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Local historic home rivals Hearst Castle

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image kabc"><span>KABC</span></div><span class="caption-text">Approximately 40,000 visitors tour the Pasadena Showcase House each year.   (KABC-TV)</span></div>
April 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tucked away in a La Canada is a historic home that rivals the Hearst Castle in detail and construction.The Spanish style home has already won a world prize in architecture just after it was built.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the Pasadena Showcase.

Though it's much smaller, the construction is said to be equal to the Hearst Castle. Greg Parker was one of 17 interior designers who helped transform the 86-year-old mansion. He took on the the restoration of the nearly 30-foot grand entry and added his music.

"I was inspired, of course, by the name that was given to this room, 'The Entry of the Composers,'" explains Parker.

The Old World-detail includes brick walls tied with steel. It also features hand carved wood doors and wrought iron.

When Mr. and Mrs. George Hanson paid for all this 86 years ago, the land, the house and the furnishings all cost $250,000. Now for the price of a ticket a visitor can see what modern day designers have done to embellish the celebrated architecture of Henry Harwood Hewitt.

"We like to think of it as Disneyland for adults. There is a little something for everyone here. You can shop, you can eat and your eyes have a feast," said Delise Menik, benefit chairman.

The Pasadena Showcase is one of the oldest and biggest home and garden tours in the country.

In one room, a designer discovered something that had been hidden.

"It was built during prohibition times, so there is a hidden bar. If you move back the cabinetry there you will find a hidden bar," said designer Paul Devine. "The bar is lined in all natural cork."

The library was one of the rooms challenged by the older design, and so was the kitchen, which grew considerably by combining three rooms.

"The house was made for parties. If you see everywhere the rooms are large, but the kitchen is small," said designer Sue Potter.

Proceeds benefit music programs, and over the years one showcase has given over $15 million.

The house is on five levels because when it was built in 1922, it was inspired by a Spanish castle.

The showcast is Apr. 20 - May 18. For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

 

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