[Slideshow] Touring Pasadena's Modern Residential Architecture

Posted on: June 7th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

Built for oil company executive John (Jack) W. Norton, the Norton House’s colors and materials blend with its natural surroundings -- part of the architects’ beliefs that there should be no strict divisions between interior and exterior spaces.
Built for oil company executive John (Jack) W. Norton, the Norton House’s colors and materials blend with its natural surroundings -- part of the architects’ beliefs that there should be no strict divisions between interior and exterior spaces.

A couple Saturdays ago, I spent the day touring some truly amazing Modern-era homes in Pasadena, Calif., all dating from 1950 to 1983. In a city renowned for its unparalleled collection of early-20th-century Craftsman bungalows, it was exciting to see an equally important, if less celebrated, side of Pasadena’s architectural legacy.

After all, a number of big names in Modern architecture made their mark on Los Angeles in the early- and mid-20th century, including Richard Neutra, Rudolph M. Schindler, and Gregory Ain. And the contributions of these Modernists to Pasadena had a distinctly Southern California feel: light, natural materials; rich landscaping focusing on native plants; and lots and lots of windows and glass paneling to elegantly blend the indoors and out, making full use of the endless sunshine.

All of those features were on display during the “Residential Architecture of the Recent Past Home Tour,” one component of a three-part series called Pasadena: 1940 Forward presented by Pasadena Heritage, a nonprofit organization that has been protecting and celebrating the city’s historic resources since 1977.

This was Pasadena Heritage’s contribution to the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. (read my previous post about this exciting program).

Although photography was limited during this tour (interior photographs were strictly forbidden), I did my best to capture some images that illustrate Pasadena’s stellar collection of Modern residential architecture. Take a look and share your thoughts!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

Modern Architecture, Slideshows

One Response

  1. Blaise

    June 7, 2013

    Those are quite nice photos, aren’t they?