Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 29, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 29, 2012 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people who create them Story by Chris Bertrand Photos by Susanne Hayek 

MADELINE ESTATE IN PASADENA - Once Part of the 14 Acre Craven Compound

Tucked away at the end of a long private driveway of overarching 
mature trees, lies a storied property. Situated amidst the Millionaire’s 
Row mansions of a century and lifetime past, elegant abode just listed 
for sale, was actually once the servant’s quarters for John and Mildred 
Myers Cravens. The locale, so named, featured the expansive tony 
homes of over 100 millionaires’ families along approximately 1.5 miles 
of South Orange Grove in Pasadena.

Listing agent, Pauli Morin of Coldwell Banker, calls the home a “private 
secluded sanctuary with a wonderful history.”

Mrs. Craven’s father was a tobacco baron, and she brought her family fortune to the marriage. In 
1897, the Cravens, Midwesterners, became part time residents, basking in the warmer California 
clime over the winter months. They decided to move to Pasadena full time in 1904, and John 
Craven went on to found the Edison Electric Company of Los Angeles, after the sale of the Myers 
Tobacco company. Craven also played a major role in developing Chino, Fontana, Westchester 
and Torrance.

The Cravens divested their initial “wintering” property to Adolphus Busch, who used some of 
the land to partially recreate his famous Florida Busch gardens. For their permanent residence, 
the Cravens purchased a nearby fourteen acre parcel between Madeline and Grand and fronting 
Orange Grove. The firm of Hunt and Eager built the main structure, according to area historian, 
Tim Gregory and 

Over time, many additional buildings and garden structures dotted the acreage, including a 
natatorium, which was a swimming pool structure they called “The Plunge.” After the childless 
Cravens passed away in the 1940’s, the original estate home eventually became the headquarters 
of the local Red Cross organization in 1962. Mrs. Craven was a long standing board member. 
The main Craven Estate Red Cross Headquarters was recently featured as a Pasadena Showcase 
House in 2010, after extensive renovations by local designers.

In the 1940’s, Louisa Jane Church took ownership of several of the “outbuildings” including “the 
old natatorium at 500 (Madeline), servants’ quarters at 520, original greenhouse/wine cellar at 530, and the garage/servants’ quarters at 580,” according to Tim Gregory. Church and her husband built a home 
on 3.4 acres of land sold off by the Cravens, and used the “outbuildings” such as the home just listed at 520, as 
guest houses. 

The 520 building was built by the same firm that constructed the main Craven estate, Hunt, Eager and Burns, 
as well as notable buildings as the Doheny residence in Los Angeles, the California Club and the Annandale 
Country Club. Originally in a Craftsman style, the home’s style now reflects an English cottage style and is 
surrounded by mature trees, especially magnificent sycamores.

Many of the former owners of 520 Madeline, including an actress, and a U.S. District Judge who handled 
high profile cases, were no doubt attracted to the consummate privacy afforded by the long driveway and the 
generous, .62 acre flag lot.

Today’s home enjoys the tradition of the past and elegance abounds in the 3701 square feet of living space, with 
four bedrooms and three baths. The foyer opens to a gracious dining room, plus a grand formal living room, 
as well as a sumptuous family room. French doors open to the yard and pool, and a semicircular breakfast area 
provides natural lighting from the encircling windows. 

A generous master suite with adjacent sitting area is conveniently located on the first floor, while three additional 
bedrooms plus an office area are located upstairs. Outside, expansive patios abound, perfect for outdoor 
entertaining and private relaxation in the shade of the heritage trees. 

The particular attraction of this property is the “location, location, location,” as the adage goes. As the next 
generation of magnificent homes evolves in this elegant neighborhood, the home at 520 Madeline stands in 
pedigreed stead amid magnificent grounds and unequalled privacy.

The home is offered at $1,685,000 by Pauli Morin of Coldwell Banker. For more information, visit the home’s 
website at or contact Morin directly at 626-233-2047. Many thanks for the research 
information from Tim Gregory, The Building Biographer.


You’re ready to make an offer! You’ve done your homework by reviewing a CMA (Comparative 
Market Analysis), local DOM (Days On Market), and even the LP:SP (List Price to 
Sales Price) ratio to formulate your offer based on the numbers, and you have confidence 
in the mathematics.

 However, there may be “non-tangible” factors that don’t fit neatly into the equation. Your 
representative will endeavor to discover variables like the seller’s motivation and your possible 

 If the home you want has been listed much longer than the average DOM, the sellers may 
have become more realistic and more motivated to accept lower offers. Sometimes the 
sellers are motivated by the pressure of having purchased, or offered to purchase, another 
home. Then time becomes more important than money. No one wants to pay two mortgages 
or risk their ability to close on another purchase because they can’t sell their first 

 Also try to find out if other buyers are making offers on your chosen property. If so, 
make your first offer your best offer, because sellers are unlikely to counter in this situation. 
But… never offer more than your representative believes the home will appraise for, or 
your financing will fail and you’ll be back at Square One. Talk to your agent about the facts 
and the variables, and then make your offer with confidence.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: