Getting Ready to Show Off

Potter Daniels Manor will highlight this year’s Pasadena Showcase House of Design
Published on Jan 29, 2024

Hundreds jammed the English Tudor Revival-Style Potter Daniels Manor, high above Brookside Park on Friday evening, for the annual  Pasadena Showcase House of Design “Empty House” party.

Eager guests dined on shrimp, Butternut Squash and tomato soup, along with beef and pork sliders and sparkling cocktails, as they moved through the impressive property’s interior and exterior acreage.

2024 Benefit Chair Dotty Ewing was beaming as she discussed plans for this year’s Showcase House.

“When all the designers are done, this house is going to be amazing,” she said. 

Dozens of excited designers from across the San Gabriel Valley showed off sketches and designs, as well as fabric swatches, for their individual design spaces, which include three kitchens, countless bedrooms and adjoining spaces, as well as media rooms, and outdoor gardens. 

Potter Daniels Manor, sitting discreetly behind high iron gates on over an acre of property, features an elegant façade and rich details, with a romantic old-world feel. 

Flowered grounds and winding paths around the home end at a back terrace providing a grand view of the Arroyo Seco, and beyond. 

Following about eight weeks of renovation, the home will host more than 25,000 guests from mid-April to Mid-may, walking through the 30 interior and exterior design spaces, along with a variety of boutique and craft merchants, as well as an on-site restaurant.

The event was presented by Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization founded in 1948 to support music and the arts in Los Angeles County.

The 2024 Pasadena Showcase House of Design was once named “El Roble” by one of its prominent residents, in honor of a stately oak tree that once graced its front lawn. In recent years it has been referred to as Potter Daniels Manor, honoring its original owner while also paying homage to its second but more famous owner’s English heritage and inspiration.

Originally commissioned by Gertrude Potter Daniels, wife of a wealthy Chicago businessman, the home was built in 1902 by Joseph J. Blick, one of Pasadena’s pioneer architects, at a cost of $15,000.

The home was sold in 1905 to Susanna Bransford Emery Holmes, known as the “Silver Queen” after her late husband struck it rich after the became partners in famous Silver King Mines in 1892. In 1922, Mrs. Holmes hired the Postle Company of Los Angeles, builders of the Pasadena Playhouse, to completely remodel the home into the English Tudor Revival Style of today. 

The home little resembled its former version but became one of the most impressive houses in Pasadena. The interior features a grand walnut paneled foyer, a monumental stairway complete with hand-carved banisters and rails, a banquet-sized dining room and a stately living room opening onto a covered terrace running its entire length.

Completing the space is an oak paneled library, a sunroom, a butler’s pantry and kitchen. The second floor features a large primary and three additional bedrooms, all with their own bath.

Funds raised from the proceeds from the tour and related events  will benefit the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts’ four philanthropic initiatives — Gifts & Grants, Music MobileTM, Instrumental Competition, and Youth Concert. 

Pasadena Showcase has contributed more than $25 million toward local music and arts programs, since its inception.

Public tours will take place beginning April 21 and continuing through May 19, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm; Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturdays, and Sundays, from  9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Tickets and more information are available at or by calling (626) 606-1600.

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