Poppy Peak; Garvanza’s Northern Edge

by Pasadena Adjacent

Spanish sailors off the California coast noted that during the late afternoon on a spring day, when the sun’s rays shone at a slant, the hills were afire with the glow of orange poppies. The 1080 foot high summit qualifies Poppy Peak as the dominant hilltop within the Garvanza’s section of Rancho San Rafael. The poppies were eventually picked to the point extinction. Like the Garbonzo bean, only the name remains to mark their passing

select to enlarge: 1920’s Poppy Peak panorama

In 1924 Beaudry’s San Rafael ranch sold the little mountain to William C Carr. His home still remains on the hill. The neighborhood eventually took on a decidedly different appearance once devlopement got started during the era of post and beam modernism.

Poppy Peak is flush with the moderns. Here a Buff, Strauss and Hensman can be seen going up on Poppy Peak drive

This little 1952-55 Neutra was scaled down for it’s diminutive client Constance Perkins. In 1947, Perkins started working at Occidental College as a professor of Art History. It’s here she met the Architect Richard Neutra. After her retirement she became a volunteer for the Huntington Library and willed her home to the library apon her 1991 death. They sold it in 2004.

Arts and Architecture magazine sponsored the Case Study program with it’s post war challenge to design and build inexpensive and efficient model homes. Constance Perkins, like many clients of modernism, was influenced  by the magazines philosophy “The avowed purpose is to present good, contemporary design to the magazine’s largely lay audience and nudge its professional and architectural student subscribers into a truer path.” Note the covers poppy colored palate.

let us conclude this post at the beginning. More specifically the middle Miocene age dating back 20,000.000 years ago. Poppy Peak differs from it’s northern neighbor Monk Hill in that it’s younger and made from marine shell. Large fossilized oysters have been found in Garvanza and further south. The search for that other California gold depicted above, was a bust. Around 1900, someone backed a plan and sunk this 900 foot deep oil well into the shoulder of Poppy Peak.

select map for up to date coverage of the Garvanza tour and borders

More Garvanza History Tour Posts:

Garvanza Secret Stairs

Johnston Lake

Post and Beam


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