Home Of The Week
1188 Hillcrest Avenue
Built in 1911, the house was designed for sisters Cordelia, Kate, and Margaret Culbertson by prominent Pasadena architects and brothers Charles and Henry Greene. It was the largest commission received by the firm at just over $150,000 and is recognized as the duo’s last major joint undertaking. Although paying homage to the firm’s signature Craftsman style, the residence is quite a departure from their typical bungalow project, incorporating significant Asian inspired architectural and design elements including a low façade, smooth tan gunite exterior finish, and emerald green roof tiles with flecks of red, almost evocative of a prestigious Chinese palace.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, the nearly 8,559-square-foot home has been restored to pristine condition. Boasting an essence of understated elegance, the interior spaces are lavishly detailed and are comprised of 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, dining room, family room, living room, and media/music room. The formal entry hall features sculptured plaster, fabric wall coverings, and exotic marble. Herringbone patterned wood floors combine with antique inspired lighting fixtures to honor a time past.
Boasting a U-shaped or courtyard plan, the principal rooms wrap around the central garden courtyard showcased by expansive glass windows. Reminiscent of ones found in Europe, the outdoor entertaining space and gardens evoke tranquility and enchantment with charming wisteria and rose arbors placed alongside whimsical loggias, Grueby-tile walkways and Pewabic-tile fountain.
A masterful blend of Euro-Asian grace and signature Craftsman influences, The Cordelia A. Culbertson House represents one of Greene & Greene’s most monumental architectural triumphs.