Bungalow Heaven is a Pasadena-designated Landmark District and while it is one of 40 Landmark Districts in Pasadena, it is the first.
Landmark Districts are neighborhoods or micro-neighborhoods that are designated to have historical significance that is deemed fitting for preservation. The process of establishing Landmark status requires that a dominant percentage of the homeowners must agree upon making the neighborhood a Landmark District. When Bob Kniesel set out to establish Bungalow Heaven as a historic district back in the eighties, it was no easy task. It was unprecedented for homeowners to give up the right to modify their homes. But alas, the result is an amazing neighborhood with immense charm that has sparked a trend of preservation nationwide.
Landmark District Status is designed to preserve the historical aesthetic of its buildings which limits what a homeowner can do to modify or even upgrade the street-facing elevation of a home. Windows, siding and doors are just some of things that must remain period-correct. During the establishment of a Landmark District all properties within the proposed boundaries are reviewed to determine if they are contributing (original) or non-contributing (been modified well beyond original design). Both contributing and non-contributing properties require a "Certificate of Appropriateness" for any modifications that are to be performed on the street facing portions of the property. Non-contributing properties can be drastically changed to better match the original aesthetic.
The preservation of Bungalow Heaven is key to retaining property values. The average price for these homes is around $1,000,000 as a direct result of the preservation. You don't have to live in a museum and a home should always be comfortable and while some people love the complete restoration inside and out, many people love the comforts of modern technology. The key and resounding correlation with all neighbors in Bungalow Heaven is that they all love their homes. Future neighbors, homeowners and advocates should also.
If you are looking to do a quick flip or are just looking to own a rental property, buying in Bungalow Heaven is probably not for you.
For more information about the history of Pasadena and to get involved in the preservation, The Bungalow Agent encourages you to become a member of Pasadena Heritage, a great organization of like-minded preservation advocates. More information here: Pasadena Heritage
For a great read and amazing photography of Bungalow Heaven and the Arts & Crafts architectural movement, the Bungalow Agent recommends American Bungalow Magazine.
A great documentary was produced on the forming of the Bungalow Heaven Landmark District. You can see the trailer HERE
Stay up to date on Bungalow Heaven events at our Facebook Page HERE
For the epitome of Craftsman Architecture, The Bungalow Agent highly recommends you take a tour of the Legendary Gamble house. See it HERE