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Mrs. Josephine Van Rossem House, #1
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Mrs. Josephine Van Rossem House, #1
Pasadena, California

Josephine Van Rossem, a newly widowed artist, photographic laboratory worker, and land speculator with two young sons hired the Greenes in 1903 to design this rental property, the first of three houses she would commission from them. Located across from her Arroyo View Drive home, she could easily keep an eye on her rental investment. This simple $3,800 clapboard cottage with a balloon frame sat on the hill next to the White Sister’s house, Charles Greene’s sisters-in-law. The plain cobblestone foundation was less imposing than the neighboring landscape, but large boulders at each corner gave a sense of permanence and stability. A basic box, two large bays for the living room and dining room each with shed roofs enlivened the exterior somewhat. The floor plan was asymmetrical and staircase was set on the west side to give all the rooms including the bathrooms, at least one exterior window. Visitors entered under the front porch and into a hall that doubled as a reception area. The house was fitted with hand-smoothed board-and-batten walls and wood light fixture brackets to continue the distinctive character of the Park Place area of Pasadena. Extensive alterations were designed by the Greenes in 1906 for the next owner, James Neil and a subsequent owner, Elmer Murphy, had Henry Greene design a porte cochere for the driveway.