Tournament House

Tournament HouseA few weeks ago, my friend Mike told me he would take me to a Pasadena landmark for an inside look. It would need to be on a Thursday afternoon. All this mystery had me very intrigued. Would it be the Castle Green? City Hall? Some clandestine spaces inside the Rose Bowl? All of my guesses were wrong! He took me to the gorgeous Wrigley House on Orange Grove Boulevard, also known as the Tournament House, since the Tournament of Roses conducts their business here. The house is sometimes called “the house that gum built,” given the nature of the Wrigley fortune. Mike has written a great post on the history of the house, so I will send you over to his blog for some background info. Eric and I have driven by so many times and never known that we could go inside. So, if you’re local, get on over there on Thursdays between February and August, and you can get  a free guided tour.

Tournament HouseThe house, completed in 1914, is the one of the only ones left standing from what was once Millionaire’s Row, a tight cluster of mansions built by easterners who came to Pasadena for its mild weather. This is the restored living room. None of the furniture is original except for that little bamboo table by the window on the left. This is where Mrs. Wrigley set her coffee while watching the Rose Parade process down the street.

Tournament HouseI loved this carved fireplace. It arrived from Italy in eight pieces with no directions. I think they did a good job of putting it together, nonetheless.

Tournament HouseThe upstairs rooms have been converted into meeting spaces and exhibit rooms. I was a fan of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

Tournament HouseI took this picture of the Cal helmet just for Eric. I am nothing if not loyal.

Tournament HouseThis is the room where the queen and her ladies hold court.

Tournament HouseI think this impostor is definitely a pretender to the throne…

Tournament HouseThe grounds are just as lovely, with rose gardens as far as the eye can see.

Tournament HouseI fell in love with this gorgeous fig tree, which Mrs. Wrigley had planted when it was just a sapling. It’s just incredible.

Tournament HouseThe amazing thing is that the land surrounding the house actually belongs to the city of Pasadena and is open to the public. This would be such a lovely place to come with a Sunday picnic. Definitely putting it on our summer must-do list.

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