Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 24, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 17



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 24, 2011 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people whoe create them. Story by Chris Bertrand Photos by Chris Bertrand and Ron Stinnett



For those who traverse 
the eastern end of Orange 
Grove regularly, it’s likely 
this distinctive stone and 
green trimmed estate with 
a huge and wide, iron 
strapped door and Gothic 
arches will come to mind 

By the time of its 
completion in 1929, this beautifully preserved 
Orange Grove estate’s storied past was tied to the 
scandalous doings of Warren C. Earle, the original 
owner and City Engineer and Superintendent of 
streets at the City of Pasadena. Apparently, Earle 
got into a boat load of hot water just as the home 
was finished. 

As part of a historical package prepared by Tim 
Gregory, The Building Biographer, a slew of LA 
Times articles dated June, 1939 through May, 1931 
chronicled the accusations of graft which included 
suggestions that city dump trucks were buried 
under a bridge, the indictment of Earle and five 
other prominent Pasadenans of grand theft and 
misappropriation of public funds for Colorado 
and Linda Vista “paving which was never 
installed,” Earle’s dismissal by the city resulting 
in quick foreclosure on this estate, the grand jury 
trial in what was called the Sewer Graft Scandal, 
his incarceration at San Quentin, and Earle’s 
release and parole in 1931, after about a year and 
half behind bars.

Amid all that scandal, graft, cloak and dagger, 
stories emerged of various materials within the 
house that may have been the result of greedy, 
sticky fingers. How much is true, we’ll likely 
never know, but the current trustee owner pointed 
to the distinctive foyer tiles that are said to exactly 
match some found in Pasadena City Hall, and 
some railroad ties used elsewhere that may have 
appeared without the proper sales receipts.

Happier days (for the home, at least) soon 
ensued, and several families spent long years at 
the east Pasadena home, including the current 
family’s tenure of over five decades. During their 
ownership, the home was part of a Christmastime 
tour as a St. Luke’s Hospital Benefit in which the 
living room’s intricately carved choir loft was 
apparently used for a real choir of carolers from 
St. Philip Church.

A step inside the breathtaking, but somehow 
not overbearing, two story living room brings 
exclamations from most visitors. To the left, a 
floor to ceiling brick fireplace flanked by leaded 
glass windows, anchors the room in its English 
Revival style. The current owner called attention 
to the construction of the massive timbers of the 
cross-beamed ceiling as like an inverted boat, 
and pointed out the beautiful custom carvings 
of animals and men’s faces at the base of each of 
the largest timbers. Beautiful parquet and plank 
hardwood flooring further coalesce the style. He 
has been told that European artisans were brought 
over to create and install the millwork here and 
throughout the home. 

Gothic pointed arches flow throughout the 
home, punctuated in the living and dining 
room by fluted pillars. The dining room, while 
less ornate, features millwork and plaster work 
delights of its own. Box beam paneling graces the 
walls, and an interconnecting circle and square 
relief on the ceiling creates a formal and elegant 
framework for the room.

In homage to our California lifestyle, well 
established even in the 1920’s, the main floor 
rooms open through French doors to the covered 
porches, the private courtyard with fountain, 
or to the back yard, for easy indoor to outdoor 

The oversized breakfast room (which might 
double as a hexagonal family room) is light-filled 
and cheerful, with even a wall perfect for audio-
visual equipment. The spacious kitchen and utility 
areas are original, save for a sixties addition of a 
vinyl roll floor, and open to today’s interpretations 
without the need to deal with interim editions. Off 
the kitchen, a bedroom and full bath are perfect 
for live in help or guest quarters. 

Part way up the magnificent staircase, a library 
with its own Gothic arched, outside entrance and 
patio, offers an opportunity for a home office to 
conduct business and receive visitors without 
interrupting the household. The owner delighted 
in showing off a “secret” window to an adjacent 
bedroom, covered with a painting, and told of 
rollicking pranks using it as a passageway, during 
their childhoods. 

The bedrooms are grand in scale, featuring 
large bathrooms with vintage tiles. The second 
floor hallway is a remarkable work of art of its 
own, as a play of shape and shadow, with its many 
repeated pointed arches. 

A stone driveway leads through a distinctive 
gate to the garage, yard and magnificent, six 
hundred square foot gazebo and outdoor kitchen. 
This rotunda offers a wood beamed ceiling, oven, 
huge exhaust, sink storage and massive fireplace, 
with even a hook for the kettle. Just envision a 
grand summer evening gala for sixty or seventy 
of your favorite guests, or something more 
casual and intimate, like burgers, ping pong and 
billiards, elegantly shaded from the elements. 

2350 Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, 
with 4919 square feet of exquisitely preserved 
architectural elements, is offered at $1,475,000. 
For more information about the trustee sale of 
this beautiful estate, contact Tink Cheney of 
Coldwell Banker at 626-356-8129 or through www.

For more information about The Building 
Biographer, contact or 


My last column got you started on your 
purchase by determining how much you could 
afford, getting loan pre-approval, finding the 
right agent to tour suitable homes. Now what?

Get “comparables” from your representative 
for each appealing home, review property 
disclosures, and research liens and restrictions. 
If possible, ask the seller’s reason for listing.

 Now you’re armed to make your offer, 
which should include contingencies regarding 
financing and inspections, as well as any 
special requests or repairs, and also a closing 
date and earnest money deposit. There may be 
some negotiation, but once both parties have 
agreed on the terms, you’ll sign the Purchase 
and Sale Agreement. 

Now you’ll apply for financing, order an 
appraisal and inspections, and possibly 
renegotiate after those reports are complete. 
You’ll need to secure homeowners insurance 
and complete the loan process. You’ll want to 
have cash ready for your downpayment and 
closing costs, and do a final “walk through” 
just before closing.

You and your agent will be able to review all 
the settlement documents in advance of the 
closing date, to be sure everything is correct 
and to dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s. You’re 
finally ready to make an appointment with 
the closing attorney, get an Official Check 
from your bank for downpayment plus closing 
costs, and sign the papers giving you the 
coveted status of “homeowner!”


(NAPS)—Throughout most homes, there are 
a number of technological features built into 
products you probably use daily that could 
make lives easier...if only you knew they 

For example, smart kitchen appliances let you 
connect to the Internet to download recipes 
and create a grocery list that’s accessible 
from a mobile device while shopping. 
Many newer model microwaves even have a 
message center for family reminders. 

Furthermore, with 75 percent of cable 
customers now enjoying digital services, 
the home entertainment room may be 
wall to wall with innovation. For instance, 
many customers can now use a smartphone 
or laptop to set the DVR from anywhere. 
Once the app (often free) is downloaded, it’s 
simply a matter of entering in the show title 
and clicking “record.” 

Digital cable customers can also rent the 
hottest new movies with a push of the 
remote button. Movies On Demand provides 
instant access to top hits, most available the 
same day as the DVD and Blu-Ray releases 
and often weeks before they’re on Netflix. 

Great flicks being offered these days on 
Movies On Demand include the “Source 
Code” starring 
Jake Gyllenhaal, “The Lincoln 
Lawyer” with Matthew McConaughey and 
Marisa Tomei, “Arthur” with Russell Brand 
and “Limitless” starring Robert De Niro and 
Bradley Cooper. When you’re ready to enjoy 
a little family fun, you can watch Johnny 
Depp as he entertains in “Rango.” To make it 
a double family feature, 
add the inspirational 
story of “The Perfect Game.” Go to www.
rent to see the latest 
titles and trailers. 

If that still doesn’t satisfy your inner geek, 
there are new iPad, Xoom and other tablet 
apps that provide instant in-home access to 
a friendly, searchable program guide. With 
one tap on a Movies On Demand poster 
image, you can have the film rolling on the 
big screen in the living room. Plus, a growing 
number of studios and cable networks have 
created apps that add social and interactive 
dimensions to the TV viewing experience. 

It takes only a few minutes to discover the 
convenience and fun of technology features 
that may already be available in your home 
and on your mobile device. 

By deploying your most basic techie skills, 
you may be able to enhance your life and 
take advantage of fun and useful features 
you may not even know are available to you 
at home.

845 E Foothill Blvd #J, Monrovia $339,000Lovely gated 2 story townhouse w/nice sized living room 
with fireplace, dining room big enough for large table, 
sunny kitchen & patio, attached garage.

CALL PATRICIA 626-818-2698

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