Most Popular Architectural House Styles in Pasadena, CA

Heather & Spencer Sanderson May 28, 2024

Pasadena, California, renowned for its rich architectural history, has an array of distinctive house styles that reflect its evolution over the decades. The city’s neighborhoods are a treasure trove of architectural diversity, from Craftsman bungalows to Mediterranean villas. This article unveils the region’s most popular architectural house styles, highlighting their unique characteristics and historical significance.


One of Pasadena’s most beloved house styles is the Craftsman, which flourished in the early 20th century. Characterized by low-pitched gable roofs, exposed rafters, and expansive front porches, Craftsman homes exude a warm and inviting charm—many feature handcrafted details like built-in cabinetry and decorative woodwork. Pasadena has numerous well-preserved Craftsman neighborhoods, such as Bungalow Heaven, where these homes are celebrated for their craftsmanship and historical significance.

Spanish Colonial Revival

Reflecting Southern California's Spanish heritage, the Spanish Colonial Revival style gained popularity in Pasadena during the early 1900s. These homes typically feature red tile roofs, stucco exteriors, and arched doorways and windows. Courtyards and wrought-iron details are also common, creating a romantic and picturesque aesthetic. This architectural style remains a favorite in neighborhoods like Pasadena's Madison Heights and Linda Vista.


Mediterranean-style homes, influenced by Italian and Spanish architecture, are prevalent in Pasadena's landscape. These residences often showcase elements like clay tile roofs, decorative ironwork, and lush landscaping. The design emphasizes outdoor living, with many homes featuring spacious patios and balconies. Mediterranean-style homes can be found throughout Pasadena, adding a touch of Mediterranean elegance to the city's neighborhoods.

Colonial Revival

Inspired by America's colonial period, Colonial Revival homes became popular in Pasadena during the early 20th century. These homes are characterized by symmetrical façades, decorative columns, and shuttered windows, and evoke a sense of historical grandeur. The style often includes elements like pedimented gables and red brick chimneys. Neighborhoods like Pasadena's Oak Knoll showcase beautiful examples of Colonial Revival architecture.

Mid-Century Modern

Pasadena embraces Mid-century Modern architecture, which emerged post-World War II. This style emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and integration with nature. Mid-century homes often feature open floor plans, large windows, and flat or low-sloping roofs. Architects like Richard Neutra and Buff & Hensman contributed iconic designs to Pasadena's Mid-century landscape. Neighborhoods like San Rafael and Linda Vista showcase notable Mid-century Modern residences.

Tudor Revival

Inspired by medieval English architecture, Tudor Revival homes are a charming presence in Pasadena's architectural tapestry. These homes typically have steeply pitched roofs, decorative half-timbering, and casement windows. Tudor-style residences often exude a storybook-like quality, with intricate details that evoke a sense of Old World charm. Pasadena's historic neighborhoods, such as Chapman Woods, feature stunning examples of Tudor Revival architecture.


Victorian architecture, popular during the late 19th century, also left its mark on Pasadena. Characterized by ornate detailing, asymmetrical designs, and vibrant colors, Victorian homes are a testament to the city's early prosperity—many Victorian residences in Pasadena feature wrap-around porches, intricate woodwork, and decorative trim. Neighborhoods like Bungalow Heaven and Old Town Pasadena showcase exquisite Victorian-era homes, each with its own unique flair.


As Pasadena expanded in the mid-20th century, Ranch-style homes became prevalent, reflecting a shift toward suburban living. These single-story residences typically feature open floor plans, simple lines, and large windows. Ranch homes often emphasize indoor-outdoor living, with sliding glass doors leading to spacious backyards. Pasadena's Linda Vista and Lower Arroyo neighborhoods offer prime examples of Ranch-style living.


Pasadena's architectural landscape has evolved to include contemporary styles that blend modern aesthetics with functional design. Contemporary homes often emphasize clean lines, open spaces, and innovative materials. Architects in Pasadena are known for their creative approach to contemporary design, integrating sustainability and technological advancements. Neighborhoods like Oak Knoll and Linda Vista showcase striking contemporary residences that redefine traditional notions of architecture.


Pasadena has several examples of Beaux-Arts architecture influenced by French classical styles. This grand and elaborate style became popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, characterized by symmetry, monumental scale, and ornate detailing. Beaux-Arts buildings in Pasadena often feature grand façades, elaborate columns, and intricate sculptures. Notable examples include the Pasadena City Hall and the former Huntington Hotel (now The Langham Huntington). These architectural gems showcase Pasadena's historic elegance and attention to architectural craftsmanship.

Discover Your Dream Home in Pasadena

From the iconic Craftsman bungalows of Bungalow Heaven to the stately Spanish Colonial Revival homes of Madison Heights, Pasadena's architectural landscape is a testament to its rich history. Each house style reflects a unique chapter in the city's development, from its early suburban expansion to its embrace of modern design trends. Whether exploring historic neighborhoods or admiring contemporary residences, Pasadena continues to captivate with its architectural diversity and timeless appeal.

Are you captivated by Pasadena's architectural styles? Whether you're drawn to Craftsman bungalows, Spanish Colonial Revival villas, or contemporary masterpieces, your dream home awaits in Pasadena—contact The Sanderson Group to start your adventure today!

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