“An architectural masterpiece”
The Cravens Estate is a refined three story, fifty-room residence with a wealth of architectural features. It originally encompassed 16 acres beginning at Orange Grove Boulevard and extending to south Grand Avenue. The estimated square footage of the home was 19,970 square feet. The total building cost of over $310,000 made this home one of the most expensive built in Pasadena at that time. The first floor had seven living rooms, a dining room, a kitchen and two pantries. The second floor included eleven bedrooms and six bathrooms. There were two bedrooms on the third floor. There was also a 1,082 square foot completed basement. Heat was provided by a gas furnace and five fireplaces. Sharing the estate with the Cravens were up to 32 servants. The home’s impressive exterior is made of steel reinforced concrete, with brick veneer to create the home’s expansive facade. The mansard roof, typical of many French structures, is made of Vermont slate. Large French doors span across the front and back of the mansion. Much of its interior decoration, including the door and window hardware, was imported from Europe. European craftsmen were hired to install golden mahogany and French walnut paneling, gold plated fixtures, and carved mouldings. Upon entering the foyer, one encounters spectacular painted murals, high ceilings, and marble floors. The large living room opens onto a beautiful terrace that overlooks the garden below. A stunning glass and wrought iron skylight illuminates the foyer and draws the eye up the gracious curving staircase with its decorative iron railing. Upper rooms display high ceilings, with French doors accented with lovely wrought iron balconies. Though the Cravens Estate has been reduced in size over the decades, it remains an architectural masterpiece and a part of Pasadena’s proud history. The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts is honored to now be playing a role in its story. The entryway to this estate was made into a restaurant for season three of Mad Men in episode "The Gypsy and the Hobo."
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