Here's the house we've been talking about. I wasn't planning to post these shots. I want to get across the street and get up high on something to shoot over the fence. From this low vantage point I don't think you get the magnificence of this big ol' Victorian pile.
According to Thal Armathura of Avenue to the Sky--a blog all about Lake Avenue--this was once the Lukens Estate. Thal's been embellishing my Lake Avenue posts all week with his vast knowledge of Pasadena history. (The Lukens Estate is actually on El Molino, but the entrance lane used to be Locust Street, starting all the way over on Lake Ave.)
Quoting Thal from Wednesday's comments: "The long time present owner and restorer of the Luken's Estate, Roger Kislingbury, is a legend in Pasadena, and I'll present his story in a near future update on Avenue to the Sky...Roger is a friend and most recently he was the owner of the Old Pasadena De Lacey's Club 41, but the whole story of his adventures in Pasadena will be forthcoming...He has worked really hard to restore the Luken's Estate...He is a master of historic preservation and historic recreation. The Mecca Room, Art Deco magnificence, in Old Pasadena on Colorado next to the 99er Bar, he restored with such finesse, we were astounded."
I look forward to Thal's post about Kislingbury.
Theodore Parker Lukens was the first Pasadena Real Estate developer and a two-term Pasadena mayor (1890-92 and 1894-96). He was many other things, too, including a conservationist who whose nickname was "the Father of Forestry" for good reasons. The Wikipedia article about Lukens is an eye-opener, considering our recent momentous fires in the San Gabriel Mountains. There's also a great old picture of the house, which was designed by Harry Ridgeway and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lukens was one of Pasadena's earliest citizens, extremely active in civic life, a promoter of natural causes and a friend of John Muir. He even promoted the establishment of Oak Grove Park, for which I'm grateful. He's buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. After reading about him I like him so much I think I'll go pay my respects.