Vintage SoCal: A quintessential Craftsman in Pasadena’s Historic Highlands

Without homes such as this Four-Square Craftsman, Pasadena might not have a designated landmark district in its Historic Highlands neighborhood.

The more than 2,000-square-foot residence is considered a “contributing house” to the former agricultural area’s historic and architectural identity. Other early styles represented in the community include California bungalow, Victorian and Prairie.

In keeping with the Arts and Crafts character, the two-story home has a wide front porch supported by tapered columns. Exposed rafter tails face the street. The second-story windows enclose what was once a sleeping porch. Stained glass, built-ins and wood wainscoting continue the architectural theme indoors.

In 1909, the house was kit-assembled — akin to the models that Sears sold from its famous catalog — before refrigerators and dishwashers had yet to become household items.

A small plaque on site identifies the original owner as George Randall. An adjacent house of the same plan was constructed by the same builder, with some modifications.

It was originally a two-bedroom house; today a downstairs den and the enclosed upper-level sleeping porch account for the total of four bedrooms and two bathrooms.


The detached garage has a permitted bonus studio for an additional 336 square feet of living space.

At the rear of the yard is a modern-day addition: a permitted yurt, which was retrofitted with a rigid roof to conform to city building codes for a gazebo. The third-acre lot also contains an expanse of lawn and old-growth fruit trees.

In another custom touch, a back corner of the home’s roof is hinged so it can swing up and allow RV parking in back.

The property, at 965 E. Howard St., is listed for $1.185 million. Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg of Sotheby’s International Realty are the listing agents.

This occasional feature celebrates Southern California’s architectural heritage through residences built before 1960. Submit candidates for Vintage SoCal to