Wednesday, March 31, 2010
In 1904, a new residential development called Oaklawn was taking shape on the north side of South Pas. The wide, tree-lined streets and sweeping Arts and Crafts showcase homes called for a unifying design in the neighborhood's lines of demarcation. The area was within walking distance to the famous Raymond Hotel -- a stomping ground for the rich and mighty -- and potential Oaklawn residents were tempted with promises of the good life in this "Suburb de Luxe." Advertisements for the neighborhood described it as a place "for those who want the best in every particular."
Apparently, that included walls and gates.
South Pasadena Realty and Improvement Company hired the firm of Greene and Greene to create the prestigious development's entrance gates and surrounding fence. The result? Clinker-brick platforms set with handpicked stones from the Arroyo and embellished with rustic timber, tile roofs and artisan-crafted wrought iron. The gates-- and the corresponding stone pillars on the surrounding walls -- seemed to encapsulate the Greene and Greene aesthetic, right down to the tapering boulders at the base and top of each pillar. As you can see by today's photo, the portals have weathered the last century well and are largely unchanged today. (Trust me, the gate on the other side of the street looks just as wonderful.) The good life, indeed.
(You can take a look at the original Greene and Greene design plans here. For more on Oaklawn, check out this article from American Bungalow Magazine here.)