1800 Bushnell Avenue

South Pasadena 


4 Bedrooms       2.5 Baths          2166 sf Interior     9379sf Lot Size    Built 1910      

Located in the ever-popular Marengo neighborhood, this warm and welcoming home sits on an iconic South Pasadena street lined with century old homes under towering Camphor trees.  The former home of the chief designer of Union Station and known to moviegoers as the Back To The Future “tree” house, 1800 Bushnell is a treasure trove of highly coveted Craftsman details.  Douglas Fir moldings, beams and wainscoting, two fireplaces, stunning stained glass, charming built-ins, Arts & Crafts lighting, pocket doors, hardwood floors, multi-pane casement windows and so much more.


The original front door opens into the first floor formal living and dining rooms, cozy library, powder room, spacious kitchen with mudroom, and bedroom (currently used as an office). The wide staircase leads to three additional bedrooms upstairs, including a master suite with sitting area, dressing nook, laundry area and full bath.  Another full bath off the hallway completes the second floor. The finished basement is a marvelous media room/ recording studio space. 


The oversized lot features a porte cochere, raised brick dining patio, large grassy lawn and outdoor fireplace perfect for entertaining on chilly nights.  The two-car garage has been converted into your own personal pub with a pull-down movie screen, bar and plenty of space to gather for game nights or watching your favorite flicks.  


A Special Place To Call Home!


The Neighbors


            •  It’s more than a block; it’s a cohesive, caring community

            •  A delightful mix of young families and longtime residents

            •  Average tenure on Bushnell for 35 homes: 29 years

            •  The Bushnet email group helps everyone stay connected

            •  Annual end of summer block party

            •  Luminarias light the sidewalks on Christmas Eve


The Neighborhood


            •  Stunning canopy of 100-year-old camphor trees

            •  Calm, quiet, safe with an active Neighborhood Watch

            •  Walking distance to the YMCA, Marengo Elementary and SP Middle School

            •  Mission Street Gold Line Station 1.5 miles away

            •  Bushnell homes have been featured in movies, including Back to the Future (Parts 1 & 2),

               Old School, Teen Wolf, Ghost Dad, and Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael,

               plus many TV shows and commercials


South Pasadena


            •  Broad, deep and generous support for a first-rate school system

            •  Excellent public safety

            •  Terrific restaurants and a weekly farmers’ market

            •  6 miles from Dodger Stadium; 7 miles from downtown L.A.


The 110-year-old House


  • Restored old-growth Douglas fir trim, windows, beams, doors and cabinets

  • Craftsman-period quality construction throughout

  • Jugendstil stained glass window in entryway

  • Original glass panes in most of the windows

  • Arts & Crafts style handcrafted lighting fixtures inside and outside

  • Original door and window hardware

  • Original and restored built-in bookcases, china cabinets and window seats

  • Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper in dining room

  • Original pocket doors that can separate dining room and library from living room

  • Top-end kitchen appliances including a Viking range with custom hood and                                                              an Elkay stainless steel sink and counter

  • State-of-the-art seismic retrofitting system

  • Original steamer trunk closet on stairway landing

  • Ceiling fans in kitchen, dressing room and all bedrooms

  • Original sleeping porch

  • Original mud porch with “doggie door”

  • Fenced, dog-perfect backyard

  • Central heat and air conditioning

  • Two-car garage converted to recreation/entertainment room

  • Large backyard (extra-wide lot) with mature trees, including oak, apple and citrus

  • Outdoor gas/wood-burning fireplace

  • Two brick patio areas

  • Large garden shed

  • Hammock with steel posts

  • Garden pool

  • Automatic sprinkler system

  • Camphor tree in front of house is site of pivotal scene in Back to the Future (1985), attracting visitors from all over the world

  • Featured in LA Magazine and the book Outside the Bungalow: America’s Arts and Crafts Garden

  • Former home of Edward Warren Hoak, Chief Designer of Union Station


Owner Improvements 1993 to Present



A complete renovation and restoration was made over a ten-month period to bring the home to current infrastructure building standards as well as restoring the original circa 1910 craftsman details.


The renovations included electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Both chimneys were rebuilt using the original brick. Paint was stripped from the Douglas fir wood trim, cabinets, doors and windows. New Douglas fir plate rails, picture rails and other trim were custom milled and installed. Out-of-character tongue and groove wood paneling was removed throughout the downstairs, including where it covered the living room fireplace brickwork and stained glass window in the entry way. Hand-crafted period lighting fixtures and additional period hardware were added both inside the house and in the backyard. A window seat was designed and built in the living room where the original had been converted into bookshelves. The dining room built-in cabinetry was designed and fabricated by local artisans on Bushnell Avenue in the craftsman style, and Bradbury & Bradbury period wallpaper was hung by a Bushnell neighbor.


Additions included a second full bath upstairs and the entryway. Windows were added to the kitchen, sleeping porch and mudroom. The kitchen was remodeled to stay in character with the original cabinetry. Cedar fencing and gates were added.  An alarm system was installed (not currently in use). Built-in speakers were added to the kitchen, library and patio (the living room is wired for speakers).



A swale drain and sump pump were installed outside the basement windows.



Rock landscaping was added in the side yard.



A specially engineered earthquake reinforcement system using a floor bracing design was built (plans available).


The basement was converted into a sound recording studio. 



Copper rain gutters and downspouts were installed in the front of the house. 



Steel posts for a hammock were placed in the back yard.



A garden shed was built in the back yard.



The existing roof was replaced with 30-year dimensional shingle.



In cooperation with the city, a sidewalk diversion was created around the root crown of the 100-year-old camphor tree to protect its health.



Sash windows in two of the bedrooms were replaced with dual glaze energy efficient windows.


The garage was converted into a finished room suitable for sound recording and entertaining.


A mini-pool was built in the backyard.



An outdoor fireplace (with a gas line) was built.


The front yard was landscaped with drought-resistant California native plants as part of the SoCal Water $mart Residential Turf Removal Program of the Metropolitan Water District (list of plant names available).



The sewer line was replaced.


NOTE: Receipts for all work done on the house are available as well as “before” photos.