Urgent note: It’s almost time for Descanso Gardens to transform into a leafy world of dazzling nighttime lights again. “Enchanted: Forest of Light” opens November 19, but tickets tend to vanish in a twinkling. Better reserve your visit soon.
One of the last of the fabled mansions on Pasadena’s legendary Millionaires' Row has just been unveiled after a meticulous turnkey transformation. The painstaking project focused on preserving the three-story home’s lavish Italian Revival beauty … while enhancing it for modern living.
Set on a knoll 600 feet from Orange Grove, north of the Tournament of Roses headquarters, the 8,000 square foot Terrace Villa is widely considered the epitome of 1920's high style Period Revival residential architecture in Pasadena. It commands sweeping views across the onetime Ambassador College campus, overlooking the nearly two-acre Great Lawn all the way to the San Gabriel Mountains.
Listed at $4,800,000, the villa at 160 South Orange Grove Boulevard was designed in 1924 by noted California architect Walter C. Folland for retired Chicago judge Stillman B. Jamieson. During its time as part of Ambassador College, this residence and the mansions on either side were restored to preserve their lavish period features. Designated an historic landmark with Mills Act property tax status in 2012, the villa is now part of Ambassador Gardens, a residential community near Old Pasadena focused on preserving and celebrating the area’s rich history.
The villa has two grand entrances, one facing the two-acre Great Lawn, the other opening to a fountain, arbor and series of patios. The upper walls are edged in delicately painted vine-like friezes and garlands; a low-pitch hipped roof with terra cotta tiles is punctuated by several ornamental and functional chimneys and scrolled wood roof brackets. Arched openings, balconies, terraces, and prominent entry bays are enhanced with classical detailing. The grounds, which still have key features of Garret Eckbo’s celebrated campus landscape design, are filled with mature specimen trees, including two massive figs as old as the home itself.
The elaborate interior is highlighted by a grand marble entry with spiral staircase surrounded by soaring arched windows, a sunken formal living room with fireplace and music room, and a gracious formal dining room. Details include many large arched view windows; elaborate moldings and ceiling trims; multiple chandeliers; original hardwood, marble and tile floors; and lavish use of decorative wrought iron.
Complementing these original grand living spaces is a large remodeled kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances and breakfast area. On the upper level, three en-suite bedrooms include a master featuring a custom bathroom with fireplace and office overlooking the front grounds. A family room and upstairs laundry complete this level. The lower level holds a new bedroom suite, a gym, a prewired media room, a game room, a second laundry room and a 900+ bottle wine cellar. The home has new electrical, plumbing & HVAC systems and a secure entry four-car underground garage. Owners have access to the newly constructed Ambassador Gardens community pool.
A superb combination of historic beauty and modern amenities, Terrace Villa is an incomparable Pasadena address.
See more at terracevillapasadena.com
So you’re invited to someone else’s Thanksgiving feast. Whew. But wait – you still have to bring a side. This year, why make it that same tired old chestnut (dressing)? The folks at Food Network have 100+ way more impressive recipes.
Anyone who’s driven the Eastside freeways has spotted the soaring 226-foot tower of the 1927 Sears Mail Order Building in Boyle Heights. Now it and the rest of its 1.8-million-square-foot landmark complex are poised for new mixed-use life.