One of Pasadena’s most significant estates, spectacularly restored
Named among the dozen most architecturally important Heritage Homes in Pasadena, the James Allen Freeman House in Pasadena’s Langham District is a magnificent example of English Arts and Crafts style. Over the last decade, recent owners have undertaken a painstaking multimillion-dollar restoration to return the landmark to its original beauty.
Commissioned by a retired Iowa lumberman, the 1913 home was designed by Arthur and Alfred Heineman, who together with the Greene brothers are among the most prolific architects of the California Arts and Crafts movement. The exterior is inspired by an English Cotswolds cottage, with wave-patterned wood shingles wrapping over the eaves and gables to recall a thatched roof. Plastered, pseudo half-timbered walls and banks of small-paned windows enhance the effect. No expense was spared in the construction: at a time when a typical house with lot cost $2,500, this home alone cost $23,000 to build.
Today, the impeccable restoration is reflected in every detail. Stone pathways wind through the nearly one-acre property, highlighted by views of the San Gabriel Mountains and an enchanting Japanese garden ribboned with a koi pond and waterfall. Huge trees, sweeping lawns, brick terraces, stone patios and paths, and a freeform pool and spa surrounded by expansive decking complete the setting. Inside the 8,000+ square foot home, glowing golden oak and African walnut are enhanced by carved beams, wainscoting, cloud lift motifs and intricately carved details. Handcrafted hammered metal hardware and light fixtures enrich the effect both inside and out.
The massive, window-lined living room, originally designed as a ballroom, features the first of seven fireplaces, set within a wide inglenook decorated with Batchelder tiles. A large formal dining room is nearby. The kitchen with its top-of-the-line appliances, magnificent Craftsman cabinetry, stone counters and butler’s pantry opens to a step-down breakfast room whose wall of glass doors opens to a patio.
Four of the five bedrooms are located off the home’s sunny upper landing. The master suite features a fireplace flanked by inglenook seating, luxurious his-and-hers baths and walk-in closets. Located off the upper landing, a view deck with fireplace looks out to the peaks beyond.
The basement includes a gym, full bath and expansive wine cellar. A gorgeous Japanese-inspired guest house over the three-car garage includes a bedroom, kitchen, living room and bathroom with wet room.
The property’s Mills Act status qualifies it for a substantial reduction in property taxes.
The Freeman House is a masterwork of regionally significant architects and a superb example of historic preservation at its most impassioned. This special property is an incomparable setting for a lifetime of indelible family memories and unforgettable gatherings.