Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home Shopping in History: the Swain House

There's been a lot of activity over at 1165 N. Los Robles, so before it gets snapped up I thought I'd show you another historic home. We know this one's historic because it has a plaque. See it? It's right up there by the front door. This link takes you to Zillow's page about the house, where you can see a close-up of the plaque.

The Tilghman H. Swain house was built in 1911, another jewel along lovely north Los Robles. It isn't exactly a Craftsman. It's called Chicago Prairie Style. The architect was Parker O. Wright who worked out of Long Beach and who, near as I can figure, was no relation to Frank Lloyd.

If you really want to know about this house there's a whole biography of it in .pdf. It gives information about the architect, builders and residents over the years and includes copies of related newspaper articles, permits, etc. The biography was prepared by Tim Gregory, the Building Biographer, who works out of Pasadena. I love what this guy does. For a fee, he'll research the history of your house or building. You could do it yourself, but would you?

11 comments:

Laurie said...

Am I misremembering, or did they paint this recently?

Gorgeous shot of this stately gem, P. And as to yesterday's discussion, I think you and I share a lot of the same sameness, even though we're different! :-)

Susan C said...

The real antique is that rooftop antenna. I hope they got their converter boxes.

Petrea said...

Yes Laurie, same sameness.

They may have painted to spruce it up for selling. John went inside during an open house and said it's in good shape (original woodwork, etc). There's also a duplex on the property--meaning an additional rental property that goes with the sale.

Isn't that funny, Susan? I wonder if they were using it or if it was left up there because it was easier not to take it down. The house is empty, so no one's watching TV right now.

altadenahiker said...

would love to see the inside.

Cafe Observer said...

If you're misremembering, LA, then you're probably also on steroids. The stuff will do it 2 U.

Vanda said...

It looks very stately.

Margaret said...

It's kind of funny. So many people passed through that house. No one lived in for more than ten years at a stretch. They moved on or died. But the house I'm living in now is the only place I've lived in for more than ten years. So maybe it's not so funny.

Jenny said...

I actually have researched my Pasadena house. (It was built in 1923 and is a Craftsman bungalow). If you go to the Pasadena Museum of History, you can use their library. The librarian will show you how to look up information. The Centennial Room of the Pasadena library also has information, but I've found that the Pas. MofH is easier to use with more help readily available! (I must confess, I'm a librarian myself!)

Desiree said...

I also love the homes on Jackson--which a realtor friend tells me used to be called Pill Hill (so many doctors). One Halloween my kids knocked on my favorite home on the street and I gushed to the owner. He let me peek in briefly. Afterwards I realized it was Chris Holden. Funny!

Christie said...

That is gorgeous! I love the lines of this house, but I'm sure I could never afford this--or for that matter--any house in Pasadena! But it is still beautiful.

Petrea said...

Happen by on a weekend, Karin. It's been open a lot. Stately, as Vanda says. And Margaret, I noticed that in reading the bio. Nobody seemed to settle there for long. Too bad. J & I never thought we'd stay put but we're so happy in our home we can't imagine leaving.

Hi Jenny! Great suggestions, thank you. I've also found the PMofH people to be wonderful. Can't compare them with the library as I haven't tried that. Another easy thing you can do is go to the George Ellery Hale permits building (on Garfield just south of the police station) and get copies of all the permits associated with your home.

Okay, Desiree, true story: Jackson is in my 'hood. I walk Boz there sometimes, and we went that way today. I've long known Mr. Holden lived on the block and wasn't sure which house, but had it narrowed down to two. Just today he was getting out of his car as Boz and I walked by, and he had a nice smile for me. Then I came home and saw your comment!

(For those of you from out of town, Chris Holden is our district City Councilman.)

Christie, they're asking $850,000. Two years ago they could have asked (and gotten) over a million.