The Pasadena Showcase House of Design (PSHA) is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful home and garden tours in the country, partaking in the exhibition of exquisite estates and valuable philanthropic efforts since 1948.
This year’s Showcase House is a magnificent English Tudor Revival designed by the prominent architectural firm Marston & Van Pelt. Over the next several weeks, the magnificent estate will be lavished with the wisdom, practicality, and style of 19 interior designers and six exterior designers – developing into a must-see destination.
The 7,479-square foot main residence features six bedrooms, four bathrooms and two half-baths. The majestic two-acre compound includes a pool and badminton court on park-like grounds, original leaded glass adorns the windows with occasional stained glass, and the exterior is distinguished by half-timbering, red brick and a slate roof.
Guests enter through a passage near the arroyo to see a dramatic sight – just as the architects intended. The broad lawn slopes gently upwards to the impressive estate. The entry features the main stair hall, a grand space with an intricately carved balustrade, and halfway up the stairs, a striking window. The first floor is host to the living room, library, dining room, conservatory, half bath, kitchen and laundry room. The second floor boasts a master suite complete with a sitting room, teen suite, guest bedroom and media room; and in the former servants’ quarters, a nursery and nanny’s bedroom and bath.
Visitors will experience hues that are evident of the English Tudor Revival style – a range of earthy neutrals reminiscent of the English countryside, punctuated with highlights of umber, stone, deep navy and salmon.
The grounds have numerous rose bushes, an arbor and more than 100 trees of various species. A pool is tucked among trees in a peaceful setting and a waterfall feeds into a small stream which passes beneath a faux bois bridge. The lush landscape feels a world away from the city.
Constructed in 1916 at a cost of $25,000 for lawyer-turned-actor Samuel Hinds and his wife, the legacy of this estate is infused with Hollywood glamour. Hinds, an attorney in Pasadena, was one of the founders of the Pasadena Playhouse where he acted as a hobby. His performances caught the attention of several movie producers, who subsequently offered him roles in their films. After a few years, he quit law to become a full-time actor and appeared in more than 200 films, in which he is best-known for playing Peter Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).
Most recently, the house has served as a set for several movies, including the acclaimed La La Land (in a scene set on the loggia, in which Ryan Gosling’s character plays the piano at a garden party), Beaches (it was the home of Barbara Hershey’s character), and the 1985 version of Alice in Wonderland, along with television episodes of Columbo, Parks and Recreation and Mad Men.
With more than $20 million donated to community music education programs, this all-volunteer, non-profit organization continues to support music programs in the community with one of the nation’s most successful house and garden tours. A staple involvement of PSHA’s program is music therapy for at-risk children, scholarships for young musicians, and music education at a variety of levels. This is in addition to their longstanding support of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and their highly regarded annual music programs – Music Mobile, Instrumental Competition and Youth Concert.
Lynn Mehl, the 2017 President for the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, and the organization behind the Showcase House of Design, has a long history of community service and has been a member of PSHA since 2006.
“Being a part of Showcase brings together my passion for education and community service,” says Ms. Mehl. “Music is invaluable and working with PSHA gives me an opportunity to promote the importance of music education, while working with a spectacular group of other volunteers.”
Dana Marevich, the Benefit Chair for the 2017 Pasadena Showcase House of Design, is overseeing the logistics for this year’s House, ensuring that all aspects of this fundraising project come together to provide guests with an enchanting experience.
“I have always wanted to be involved with Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts,” explains Dana, “and I am delighted to experience the many challenges, rewards and friendships that will come my way as our organization continues its long-standing support of music and all of the arts.”
The 2017 Showcase House will be open from April 23 to May 21, 2017. Tickets include a tour of the English Tudor Revival and grounds, and provide access to dining at The Wisteria Terrace Restaurant, handcrafted drinks at The Ivy Court, and a host of shopping options at The Shops at Showcase, where guests can discover astonishing items from local merchants.
To learn more about PSHA, membership, the programs it funds or the Designer Showcase House for the Arts, visit www.pasadenashowcase.org.