Monday, March 26, 2012

#230: Bungalow Heaven

When Brad's parents came to visit a couple of weeks ago, they mentioned wanting to see Bungalow Heaven, a cozy neighborhood in Pasadena that has the largest collection of Craftsman-style homes ("California Bungalows") in the country. These homes were built between 1905 and 1925, and because of their historic significance, the neighborhood is included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

I have to admit, I had no idea what Arts & Crafts style architecture was before our visit. The name brought to mind popsicle sticks, Elmer's glue and colored glitter... Needless to say, I couldn't have been more wrong. It turns out that the Arts & Crafts style is a departure from the ornate Victorian aesthetic to a more simple, nature-oriented design. It emphasizes fine craftsmanship over mass production, incorporating locally crafted wood, metal and glass work.

Perhaps the most well known Craftsman house in Pasadena is the Gamble House, which was built for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter & Gamble Company.  I still haven't gotten around to visiting this historic house. You can beat me to it--they offer public guided tours on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and the weekend. Click here for more info.

Want to visit these homes yourself? For 364 days of the year, you can only drive around and admire the outside of the houses in Bungalow Heaven.  However, one day a year--this year it's Sunday April 29th--you can take self-guided tours inside eight of the houses. Docents will be around to answer any questions you may have. One of the eight houses even offers a "Living History" tour in which actors pretend to be homeowners of the time.  Click here for more info about the 23rd Annual Bungalow Heaven Historic Home Tour.

Bungalow Heaven


  1. Thanks, Jolene...Great place to drive though. Just wish we would be there for "The Tour". It should be fabulous. So glad we could drive by all those homes that I have wanted to see for quite a while.

  2. i had such a wonderful time at the gamble house a few years ago - will definitely check it out!