Albert Einstein’s house in Pasadena

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  1. April 9, 2013

    I like it! — at least from the outside. It’s cute. It looks like there’s a much larger home to the right.

    By the way, the picture of the flowers is temporary until we can find something else. (But they are pretty, aren’t they?) I had copied and pasted the wrong email – it’s all better now. I love it and I thank you, my beautiful friend.

    I hope you’re finding your balance while you recharge. 🙂

    • April 9, 2013

      I love this area around Cal-tech in Pasadena. Recharge almost complete! xox, V

  2. April 9, 2013

    This is unexpectedly charming.

    • April 9, 2013

      It is charming, a solid character home – probably like Mr. Einstein.

      • April 9, 2013

        I’d like to think so!

  3. George Kaplan
    April 9, 2013

    I agree with all of the above, and would add that the photograph itself is so beautifully shot and evocative; I love the framing and the light coming through the leaves so effulgently, it really showcases the inviting home. Brilliant choice, V.

    • April 9, 2013

      You are forbidden to use the word “effulgent” on this site! Other banned words: “copious”, and “obligatory”. Now you know 😉

      • April 9, 2013

        What about “obstreperous?” Surely we can use the word obstreperous. Plus “eschew.” I tend to eschew those who attempt to to dictate proper diction.

  4. April 9, 2013

    What is it you have against copious, obligatory effulgence?

    Which conspiracy is that?

  5. George Kaplan
    April 9, 2013

    Bwahahaha! I apologise copiously for my obligatory misstep, yours ever-so-effulgent, George 😉
    P.S. I can’t say I disagree with “capacious” or “obligatory”, can you ban “actually” and the phase “at the end of the day” too?! Unless, someone really is talking about the end of the day in which case, fine. Ha.

    • April 9, 2013

      Just consider me a benevolent despot… “actually”… very worthy of banning. I’ll think about it.

  6. George Kaplan
    April 9, 2013

    You’re cute! O benevolent despot. Banning “actually”, go on you know you want to (winks).
    (no “back in the day, no “gamechanging” for me, of course)

  7. April 9, 2013

    Dearest V
    Smart, solid and unassuming.
    Like the Prof himself.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  8. George Kaplan
    April 9, 2013

    Well said, Mr Perfumed Dandy. “Smart, solid, and unassuming”. A fine thing to be, I’m more “Dim, flaky, and and flamboyant” myself!
    Oh, one recent phrase that should be canned, “I’m loving it”. What the…? I love it is fine but “I’m loving it” suggests a person is continually in the process of loving a thing. Resist. Plus, it’s the tagline to a MacDonald’s ad, I believe. Shudder. Flaky George

  9. April 9, 2013

    This seems like a very solid and practical house, and noticing that, I thought of my favorite Einstein story. Supposedly in Princeton, his wife would get after him to wear his hat when it rained, so he put it to an empirical test. When he discovered that the hat took longer to dry than his hair, he told his wife that the facts didn’t bear out her warning, and he didn’t bother with his hat again.

  10. April 10, 2013

    George,Welcome back.Yes the tagline to Mc Donalds and could not agree more.I suspect thee is a book to be written.The Lazy Speakers Guide To Talking Nonsense.Page three of the Guide has an exercise in talking nonsense by stringing pointless words and phaeses together-At this moment in time I am admiring it in an ongoing fashion and am just running the flag up the pole to see if others are saluting.Concensus is that Einstein was a reall game changer etc etc

  11. April 10, 2013

    Vickie,I had no idea that this house existed at all.Having seen the outside I am curious as to what it looks like on the inside.Is it still lived in or has it become a museum to Einstein?

    The only other building associated with Einstein{though he never worked there} is The Einstein Tower located in The Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam Germany.It was built by the famed architect Eric Mendelsohn and has within it a solar telescope.

    The building started out as an idea in in 1917 and was actually constructed between the years 1919-1921 and working from 1924.

    Despite the fact that it looks as if it is constructed from concrete{the original plan} its actually made from brick with a skin of stucco.It looks marvelous,but because of the materials used has had problems such as damp and seen several renovations, the last being in 1999.

    During the lasr war it suffered badly and the Nazis were not sympathetic to it,as it was a monument{in name} as well as a working building to what official Nazi doctrine would call-Jewish Science.

    The building is usually descibed as expressionist architecture having affinities to expressionism in the other arts, such as the cinema.

    Here an interesting fact that connects with some of your other posts Vickie.This building ,a first major commission for Mendelsohn, saw Richard Neutra on his staff.

    Although it in Europe I would love to see you post some stuning black and white pictures of this building.Some amazing shots inside as well.

    I have always loved this building from the day that I first discovered it.

    • September 26, 2014

      I love the way the British are too skittish to use icky words like “mold” and “mildew”… they say “You’ve got damp.” Makes me smile every time!

