. He was on the board of directors of several Pasadena banks. Significantly, he was a member of the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena and of the California Club in central Los Angeles, both emblems of high society. Nevertheless he (or his firm) did design a great many Pasadena residences. The most famous was the Wrigley Mansion (1911), now the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Association. It is slightly Mission Revival with Italianate overtones. At the same time, probably reflecting the popularity of the Arts and Crafts style in Pasadena, he built many houses in that mode.

Builders and Pattern Books

While Pasadena is noted for its many architect-designed Arts and Crafts houses, a large number of bungalows were credited to builders. Developers and contractors often hired young architects who had not yet established practices of their own. The Pasadena construction company of Austin and Grable, for example, produced a number of well-designed bungalows. Other noted builders in the area include Charles W. Buchanan, Marshall B. Wotkyns, Milwaukee Construction Company, Coast Construction Company, James Gaut, Lester and Ellen Bemis, Guy S. Bliss, Harry O.Clarke Company, Henry C. Deming, R. F. Foss, David M. Renton, John H. Simpson, Edward Zube, J. H. Woodworth and Son, and George P. Telling.

A number of the more modest bungalows appear to have been influenced by designs published in house pattern books such as "Ye Plenary" Bungalows and The "Draughtsman'' Bungalows, and popular magazines including Good Housekeeping, the Ladies Home Journal, and House and Garden.[35] Gustav Stickley's The Craftsman also endorsed the bungalow, and included it in its description of Arts and Crafts residences. Ready-cut companies, which sold prefabricated houses, also influenced the popularity of the bungalow in Pasadena. Probably the most famous of these mail-order firms was Sears, Roebuck and Company. Another influential firm was the Aladdin Company, of Michigan. Aladdin drew on the popular association of the bungalow with California in designs names including The Pomona, The Sunshine, and The Pasadena. There were at least two ready-cut factories in the Los Angeles area-California Ready-Cut Bungalow Company and Pacific Ready-Cut. These mail order firms manufactured bungalows that, although modest in size, were respectable as any larger house nearby.


By the end of World War I, the most significant of Pasadena's Arts and Crafts residences had been built. By that time, Arts and Crafts architecture began to lose its popularity to the period revival styles which had their heyday in the 1920s. Although the strong Arts and Crafts bungalow tradition hung on into the twenties, they were often painted in light colors, and their interiors lost their wainscoting in favor of plaster walls covered with wallpapers. The woodsiness of the bungalow and the two-story house was replaced with showier facades, though the art of fine craftsmanship continued through the twenties and even into our own day.


