Greene & Greene with U.S. Presidential Pedigree on the Market in South Pasadena

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 | 8:22 pm

Listed by Kevin Bourland of John Aaroe Group at just under $3 million, the Chalet Style estate was built by the Greene brothers for Lucretia Garfield, widow of assassinated President James A. Garfield. Long a South Pasadena Cultural Heritage Landmark, it's been lovingly renovated and restored by its current owner.

It’s not every day an agent gets to represent a landmark Craftsman home built by Greene & Greene in 1904 for the widow of a U.S. President.

Even for Aaroe Estates Director Kevin Bourland — whose listings are routinely studded with architectural treasures — the Garfield House is a definite milestone.

Listed at just under $3 million, the Chalet Style estate was built by the Greene brothers for Lucretia Garfield, widow of assassinated President James A. Garfield. Long a South Pasadena Cultural Heritage Landmark, it’s been lovingly renovated and restored by its current owner. Mature oaks and Deodar cedars frame the wood-shingled residence and enhance its many period details, from cross-gabled roof and decorative slat vents to stone and brick accents.

Bourland, a Craftsman owner widely known for his knowledge and sensitivity regarding Arts & Crafts styles, has long been a go-to expert for buyers and sellers of cherished homes like this. In fact, he’s often asked to help clients say goodbye to one beloved gem in favor of another they simply can’t resist. “His expertise in managing two escrows, and especially his sensitivity to the historic nature of both properties, helped to uncomplicate a very complex transaction,” says one couple.

Bourland’s outstanding property staging and marketing skills are another plus often mentioned by his clients. His talents in those areas aren’t surprising, considering he came to real estate from a career as a professional actor with countless feature films, television shows and commercials on his resume. He’s also directed dozens of commercials for national brands. This is an agent who knows how to showcase a property to the fullest.

Lucretia Garfield, herself an avid fan of architecture, was intimately involved in the design and building of this home. Letters between her and Charles Greene, preserved in the Greene & Greene archives, reveal that having the former First Lady as a client wasn’t easy. In one exchange Mrs. Garfield asks, “Couldn’t the projection of the second story be continued just a little into a flat roof underneath the cornice.” Greene replies tactfully, “The reason why the eaves project from the gables is because they cast such beautiful shadows in the bright atmosphere. Of course if you particularly wish to have them cut back I will have them do.”

As the project nears completion, Mrs. Garfield demands, “Is my house really finished today? The carpenters, painters and plumbers all out? The plan is to arrive in Pasadena on the 14th of October, and as I take my maids with me the home must be ready for them to occupy it.”

Mrs. Garfield would have been flabbergasted to know that her home now includes a fully finished basement recording studio and media center. But she’d probably also be happy to know that the music producer who built it served as a caring steward for her beloved Garfield House.

About John Aaroe Group

John Aaroe Group is a leading real estate brokerage specializing in high-end property in the greater Los Angeles area. The company has represented some of the region’s most prestigious properties, and offers in-depth knowledge through its offices in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Marina Del Rey, the Sunset Strip, Toluca Lake, Sherman Oaks and Pasadena. It also serves an international clientele through Aaroe Estates. Founded by John Aaroe in 2009, John Aaroe Group is known for its agents’ dedication to impeccable service, as well as for Mr. Aaroe’s three decades of experience representing buyers and sellers of select residences. www.aaroe.com

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