History of the Tournament House
Tournament House is the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Association, its staff and the 935 volunteers who work year-round to organize the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.
The house was built by architect G. Lawrence Stimson in 1906 and his father, prominent builder George w. Stimson. The younger Stimson paid great attention to detail in his design and construction. Within the structure’s three stories are 22 rooms and 18,500 square feet of artistry; ornate molded ceilings, inlaid marble floors, and finely crafted woodwork. The interior’s full grandeur was restored in a renovation project completed in 2002.
This elegant Italian Renaissance-style mansion was presented to the city of Pasadena in 1958 by the William Wrigley family for the exclusive use of the Tournament. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. purchased the home in 1914 for $170,000. A year later, he paid $25,000 for the adjoining property, clearing the way for the 4.5-acre garden. In its time, the Wrigley’s winter residence was considered a more modest home on “Millionaire’s Row.” But of their six homes across the country, the Pasadena getaway was Mrs. Wrigley’s favorite. She delighted in watching the parade from her own front yard.
The interior of the house features richly paneled rooms, inlaid marble floors and ornate molded plaster ceilings. Among the highlights of the tour are a one-of-a-kind Waterford rose bowl commissioned for the centennial of the Tournament of Roses; and the formal portrait of the reigning Rose Queen. Exhibited items of interest are crowns and tiaras worn by former Rose Queens and Princesses and Rose Bowl related trophies and memorabilia.
Outside the House, the Centennial Rose Garden features the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) award-winning Tournament of Roses rose developed especially for the Tournament of Roses Centennial. Surrounding Tournament House are the Wrigley Gardens, which feature a 4½-acre floral display of more than 1,500 varieties of roses, camellias and annuals.
Tournament House and its surroundings provide a majestic backdrop for many Tournament activities, including the highly anticipated announcements of the Grand Marshal, Rose Queen and Royal Court. The many treasures throughout the house recall past tournaments and highlight a rich history of grace and style.