Monday, May 19, 2014

Altadena's Grand Homes

In 1926 the Chamber of Commerce touted Altadena as “the land of dreams, beauty of scenery, mixed with sublimity... beauty personified  It is charm converted into convincing masterfulness.”  Playing the role of community booster, the Chamber published pamphlets that often featured grand Altadena homes including the Craftsman below owned by Dr. J. E. Minney.  Never at a loss for words, the Chamber editor wrote,  "Dr. J. E. Minney, [is] a student of nature, a retired physician of note, thankful and thoughtful to God, faithful to the Golden Rule.”

The Egyptian revival home  (below) belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Frederick T. Griffith.  The opening of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 flamed an interest in exoticism and all things Egyptian, a trend that did not bypass Altadena.

Both houses, like so many treasures in Altadena, still stand in near original condition, looking very much as they did when they were featured in the Chamber’s 1926 publication, Altadena the Beautiful.   The gardens remain relatively unchanged as well.  The deodar to the left of the Minney house is still there.  The two palms in the Griffith garden now tower over the house shading most of the front yard.


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