The first Pasadena homes in the Post and Beam architecture appeared in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Their style evolved under the conflicting influences of Frank Lloyd Wright's graceful organic architecture and the stark International style. In the comfortable Pasadena climate, the intricate arts and crafts house evolved into a lighter post and beam home where integration with nature brought the outside in, while retaining a strong sense of shelter.
Posts and beams hold up the roof in these houses, eliminating the need for heavy supporting walls and making homes light and airy. Expansive roofs with deep sheltering eaves tie the structure together, while wide expanses of windows look out at California oaks, private gardens or splendid views.
Pasadena's post and beam homes are never starkly modern, though. Each is beautifully detailed, sometimes with features that homeowners only gradually come to fully appreciate as they live in the home. Homes are often designed around a carefully proportioned room that holds a fireplace as its focal point. Floor plans emphasize flow and openness in public rooms, while providing privacy for bedrooms and baths. Often, vaulted ceilings and clerestory windows let in still more light.
Many noted architects built some of their best homes for the Pasadena real estate market, with mature neighborhoods unified in style and quietly residential in character. Architects who worked in the post and beam style include John Lauter, Marvin O. Berman, and the architectural firm of Buff, Straub, and Hensman, later known as Buff and Hensman.
Per Toward a Simpler Way of Life: "The Arts and Crafts Architects of California describes Calvin Straub as the father of post and beam style in Southern California. His work with Conrad Buff III and Donald Hensman has won many awards, and the firm continues to create gracious homes. The Clarence and Mary Mello house is a striking example of their early work in Pasadena."
John Lauter built the Dahlstrom residence in Pasadena in 1949. It is one of the earliest Southern California examples of his style. He worked with Frank Lloyd Wright for six years before exploring what's sometimes called California modern in the Los Angeles area. A home on Laguna Drive shows how his version of post and beam lets the outside in.
Classic post and beam architecture gives homeowners an immediate connection to the outdoors. That why houses built in this style are among the most desirable homes in Pasadena California.
There's something intriguing about Post & Beams homes and thankfully, Pasadena does offer a few for sale. Here's a few for you to peruse right now.