In this series, we’ll explore Victorian neighborhoods across the country and around the world to learn about regional period architecture and local communities’ restoration and preservation efforts. First up is one of Southern California’s oldest communities: Pasadena.
The Pasadena area has been continuously occupied for centuries, first by Native Americans and then by Mexican explorers who settled around the San Gabriel Mission in the 1770s. Three decades after California entered the Union as the 31st state in 1850, the city of Pasadena incorporated in the midst of a building boom: railways, a grand hotel, an opera house and several grand homes were constructed from about 1880 to 1910.
In 2011, locals successfully petitioned for three of northwest Pasadena’s their pre-Craftsman neighborhoods–Raymond-Summit, Bristol-Cypress and New Fair Oaks–to be recognized by the National Historic Register. Today, Pasadena has 18 designated historic districts, several of which we’ll visit today.
The Charles Elliot Langford House
- Built in 1886
- Located in the Madison Heights Historic District
- Queen-Anne style
- Standout features: A two-story polygonal bay window and half-round shingles on the facade
- That’s fun: There’s another Victorian home called “The Charles Elliot Langford House,” built it appears by this Langford’s father, in Fulton, Illinois. Another fun fact: John McWilliams, who became the house’s third owner in 1912, also became grandfather years later to a famous chef–Julia Child, who lived here from 1912 to 1914.
The Ingrid Adams James House
- Built in circa-1890
- Located in East Pasadena on what was once the Craig Ranch
- Queen-Anne style
- Standout features: Unlike most century-old homes, this house’s front and side entry doors retain their original screens. The most notable feature, however, is the three-story tower with its open turret.
The Frank Warner House
- Designed and built in 1901 by architect Frederick L. Roehrig, whose notable local work also included the Hotel Green and Castle Green
- Post-Victorian shingle-style
- Part of the Governor Markham National Register Historic District
- Standout features: The house still possesses its original windows; roofline sawtooth shingles; dentil, egg and dart motif; strap-hinged front door and central finial.