Famed Female Architect's Pasadena Treehouse Is for Sale—and It's Listed at $1.54 Million

Cameron Carothers/Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

The redwood siding blends perfectly into the wooded hillside.

Jean G. Killion's name might not be as recognizable as other architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, but she was equally talented. She worked as a project architect at several well-known firms, although she never got credit for her designs given the era's nature. The one project that does bear her name is the Pasadena home she built for herself, which is now on the market for $1.548 million


Cameron Carothers/Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

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Known as The Killion Residence, the three-bedroom, 2,134-square-foot home was built into the hillside of Pasadena's Poppy Peak Historic District and resembled a treehouse. The exterior is covered in old-growth redwood siding that makes it seemingly disappear into the surrounding forest. Several balconies jut out from the structure to enhance that bird's eye view, while tall glass windows provide similar vistas from the interior rooms as well. You can lay in any of the bedrooms and look directly out onto the treetops. 


Cameron Carothers/Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

The home's great room sits at the center and features an 18-foot-tall wall of glass that boasts views of Downtown Los Angeles and even Catalina Island. And to blur the lines between indoors and out more, Killion used wood detailing on the interior of the post and beam structure.


Cameron Carothers/Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

Sadly, little is known about Killion's work and signature style. She worked at several well-known architecture firms like Neutra & Alexander, Kistner, Wright & Kistner, and Ainsworth, Angel & McClellan beginning in 1952. But during that time, since she was a woman, her employers would have taken any credit. This home is the only concrete example of the skilled architect's spirit and vision, and that's what makes it so unique. 


Cameron Carothers/Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

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With that in mind, home design firm HabHouse worked hard to retain the home's original intent. The restoration was "aimed not only at revitalizing her unique vision but also at elevating the work of an architect who had until now been left out of history," reads the listing. "The home she designed and built for herself stands as a testament to her immense talent."