Classing up the market in Pasadena this week is a trés chic manse by le roi of Hollywood Regency, John Elgin Woolf. Known as the Fred J. Toole House, it was built in 1958 for a banker and his society-maven wife, Florence, and we can only assume it was the site of many a swell Eisenhower-era shindig.
Located south of the Arroyo, in a picturesque nabe stuffed with architecturally significant homes by the likes of Paul Williams, Wallace Neff, and Gordon Kaufmann, the Toole residence stands out from its Spanish Colonial and Tudor Revival-style neighbors with its signature mansard roof, oversize Pullman doors, and oval windows.
The single-level home is fronted by a circular motor court, establishing a motif that is echoed throughout the property. Past the 10-foot-high double door entry, a foyer with tongue-and-groove-planked walls flows to the high-ceilinged living room, anchored by a marble fireplace set into a curving bank of windows.
Next is the formal dining room, one wall of which is festooned with hand-painted Chinese wallpaper panels the listing informs us are “from the collection of Rose Cumming, circa 1925.” When a listing contains a statement like that, it usually means “Buckle up,” and this one delivers on that promise. Intermingling confidently within the three-bedroom, five-bathroom home are cheetah-print carpeting, lavender toile wallpaper, multiple varieties of marble, extravagant antique chandeliers, and presumably original parquet wood floors.
The .64-acre property also features Woolf’s signature oval pool with fountains and a glass-fronted pool house with interior accordion-fold doors in a bold persimmon hue to close off the bedroom and bath from the entertaining space. Completing the package are idyllic gardens designed by acclaimed landscape architect Nord Eriksson.