Historic Preservation Commission Considers Special Designations for Two Significant Pasadena Homes on Tuesday

Published : Monday, September 3, 2018 | 4:34 PM

Members of Pasadena’s Historic Preservation Commission will drive to two homes in the City on Tuesday, September 4, as part of their evaluation process before acting on proposals to designate one of the homes as a Historic Monument and the other as a Landmark.

The house at 200 Fern Drive in District 6, recommended for designation as a Historic Monument, is an exceptional example of a custom-designed Mediterranean Revival Style home designed by Paul R. Williams, a regionally significant architect, and was the residence of V. Mott Pierce, a nationally significant doctor and pharmaceutical entrepreneur.

A staff report from the Department of Planning and Community Development said the property “clearly expresses the characteristics of the Mediterranean Revival architectural style” and “evokes the feeling of high-style design that was originally intended.”

The report added that the home has retained the integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, and feeling since its original construction in 1928, and appears almost exactly as it was during the period that Dr. Pierce resided in it.

In a separate report, the Planning and Community Development Department said the home at 1319 South Oak Knoll Avenue in Pasadena’s District 7 is recommended for designation as a Landmark for being a locally significant example of a two-story Craftsman-style home with Prairie School influence, which reflects the links between Pasadena and the upper Midwest.

It is a given fact that not only did a number of prominent Pasadena residents originate from the Midwest, but some of the leading architects that practiced in Pasadena at the turn of the century came from the Chicago area.

Prairie School dwellings, several of which are in Pasadena, are characteristics of a late 19th and 20th century architectural style with roots in Chicago, Illinois. The style was most common in the Midwest, but its influence was felt around the world – especially in north-central Europe and Australia.

Prairie School-influenced dwellings are usually marked by their integration with the surrounding landscape, horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad eaves, windows assembled in horizontal bands, solid construction, craftsmanship, and restraint in the use of decoration.

The home was built in 1913 and has undergone few major exterior alterations. Gutters were installed in 1941 and the house was reroofed in 1961 with original wood shingles being replaced with red cedar shingles.

In 1984, the house was reroofed again with green concrete tile, and structurally reinforced. A detached garage appears to be relatively intact, with the only noticeable change being the modern garage door.

The trip to view the two properties is considered a special meeting and will be conducted at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, before the Commission’s regular public meeting at the George Ellery Hale Building Hearing Room, at 175 North Garfield Avenue, which begins at 6:00 p.m.









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