The Art in Architecture

Published : Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | 6:05 PM

Pasadena is home to some of the most beautiful architecture imaginable. This is the type of old world attention to detail and exquisite workmanship that can be difficult to achieve today. Pasadena Now recently spoke with Darrell Done, an architectural properties specialist.

He immediately talked about the impressive architectural history of the area. “A lot of our neighborhood was built in the beginning of the 20th century. From an evolutionary standpoint, architecture kind of transformed the neighborhood as different styles became in vogue,” said Done.

He explains that the beginning of the 20th century ushered in the Arts and Crafts Movement as the Victorian Era was winding down. This is when natural materials, such as wood and stone, became increasingly popular. This allowed for the creation of some of the most beautiful homes of the 2th century. “Architects like the Greene brothers, Greene and Greene…..designed the Gamble House and many other noted pieces of property around our area,” said Done.

The 1920s began an era of romantic, lavish homes. Villas, like those found in Europe, starting cropping up in the United States. “The 1920s was considered the Golden Age of Architecture because there was a tremendous amount of wealth,” said Done. This inspired builders and architects to create the same type of design on a smaller scale that more people could afford.

There are different designs you will see in architectural homes but they all remain impressive and most of them are still impressive by today’s standards. “(There are) a lot of very clever details and…over the years as people came on to the market and started designing for the current trend you still had a wonderful sensibility and style and attention to detail,” said Done.

These detailed homes can be found throughout Southern California. Pasadena has taken great strides to protect this architectural integrity of these great properties. Done told Pasadena Now, “as far back the late 1980s Pasadena had created landmark districts which create neighborhood to protect these homes and Bungalow Heaven was the first landmark district in Pasadena and it was responsible for a lot of houses to be preserved and not to be greatly modified in destroying the original content of the architecture.”

Done makes it clear that there are many great current architects but there is something special about these old beauties. “We buy an architecturally designed home or architecturally significant home, it’s not just about the normal things it’s worth to mention, bedroom and bath count but it’s about all the wonderful details that went into the house. I mean the neatness of the design and materials that were used,” he said. These houses go to show that beauty is indeed ageless.

You can visit Darrell Done at


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