The Valley Line: English Tudor revival home is spectacular as this year’s Pasadena Showcase House

On the evening of Friday, April 21, just as a lavender dusk was washing over the landscape, more than 200 guests boarded shuttle buses from Caltech’s Athenaeum in Pasadena to journey to the premiere opening of the 53rd Showcase House of Design.

The English Tudor style house was designed by the prominent architectural firm of Marston & Van Pelt and completed in 1916 for a lawyer-turned-actor named Samuel S. Hinds and his wife. Over the years it has seen many parties and has been the site for television commercials and Hollywood films. Just recently the magnificent garden was used for a scene in the Academy-Award winning film “La La Land.”

Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts member and past president Marti Farley pointed out to me the entry staircase was used in the filming in one of the “Mad Men” series episodes. So, as you can see, the grand house has been sprinkled with Hollywood stardust for many years.

Join the conversation on Facebook »

Yes, the house was great in its heyday, but it is absolutely spectacular in its new life as a showcase house. At the premiere party, the fashionably dressed guests, some of them in formal attire, wandered in the gardens and the beautiful rooms that have been creatively redesigned by a cadre of interior and exterior designers.

My first stop that evening was at the very charming and delightful “Bee Retreat” cottage that has been designed by young La Cañada residents Justina and Trevor Freel. Set aside from the main house by a winding path, reaching it is like entering a fairyland. Trevor even built a working beehive that looks just like the main house.

Other La Cañada-based designers contributing to the casual elegance of the house are Maria Videla-Juniel, Alana Steele and Cheryl Hardy who created the “Glam Teen” suite and bath. Roxanne Spear and John Brace of GreenLink Landscape designed the Shakespeare Garden and planted succulent mosaics that were inspired by Tudor Revival gardens of the early 20th century.

After sipping champagne in the gardens, guests then returned to the Athenaeum for cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres and then joined a sit-down dinner. The band Film at Eleven provided the tunes for dancing. The revelers packed the dance floor most of the evening.

The Showcase House, its restaurants and shops is one of the oldest, largest and most successful house and garden tours in the country. It will be open to the public through May 21. Tickets cost between $35 to $45. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit Restaurants and shops will be open to the public


Mother Nature outdid herself in ordering up the perfect spring day when the La Cañada Thursday Club held its annual fashion show and luncheon in the Centennial Courtyard of the clubhouse on Woodleigh Lane. Over 200 ladies attended this fun event, including club members, their daughters and friends.

This year’s event carried out a Kentucky Derby Day theme. Red roses placed in large silver julep vases were centered on the dining tables and red rose horseshoes were placed here and there throughout the clubhouse.

This yearly fundraiser supports the Scholarship Foundation Fund, which awards scholarships to local high school seniors.

A large number of guests came wearing their best spring chapeaux; in fact it was a virtual garden of hat colors — many in bloom with fabric flowers. It was a delight to see them all.

Guests arrived early so they could shop in the boutique where many vendors offered their wares for sale.

Yvonne Marchosky co-chaired the event, assisted by Sheri Morton, president of the club and vendor chair and Alison McQuay, who was in charge of guest management. Sheri also was the fashion show coordinator.

Cindi McIntosh-Behr dressed in a crisp spring dress and a cute “fascinator” hat was busy selling opportunity tickets. She was also co-chair of the event.

A lovely lunch was catered by Cynthia Brooks including a signature mint julep cocktail. The takeaway guest favor was a little mint plant.

After lunch was served, eight club members modeled the latest spring and summer fashions from Holiday Hats and Gowns.

Among the models were Gracella Gibbs, Paige Hulsey, Cindi McIntosh-Behr, Tanya Meyers, Kim Ortiz, Nancy Wagner, Lisa Whan and Jackie Walls.


I was thrilled to hear that Hillsides foster care facility just received a $5-million grant from the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation for youth who are at risk. This is the largest such contribution in Hillside’s 104-year history.

The gift will be used to support transition-aged youth ages 16 through 24 though an array of social, educational and mental health services.

In recognition of the gift, Hillsides will name the new 34,000-square-foot student center that is currently under construction on Hillsides main campus in Pasadena the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Student Center.

Presenting the gift were Petersen Foundation Director Kevin Starch and foundation President Galeta (Gigi) Carleton. At the presentation were Hillsides President and Chief Executive Joseph Costa and Hillsides board chair Donna Ford along with Donald P. Clark, Hillsides campaign cabinet co-chair. Donna Ford is a longtime La Cañada resident.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.