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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts Now Open

Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts Now Open

by Pasadena Independent
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By Susan Motander

For 67 years members of a local volunteer organization have worked to raise money to support music programs in the community. Over those years they have donated more than 20 million dollars in “gifts and grants to support the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall, other non-profit organizations and local symphonic, cultural and educational musically oriented programs for youth,” according to the group’s website.

In addition, the group funds a Music Mobile, a van equipped with musical instruments that has visited over 100,000 third graders throughout the area. It has also provided for over 250,000 fourth graders to attend concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, first at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. If all this were not enough, there is also an Instrumental Music Competition with monetary awards (to date over $500,000 in prize money has been given).

Originally known as the Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee, for 51 of those years they have raised that money by working with local designers to produce what is probably the best know “showcase” house in the country; hence the change in the group’s name to the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.

This year, the group’s work with those designers has result in the transformation of a 1910 Pasadena estate designed by Fernand Parmentier. The house is an interesting mix of Tradition Tudor combined with touches of the then popular Craftsman movement. With Honduran mahogany beams and moldings. The main house has 9,400 sq. feet with an entry hall, formal living and dining rooms, a library and bath, kitchen and mudroom/laundry on the lower level. The upper level has three bedrooms, four baths, a family room, reading room and an artist’s retreat.

As the all infomercials say, “But wait, there’s more.” There is also a 2,600 square foot guest house with an upstairs apartment that formerly held rooms for the chauffer and coachman. The lower level was a combination garage and stables.

The one and one half acre property has five distinct garden areas including an entry garden, a swimming pool, koi pond, garden kitchen/BBQ area, and wisteria arbor. As always, outside the house itself, Showcase has provided a shopping area and a restaurant. There is even a small pub next to the Shops at Showcase for those who prefer a drink to shopping.

Showcase opened Sunday, April 19 and will be open through May 17. The house opens each day on 9 a.m. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and on the weekends the tours continue until 3:30 p.m. with the house closing at 6 p.m. On Wednesday and Thursday the tours end at 6:30 p.m. with the house closing at 8 p.m. On Fridays the tours will end at 7 and the house closes at 8:30 p.m. The house is closed to the public on Mondays.

Tickets are available online via the showcase website: www.pasadenashowcase.org. The cost is from $35 to $45 depending on the time of day and whether the tickets are purchased in advance. As always, parking for the showcase on most days is at the Rose Bowl with free shuttle service to the house. There is no parking in the neighborhood of the showcase house out of respect to the neighbors.

Next week, look here for a more detailed description of the house itself.

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