  1. Ann Scheid, Pasadena: Crown of the Valley (Northridge, Ca: Windsor Publications, Inc., 1986), 96.
  2. This nomination focused on Arts and Crafts residential architecture in Pasadena that is not already listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Previously nominated districts include: the Prospect National Register Historic District, bounded by Westgate Street to the north, Armada Drive and Rossmont Boulevard to the west, Forest Avenue and Prospect Boulevard to the east, and Orange Grove Boulevard to the south; the Orange Heights/Barnhart Tracts Historic District, bounded by North Los Pobles Avenue to the west. North El Molino Avenue to the east, Jackson Street to the north, and East Mountain Street to the south; and the South Marengo Historic District, located on the 400 and 500 blocks of South Marengo.
  3. See Bob Winter's "The Arroyo Culture,'' in California Design 1910, eds. Timothy Anderson, Eudorah M. Moore, and Robert W. Winter (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1980), 10.
  4. Bungalow Heaven is bounded by East Washington Avenue on the north, East Orange Grove Boulevard on the south, North Mentor Avenue on the west, and North Chester Avenue on the east. The Garfield Heights Tract is bounded by East Washington on the north. East Mountain on the south, North Los Robles on the east, and North Marengo on the west. Palm Terrace is bounded by Belvidere Street to the north, East Mountain Street to the south, North Hudson to the east, and North El Molino to the west.
  5. Eileen Boris, Art and Labor (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986).
  6. Reprinted in Frank Lloyd Wright on Architecture, Selected Writing (1894-1940). ed. Frederick Gutheim (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1941), 23-24.
  7. Henry Adams, Mont-Saint Michel and Chartres (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1905; reprint ed., 1933) and The Education of Henry Adams, 1918; reprint ed., 1931.
  8. Roycrofters, East Aurora New York, 1916.
  9. Ashbee was a friend of William Morris and had Morris and Company in mind when, in 1901, he took his workers to Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds and his trials and tribulations in getting out silver work and furniture there were well covered by a number of journals, one article interestingly in The Craftsman by Ernest Batchelder.
  10. See Charles R. Ashbee. Memoirs. TS Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Strangely, when a few months later Wright asked Ashbee to write the introduction to the Wasmuth Portfolio (1911) that was to make Wright famous in European architectural circles, Ashbee repeated his judgment, without, to be sure, naming Charles Greene or Pasadena: "...I have been in houses on the Arroyo that appeal to me more than Frank Lloyd Wright's." Wright must not have read this introduction before it was published.
  11. For more information on Bachelder and illustrations of sample of his tile work see Robert Winter, "Ernest Allen Bachelder, 1875-1957,'' in California Design 1910, 75.
  12. Janet Ferrari, "Throop University," in California Design 1910, 60.
  13. The Arroyo Craftsman, October 1909, 30.
  14. Batchelder's house and shack were built in 1909; a garage and guest house were added to the property in 1928. The house and related buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  15. While there is no single explanation for the appeal of wood in California Arts and Crafts houses, its use can be viewed as part of an American predilection for wood construction. This preference was a product of American popular culture, having been expressed earlier through the mass-production of wooden architectural ornamentation and balloon frame construction. Its use helped undermine the cultivated tradition from Europe, and in the process created new and more flexible forms. See John A. Kouwenhoven, The Arts in Modern American Civilization (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1967), 48. See also Henry Glassie, The Pattern in the Material Folk Culture of the Eastern United States (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968), 240. The Chicago designer Marion Mahoney Griffin, writing in 1912 noted, "All the woods are beautiful and only the aristocratic antipathy for the common can account for the commonplace, vulgar habit of imitating mahogany, for example, with red gum or birch." More direct sources of influence on the use of wood came from illustrations of interiors that appeared in Gustav Stickley's The Craftsman magazine. Sepia-toned photographs and presentation drawings of characteristic Arts and Crafts interiors exemplified the harmonious setting for finely crafted wooden furniture. The historic precedent of Tudor paneling may have also influenced Stickley's selection. See Marion Mahoney Griffin, "The Bungalow Indoors,'' in Rogers & Manson. 100 Turn-of-the-Century Brick Bungalows with Floor Plans (1912; reprint ed., New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1994), 116. This sentiment is echoed in "The Value of a Right Appreciation of Wood," published in The Craftsman magazine and reprinted in The Craftsman, An Anthology, ed. Barry Sanders (Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, Inc.), 211.
  16. For a discussion of Charles Keeler's role in Northern California's Arts and Crafts movement, see: Robert Winter, "Introduction: The Myth of California Expressed in Arts and Crafts Theory" in Toward a Simpler Way of Life, ed. Robert Winter (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1997), 1-6.
  17. David Gebhard, "Introduction: The Bay Area Tradition," in Bay Area Houses, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Peregrine-Smith Books, 1988), 9.
  18. Richard Longstreth, On the Edge of the World (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1983), 143.
  19. For more information on the bungalow see Robert Winter, The California Bungalow (Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1980); Robert Winter and Alexander Vertikoff, American Bungalow Style (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996). See also Clay Lancaster, The American Bungalow 1880-1930 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1985) and Anthony D. King, The Bungalow-The Production of a Global Culture (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984) .
  20. Vincent J. Scully, Jr., The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Downing to the Origins of Wright (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955; reprint ed., 1971), XLVI-XLVII.
  21. Andrew Jackson Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses (New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 1969); Andrew Jackson Downing, Cottage Residences (New York, 1842; Alexander Jackson Davis, Rural Residences (New York., 1837).
  22. Florence Williams, "Bungalows of Southern California," House Beautiful, June 1914, 16.
  23. Una Nixson Hopkins, "The Development of Domestic Architecture on the Pacific Coast," The Craftsman 13 (January 1908): 455.
  24. Hermann Valentin von Hoist, Country and Suburban Homes of the Prairie School Period (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1913; reprint ed., 1982), Plates 61, 66, 67. Henry L. Wilson, California Bungalows of the Twenties (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993). Robert Winter, The California Bungalow (Los Angeles: Hennessy & Ingalls, Inc. 1980). Robert W. Winter and Alexander Vertikoff, American Bungalow Style (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 32. Anthony D. King, The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984), 142-145. Clay Lancaster, The American Bungalow 1880-1930 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1985), 114-152.
  25. Frank Lloyd Wright, "In the Cause of Architecture,'' The Architectural Record 23 (1908): 156. See also H. Allen Brooks, The Prairie School (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1972) .
  26. Jean Block, "Myron Hunt in the Midwest," Myron Hunt, 1868-1952: The Search for a Regional Architecture (Los Angeles: Hennessy & Ingalls, 1984), 9-20.
  27. For a more select segment of the population, the Swiss chalet may have derived meaning as the product of republican society. See: Wendell G. Corthell, "The Use of Wood in Switzerland," The Craftsman 5 (October 1903): 31-41.
  28. For a view of the Swiss chalet in Pasadena, see: "Pasadena's Swiss Chalet Village is Remarkable Building Feature of City," Pasadena Star-News, January 1910.
  29. Rodney Douglas Parker, "The California Bungalow and the Tyrolean Chalet: The Ill-Fated Life of an American Vernacular," Journal of American Culture 15
  30. Representative works can be found in the 1904-05 publication by Hermann Muethesius. Das Englische Haus; translated as The English House, trans. Janet Seligman and ed. Dennis Sharp (London: Crosby Lockwood Staple, 1979). See also: Gavin Stamp. The English House 1860-1914 (London: International Architect and The Building Centre Trust, 1980).
  31. Robert W. Winter. "The Arroyo Culture,'' in California Design 1910, 16. On the Mission Revival see Karen J. Weitze, California's Mission Revival (Los Angeles: Hennessy & Ingalls, Inc., 1984), and David Gebhard, "Architectural Imagery: The Missions and California," Harvard Architectural Review 1 (Spring 1980): 136-145.
  32. See: Joseph Everett Chandler. The Colonial House. New York: Robert M. McBride & Co., 1916. For a recent assessment of the Colonial Revival during the Arts and Crafts period, see Bridget A. May, "Progressivism and the Colonial Revival," Winterthur Portfolio 26 (Summer/Autumn 1991): 107-122.
  33. Scheid, 121.
  34. William H. Jordy, "The Craftsmanship as Structural Elaboration: Charles and Henry Greene's Gamble House,'' American Buildings and Their Architects (Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1976), vol. 3, Progressive and Academic Ideals at the Turn of the Twentieth Century), 245. Randell L. Makinson, "Greene and Greene," in Five California Architects, ed. Ester McCoy (New York: Praeger Books, 1960; reprint, 1975), 144.
  35. "Ye Plenary" Bungalows, Los Angeles: Ye Plenary Company, 1908. The "Draughtsman" Bungalows, Los Angeles: DeLuxe Building Company, 1912.

