Calvin Straub’s Wirick Residence in Pasadena

The Poppy Peak Historic District, located in southwest Pasadena, contains a collection of 30 architecturally significant mid-century modern homes. One of them, the Wirick Residence, was designed by Calvin Straub of Buff, Straub & Hensman.

Designed for the Wiricks, “a young and forward-looking family who wanted a home that embodied the best of Modern design on a very low budget,” the two-story, flat-roofed house was completed in 1958 and is considered one of the definitive works of the architectural firm. 

Wirick Residence by Buff Straub and Hensman
The living room, dining area, and wooden furniture
The kitchen room and wooden shelf

Like the Thomson House, this three-bedroom post-and-beam house sits below street level, flowing down the steep hillside in cantilevered volumes. SAH/SCC writes, “Its architecture represents the best of USC School of Architecture in blending a simple, warm, woodsy feeling, showing Straub’s love for Greene and Greene with the rigor of Mies Van de Rohe (one of the school’s important inspirations in the postwar curriculum.).”

The bedroom and shelf
Workplace corner and wooden cabinet
A side yard dining place with a garden view
Listing courtesy of Jenny Park & Abraham Lim | Landmark Real Estate

Measuring 1,776 square feet, “On the interior, the entry overlooks the open-plan, double-height living room characterized by a dramatic double-height corner of glass defined by modules of slender structural framing. The beams supporting the work/art studio at the entry extend east out into the living room; these same series of beams also serves to gently define the ground-floor transition to the sofa/fireplace grouping on the west wall of the living room. Throughout, the interior exposed ceiling framing of tongue-and-groove planking supported by beams were hand-stained a dark brown under the guidance of Conrad Buff. Sheet linoleum was used for flooring.” Naturally, the expanses of glass open the interior to postcard views of the San Gabriel Mountains.

First sold in 2013, this will be the second time 1617 Pleasant Way is available to own. The asking price is $1.995 million.

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