The James Craig Adobe is not only Pasadena's oldest residence, but its oldest structure, too. It's just about impossible to see the house from the street (I've tried), so when the geniuses at Pasadena Heritage manage to swing public tours, you definitely want to go.
Last Saturday, Pasadena Heritage presented its spring home tour, "Before the Bungalow," including an illustrated lecture and a drive-yourself tour of four of Pasadena's oldest homes. A history lesson followed by a snoop around other peoples' houses is my cup of tea, people.
Scroll to Mile 24 on this Pasadena Heritage page for a better history of the building than I could write. In the picture above, you can see that the exterior is just plain old adobe. The inside walls are smooth and painted white.
Being a handmade house that's almost 175 years old, the Craig Adobe has details no other house has. I love its asymmetry. The windows let in just the right amount of light. The temperature's a bit too cool for me, which means it's just right for everyone else.
The current owner is artist Sue Tuemmler. I don't think she'd mind me telling you her name, as her works decorate the walls and she had left her business cards for us to take. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside (I sympathize), but you can have a look at her website. These pieces are striking against the white adobe walls. And although Tuemmler respects her home's history and has decorated with a nod to 1840's California, that nod is a gentle one, a sort of "I won't forget you, but I'm living in the 21st Century."
At the other homes, we were allowed to take photos only from the street, so I especially like these shots of the grounds.
I have another picture from the tour to show you tomorrow. Pasadena Heritage did a terrific job, as always. If you get a chance to take one of their tours, do it. You'll get a lesson in history, and a darned good snoop.
Update 4/12/13: This historic house has just been listed for sale. I hope it is purchased by a lover of local history, someone who can take care of it as it deserves. The listing agent contact is:
594 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101