Property Type: Arts and Crafts Single-Family Residences in Pasadena

Property Type Description:

The associated property type "Arts and Crafts Single-Family Residences in Pasadena" is comprised of two subtypes: the one- or one-and-one-half-story bungalow and the two-story house. Architectural vocabularies utilized in the design of these Arts and Crafts dwellings include the historical Craftsman and the Prairie School. Additionally, a number of residences designed during the period utilized several historically-based architectural images. These include the Shingle style, Anglo-Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, English-influenced (Tudor, Cotswold Cottage), and Swiss Chalet.

The bungalow is the house-type most often associated with Pasadena's Arts and Crafts architecture and is defined as a modest-scale one or one-and-one-half-story single family dwelling. The two-story house has two full stories and is generally larger than a bungalow. Both subtypes were built throughout Pasadena during the period 1895-1918. Examples were constructed within established residential enclaves, previously undeveloped sections within the original city limits, and areas annexed during the early years of the twentieth century. Although individually eligible properties are located throughout the city, areas of likely historic districts include "Little Switzerland," the lower Arroyo Seco, Madison Heights, and Bungalow Heaven.

The Craftsman bungalow and Craftsman house can be rectangular or complex in plan. The houses are horizontal in their lines and have low-pitched roofs. Wide over-hanging eaves with exposed rafters stretch over broad terraces. Gable roofs predominate, whether side- or front-facing. Large single-gable or shed dormers, or single or paired gable dormers may break the street-oriented roof plane. Typically this roof plane is supported by a porch that stretches across the entire width of the entrance facade. Alternatively, the porch may be limited to the immediate entrance area. The porch is supported by a row of stone piers, battered or straight-sided, or wooden columns or piers. When these elements are symmetrically disposed, and especially if a large, centrally positioned gable dormer is present, the design may convey a classical quality. The roof is usually sheathed with composition or wooden shingles. Foundations, chimneys, and retaining walls are constructed of stone, typically from the Arroyo Seco. To merge with nature these dwellings are usually painted or stained brown or dark green.

When a bungalow has a half-story it is usually surrounded by windows or fronted by an open sleeping porch. In cases where the partial second story reads as a dominant design feature, the dwelling is referred to as an "airplane bungalow" in contemporary literature. The roof pitch of the two-story Craftsman house may be broken by a single or pair of shed or gable dormer windows. The Craftsman bungalow and two-story Craftsman house often merged elements from Japanese buildings and Swiss chalets. The Japanese was, with a few exceptions, limited on the exterior to roof details (lifted eaves, tiles) and decorative features, particularly an entrance lantern.

The predominantly two-story Prairie School of the Arts and Crafts can be grouped into two categories. The first consists of a low horizontal square box with a low-pitched hipped roof, reflecting specific reference to the works of Frank Lloyd and other Chicago practitioners. The roof is typically sheathed with wood or composition shingles, or terra cotta tiles. Its exterior walls may be covered with wooden shingles or clapboard, stucco, or a combination. Rows of double-hung windows with multi-panes in the upper sash, or awning windows with transoms are symmetrically placed on the first and/or second story. The second variant is a more generic classical rectangular box with a low-pitched hipped or gable roof, which may be sheathed with shingles or terra cotta tiles. The classical rectangular box is symmetrically composed, with monumental-scale piers or columns that support projecting porches and/or balconies. When the exterior walls are stuccoed and terra cotta tiles sheath its roof, this house appears to refer to the Mission Revival. Both variations incorporate a porch, pergola, or porte-cochere that projects from the central volume. Eaves, cornices, and facade details also emphasize horizontal lines.

The two-story Shingle style house typically has an irregularly shaped plan. Gambrel, hipped or gable roofs are typically sheathed with wooden or composition shingles. Conical roofs terminating circular bays may intersect the dominant roof planes. The walls are covered with over-all wooden shingles, clapboard, shiplap siding, and occasionally stucco. The entrance porch, usually supported by wooden piers or columns, may be recessed or may project from the dwelling. There is minimal surface ornamentation. Details are limited to half-timbered patterning in the gable ends, diamond paned casement windows, Richardsonian Romanesque use of "eyebrow" dormers, and rubble masonry for the foundations, chimneys, and retaining walls.

The Anglo-Colonial Revival bungalow and two-story house is typically symmetrical in elevation and in plan configuration. Rectangular and U-shaped plans with symmetrically disposed wings predominate. Gable, hipped and gambrel roofs are used. One of the most prevalent variants is the one-story bungalow with a side-gable roof, characterized by a roof extension with exposed eaves. Typically a porch consisting of simple heavy columns, supporting the rafters and beams of a pergola, stretches across its entrance facade. The Dutch Colonial was frequently employed since its low, gambrel roof with flared eaves visually anchors the house to its site. Over-all wooden shingles or siding sheaths the exterior walls. The roofs are covered with wooden or composition shingles. The presence of a pedimented or gabled entrance porch emphasizes the classical character of the dwelling, which is otherwise conveyed through the regular placement of windows and other exterior features. Other distinctive details are wooden shutters and a paneled and partially glazed front door.

Pasadena's bungalow and two-story Mission Revival Arts and Crafts houses utilize architectural features associated with the Hispanic tradition. The houses are typically rectangular in plan. Exterior walls are sheathed with smooth or rough-cast finish stucco. Spanish terra cotta tile, wood or composition shingles cover the roofs. Square towers or belvederes project from the roofline. At the ground floor, the living space is extended through the use of arcaded porches. Arched windows located near the entrance are also used as a reference to the Hispanic arcade. Decorative plaster work may surround window and door openings.

