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1920s Spanish-Moorish style house is loaded with lavish details

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Designed by self-taught architect Harold Bissner

Photos by Richard Horn/Negative Altitude Photography, courtesy of Sarah Rogers

If you’re in need of some daydream fodder for your Wednesday afternoon, feast your eyes on this Pasadena beauty. Known as the E. Lawrence Brown House, the Spanish-Moorish style home was designed in 1928 by Harold J. Bissner.

Largely a self-taught architect, Bissner specialized in Spanish and Mediterranean Revival styles, which, he told Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles author Stefanos Polyzoides, he executed by copying from trade manuals. If that was the case with this home, it must have been a real doozy of a manual.

Located on a 10,308-square-foot lot a few blocks east of Cal Tech, the two-story residence is set apart by its distinctive carved-scalloping motif, seen in its front entry, dining room ceiling, window arches, built-in vanities, and garden wall.

Other swoon-worthy details include hand-carved mahogany doors, beamed ceilings, wrought iron grilles, railings, and sconces, stained glass windows, an elaborate Batchelder fireplace, and a glorious abundance of painted California tile.

Last sold in 2002 for $1.05 million, the five-bedroom, six-bath home is now asking $3.129 million. Open house will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


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