Kitchen and Bath Showrooms Los Angeles County

The Snyder Diamond Pasadena Showroom | The Untold Story

Explore our ties to Hollywood, iconic events and timeless design.

By Renée Soucy

Snyder Diamond Pasadena kitchen and bath showroom exterior

The Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom

A JUNCTION OF HISTORY AND HOLLYWOOD: THE UNIQUE LEGACY OF SNYDER DIAMOND

If bricks and mortar had DNA to analyze, our Snyder Diamond Pasadena Showroom’s 23andMe would reveal a strong aesthetic heritage, relations to the finest homes in the area, a flair for the theatrical, and surprising connections to the city’s most famous resorts and cultural events. Even without that analysis, it’s clear: under the soaring vaulted ceilings of the 1922 Tudor Revival building there are thousands of square feet to explore and over a century’s worth of history to appreciate.

Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom Tudor style exterior

The Tudor-style Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom

ARCHITECTURAL ELEGANCE AND HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

Designed by local "starchitects" of their day, Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury, 432 Arroyo Parkway began life as the Home Laundry, a joint venture between three of Pasadena's leading businessmen: visionary "Father of the Rose Bowl” Arnold J Bertonneau; hôtelier extraordinaire Daniel Linnard, who operated the Huntington, Vista Del Arroyo and the Green; and Edward Hoak, who was instrumental in the early 20th century publication of Sunset Magazine.

The Home Laundry in Snyder Diamond’s Pasadena showroom

The Home Laundry (early 20th century)

Even a century ago, astute entrepreneurs like the lead investor Arnold J Bertonneau understood the power of design and branding. Although Home Laundry handled commercial and retail accounts, and was certainly not an 'in-home' laundry service, the residential feeling of the building design—a rare Tudor Revival industrial space—and the name were selected to indicate that the same care and attention would be devoted to customer’s laundry as if it were done at home.

Exterior photo of the Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom with Tudor architecture

The Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom exterior

Despite changing ownership throughout the 20th century, the building's innovative design by a renowned Southern California firm, its adherence to the architectural style of 1920s Pasadena, and its high-quality construction earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places by the late 1980s.

FROM LAUNDRY TO HOLLYWOOD: A CINEMATIC TRANSFORMATION

In the early 1990s the building buzzed again with machinery, only this time it wasn’t giant presses rolling out perfectly smooth sheets, but director Charles Shyer calling out “roll camera!” while shooting scenes for the Steve Martin and Diane Keaton feature “Father of the Bride.” The wide-open space of the Laundry proved a perfect location to build sets and shoot scenes for the ‘Side Kicks’ sneaker factory operated by Steve Martin’s character George Banks. 

Side Kicks sneaker factory in the 1991 movie Father of the Bride with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton

‘Father Of The Bride’ movie scene with Steve Martin (1991)

SNYDER DIAMOND'S VISIONARY RESTORATION

Fast forward to the mid 2000s and the Home Laundry was languishing, housing remnants of a shuttered Thomasville furniture showroom. The timing was Hollywood-perfect for the building's own Act Three. Snyder Diamond’s President Russ Diamond explains “When we took over it was in definite need of some repair, and we had to earthquake proof it. We gutted it… We got rid of all the carpeting and all the interior walls and the loft was repurposed for our Sub-Zero Living Kitchen—only the second of its kind at the time in the U.S..” 

Snyder Diamond Pasadena kitchen and bath showroom interior

The Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom interior

Weekly check-ins from the Historical Society ensured a sensitive restoration and reconfiguration which revealed the innate beauty of the interior space, highlighting the iron columns, soaring ceilings and ridge beams, and long banks of windows along the roof line. Whatever time of day, natural light fills the space. Reflecting upon the restoration and the experience of entering the showroom today, Russ shares “It's like a painting or a portrait. It's so magnificent with the natural sunlight coming in from the high ceilings. There’s a presence to the building which is unique and when it was completed we invited the descendants of Arnold J Bertonneau to join us—and the whole Pasadena design community—in celebrating the restoration and opening.”

The building’s restoration was honored as one of the best examples of preservation of a historic property, earning Snyder Diamond a Pasadena Historic Preservation Award in 2008. 

Interior photo of the Snyder Diamond Pasadena kitchen and bath showroom

The Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom interior

THE LEGACY OF ARNOLD J. BERTONNEAU

The son of a noteworthy creole activist and businessman from New Orleans, Arnold E. Bertonneau, Arnold J. understood the power of vision and determination. In his short life he built more than just a fine building for his Home Laundry. His progressive leadership and vision shaped Pasadena’s history and the city’s most celebrated events. Bertonneau was “the Father of the East-West Football Game,’’ the most storied college sporting event in the nation, which we know today as the Rose Bowl Game. 

Portrait of Arnold J. Bertonneau

Portrait of Arnold J. Bertonneau

Bertonneau was the first to suggest an East vs. West gridiron classic. The idea that teams would travel thousands of miles for a single game was something completely unheard of at the time and while others wanted to showcase only West Coast teams, he held firm and in 1916 football became a permanent part of New Year’s celebrations. 

The revival of football brought enormous crowds to Tournament Park, leaving thousands without seats. At a meeting of tournament directors in March 1920, a motion was made, and seconded by Bertonneau, that the Tournament of Roses Association would build a huge bowl-shaped stadium. And so, the Rose Bowl was born. 

Top view of the Rose Bowl, Los Angeles

Top view of the Rose Bowl, Los Angeles

On January 1st, 1923, A.J. saw the dream fulfilled, as the USC Trojans defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 14-3 in the first Rose Bowl. Barely in his 50s, Bertonneau would enjoy only one more big game at the new stadium before suffering a fatal stroke in 1924. 

Bertonneau’s singular legacy lives on in the world’s greatest parade and if we might be so bold, the greatest showroom ever to be listed on the Historical Register, located at the corner of Arroyo Parkway and East Bellevue Drive. 

Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom Tudor style architecture

Tudor-style architecture of the Snyder Diamond Pasadena showroom 

Address: Snyder Diamond, 432 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105

Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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