Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Too Charming

Bungalow Heaven is a Pasadena Landmark District. Many homes there fit the description of a Craftsman bungalow, a style that was hugely popular (and economical) in Pasadena in the early 20th century. We have bungalows all over town. My own home has many Craftsman bungalow characteristics. But there's an especially high concentration of charming bungalows in Bungalow Heaven.

The Bungalow Heaven Neighborhood Association sponsors a home tour each spring. I finally went this year. So did everyone else. Surely you were there, and your brother and your aunt and your third cousin's cousins and their kids and pets. By noon the lines outside the eight featured homes were as long as the lines at Disneyland on a temperate summer Saturday.

So I saw five of the homes. They were lovely, and the gardens were lovely, but the lines, well, the lines were not lovely and I couldn't bring myself to wait in three more of them. (If you look closely at this picture you can see lines of people on both sides of the street.) The docents did a great job (and I hope they at least got a free lunch for their pains) but there were just too many people. If I want to see inside more Bungalow Heaven homes I'll have to meet more people who live in them and get invited over. Do you live there? Hi! What's up?

I'm glad Bungalow Heaven is popular. It's becoming more popular all the time, and that's well deserved. That being the case, however, I wonder how they'll handle the amusement park crowds next year.


Reminder: tomorrow's post will be a little different: it's a contest entry, consisting of a pitch for my novel and the first 250 words. There will be a photo, as usual, but the copy will be, uh, unusual. Feel free to comment! We'll see how it goes.

25 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

I suspect I'd have waned before you, Petrea, but touring five homes sounds like a good reward for your patience. {So many people. Perhaps next year, there will be sleeping bag queues the night before...}

LONDONLULU said...

This brings back memories of Pasadena (I lived there long ago and remember it fondly). Thank you for your lovely comment - look forward to visiting often and reacquainting myself with a great town! (Oh, and the family bakers do bring home treats, not enough :)

LGreenWriter said...

I love weekends because I can catch up on the past week in Pasadena! Best of luck with "Camelot & Vine", it sounds like it has a very cool storyline! Love the "Cut it out" pic with its layers of meaning! Okay, I'll stop with the exclamation points, clearly too much of the espresso taken! lol I was thinking, since I kinda missed seeing a pic of Boz this week, maybe he could have an official weekly appearance? That'd be fun, and who wouldn't love seeing him more often... : )

Petrea Burchard said...

Shell, I think you'd have loved the tour. These are special homes. Their owners know it and they take such pride in decking them out just right. I loved all I saw. But standing in the long lines wore me out.

Hi Lulu! Perhaps it's best you're not overwhelmed with baked goods. I try to look at the bright side,.

It's always nice to see you, LGreen. I've considered turning PDP into Boz Daily Photo but I'm afraid I'd lose readers. I do have lots of pictures of him so I'm sure he'll be on the blog again soon.

Virginia said...

You were brave. I would have made it in one. THat said, the long wait was worth it for the aqua vélos avec chien. :)
V

PS When I come out there, we'll just nose around the neighborhood like we did near the Huntington!

Petrea Burchard said...

I do enjoy walking in the neighborhood, Virginia. They lost some trees during the big storm but one hardly notices because they have so many. (Yes, it was worth it for the vélos et chien.)

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I want that bike but I don't think the dogs going to give it up

Bellis said...

Such a well-behaved and patient dog, I don't think he's even tied to anything. Abby would try to get into the house with me. I've learned that unless I go at opening time, it's too crowded. But even then, by the time I've got round the first house, there are lines outside the others. Do you do the Showcase House of Design? Now that's REALLY crowded. I've given up with it and I usually dislike the way the rooms have been over-decorated.

dive said...

Weird. Over here we run screaming from bungalows, rather than queue to see them. But then your bungalows are somewhat cuter and definitely less of a plague than ours.

Petrea Burchard said...

She was a sweet dog, PA, and her owners were nice. I wonder if they kept going; I doubt they'd have been willing to make her wait. She was tied, of course, but it might not have been necessary.

Bellis, I've never done the Showcase House although this year I'll see the exterior. I'm sure it's a good cause but it's beyond my budget. Obviously, they get enough people to spend it.

Dive, our bungalows are very cute. They have beautiful woodwork, charming built-ins and pretty gardens. It's too bad they wouldn't let us take photos on the premises.

altadenahiker said...

"Surely you were there, and your brother and your aunt and your third cousin's cousins and their kids and pets."

Nailed it.

Michael Coppess said...

Petrea -- did you go into the house on the 800 block of Chester? Wide river rock front porch, dark wood inside, batchelder fp, bottom pull toilet... That's our old house that we restored before moving to East Pas. Was a mess when we got it about a dozen years ago.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Karin. That one came trippingly, but of course I slaved over the rest, as you know.

Michael, that was the first house we saw. A nice place! Perhaps you're the couple they refer to in the brochure who bought it in 1997 and rescued it from the rats? They say this couple "had already resuscitated a smaller Bungalow Heaven house on Mentor, and you will see that they were quite able to meet the many challenges that this house presented."

The brochure, by the way, is really nice.

Michael Coppess said...

Yes, that's us. It took us 10 years to do Mentor and, then when that house was finished, we saw this great old broken down place on Chester. It was rat filled (we used to listen to them run overhead at night) and had a family of skunks living in the basement. But, as my wife says, the place had great bones. Bringing that house back was very satisfying. Those were the days.

Katie said...

Lines can be a drag, but I'd be bummed to hear that no one was interested in checking out these cool old bungalows. Ah the pull of interesting architecture. Keep an eye out for bungalow open houses where the lines will probably be considerably shorter.

TheChieftess said...

You lasted through 5 more houses than TheChief would have!!! I'd love to go through some of those bungalows!!! If you think about it next year...give us a heads up!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Rats in the attic, Michael, those were the days. You are such a nut for nostalgia.
It's a lovely house. You did a wonderful job, and it's obvious the current owners carry on your tradition.

Katie, you are so smart. Watch for homes for sale in the neighborhood! A good way to snoop.

Chieftess, you can always check out their website: http://www.bungalowheaven.org/. They've got a good organization, which is probably why they got such a huge crowd this year. I imagine they'll be prepared for the deluge next time around.

Ms M said...

Braving the crowds to see 5 of them is to your credit! I think 3 would have been my limit, at the most. But Craftsman bungalows are a wonderful style. The North End neighborhood of Boise has a number of these homes.

I hope the patient dog got a good treat :-)

Petrea Burchard said...

I think she did. I'm hoping her owners gave up early, too.

Adele said...

The crowds look a bit frenzied, but the bikes and dog look peaceful. I once lasted for five houses, too. It was worth it to see them, as I love this style. (You probably weren't aware of this, but the Greene and Greene room at the Huntington is called "Adele's Room." Only by me, and my husband, but still...) From now on, though, I'll just use your method. For anyone here who owns one: "Hi! What's up?"

Petrea Burchard said...

I had not known about your room at the Huntington. Now I feel like I was sticking my nose into someone else's business.

Margaret said...

Petrea, that is a great picture. Loverly.

Petrea Burchard said...

Merci, Margaret.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Beautiful photo!
That lovely dog remember my dear Flora...

Petrea Burchard said...

You make me wish I had known her, Sonia! We've made our dogs famous among our blog friends.