Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Dr. George S. Hull House
Pasadena, California, 1897
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Dr. George S. Hull House & Office
Pasadena, California

More than a dozen of the Greenes’ clients would emerge from the members of the Twilight Club, a social club that catered to wealthy men. In 1897, Dr. George S. Hull was the first member from the Twilight Club to commission the Greenes to design and supervise the construction of a two-story residence, with a separate office building on the same lot, in Pasadena, California. The house is a simple block that presents a classical façade; it has the Greenes’ familiar details on the portico in three-dimensional relief. Facing the street, the floor plan is the width of two rooms, but shrinks to one-room as it reaches deep into the narrow lot. Owing to the lack of a hallway, and with only a one-room width for most of the length of the house, the in-line arrangement of rooms makes each space accessible only from its adjoining rooms. The Greenes did not repeat the Hull residence floor plan in any of their later projects. The following year the client commissioned a sunroom and a port cochere addition.

The office building, built in the winter of 1897-1898, commissioned at the same time as the residence, is small, with three functional interior spaces: a combined hall and reception room, an operating room and a laboratory. There were three points of entry to each space, except in the laboratory, which had two. The exterior hints at Asian design with slightly upturned ends of the dormer roof on the elevation over the operating room and in the broad proportions of the portico as it relates to the relatively narrow entry door. As also found with the Gordon house of 1897, the Greenes softened the harsh line of the front gable by letting the corner of the eave wrap slightly around to the front elevation--a detail they often used in later designs. The single-story front-facing gable wall is embellished with a circular attic vent in the gable peak, a pediment over the entry door, and an arch over the front window, all referring to Classical forms and thus lending authority to the modest structure. A double-flued brick chimney rises at the center of the roof ridge. Dr. Hull was a well-regarded medical specialist, who had relocated to Pasadena from Pennsylvania for his health. Both the residence and office building were later bought by Grace Nicholson, business woman and collector, who converted the buildings to house and display for sale her southwest Indian and Asian art objects. In 1925 both buildings were demolished to make way for Miss Nicholson's new commercial building, designed for her in the form of a Chinese temple by Pasadena architects Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury.