Yesterday was opening day for Pasadena’s 2010 Showcase House of Design. Each year, Pasadena opens up one of its mansions to try to show off a bit more than the roses for which it is normally recognized. This year is no different, and the home, located at 430 Madeline Drive, also known as the Cravens Estate, has been used as a location for shows like Beverly Hills 90210, Desperate Housewives, and Murder She Wrote.
After walking through the storied estate, I couldn’t help but wonder why the tour this year was so much shorter than last years. While the home seems just as large, its clear that the plot isn’t as grand as 2009’s choice. The gardens were much more minimal, and the house was significantly scaled back in design. Recession perhaps? Another reason given by the designers is that this year’s selection, unlike years past is not a residence – it is owned by the Red Cross, and is mostly rented out for weddings and lavish parties. Thus, the likelihood of the owners buying most of the furnishings, as has happened in the past, is much lower.
With that said, the home is still impressive, and the trek to Pasadena offers a good escape from a typical lazy weekend. Be warned, tickets should be purchased in advance – or you’re gonna down and out on the mean streets of Pasadena’s “Millionaire Row.”
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