The Valley Line: Descanso’s historic Boddy House to be transformed once again as a Showcase House of Design

A preview was held at Boddy House in Descanso Gardens last Friday night so guests could get a “before” look at the historic mansion that will serve as the 2019 Pasadena Showcase House of Design.

It was after normal garden hours and very dark as the little shuttle sped its way up the hill to deliver us to the house built in 1938 for Manchester Boddy, a noted Los Angles newspaperman of his day, and his beautiful wife, Berenice.


Actually, this is an encore of sorts for this locally well-known Regency-style home, as it was also a Pasadena Showcase House of Design in 2007.

Benefit chair for the 55th Showcase House is Barbara Damerel.


“This year, in addition to house tours, we’re rolling out a designer talk series and our guests can also visit the art gallery and take part in the Instagram Photo Wall,” Damerel said.

Greeting the more than 250 guests to the house on the hill were party chairs Marilyn Anderson and Vikki Sung. Also saying hello to guests was Dana Merevich, president of Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.

Two La Cañada Flintridge design teams are among those lending their vision and talent to this design house, Maria Videla-Juniel of A of Room Design and designer Cheryl Hardy. Roxanne Spear, owner of Greenlink Landscaping is designing the “Knit Knot Garden.”

Throughout the evening guests wandered room to room tasting an amazing array of culinary offerings created by the Patina Restaurant Group. Just some of the delicious menu items were lobster bisque, braised Imperial Wagyu beef brisket, roasted Brussels sprouts, rosemary sweet potato fries, an amazing cheese board and charcuterie platters. One of the very crowded rooms presented a selection of seasonal mini cheesecakes, baked cookies and coffee.

The 2019 Showcase House will be from April 21 through May 19 (house tours are closed on Mondays). Tickets are now on sale and range from $35 to $50. The cost includes complimentary off-site parking and a short shuttle service. Don’t miss the extraordinary Shops at Showcase featuring 29 vendors and pop-ups. Designer Talks, an Art Gallery dedicated to California painters, the Camellia Cocktail Lounge and Maple Restaurant will round out a full-day experience. Proceeds benefit arts and music programs throughout Southern California. For more information, visit


In news of other prominent Pasadena nonprofits, it was recently announced that La Cañada Flintridge resident Pamela Knapp has been elected to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses executive committee and will serve as president of the Tournament in 2027 for the 138th Rose Parade and the 113th Rose Bowl Game.

Knapp has been an active community volunteer, currently serving on the board of directors of the La Cañada Flintridge Sister Cities Assn. as director of communications. Her previous volunteer service in our community includes multiple terms in PTA leadership roles and with the National Charity League.

She has deep family roots with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses: Her great-grandfather James Carroll Sheppard was captain of the winning tug of war team from Duarte at the first Tournament of Roses in 1890, and her great-grandfather Moses Sarkis Pashgian was grand marshal of the Rose Parade in 1915.

Knapp is retired from the banking industry where she held the position of vice president with First Interstate Bank. She graduated from USC in 1984, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While at USC, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. She also had the opportunity to study at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.

Knapp and her husband, Don, have been an integral part of our community for many years. They have three children, Meghan, Christopher and Justin.

Jane Napier Neely covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.