The “Little Mansion” in West Pasadena would be considered a landmark – now Pasadena

A 1926 Norman French estate with a touch of Disneyland is one of three homes that will go before the Pasadena City Council on Monday for landmark status.

The Pasadena City Council on Monday will discuss a recommendation from the Department of Planning and Community Development to designate the residence at 701 W. Holly St. as a landmark because it embodies the distinctive characteristics of the French Norman architectural style and represents the work of an architectural firm of local significance.

The existing property owners, who purchased the single-family residence in 2021, applied to have the property designated as a landmark on June 5, after which the city began the evaluation process to see what its qualifying features are.

In September, as a major step in the landmark designation process, the Pasadena Historic Preservation Commission recommended designating the property as a landmark under the Pasadena Municipal Code.

The property is located on the north side of West Holly Street, between Arroyo Drive and North Arroyo Boulevard, east of the Holly Street Bridge. It has an irregular design and an asymmetrical facade that is mostly unchanged from its original design.

A listing on real estate broker Redfin described the property as a “beautiful home in the prestigious Pasadena neighborhood” whose original details include a Batchelder tile fireplace in the living room, arched doorways, a striking dining room, breakfast nook and pantry, and a library. A seating area and French doors lead to a spacious patio for al fresco dining.

The listing stated that there were three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the third floor and a room/office and powder room located off the entrance on the first floor. The property also offers easy access to local shops, parks, the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center and the Norton Simon Museum, according to Redfin.

There are no immediately adjacent homes on either side of the property, although the surrounding neighborhood contains other single-family homes as well as multi-family residences, the Planning Department said.

The planning department said the building, dating from 1926, displays distinctive features of the French Norman style, including a central conical tower, plaster cladding, half-timbering and a wooden porch, among other elements. It is worth noting that the property has not undergone major external changes since its construction, which maintains its historical integrity.

Postle & Postle, the father-and-son architecture firm that designed the house, became famous in Pasadena in the 1920s. The firm specialized in various architectural styles and contributed significantly to Pasadena’s architectural scene.

According to a Planning Department report, David Postel, Sr. began his architectural career in Chicago in the 1860s and moved to the Los Angeles area in the 1920s before partnering with his son, David Postel, Jr., to jointly design and execute. A contracting company that worked to meet the demand for luxury housing by the elite and wealthy people in the region.

The company specialized in interpreting and applying popular styles of the time, including Chateauesque, Beaux Arts, Spanish Colonial, Tudor Revival, Mission Revival and Regency, the report said. Together the firm has designed numerous real estate commissions throughout Pasadena and the greater Los Angeles area, many of which are designated as historic resources.

In Pasadena, the company’s commissions include 529 S. El Molino Ave., 545 S. Euclid Ave., 141 N. Grand Ave. and 1133 N. Marengo Ave., the Planning Department said in the report.

The report also said features that defined the character of the property included being three storeys with an attached garage, an asymmetric rear block, a central conical tower with a recessed doorway, plaster cladding, half-timbered windows, and single and double timber-punched window openings. Multi-light windows, second-story front porch with French doors, original arched wood garage doors, and steep mansard roof profile.

The other two homes are located at 656 South Oak Knoll Street and 627 North Euclid Street.

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