Modern Patrons: Straub in Pasadena
SAH/SCC Tour & Talk: Pasadena
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Join us for a very special Saturday afternoon in April for another signature event in our Modern Patrons Program with an opportunity to visit the Thomas and Barbara Wirick House in Pasadena, designed by Calvin Straub.
The Wirick House is a shining example of how architect Straub integrated a post-and-beam house into a steep hill. Its architecture represents the best of the "USC School of Architecture" in blending a simple, warm, woodsy feeling, showing Straub's love of Greene and Greene, with the rigor of Mies van der Rohe (one of the school's important inspirations in the postwar curriculum). Completed in 1958, the house is based on a module of 2:1 beginning with its overall dimensions of 24' x 48'. The breathtaking double-height living room overlooks the steep hill the house is part of, attached to the slope by stairs and a driveway/bridge leading into the upper-level garage. At the time, the lot cost $2,750 and the building about $10 per square foot. Materials include clear-heart Douglas Fir, board-and-batten siding, brick, and stucco.
The residence is now a contributor to the Poppy Peak Historic District, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places just last year. The hilly area, located in the very southwest corner of Pasadena, is dense with outstanding houses designed by WWII-veteran USC grads, all eager to try a hand at designing houses on land most developers shied away from. The district is well worth a walk to see how each house shows a special sensitivity to site, orientation, and land.
As usual, we will have the opportunity to enjoy the house and also learn firsthand about how the house took shape and the special relationship between the homeowner and the architect. Make your plans to join us for an unforgettable experience in another remarkable example of our region's extensive architectural heritage.
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