This one-of-a-kind gem designed by noted midcentury architect Calvin Straub of Buff, Straub & Hensman is now on the market in southwest Pasadena’s Poppy Peak neighborhood, asking $2 million. Built for commercial artist Thomas Monroe Wirick and his wife Barbara in 1958, and meticulously maintained through the decades since, the post-and-beam structure is essentially original throughout — sans a few revisions to the kitchen and bathrooms, plus necessary updates to the plumbing and HVAC systems.
Fittingly known as the Wirick House, the midcentury modern has soaring walls of glass lending themselves to a quintessentially SoCal indoor-outdoor lifestyle, along with authentic details ranging from extensive built-ins, hidden storage walls, and desk and drawer units, to wood shelving and even a full-sized elevator. Along with some 45 other architecturally significant Poppy Peak structures, the house is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
Nestled into the side of a steep hill, on a heavily wooded, 0.15-acre parcel of land, the flat-roofed house boasts a striking exterior marked by cantilevered volumes and sweeping glass. It’s fronted by a two-vehicle attached carport with a staircase illuminated by a clerestory window; inside, 1,744 square feet of open living space on two levels includes three bedrooms and two baths.
The bright orange-red front door opens to an entryway overlooking a double-height living/dining area sporting floor-to-ceiling glass, a beamed ceiling, red brick fireplace, built-in storage and views of the San Gabriel Mountains. This loft level also has a bonus space currently used as an office, and a primary bedroom attached to a compact bath equipped with a soaking tub.
Additional highlights include a kitchen featuring the original stainless oven and stovetop, and a bedroom with the original bunk beds and bookshelves. Outdoors, mature trees and greenery encase a recently rebuilt entertainment deck, patio and hillside gardens. Last sold in 2013 for $1 million, the property will transfer with a 10-year Mills Act contract, meaning homeowners are eligible for reduced property taxes in exchange for preserving the historic house.
The listing is held by Jenny Park and Abraham Lim of Landmark Real Estate.