The Pasadena Showcase House Returns

Popular opening event kicks off countdown to Showcase House April 24 debut
Published on Jan 22, 2022

More than 450 guests celebrated the return of the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts’  “Open House” party Friday evening, marking the countdown to the house’s April 24 opening party.

The 2021 “Empty House” party was canceled last year, like so many other large gatherings, due to the pandemic. A number of fundraising events were held online instead.

This year’s party was held both outdoors and indoors at Oaklawn Manor, a 1905 English Tudor style home in South Pasadena, the first South Pasadena Showcase House since 1980.

Event Chair Marybeth Rehman-Dittu was enthusiastic about the animated and happy atmosphere among the gathered, masked and vaccinated guests, all of whom were required to show proof of vaccinations.

“People were just so excited to get out and enjoy this party all outdoors, because usually, as you know, the Empty House party is indoors” she said, “but we didn’t want to do that, so we thought we would just open everything up and create this ‘Tudor Lounge’ out on the lawn.”

The home itself was built for Harry Hawgood, an English civil engineer who designed railways and waterways around the world. The home, built of concrete, also contains rich wood interiors, stained glass windows, beamed ceilings, as well as travertine fireplaces.

While guests were able to tour the empty rooms of the house, which will be redecorated and furnished by nearly 30 local interior designers, a “flavors of the world” dining area was set up on the front lawn by a host of local restaurants—Porto’s Bakery, Mijares Mexican Restaurant, Fish King, and Kogi, along with JR Party Planning.

The local designers have chosen 20 different spaces throughout the house to decorate,  from the grand entry and upstairs gallery, to powder rooms, a “gentleman’s retreat,” a solarium, various pantries, as well as outdoor lawn spaces. Their final work will be officially on display on April 24.

Rehman-Dittu emphasized the importance of the organization’s mission in supporting local music programs throughout Los Angeles County as well as its ability to continue to raise funds with online events throughout the pandemic.

The organization, which was founded in 1948, currently supports four philanthropic initiatives—Gifts & Grants, Music Mobile, an Instrumental Competition and Youth Concert.

Tickets to the Pasadena Showcase House, and more information are available at

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