Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chapter 3, Stained Glass

Inside the big old house we've been visiting this week there's a big old stairway. Someone painted it once--or probably more than once.

The light likes the paint.

A close look at this glass makes me wonder if it's original to the house. Would these be 1896 colors? They look psychedelic to me.

This window is more convincing as an original, with rippled glass even in the stained parts. But it's all guesswork on my part. For all I know, the windows were all put in in 1986.

Except this. Here's the door to the sleeping porch. It's in a tiny hallway all its own, peeking north. Right now it's hard to reach because it's in a part of the house Jim hasn't gotten to yet, at least not entirely.

Jim and Cybele are a busy couple with careers, interests and a baby boy. They may or may not ever finish with all the plans they have for the place but it doesn't matter. The house will wait.

Much thanks to Jim and Cybele for this delightful visit.

20 comments:

this is Belgium said...

love these stained glass window and doors, so nice to peak in.. we have a lot of them in Belgium.. you give me an idea for a posting on your beautiful Art Nouveau windows

dive said...

What a fabulous staircase, Petrea. I could just sit up there on the top step all day and read and enjoy the changing light.

Petrea Burchard said...

Everyone's giving everyone ideas!

This is Belgium: you remind me I haven't stopped by your blog in a while. I'd like to see what kinds of old houses you've got in Belgium.

Dive, I hope Jim and/or Cybele stops by today and gets the idea to put a window seat at the top of the stairs.

If you get the idea to enlarge the picture of the red and yellow window you'll see the shadow of a palm tree.

Bellis said...

I also love watching the light change through stained glass, but so many houses in Britain have lost their stained window panels - popular in houses of the 20s and 20s - because the companies selling cheap double glazing couldn't incorporate them in their cookie-cutter glazing designs. I wonder if that happens here? Thank goodness for Pasadena's strict permitting systm (though I sometimes rail against it, as getting a permit to make even minor improvements to the house is expensive).

Steve Scauzillo said...

It brings back memories when we restored our old home in Monrovia...love the porch window the best.

Petrea Burchard said...

I haven't encountered the permitting system yet, Bellis, but I hope to someday. I think it's worth it. Not all cities and towns are beautiful and there's a reason for that. We tend to build cheaply as opposed to beautifully, these days.

It's a big job, isn't it, Steve? But worth it.

Steven said...

I agree with you Petrea I dont think those psychedelic colors are original. I'm guessing a good stained glass guy or gal could pinpoint the decade. I'm going to guess 1940's or '50's. Great photos. I love old houses and those who restore them. And just think about the craftmanship that went into building this house without any modern day power tools. Compound radial saws, laser levels, cordless drills, sanders etc.

Laura said...

Thank you for the lovely tour! What a graceful life this house has. Well, until that baby boy gets a bit older...

I would guess the stained glass is original. Certainly those colors are seen in ancient church windows.

One of the houses in Heritage Square had the most outlandish 1950s geometric wallpaper on the ceiling--but guess what--it was the orignal, authenically Victorian.

Petrea Burchard said...

Where's Thal Armathura when we need him? He'd answer the stained glass question.

Ah well, the stuff is unique and beautiful and it hardly matters when it was installed.

Jim, the homeowner, also pointed out detailing in the stairway railing that hearkens back to the Japanese art craze of the late 1800's. If you enlarge the pictures you can get a better look at it.

Susan Campisi said...

The stained glass door is my favorite. I'd like to sneak through it to get to that sleeping porch.

Bellis said...

Oh, interesting. The staircase is what I'd have called Chinoiserie. Chinese,Japanese, it was all the craze in the former colonies at that time.

I think this house is lovely and loveable. Thank goodness it found such caring custodians.

Shell Sherree said...

A window seat on the landing is a great idea, Petrea. It would be easy to gain many hours of daydreaming there. The stained glass is beautiful, original or otherwise.

Petrea Burchard said...

Me too, Susan, the sleeping porch is the first place I'd go.

"Chinoiserie." Thanks, Bellis, that's the word.

"Gain" is the word, too, Shell. That's just the way to put it.

Irina said...

Thank you so much for the tour. The old house is now has his hopes return to life, old houses are like people, they need to have youth around to feel young themselves.
I am back to blogging, feels so good!

Ms M said...

Thank you for the tour! The staircase and windows are fabulous! Excellent idea to have a window seat there. I love stained glass and interesting window designs, and learning about new words, like chinoiserie.

Petrea Burchard said...

Welcome back, Irina!

I know, Ms. M. Bellis has a lot of good words and I like that one.

Jimmy said...

Wow, very nice combination of colour and style! The ones on the left. :) Eh, Petrea - always supplying the best of Pasadena! I think I will finally subscribe to your blog.. :D

Petrea Burchard said...

Ha ha, Jimmy! I don't know, I see your comments around the web so much. You have too many blogs to visit!

Thal Armathura said...

Hi Petrea,
I would tend to think the stained glass windows are original, as they are in the style of the Victorian era and the house, but I would have to see them in person to say for sure. It was very common in the 1890's to have bright colored glass in the windows. For example, take a look at the red window in the Modjeska mansion in Modjeska Canyon, a thoroughly Victorian castle:

http://articles.latimes.com/1995-01-12/news/ol-19017_1_modjeska-home

http://www.flickr.com/photos/traderchris/5892973040/in/photostream/

There was a revival of such stained glass in the 1960's and 1970's, but it's doubtful the owners' of the house during that time would have installed stained glass. Interesting how Art Nouveau and Victorian aesthetic became revived during the hippie era of the 60's and 70's and now can confuse us and make us unsure.

There is another Victorian Castle in our neighborhood: The Robincroft Castle located just above Garfield and Washington:

http://www.artsygutsy.com/2007/07/blog-post_30.html

The tower was orginally an aquariam, viewable through a glass ceiling on the first floor, and a glass floor on the third floor. I did an extensive history report on our local castle when I nominated it as a Pasadena local landmark.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

like the last door/window. I have a similar door but without colored inserts