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Home of the Week

Less gingerbread but still as sweet

This classic Pasadena Victorian, built in 1891, scales back a bit on the gewgaws but still pours on the charm.

August 27, 2006|Diane Wedner | Times Staff Writer

Dubbed the Ernest Wood House after an early resident who either was a fin de siecle plumber, missionary or merely an early boarder there -- stories abound -- this Pasadena Historic Landmark home, built in 1891, is a fine example of the Queen Anne style, said Gregory McReynolds, a Pasadena historian and Victorian architecture specialist.

Although lacking the gingerbread-house look often associated with the late Victorian era, this painstakingly restored home nonetheless represents a style that was favored by Pasadena's early Midwestern transplants, McReynolds said.

Queen Anne-style homes such as this once graced northern Pasadena -- several have survived -- and many were built on land carved from 2,000 wild acres owned by early residents John Painter and B.F. Ball. The properties typically occupied 3 to 5 acres on which the homeowners sometimes grew and sold oranges.

The Ernest Wood House features wraparound porches, classical Doric columns and dormers with swept roofs. Double-hung windows wrap around the sides of the house, and a balcony with matching columns is perched above one of the porches. The property also has one of the oldest intact gazebos remaining in Pasadena.

About this house: The current owner purchased the home last summer with plans to transform it into a day school for disabled and autistic children, with live-in quarters for the school volunteers. The property was not zoned for that use, however, so that dream faded. But not the dream to restore the house to its former splendor. Inside, the original wooden staircase -- a Victorian mainstay -- complete with heavy carvings and newel posts, has been restored to near original condition, said Los Angeles interior designer Ronald White, who helmed the home renovation. The hardwood floors have been refinished, and the balcony, a prominent feature, is completely refurbished, as are its columns. A vinyl roof, which was fairly new and a "horrible light gray," White said, was painted a darker color to help recapture the home's original flavor.

Asking price: $1,080,000

Size: The 2,880-square-foot house, with five bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms, is on a 13,000-square-foot lot.

Features: The home includes stained-glass windows; carved wood doors; five fireplaces, some with unique mantels; a large kitchen with pantry; hardwood floors at ground level; and new carpeting upstairs. The lot also includes a three-car garage.

Where: The Garfield Heights area of Pasadena

Listing agent: Dolly Yau, Dolly Realty, (626) 644-3449.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send color interior and exterior photos on a CD with caption information and a description of the house to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate section, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Send questions to

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