  12. George Kaplan
    April 10, 2013

    Edward – that was hilarious! You give me a needed lift (despite my abysmal jokes indicating otherwise). Thanks. Also, your post to Vickie on the Einstein Tower above is fascinating (solar telescope, Mendelsohn, Neutra, etc). I’m interested in those links to expressionism. I must look for photos of that myself. Have you considered launching your own weblog? I think it’d be intriguing. In any event if you have any more fascinating subjects like the one above, I’d be as interested as Ms Lester – and I’m sure many others – in reading you comment or post about it 🙂
    Regards, George

  13. April 10, 2013

    Thanks George for the comments.I made one error in the above as I appear to suggest that the only other building associated with Einstein, is the Einstein Tower.What I really should have said was-known to me at present.

    I left out mentioning that there are two sculptures on the site of the Einstein Tower. One is a bust of Einstein that had been hidden behind some crates and another that is a work embodying a philosophical concept.

    With regard to a blog.I have thought about it a little.Unfortunately despite doing a course in information technology I am still pretty incompetant.

    Glad you like the humour.Its all pretty off the cuff stuff really.

    • April 11, 2013

      707 S. Oakland in Pasadena – very close to Cal-tech!

  14. George Kaplan
    April 11, 2013

    Morgan – Great story!

  15. George Kaplan
    April 11, 2013

    Edward – Thanks for the additional information. I’d like to see those sculptures, I’m particularly intrigued in the one “embodying a philosophical concept” but the notion of the Einstein bust saved by being hidden is a nice one.
    Not to war over who’s more technoilliterate but I bet I’m more “technically incompetent” than you (grins)! Seriously, I just bet you could do it, and I’m sure you’d really enjoy it, too. I think plenty of webloggers learn as they go along. I hope you give it some more thought. But, hey, if you do, you better keep posting here too 🙂
    “Off the cuff humour”? Isn’t it grand?! Off the cuff or no, I like your humour (smiles)

  16. April 11, 2013

    Einstein was not popular with the Nazis as they had some really weird ideas they incubated as Aryan Science, as opposed to the ahem Jewish Science of Einstein and other persons.Shame that it was all stark raving lunatic.I believe something called The Doctrine Of Cosmic Ice,Hollow Earth Ideas to say nothing of spurious history related to Germanys past.

  17. George Kaplan
    April 11, 2013

    Yes, the Hollow Earth theory just the kind of thing that the loony “ubermenschen” liked to believe in. Untermenschen, rather. Oh, I know all about the vile nutcasery of the nazi scum! They told themselves ridiculous tales of being descended from “pure” beings when in reality they were more like the spawn of things that dwell in sewers, tho’ that’s probably an insult to sewer-dwelling creatures 😉 Even if they weren’t already obviously evil, the sheer idiocy of their aryan nonsense and their pathetic rejection of “Jewish Science” should have proved to anyone with soul and mind that they were both scrofulous morons and utterly beneath contempt. Oh, what a cheery subject. Ugh. Antisemites. Imagine the world they wanted: without the fruits of jewish acting, writing, art, design, science, literature, comedy – how chilling, how scary – a howling wasteland. Thankfully, in the end they and their madness lost but that they enjoyed power and success for as long as they did is terrible enough.
    Tsk, tsk, Edward you left me contemplating one of my most hated periods and depressing myself! But it’s okay because we see the proof all around us that those loons failed so fear not 🙂

  18. George Kaplan
    April 11, 2013

    Hm. Don’t mind me ranting, Edward. It’s just that those ideas you rightly call stark-raving lunatic were so loathsome, and the people who supported them, worse. So you got another absurdly-long and pointless comment & here’s another (winks) Gibber gibber gibber!

  19. April 12, 2013

    Scrofulous morons,very good a term worthy of Black Adder I think.I remember my shock at first hearing about the Holocaust as a child and the dreadful nightmares I had in which Nazis came for our family etc.Thanks be to The News of the World.

    As for raving George I am inclined to rave a bit myself at those deluded idiots who join certain movements in the UK which just the tiniest bit of research and, but one alert braincell,will show you that they are Far Right front organisations.

    I was talking about concentration camps at work last year to someone who had never heard of them.A shame upon our educational system.

  20. April 12, 2013

    George,I am about to write something for Vickie that you and others may find interesting.Of course always with the reservation that the informed persons who haunt this site may already know it and its just me who has only now discovered it.

  21. April 12, 2013

    Vickie,you may find this interesting.

    I have always ever since seeing Frank Capras Lost Horizon been somewhat rivited by it.It cast a sort of spell upon me to the extent that rather as in reading a good book into which one has completely entered, I had to shake myself a little after my first viewing of the film in order to move out of the dream like reverie it induced in me.

    I have continued to love the film and upon odd occasions caught it on British TV.Now finally I own my own copy.I have now read the book a couple of times and found myself entering into the same reverie of imaginative engagement as when I saw the film.

    Later I caught up both with the historical context in which both book and film were born.I already knew of Tibetan legends that likely as not were drawn upon by James Hilton.

    I suppose many of us who have seen the film and the wonderful sets by architect Gooson might dream of what it might have been like to visit such a place of white wonder.

    It would be a dream for most of us,but for one man who could afford it, he built his dream and lived in it.Even more remarkable,although the original Shangri-La set has gone his version is still around.

    The man who built his own Shangri-La was the mining magnate Harry E Huffman and as soon as he saw the film he knew that he wanted to live there, as it had cast such a spell on him.Unlike the rest of us he had the means,as well as the dream and the same year the film came out, he asked Denver architect Raymond Harry Ervin to build him his own Shangri-La on a hilltop he had purchased in Denver.

    The house is still there to this day and stands at 150 Bellaire St.A side by side comparisions between the set and the existing building show a remarkable resemblance.

    None of the above is original reearch and I first came across the information along with pictures on Paradise Leased the site of Steven Vaught to whom full credit must be given.Give it a look if you are so inclined.

  22. George Kaplan
    April 12, 2013

    Edward, Lost Horizon! Yes, wonderful film and book. It’s a pity that the picture was cut over the years but the version we have now is still excellent.
    Love your story above about a real-life Shangri-La. I’m fascinated when art and fiction influence reality. Hope you don’t mind if I follow your suggestion to Vickie and visit Paradise Leased. Thanks for that information – and, hey, everyone tends to garner knowledge from somewhere else first there’s nothin’ wrong with that 🙂 The important thing is that we seek it out because we’re interested.
    About my ranting : ha, thanks! Thinking about those things set me off.
    Someone didn’t know about the camps?! For the love of…! Shame indeed.

  23. April 12, 2013

    George,yes please do follow up the story.I had hoped that those interested would.I do not think that you will be disappointed.

    Oddly enough Mr Art History expert had seen bits of the house before,noted a resemblance{you dont say},even copied a few pictures for my files,but not known where it was or the story behind it.

    No did not know about the camps.Then another recent graduate I worked with and a very pleasant young women of about twenty three,did not know where The Atlantic was.I think I successfully masked my shock at this, as I had no intention to offend her,but it has stayed with me ever since.I am at a complete loss to explain it to myself, as just do not understand how this can happen.Had it been some obscure chain of islands I would have understood it,but the Atlantic???

  24. April 12, 2013

    Vickie,you beat me to it,but thank Ok.Yes love the book

  25. April 12, 2013

    I will start again.Vickie,you beat me to it,but thats Ok.Thanks.Yes love the book.

    • April 12, 2013

      Original and translation received and I bow to your precision. As I recall he also wrote the bittersweet Goodbye Mr. Chips and now I have to search out the rest of his works and add them to my reading horde 🙂

  26. April 12, 2013

    Vickie,you are becoming very skilled at translating this sometimes tired Englisman.I have not seen The Goodbye Mr Chps Films,although know there are 1939 and 1969 versions both with strong casts.

    Earlier this year a blue plaque was placed on his childhood home at 26 Wilkinson Street Leigh Wigan as a joint effort by The James Hilton Society and the local Council.Apparently this is the second such plaque, as one already exists at The Council offices.

  27. April 12, 2013

    Vickie,I think that the James Hilton Society might be a good place to look.I have not searched them out myself as yet,but will.

    • April 12, 2013

      Good find – I’ve got their site open in another window. Before I go exploring, I have to say, you are a sleuth!

  28. George Kaplan
    April 12, 2013

    My God, Edward, the young woman didn’t know where the ATLANTIC was?!? Of course, you masked your astonishment, as would I, but I’m surprised your eyes didn’t spring out on stalks as in a Looney Tunes short! My geography isn’t the best but… Gadzooks! It’s the Atlantic Ocean 🙂
    P.S. I’d recommend the original Goodbye, Mr Chips to you (Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Paul Henreid, and a young Johnnie Mills!), it’s heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and romantic; you may cry! You might like to give the Peter O’Toole version a miss, though, as it’s one of those rather misjudged late sixties musical white elephants.

  29. George Kaplan
    April 12, 2013

    Edward, as I can’t sleep my mind was leaping around (quite a trick!) and it alighted on a few novels vaguely alike Lost Horizon that you might find interesting. Vaguely alike, as they are about worlds hidden from most. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, which concerns an ordinary man who falls into a London beneath the known, in which the Angel, Islington is a person etc; Peter Straub’s Shadowland, a beautiful, melancholy novel about fairytales, love, reality, magic, and loss – a novel that chimes with me, one of my favourites, though it’s so sad in the end; and Little, Big by John Crowley, an odd sprawling book set in an indeterminate present in which a world of Faerie lies cheek-by-jowl with our own – it features a house in which the further in you go, the bigger it gets. Once again love plays a part, and there’s a sense to me of -metaphorically – glimpsing something you can never have, a good book with a whimsical quality as well as something more.
    Oh, and as an aside, I loved the Oz books in childhood – again, a world beyond the known.
    Hope there’s something of interest there.
    Funny how Shangri-La became such a powerful concept – the novel affecting people’s desire. As a metaphor, some are ever seeking Shangri-La, some find it, others freeze in the snow!

    • April 13, 2013

      George,thanks for the book suggestions.I will keep a look out for them.I have heard of Peter Straubs-Shadowland.Did he write a book with Streiber?

      Main problem is the music cds,the books and the films seem to pile ever higher with not much time to either hear them,open and read them or watch.Its quite frustratiing.

      I never read any of The Oz books as far as I can recall,although of course saw the film.

      I used to be quite entranced with the world of Rupert Bear when he was still decently illustrated.My God the new Rupert Bear is just so appalling that it makes me quite sick.There was a Japanese touch to some of the front and back pieces I think in the real Rupert stories when they still had charm.

      Yes it is funny how Shangri-La became such a powerful concept.I wonder how many houses in Britain and throughout the world have been named Shangri-La in honour of book or film?

      • April 13, 2013

        Sorry for muscling in, but I forgot to tell you (I think you were inquiring…) there is a film being made right now about Tesla – directed by Brad Bird.

  30. George Kaplan
    April 13, 2013

    Shangri-La’s preferable to Dunroamin’ at least!
    I must admit I’ve only glimpsed the new Rupert Bear and that only in a newspaper when he first appeared; I, too, liked Rupert when I was a very young child. Paddington Bear too! Both before I could read and for a short time after. I suppose Baum’s Oz novels were among the first I read for my own pleasure.
    Straub never collaborated with Strieber (“thankfully”, I’m tempted to add 😉 ) but he did collaborate with Stephen King on The Talisman, which, though flawed, has some surprisingly compelling and evocative writing, and the quasi-sequel Black House, which I have to admit to not finishing.
    I hear you about piling books and dvds!

  31. April 16, 2013

    George,I always used to lightly say that books help keep a house warm.I much later accidentally found out that they may actually do so.In error I left a fan heater on in one of the rooms and then discovering it hours later turned it off annoyed at myself as to how much heat I had wasted.Hours later again i went back to the room and found to my surprise that the room was still very,very warm.There was a very large floor to ceiling bookcase in that room and I found by touch that the books were actually radiating warmth back into the room having stored it.I do not recommend however this form of passive heating.

    • April 16, 2013

      Were the books damaged? That sounds a little scary.

      • April 16, 2013

        Vickie,no the books were fine.I think if that were done on a regular basis it might have been bad for the spines of cheaper paperbacks,but no harm.That was an extreme example as you could actually feel the books radiating heat.I think that on a more normal basis however that large bookcases may contribute to overall warmth on a less easily sensed way-not actually radiating heat you can feel.

      • April 17, 2013

        I thought it might have browned the pages. When we moved into our 1924 redwood framed California Spanish we experienced a very hot summer. One day I was looking around for my husband (he was born in colder climes) and he was sitting on the tile floor in the bathroom with his face pressed against the bathtub. That’s when I decided to install air conditioning and had insulation blown into the walls (which was recycled newspaper!).

  32. George Kaplan
    April 20, 2013

    Edward, interesting story it seems that books do not only furnish a room, they heat it too! Sorry, I only just saw your comment here.

    Vickie, I sympathize with Mr L. Air conditioning would be a must there, unfortunately, I don’t have it here so when it *is* hot, oh it’s not good! Once, I was sleeping with the windows open (and using other methods to keep cool) only to find that horrible little insect things had gathered on the ceiling! Ick. You should have seen me trying to remove ’em! 🙂 Jinkies.
    An aside : how I hate it when books brown…

    • May 5, 2013

      It’s still there, on a leafy residential street – I hope you do 🙂

  33. September 25, 2014

    How pretty and cozy it looks! Not what I expected (though what I did expect, Heaven only knows).

  34. September 26, 2014

    Holy cats, I thought I’d never find the bottom of the comments on this post! Whew, have to sit down and rest a moment. Right – love Einstein’s house! As for words we should ban – let’s add “stainless steel appliances” and “granite counter tops” to the list of things one should never be allowed to say when discussing interior decor. Also, in general conversation, the phrases “over the moon” and “crazy cool”. Individual words that I dislike the sound of: “gubernatorial”, “hoagy” (the sandwich, not Mr. Carmichael), and the medically correct terms used for human genitalia. Actually, the word “genitalia” also sounds awful. Seems like they could have come up with nicer names for our more pleasurable parts!

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