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Get a sneak peek of the Pasadena Showcase House

April 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Crowds always fill the Pasadena Showcase House of Design. But this year, the estate may be visited as much for the architect who designed it, as it is for its décor.

When the estate was listed for sale in 1945 it was called "the best Flintridge location with the most authentic 17th century English home in the country." It was built in 1927 and designed by L.A.-based architect Paul Williams.

It was one of the first major homes for the pioneering African American architect -- a fact respected by this year's designers for Pasadena Showcase House.

"We're fans of his work. We're honored to be working on a home that he designed," said Steven Logoluso, architect and designer. "So we put a little extra effort into researching and trying to bring it back to where we thought it would have been when designed it."

With arches, leaded pane windows and lath and plaster walls, it was built as a country retreat for John Bishop Green, and later sold to four more families. Yet the Paul Williams design was not changed very much.

"Many homes that have a history or that have a famous architect, they've been remodeled a few times already. This house had nothing done to it -- [it has] the original kitchen, the original cabinets ... in the master bathroom it's the original tile," said Kathryn Hofgaarden, Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts (PSHA) benefit chairman.

The living room makeover comes alive with bright fabric and touches, like a Tony Douquette designed solid gold frog.

"It's a fantastic to inherit. It's got great scale and proportion, beautiful detailing, I mean, there was not a lot that I would have wanted to cover up," said designer David Dalton.

Every year, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts raises about $500,000 for music and art programs. Because this house is pure Paul Williams, tickets will go fast.

The house is for fans of both design and Paul Williams architecture. It opens Sunday, April 17 and runs through Sunday, May 15.

Visitors can get more information about this year's Pasadena Showcase House of Design and buy tickets on the PSHA's website or call (626) 578-8500.