The English influenced Arts and Crafts dwellings in Pasadena are based on the precedent of the Tudor manor house and the Cotswold cottage. In Pasadena, the Tudor house is typically two-stories, although were there is a steeply-pitched roof which descends to the entrance porch or first story bay windows, the appearance of a one-and-one-half-story dwelling is created. Character defining features include front facing gabled bays or dormer windows articulated by decorative barge board or half-timbering. The Southern California Cotswold cottage is typically one-story. It has a rambling plan and low pitched roofs covered with thatch-like shingle patterns. Roofs have moderate to steeply pitched gables with modest eave extensions. The main roof orientation is usually parallel to the front entrance. Fenestration includes leaded glass, shed or gable roof dormers. Wall sheathing is stucco or plaster used alone or in combination with wooden shingles. Half timbering or "black and white work" may fill in all or upper portion of the gable ends and other wall surfaces of upper stories. Other details include shaped chimneys, with the chimney placed prominently on the street elevation.

The Swiss, Bavarian, or Tyrolean chalet of the Arts and Crafts was evidenced in the design of the bungalow and the two-story house. It is fundamentally an architecture of stained wood, in which wide overhanging eaves and balconies helped integrate the outdoors as part of the living space. A broad, sweeping front-facing gable roof is a dominant feature for the rectangular-plan Swiss chalet. The second story balcony is often detailed with wooden slats or a flat cut-out patterned balustrade and trim. The wall surfaces are sheathed in wooden shingles or siding, which is often combined with stuccoed surfaces. Swiss chalet bungalows are characterized by front-facing, low-pitched gable roofs terminating wide front porches.


Arts and Crafts single-family dwellings in Pasadena dating from 1895-1918 may qualify for listing in the National Register under Criterion C, at the local level of significance, individually or as contributors to historic districts.

Individual examples illustrate the high quality, range of styles, and distinctive characteristics of Pasadena's Arts and Crafts, residential architecture. They attest to the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement on the local architects, designers, builders and craftspeople working in Pasadena, which by the turn-of-the-twentieth century had become nationally known as one of the three centers of Arts and Crafts architecture. Properties which lack individual distinction may qualify as contributors to historic districts. There are a number of potential historic districts in the city which comprise neighborhoods which are visually coherent. Districts may include bungalows only or a combination of the bungalow and the two-story house.

Major Bibliographical References

Adams, Henry. Mont-Saint Michel and Chartres. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1905; reprint ed., 1933.

Anderson, Timothy, Eudorah M. Moore, and Robert W. Winter eds. California Design 1910. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1980.

Boris, Eileen. Art and Labor. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986.

Brooks, H. Allen. The Prairie School. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1972.

Baxter Art Gallery. Caltech. Myron Hunt, 1868-1952: The Search for a Regional Architecture. Santa Monica: Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1984.

Carew, Harold D. History of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, vol 1. S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1930.

Chandler, Joseph Everett. The Colonial House. New York: Robert M. McBride & Co., 1916.

Chapin, Lon F. Thirty Years in Pasadena, vol 1. Southwest Publishing Company, 1929.

Cortnell, Wendell G. "The Use of Wood in Switzerland." The Craftsman V (October 1901): 31-41.

"A Craftsman House, Series of 1904, Number IV." The Craftsman VI (April 1904): 76-82.

"The Easy-Housekeeping Bungalow." Ladies Home Journal, November 1907.

Gaut, Helen Lukens. "How the California Bungalow Illustrates the Right Use of Building Materials. The Craftsman XIX (November 1910): 200-201.

Gebhard, David. "Architectural Imagery: The Missions and California." Harvard Architectural Review 1 (Spring 1980): 136-145.

Gebhard, David. "Introduction: The Bay Area Tradition." In Bay Area Houses, 2nd ed. Salt Lake City: Peregrine-Smith Books, 1988.

Giovannini, Joseph. "A Trove of Greene and Greene Houses," New York Times, 24 January 1993, 14 (XX) .

Glassie, Henry. The Pattern in the Material Folk Culture of the Eastern United States. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968.

