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Clean, open modernism in Altadena

A 1950 Caspar Ehmcke design has the indoor-outdoor feel and natural materials that are typical of the style. Its perch offers views of the mountains and of downtown Pasadena.

July 12, 2009|Catherine Ho

This classic midcentury modern home in quiet northeast Altadena has the indoor-outdoor feel, simple lines and open living space that typify the style.

Built in 1950 by architect Caspar Ehmcke -- whose Southland houses include Beverly Hills mansions -- the home was remodeled in 2004 by Los Angeles architect Barbara Bestor. She added 879 square feet for a garage, a bathroom, a utility room and an extra upstairs bedroom.

The home is set back from the road with a tree-lined elevated driveway, creating privacy. True to its modernist influence, the design emphasizes simplicity and natural materials. Douglas fir walls, cork flooring and 11-foot floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room give the entryway a clean, open look with plenty of natural light. A custom bookshelf and fireplace add interest to the living room, which has mountain views.

The remodeled kitchen has stainless-steel appliances and a CaesarStone island. Adjacent is a playroom that opens up into a backyard with a large lawn, a patio dining area, a vegetable bed and fruit trees.

The sellers, who purchased the home in 2002, are only the second owners in the house's 60-year history.

Rooms in the two-story house have a view of either the mountains or downtown Pasadena. On exceptionally clear days, the view from the master bedroom's 36-foot porch extends to Catalina Island.

The house is within half a mile of the Altadena Golf Course and within walking distance of the Angeles National Forest. It was selected to be part of the 2008 Pasadena Heritage modern tour, a house tour featuring significant postwar residential and commercial structures.


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Above it all in Altadena

Asking price: $1,649,500

Location: 1533 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena 91001

Size: Four bedrooms and four bathrooms in 3,218 square feet

Lot size: Nearly half an acre

Additional features: Built-in speaker system, media room, patio

Around the neighborhood: In the first quarter, 74 single-family homes were sold in the 91001 ZIP Code at a median price of $368,000, according to MDA DataQuick. That was a 31.9% price drop from the first quarter of 2008. listed 104 single-family homes last week in 91001, ranging from $160,000 to $3.5 million.

Listing agent: Michael Dilsaver (626) 795-6700, Dickson Podley Realtors


Home of the Week

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