Monday, March 2, 2009

Top of the World

Okay, kids. We know that South Pasadena has a lot of interesting home architecture. Let's review. Craftsman? Check. Victorian? Check. Spanish, Traditional, Midcentury Modern? Check, check, check. That leaves cool contemporary houses precariously clinging to the side of the hill...

Check!

23 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

I'm on top of the wurrrrllllddd...uh, hellllllp!

Kim said...

Maybe its just the light hitting bare branches of brush, but what are those purple-ish looking bushes. . .they were in another photo a number of days back. Looks cool indeed. . .until shake or bake. . .it just makes me think twice about canyon views :-P
-Kim

Yakpate said...

I know this shot was posted just to tweak my minimalist, contemporary, city-lights-view heart!

It makes me realize how important it is to live in a home that reflects one's spirit. Yes, one must be surrounded by the books, music and art one loves, and true, these can be located in any size, shape or style of home. But... to wake up in a space that makes you happy just to be there is every home-seeker's dream.

Those soft, Southwest colors in the foreground are yummy, too.

Judy Williams said...

They remind me of those little models that some architects build to show a potential client what a structure will look like. Like match boxes atop matchsticks, precariously hanging over the side of the hill. I picture the interiors white and pristine with hugs modern art paintings and maybe even an antique or two scattered here and there for effect.

Despite that modern feel, the song, "The Folks Who Live on the Hill" came to mind immediately. My favorite version is sung by Joe Stafford, but This Version by Johnny Hartman is pretty hard to beat.

Sharon said...

I love these places. They are so California to me.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

Isn't the purple everybody keeps commenting on just the light reflecting off bare branches? I suppose we get so little of that here, they really stand out!

My last house was on a ridge, and my dog Chewie used to sit on the edge, looking down on the canyon. He always had this accomplished look on his face, like the entire canyon belonged to him!

dbdubya said...

These don't look like very good places to live if you've got small children, are elderly, or have a tendency to walk in your sleep.

altadenahiker said...

Don't let K see this, he'll get dizzy. I've lived in a stilt house before, and really loved the feeling of hanging out in space.

Love the way you framed this picture, by the way.

Virginia said...

Gorgeous but I can't help thinking of them sliding down the side of that lovely hillside on the news. That sounded really negative. Yuck. Sorry!
V

Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LSaeta said...

I have forgotten that there are houses like this in our lovely town. Looks a bit scary, but I can imagine the view makes it all worth it. Thanks Laurie for your kind comeents on my blog. I love your photos!

Margaret said...

I looked at a house like this when I was looking for a house in South Pasadena. For me it was a big no. Every time I looked out the window I imagined my house sliding down the hill after an earthquake or after a season of heavy rains. But I've lived here for over a decade now and I've never heard of that happening. Guess I just a worrier.

Trish said...

It took me a minute or two looking at these things to remember where they are.

As I recall (which, considering the last few weeks for me, I wouldn't bet on my memory)---they were built in the 80's, BIIIIIG controversy, over the design, the look, the sustainability on the hill and, obviously, no one seemed to care about the quality of the paint, which looks to me, like it is peeling and fading BADLY in places. Plus, they don't fit in with the rest of the 'hood.

Having grown up in the Altos, I've never had an issue with the "stilt" houses, but I've never wanted to live in one. I've known plenty of folks who live in them and love them. Just not for me. Of course, I also saw the 70's movie "Earthquake!" which used houses out near Beverly Glen as real life options for the "stilt" houses that they then made models of to tumble down the canyon.

The purple, I believe is a reflection of this time of year.

Keith said...

These are not for me. I like my home firmly on the ground and I like a big yard. I have seen homes locally (not in South Pasadena) starting to slide.

Mister Earl said...

"Everytime it rains, it rains
I'm glad I don't live there!
Don't you know each cloud contains,
Potential disaster everywhere."

AH - Are you sure that feeling of hanging out in space was caused by the house?

Margaret - It happens all the time. Maybe not in South Pas exactly, but if you go down to the horse stable in the Arroyo and look up at the cliff on the Highland Park side, you'll see the back yards of some houses that were condemn a few years ago because their back yards started slip sliding away and they didn't know if the houses would follow. Stuff like this happens all the time in the hills of Studio City and Encino.

Tash said...

These are big - 3 stories or more.
I always loved the ones perched on the hills in Highland Park & had a friend in Jr. High that lived in one. My grandmother was always amazed how they were built and like AH would of loved the living in one.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Both are so similar I suspect they were built by the same developer. I like modernist stilt houses but not these. I'm a fan of contemporary architecture. I also think such architecture should blend in with their environment because of their high visibility.

Do you like them?

Mister Earl said...

How can you like a house that you can't even do jumping jacks in for fear you'll knock it over?

-K- said...

Forget about a good night's sleep, i couldn't even take a nap in one those houses.

The bottom half of your shot is just as interesting as the top but in an entirely different way.

Laurie said...

Hey kids,

I'll admit... houses like this make me nervous. I house sat for a producer friend of mine in Laurel Canyon back in the early 90s. His place was a great midcentury modern up on stilts and jutting off the side of a hill. I thought it was so cool. Then, after one fairly small earthquake, I couldn't wait to get out of there!

PA, you asked if I like these. I'm on the fence. I love the fact that they are perched above the town like giant bird houses. I like the X shapes and those triangle struts. I think the more I see them, the more they'll grow on me.

Thanks for all the conversation, everyone. Until tomorrow...

Laurie said...

Oh, and Judy -- that Hartman recording is fantastic!

altadenahiker said...

I told you it would make K nervous.

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Andrew
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