Gray, Christopher. "Arroyo Terrace," House and Garden, November 1983, 92-96.

Greene, Charles Sumner. "Bungalows," The Western Architect (July 1910): 3-5.

"Greene and Greene Interiors '83," Friends of the Gamble House, Exhibition and Tour Catalogue, 1983.

Hopkins, Una Nixson. "The Development of Domestic Architecture on the Pacific Coast." The Craftsman 13 (January 1908).

Jordy, William H. American Buildings and Their Architects. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1976, vol. 3 Progressive and Academic Ideals at the Turn of the Century.

King, Anthony. The Bungalow-The Production of a Global Culture. London: Routledge & Keegan Paul, 1984.

Kouwenhoven, John A. The Arts in Modern American Civilization. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1967.

Lancaster, Clay. The American Bungalow 1880-1930. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985.

Lazear, M. H. "The Evolution of the Bungalow. " House Beautiful, June 1914, 2-5.

Longstreth, Richard. On the Edge of the World. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1983.

Makinson, Randell L. Greene and Greene: Architecture As a Fine Art. Salt Lake City: Gibbs M. Smith, 1977.

Makinson, Randell L. "Greene and Greene." In Five California Architects, ed. Ester McCoy. New York: Praeger Books, 1960; reprint 1975).

May, Bridget A. "Progressivism"

Muethesius, Hermann. Das Englische Haus. Translated as The English House by Janet Seligman and ed. Dennis Sharp. London: Crosby Lockwood Staple, 1979.

Oak Knoll 1910. A Greene & Greene Interiors Walking Tour of Six Historic Properties in the Oak Knoll Neighborhood of Pasadena, California, May 21, 1995.

Page, Henry Markham. Pasadena: Its Early Years. Los Angeles: Lorrin L. Morrison, 1963.

Parker, Rodney Douglas. "The California Bungalow and the Tyrolean Chalet: The Ill-Fated Life of an American Vernacular." Journal of American Culture 15.

Pasadena, City of, Design and Historic Preservation:

Architectural and Historical Inventory, Survey Area Eighteen: Orange Heights, Urban Conservation Program, February 1983.

Architectural and Historical Inventory, Survey Area Twenty-one, Bungalow Heaven Neighborhood, Volume II, Urban Conservation Program, April 1987.

"City of Pasadena Historic Context Statement, Final Draft." Pamela O'Connor and the Urban Conservation Section, Planning Division, 13 January 1993.

Historic Resources Survey, Area 29: Palm Terrace, Final Report. Leslie Heumann and Associates, 5 October 1992, rev. 10 December 1992.

Orange Heights/Barnhart Tracts Historic District. National Register Nomination. Brian Goeken, Design and Historic Preservation/Planning Division, 19 May 1995.

Pasadena Historical/Architectural Survey: Area #26: Garfield Heights, Leslie Heumann and Associates.

South Marengo Historic District, National Register Nomination.

Pasadena's Swiss Chalet Village is Remarkable Building Feature of City. If Pasadena Star-News, January 1910.

Pomeroy, Eva Belle G. "Louis DuPuget Millar." Pasadena Heritage, 9 (Winter 1986): 9-10.

Ripley, John. Research on Pasadena Homes of the Craftsman Era 1904-1918, database printout, City of Pasadena, Design and Historic Preservation, Pasadena, CA

Sanders, Barry, ed. The Craftsman: An Anthology. Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, Inc.

Scheid, Ann. Pasadena: Crown of the Valley. Northridge, Ca: Windsor Publications, Inc., 1986.

Scully, Vincent J. Jr. The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Downing to the Origins of Wright. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955; reprint ed. 1971.

"Some Pasadena Houses Showing Harmony Between Structure and Landscape.'' The Craftsman XVI (May 1909): 216-221.

Pasadena Heritage, 651 South Saint John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105

Pasadena Historical Society, Research Library Archives, 470 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101

Pasadena Public Library, 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91109

Lauren Bricker, Robert Winter, and Hanet Tearnan, Single-Family Residential Architecture of the Arts and Crafts Period in Pasadena, 1895-1918, nomination document, 1998, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. • (
The Gombach Group • Morrisville, PA • 215-295-6555