Pasadena Heritage to Host Blinn House Reopening

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First published in the April 21 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

Pasadena Heritage will hold a grand reopening event of a local historic home from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on May 22 with the theme “Opening New Doors: A Blinn House Celebration.”
The renovated home will then become the organization’s headquarters.
The reception will be held in the Ford Place Historic District on the lawn of the Blinn House, 160 N. Oakland Ave., and the mall on the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary.
Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, live music, tours of the Blinn House and a silent auction.
In 2020, Pasadena Heritage, the local historical society, was given the opportunity to buy the historic Edmund Blinn House, home of the Women’s City Club of Pasadena for 75 years.
In March 2021, the acquisition became official, and Pasadena Heritage launched a campaign to complete critical restoration projects.
Later this month, once all major restoration projects have been completed, the organization plans to reopen the Blinn House as both a community resource and Pasadena Heritage’s new headquarters.
The Blinn House has several designations denoting its historical significance on local, state and federal levels. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources and is also a Pasadena Cultural Landmark.
It was designed in 1905 by renowned Chicago architect George Washington Maher. It is a two-and-a-half story Prairie-style house with detailed woodwork and paneling, fireplaces, and hardwood floors.
The Blinn House is Maher’s only known residential structure built west of the Mississippi River.
Pasadena Heritage has made much progress on interior restoration of the house, with a focus on modernizing systems and fixing some of the unsympathetic work that had been done in previous decades.
New electrical work was done and supported the installation of three new heating-and-air-conditioning systems, which are more energy efficient than the former ones.
Another major achievement is that the third floor will finally be ventilated, opening up two new office spaces for staff and volunteers. One of the most costly projects was the reroofing of the building.
These projects have made the Blinn House move-in ready later this month, when Pasadena Heritage will formally move offices. However, as with all houses over a century old, Pasadena Heritage officials said they know there will be many more projects in the future, especially on the ground floor, which will be used as a meeting space and for future educational events.
They also said they are grateful to the former Women’s City Club of Pasadena for entrusting them with the historic home.
Individual tickets for the reopening are $150 and a limited number will go on sale. For more information about the celebration, visit pasadenaheritage.org/blinnhouse-celebration or contact Krysten Racs, membership and communications coordinator, at kracs@pasadenaheritage.org.