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.