Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Samuel P. Sanborn House
Pasadena, California, 1903
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Samuel P. Sanborn House
Pasadena, California

In 1899, the Greenes designed a two-story house for Sanborn that remained unbuilt. Four years later, in 1903, the client commissioned and built another house whose plan became a preferred type for the Greenes’ later houses. Created right after the U-shaped courtyard house for Arturo Bandini, the Sanborn house consisted of two arms of a house set at an angle at the center of which was a large octagonal room. Suggesting rather than explicitly creating a courtyard, the plan allowed for easier circulation of air, light, and people while requiring less land to do so. The angled plan also freed the size and placement of the various rooms and functions from the strictly right-angled, rectangular wings of the courtyard house, where all rooms needed to open onto the interior courtyard. The 28 casement windows running in a nearly continuous band on the upper level also suggest that the Greenes may have felt that more interior light was needed to offset the increasing depth of overhanging eaves.