The Historic John S. Cravens Estate
430 Madeline Drive
Pasadena, CA 91105
Year Built: 1930
Interior: 19,970 sq. ft. (approx.)
Land: 1.51 acres (approx.)
Web #: 0027629
MLS ID: 17-204354
Situated on “Millionaire's Row,” along tree-lined Orange Grove Boulevard and Madeline Drive, is one of the largest and most significant architectural treasures in the prestigious community of Pasadena, California.
Surrounded by brick walls, wrought iron gates, and matured trees, the John S. Cravens Estate was built in the late 1920s for Mr. and Mrs. John S. Cravens. Using only the finest materials and world-renowned designers, artisans, and workers, the Cravens Estate boasts approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of living space and was constructed of steel reinforced concrete, brick veneer, imported European finishes, hand painted murals and a Vermont slate roof. It was famous for being the most expensive home ever built in Pasadena, according to a Los Angeles Times story dated February 6, 1955.
The architect was San Francisco-based Lewis P. Hobart who designed the iconic Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and was best known for private estates in Northern California. The Cravens Estate was his only known commission in Southern California.
The builder was the P.J. Walker Company, the builder of the historic Doheny Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. The Greystone Mansion and Cravens Estate would be their only recorded residential commissions in Southern California. Their other architecturally significant projects in Southern California included Los Angeles Times Building and Bullock's Wilshire in Los Angeles, and the Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara. Few builders had a greater impact on the region than P.J. Walker.
The Cravens Estate was honored with the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation Award in 1965 and designated as a Cultural Heritage Landmark by the City of Pasadena in 1971. In 2010, it was honored as the Pasadena Showcase House of Design and underwent partial restoration and renovation by many talented and well-known local designers.