You can tour a distinguished estate in San Marino that combines English Tudor and Craftsman design elements and which interior has been remodeled for this occasion by a long list of local designers. These designers respect the house created by Fernand Parmentier in 1910 as a work of art in its own right. They followed a neutral color scheme punctuated with deep tones of blues, greens, reds, violets, and plums to design modern looks for the gorgeous rooms of this 9,400 square feet home and to the 2,600 square feet Carriage House (with an upstairs apartment) that accompanies it.
The money gathered by this fundraiser will support music programs in the area (the Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation, for example, is one of the organizations that were awarded a grant by the PSHA this year). In its 51 year history, PSHA has made cumulative donations of nearly $20 million to various art programs.
The PSHA is a non-profit organization ran by volunteers. The designers worked free of charge and a good part of the materials were donated. Dunn-Edwards Paints, for example, donated all of the paint needed for the remodel.
The house was built 105 years ago as a “honeymoon house” for original owner John V. Eliot’s new bride, Ellen Rowena Blossom. The idea was to create a setting that would complement her beauty and her love for the outdoors. Architect Parmentier did such a grand job that very few significant changes have been made to his original design.
Touring it allows you to see not only the architecture itself, but also the craft of the designers involved in the remodel. Each room was assigned to a different designer. To keep it all cohesive, all designs followed a color palette and the ideas were first presented to a Board for approval. The result is one room after another of incredible beauty, with luxurious carpets, fascinating light fixtures, amazing floors, and the most delicate adornments.
You must see “The Writer’s Room,” designed and constructed by Robert Frank Design and inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban villa, the “Finca Vigia.” Also “The Young Girl’s Suite” and “The Young Man’s Suite,” designed by AFK Fine Furniture for Children and Concept Builders respectively. And the restroom near the kitchen is incredible! The truth is that there is no room in this house that will not amaze you, and there are not enough pictures that can properly translate the impressions.
Besides the tour of the home and the Carriage House, this event includes “Shops at Showcase,” a series of tents in the outdoor areas offering unique items of clothing, jewelry and culinary treats for sale. The “Restaurant at Showcase” will enhance your visit with an array of food choices and a full bar.
The most important part of it all, your admission money will support the following PSHA efforts:
- Gifts and grants to non-profit organizations for symphonic, cultural and educational programs.
- The Music Mobile van, which visits third graders in their classrooms and introduces them to musical instruments.
- Admission for fourth graders into concerts at important venues like the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
- Monetary awards for promising young musicians between the ages of 16 and 24 who compete in the categories of woodwinds, brass and strings.
Tickets into the house tours range $35 to $45 and can be ordered at http://www.PasadenaShowcase.org or by calling (714) 442-3872. (The “Shops at Showcase” and “Restaurant at Showcase” can be visited free of charge.)
You will be asked to drive to the Pasadena Rose Bowl (Lot I, 360 North Arroyo Blvd) where a complimentary shuttle will take you to the Showcase House. You will also be requested to wear flat shoes.
Dena Burroughs photos