Monday, October 12, 2015

The Cravens Estate

I did some volunteer work for the Pasadena Museum of History and they invited me to their volunteer meeting at the Cravens Estate.

Nice digs.

The Cravens Estate was built in 1930 for John S. and Mildred Cravens. It was a headquarters of the Red Cross for some years, but is no longer. It might be on the market! We volunteers discussed the possibility of pooling our funds.

The Estate is often used as a filming location. In 2010 it was the Pasadena Showcase House, and there's more information about it here. Some of the info is out of date but it gives you an idea about the history and size of the place.

This is just inside the main entrance. You can see a dining room beyond. I admit I'm not crazy about the murals, but I love the light.

Here's a hallway leading to the rear garden. I was trying to keep my reflection out of the picture.

A staircase leads to the second floor and a showpiece skylight. Those rectangles are mirror images of it.

I really, really wanted to snoop around the second and third floors, as well as the rooms on the first floor where our volunteer meeting was not taking place. But mama raised an obedient girl and I didn't have the nerve. What if I were caught? Would I be spanked?


The back porch is nice, too.

More pictures here. A lot more!

27 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

How could you concentrate on that meeting? I would of been staring at everything... that staircase and the windows! whoa.... Maintenance/cleaning must be a bear...

Petrea Burchard said...

We were in a large drawing room and I couldn't see the rest of the house from there. I wandered as soon as I could, though!

Shell Sherree said...

Wow ! The floor, the ballustrade, the light fitting, the skylight and those mirrors ~ all of it gorgeous !! You are very well behaved, Petrea ~ and I'd have done the same.

Petrea Burchard said...

Wait 'til Karin checks in. She puts me to shame as an intrepid trespasser.

Ann Erdman said...

The Red Cross has done the estate proud. Plus it got a much-needed interior facelift when it was chosen as the Showcase House of Design a few years ago. I'm so glad many of Pasadena's historic resources have been protected.

Petrea Burchard said...

We're fortunate in that regard. I often wish more of our historical buildings had been saved, but then I remember we have so many. Glass is half full, or three quarters.

Bellis said...

Lovely photos and a nice tour of a place I never got to. It's a bit hidden from Madeline, isn't it? Pleased to see it's in much better shape than I thought it would be, and nicely renovated. But I wouldn't have enjoyed living there, as it's not very cosy. I do wish you'd gone upstairs to see the master bedroom that takes up half the floor area. What were the two of them doing in there? On the other hand, I worry when I trespass that someone could be doing something in there, thinking they're in private. I don't think that's a worry Karin has ever had, and I'm sure she's seen nothing she shouldn't have, but still ....

altadenahiker said...

My ears are burning.

Petrea Burchard said...

Did you look at the links, Bellis? One man took more than 90 photos and I don't think he showed a room like the master bedroom you describe. I'd like to see that, too!
I think when Karin trespasses, she goes to deserted places. My favorite, too.

Hiker, your ears have been burning for a week or more! I was thinking of you while I was there.

William Kendall said...

What an exquisitely beautiful place, Petrea!

Petrea Burchard said...

William, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Pasadena was a haven for the wealthy. They built some pretty fabulous houses. Many are gone, but many remain. Some are even still private homes.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Ahhh! I absolutely adore the sea green tiles in the bathrooms and on the kitchen floor. Reminds me so much of my grandmother's home. She even kept her original silk screened wall paper that she selected from the early 30's. No remodels for her. I kept a roll that I found after her death. Sea coral in pinks and greens on a black background. Beyond gorgeous. One of my favorite treasures.

Petrea Burchard said...

I love your enthusiasm about it, PA. I did take pictures in the bathroom but not the kitchen, although I peeked in there.

Bellis said...

One of the photos on that site you linked to was of a large room with desks in it. Do you think that may have been the master bedroom?

llandudnopictures said...

What a grand place, the light streaming into the entrance is wonderful.

Petrea Burchard said...

I can't tell by looking at the pictures, Bellis, but I don't think any of the photos show a room large enough to cover half the second floor.

Geoff, I like to think the finest architects know exactly how to plan around the best light.

José Mendonça said...

What a beautiful building! Inside and outside too.

Petrea Burchard said...

Kind of amazing (not necessarily in a good way) when you realize it was built near the beginning of the Great Depression.

Ms M said...

Love your tour! I, too, would be very tempted to "explore"! Maybe you'll get a chance another time....

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm going to try, Ms M.

Jenny Goodwin said...

I've been poking around the internet and I came across a real estate listing for a house at 470 Madeline Dr, which this would have been part of the Cravens Estate at one time. The house was built in 1958 but has a rather oddly situated rounded front porch with a balustrade that looks *suspiciously* like the one pictured here on the back porch (odd for a mid century house, no?). According to the 1930-31 Sanborn Maps, there was a bathhouse of a similar shape located on property. Am I crazy, or is it possible that this house was built on top of the remnants of the bathhouse?!

Jenny Goodwin said...

Assuming my earlier comment did go through, I think your link above solved the answer to my question. That seems like a long way for terraces to extend out from a house, but I am thrilled to know I wasn't off my rocker for thinking that mid century house was a little too odd looking to NOT be related somehow to this magnificent estate :)

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't think you're crazy, Jenny! It makes complete sense. I think you've put a piece of the past together for me. Thank you!

Jenny Goodwin said...

Hi again! I was in the area today and decided to do a bit of exploring. The house at 470 Madeline is currently in escrow, vacant, and very recently fumigated so I figured it wouldn't be too terrible to take a quick jaunt around the yard. I'm SO glad I did. It was incredible and answered a lot of questions I had. The house is indeed built on the terraces that extended from the back of the Cravens House, which are, incredibly, pretty much intact! There are a couple of levels of terraces that lead down to two sweeping, symmetrical staircases at the base, and then a path goes beyond that down onto the next property. I think it's remarkable that the whole area wasn't razed once the Cravens Estate was subdivided.

I figure that the old bathhouse was likely a couple properties down from this, approximately where Stoneridge begins. There is an old looking semi circular pergola near the street in the yard of a modern house at this location which I suspect may have been aligned with the bathhouse at one time. I live for this stuff and am so glad to know there are others out there that love figuring out these puzzles too! :)

Petrea Burchard said...

I love your discovery, Jenny! I'll try to get over there and check it out. I love these puzzles, too, and we are not the only ones.

I took a tour of Busch Gardens remnants in 2010 with Pasadena Heritage. Here are some of the posts. Scroll down to May 25th. Is that the pergola you're speaking of?
http://pasadenadailyphoto.blogspot.com/search/label/Busch%20Gardens%20Pasadena

Jenny Goodwin said...

Yes! I believe that is the same pergola. That's probably why it looked familiar to me! I just love your blog :)

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Jenny. I love it too, and I haven't been able to focus on it, as you may have noticed. I miss it! But it required so much time and effort and I couldn't find a way to pay myself for it! If I could do that, I'd be back at it right away. In the meantime, I post on Fridays at petreaburchard.com/blog. Not mostly about Pasadena, though.