The Pasadena Showcase House of Design is one of the oldest, largest and most successful house and garden tours in the country. The 53rd annual Showcase House, set to open to the public from April 23 to May 21, features 17 interior designers and six exterior designers from the region.
This year’s Showcase House, known as “Ivy Wall,” is a magnificent English Tudor designed by the prominent architectural firm of Marston & Van Pelt. It was constructed in 1916 at a cost of $25,000 for lawyer-turned-actor Samuel Hinds and his wife.
The 7,479 square foot main residence features six bedrooms and four bathrooms and two half baths. The majestic two-acre compound includes a pool and badminton court on park-like grounds boasting numerous rose bushes, an arbor and more than 100 trees of various species. With its several water features, faux bois bridge, leafy trees and sitting areas, the gardens feel a world away from the city.
The estate’s legacy is infused with Hollywood glamour. The original owner, Mr. Hinds, appeared in 200+ films and is best known for playing Peter Bailey, the father of James Stewart’s character and founder of Bailey Building and Loan, in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). The house has served as a set for several movies and television shows including “Beaches” (home of Barbara Hershey’s character) and the 1985 version of “Alice in Wonderland,” along with episodes of “Columbo,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Mad Men.”
Another essential part of Showcase is dining at The Wisteria Terrace Restaurant or relaxing with handcrafted drinks at The Ivy, and visiting The Shops at Showcase where guests can discover wonderful items from local merchants.
And while thousands enjoy going to Showcase to learn about the latest designs, the event is a fundraiser for the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA), an all-volunteer non-profit that’s been around since 1948. For over 65 years, PSHA has funded and produced programs that have enriched the lives of countless people and brought a lasting legacy to the community. Since its inception, PSHA has donated more than $20 million to provide music programs in the community. Examples include the underwriting of concerts, choral productions, musical theater, opera, jazz quartets, marching bands, and orchestras at local schools, senior centers, and many other non-profit organizations.
In fact, PSHS is helping fund, in part, the South Pasadena Middle School’s production of “Young Frankenstein” this weekend. In addition, a staple part of PSHA’s program is music therapy for at-risk children, scholarships for young musicians, and music education at a variety of levels. This is in addition to PSHA’s longstanding support of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. PSHA also produces three highly regarded annual music programs: Music Mobile, Instrumental Competition, and Youth Concert. An essential part of PSHA’s mission is to nurture the study and appreciation of music and to ensure that music is available to a broad range of audiences.
Tickets cost between $35-$45 and can be ordered by mail, online at PasadenaShowcase.org or by phone, 714-442-3872. Parking and complimentary shuttle service is at the Rose Bowl, Parking Lot I.