City of Pasadena
Home   |    Search   |    Help   |    Contact Us   |    Acknowledgements    |    Admin   |   
Resource Summary
Resource Summary
Address: 1642 PLEASANT WAY APN: 5482-013-002 [print]

This property is in a historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places. *
Address: 1642 PLEASANT WAY
City: Pasadena State: CA
Zip Code: 91105 County: Los Angeles
County Code: 37
Historic Name: Graham Laing House Common Name:
APN: 5482-013-002 Zoning: RS-6
Building Sq. Ft: 1449 Site Size (Acres): 0.120
Year Built: 1935 Documented District: Poppy Peak Historic District
District: Poppy Peak Historic District (designated)
Property Status: Designated
Contributing Status: C    
Resource Description:
Set in a hillside location, and perched above the street, the 1,449-s.f. Laing house is a classic example of the first generation of Modernist houses. The one-level house has an irregular rectangular plan and asymmetrical massing, with two radiating wings (one to the north and a longer one to the east) organized around a raised center volume. With its pronounced horizontality and low-pitched roofs, its white-stuccoed walls and extended canopies, its open-air terraces and wood-framed ribbon windows, and its understated entry, the house has the full range of features associated with early Modernism. Facing the street is a narrow one-car garage, set below an open deck. Next to the garage portal is a steep flight of steps. A low stepped embankment wall borders the sidewalk and retains the sloped front yard, which has mature landscaping. Other notable features of the composition are the wide chimney set parallel to the street and two thin blade-like walls, one at the west end of the house (perpendicular to the street), the other at the front entrance (parallel to the street). The Laing House by Harwell Hamilton Harris is set into the hillside, with steps leading up to a small portico and the one-story main floor oriented east-west. The house retains integrity. Structurally, the house is a wood frame building of interlocking, discrete volumes clad in “light buff plaster with deep coral red trim” as Harris originally specified. (Harris used stucco in the beginning of his career, when he was influenced more by the International Style and the work of Richard Neutra than that of Frank Lloyd Wright, another important mentor; later he preferred wood siding.) A striking feature of the house is the variety and scale of terrace configurations. The small two-car garage is tucked underneath the deep “view terrace” on the north (primary) façade. The terrace is protected by a low-walled balcony. The entrance is perpendicular to the street, adjacent to and south of the garage. The other two terraces open, in combinations of windows and doors, onto the more rustic landscape of the hillside directly behind the house and from the two bedrooms and the other end of the living room. The house has a hipped gable roof shingled in wood that is not original, but in scale with the original asphalt shingle roof. The interior, extant except for an in-character change at the fireplace in the living room where plywood shelving has replaced the original firebox, also retains integrity, and demonstrates Harris’s early adoption of his standard option of a three-foot module in plan, section and elevation. Constructed in 1935, the house retains integrity.
Legal Description:
LOT 83
Primary Architectural Style:
Secondary Architectural Style:
Architect: Harwell Hamilton Harris
Builder: H.R. Kasielke
Context: Recent Past 
Original Owner:
Original Use: Single Family Residence
Original Location:
Demolished: no
Moved: no
Date Moved: n/a
Designation Date: n/a

* This is a simplified statement of the property's status. Please review the NRHP Status Code field on the search screen for official, adopted status language.