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The 52nd Pasadena Showcase House of Design Annual ‘Empty House Party’ Draws A Crowd

Published on Monday, February 1, 2016 | 12:13 pm

The 2016 Showcase season officially kicked-off on Friday, January 22nd. More than 450 design enthusiasts and patrons of the arts joined the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) in La Cañada Flintridge for their annual Empty House Party. Held at an elegant 1918 Mission Revival estate, the event unveiled the fifty-second Pasadena Showcase House of Design. Previously known as “Dryborough Hall,” the estate made its Showcase debut 29 years ago in 1987.

At the Empty House Party, chaired by Dana Marevich and Karen Butcher, guests and media were treated to a sneak peek of the property before it begins its magical transformation at the hands of 20 interior designers and eight exterior designers.

The house, which exudes stately elegance and pervades a sense of early California style, will be revitalized in the coming months, and by Spring, will be fully transformed into a must-see destination. “Thought” to be designed by American architect Myron Hunt for restaurateur Leon C. Riggs, this glamorous home has maintained a good state of preservation since it was built in the early 20th century and has contributed to the architectural and historical context of La Cañada Flintridge. The main residence is about 16,000 square feet, has 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and is complemented by a 2,032 square foot 2 bed/2 bath guest house. The 2-acre property includes mature trees, a horse corral, an outdoor barbecue area, pool and spa.

“This is a very exciting night for us. We have been working diligently to get the House to this point,” said Marilyn Campbell Anderson, this year’s Benefit Chair. “Showcase is a huge undertaking. Our volunteers are the backbone of the organization and through their efforts, year after year, we are able to produce Showcase and raise funds to support music education programs throughout the community.”

While walking through the house and perusing designer renderings, sketches, color selections, and fabric swatches, attendees enjoyed an impressive selection of culinary offerings from The Kitchen for Exploring Foods. The menu included hearty winter soups; garden fresh salads accompanied by the likes of blood oranges, watercress and pomegranate seeds; a selection of succulent oysters; flavorful braised beef with duck fat roasted fingerling potatoes; a medley of artisanal cheeses and exotic fruits; and decadent desserts complete with aromatic coffees and after-dinner liqueurs.

The Empty House Party is the official announcement for PSHA’s annual benefit, the Pasadena Showcase House of Design for 2016. The Pasadena Showcase House of Design is one of the oldest, largest and most successful house and garden tours in the United States. Each year, Southern California’s most prominent interior and exterior designers renovate an estate of architectural significance using the latest design products and concepts.

“We are grateful to the city, our members and our community,” said PSHA President Gretchen McNally. “Showcase is truly a community-oriented event and because of their support, we have been able to help endless students further their music education.”

Approximately 30,000 guests will visit the House, its restaurant, and the Shops at Showcase this Spring to view the results of the time and dedication invested by the designers and the PSHA volunteers. The 2016 Showcase House will be open to the public April 17 to May 15, 2016. Tickets to Showcase go on sale February 3, 2016 and cost between $35-$45. To purchase tickets, or for more information about PSHA, please visit

About Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts

An all-volunteer organization, PSHA is a non-profit California Corporation whose members donate their time and talents to produce the annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design, one of the oldest, largest and most successful house and garden tours in the nation. PSHA celebrated the milestone of its fiftieth Showcase House in 2014. Founded in 1948, the organization has donated over $20 million to provide music programs in the community. Examples include the underwriting of concerts, choral productions, musical theater, opera, jazz quartets, marching bands, and orchestras at local schools, senior centers, and many other non-profit organizations. Additionally, a staple part 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. They also produce three highly regarded annual music programs: Music Mobile™, Instrumental Competition and Youth Concert. An essential part of PSHA’s mission is to nurture the study and appreciation of music and to ensure that music is available to a broad range of audiences. For over 65 years, PSHA has funded and produced programs that have enriched the lives of countless people and brought a lasting legacy to the community.


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