A bit of whimsy perched above a Pasadena arroyo

The 1911 Craftsman house has a wood shake exterior and a traditional front porch. It overlooks the Arroyo Seco.
(Kristen Simental)

A beautifully preserved 99-year-old Craftsman home, built by Pasadena architect J. Constantine Hillman for himself, blends elements of the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement with a whimsical playfulness to create a fairy tale house with an unobstructed view of the Arroyo Seco.

Home of the Week: The Home of the Week feature in the June 6 Business section on a Craftsman for sale in Pasadena misidentified the photographer of the exterior shot of the house. The photo was taken by Kristen Simental, not Chun Ming Huang. —

With a wood shake exterior and a traditional front porch, the two-story house is entered through a central living room, anchored by a fireplace updated with faux Batchelder tile. Patterned redwood paneling, original oak flooring and picture ledges give the room a rough hewn, yet detailed look.

The 1911 house has classic Craftsman features, including exposed beam ceilings, built-in cabinetry and push-button light switches. Yet the floor plan echoes the arroyo ridgeline in a C-shaped configuration, and rooms have unusual nooks and under-eave closets.

“It’s a hide-and-seek house that mixes grandeur and rustic,” says Adam Bezark, a theme park designer who owns the house with his wife, Kristen, a photographer. “We’re a mile from Old Town Pasadena, yet you feel like you’re in a wooded retreat with all the trees.”

Magnolias, firs and oaks surround the home, along with lemon, orange and bergamot trees. A patio in the back is accessible through the living and dining rooms, permitting indoor-outdoor entertaining.


On either side of the living room are north and south wings. An enclosed sleeping porch with windows serves as a walkway between the wings and is used as office space.

The lower level of the southern wing has a bedroom now used as an office, a media room, hall closet and a bathroom at the base of the stairs.

At the top of the stairs is a walk-in closet for the master bedroom. Around the corner is a bathroom opposite the master bedroom and attic space.

In the north wing are two bedrooms and a bathroom. One of the bedrooms includes large under-eave closets, perfect for children to hide in or for extra storage space.

Below is the butler’s pantry, dining room and kitchen. The country-style kitchen features built-in cabinetry and a laundry nook with stacked washer-dryer.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos on a CD, caption information, the name of the photographer and a description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to