The house was built for Edmund Locke, Jr. who shared the house with his wife Elizabeth and their three young children. Mr. Locke had purchased five lots on both sides of Rancho Road from the Home for Women in 1936 on which he would build their house. Born on March 14, 1903 in Los Angeles, he was the son of Edmund Locke, Sr., a newspaper publisher and Elizabeth (Carr) Locke. By 1920 he and his family were living in Beverly Hills where his mother was a founder of the Beverly Hills Women’s Club. Mr. Locke attended Harvard and in 1926 married Elizabeth Brown, the daughter of a developer of gold mines and oil wells. It is thought that Mr. and Mrs. Locke lived largely on money they inherited from both sides of the family.
The Locke family sold their home in 1943 to Carl and Thelma Baker. Mr. Baker was in the investment field. Other owners included Peter Young, the manager of a retail liquor business and Willard and Mary Jo Voit. Mr. Voit was associated with the Voit Rubber Company of Los Angeles.
Sometime before 1950, the Lockes moved to Hawaii. Mr. Locke died June 10, 1975 at the age of 72 and Mrs. Locke outlived her husband by a few years, passing away on May 1, 1978.
Photo Credit: Maynard L. Parker, photographer. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California | Residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Locke, Santa Anita Oaks, as featured in Architectural Digest in 1939.
Information provided by Tim Gregory, The Building Biographer.
History of the Locke House
The 56th Pasadena Showcase House of Design took place at the Locke House, a 1937 Federal-country estate designed by “Hollywood society’s architect,” Gerard R. Colcord. It was patterned after country homes constructed for affluent families on the east coast. The house is nestled among mature oaks and sits on expansive, park-like grounds in the historic Santa Anita Oaks neighborhood of Arcadia. The house is virtually unchanged from its original design and features refined Federal detailing throughout the trim, windows, fireplaces and hardware. It includes classical design elements such as painted brick, wood shingles, elongated windows, and a front door crowned by a Georgian-style broken pediment. The two-story home is approximately 6,700 square-feet and is still on its original two-acre parcel. It cost $30,000 to build, a very large amount of money for a new house during the Great Depression. A pool, barbecue room, bath and dressing room structure as well as a brick-floored screened porch at the rear of the house were added later. Locke House was featured in the 1998 Academy Award winning film, Gods and Monsters.
The house was also featured prominently in Architectural Digest Magazine in 1939.