Thursday, April 27, 2006
TIMELESS BEAUTY THAT RESONATES WITH HOMEY ELEGANCE AND STYLE
For decades, historian Robert Winter has preserved a 1909 bungalow in Pasadena that resonates with timeless beauty. For the last 34 years, Winter has owned the Batchelders' former home and been guardian of the legacy that lives inside, preserving the 1909 Craftsman on the east side of the Arroyo Seco as a homage to the legendary artisan who built it. To comprehend the timelessness of Batchelder — his willingness to "play down excess," Winter says — one only need step into Winter's living room, where the tiled fireplace emanates warmth, richness and a lived-in elegance. "It doesn't call attention to itself," the historian says, "that is, except to say that it's beautiful." Batchelder's business failed during the Great Depression, and the artist died in 1957. But his designs — often depicting ships, castles and nature scenes in a spare, matte finish — remain coveted by collectors and grace Arts and Crafts homes built in the early 20th century, many considered historic simply by virtue of their Batchelder fireplaces.