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April 26th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
The Pasadena Showcase House of Design opened Sunday, April 20 for tours and will remain open through Sunday, May 17. This year’s Design House is a 10,000 sq. ft estate in San Marino built in 1917 under the direction of G. Lawrence Stimson, the architect responsible for the Wrigley Mansion on Orange Grove Blvd., now the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses.
The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, the sponsoring group, is a non-profit organization of about 70 women all of whom volunteer. Formed in 1948 as the Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee, these active volunteers have been presenting Pasadena and other local estates as tours decorated by local interior designers and landscapers since 1965.
While the springtime function is always an enjoyable outing, its purpose is real, dramatic and significant. More than $16 million in gifts and grants has been given to support the Los Angeles Philharmonic, local symphonic, cultural and educational programs. Among its youth music programs are the Pasadena Showcase House Music Mobile, the annual youth-oriented concert and the Instrumental Competition. The Instrumental Competition has awarded almost $400,000 to youths between the ages of 16-24 whose woodwind, brass and string talent has been encouraged. Ten cash prizes are given each year and include a $6,000 Grand Prize, three $4,000, three $2,500, two $1,000 and a special $1,500 Jack Smith Memorial Award for the most promising talent. This year’s Grand Prize winner (not always awarded) went to Jose Gonzales.
Each of the rooms in the vast mansion is superbly decorated this year by 25 designers and nine landscapers. The outdoors has received unusual attention this year with a large outdoor pool area and lower gardens by Design Details and FormLA landscaping—that are mentioned here because they are so integrated into the overall scene, they are easy to miss.
The Showcase House is open Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. through May 17. No tours are given on Mondays. Ticket prices vary according to time visited. Weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and all weekend times are considered “prime time” with tickets at $35 for phone, online or mail requests and $40 at the door. “Matinee” tickets are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Fridays from 2:00 to 7:45 p.m. “Matinee” tickets are $30 for phone, online or mail requests and $35 at the door. Service charges are not included in ticket prices. Tickets can be ordered at www.pasadenashowcase.org or by calling (714) 442-3872.
Complimentary shuttle service is available at the Pasadena Rose Bowl, Lot I with parking on April 25 (only) at Pasadena City College Lot 10 and 11 (located at the corner of Green St., and Holliston Ave.
By Bill Peters