Johnson Lake in Pasadena from “Celebrity Rehab”Jul 12th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
A couple of weeks ago, while trying to track down the lake house belonging to Donna Meagle (Retta) in the Season 4 episode of Parks and Recreation titled “Sweet Sixteen”, I discovered that there was a lake in Pasadena and just about fell right off my chair! Having lived in the area – as a stalker, mind you! – for well over a decade now, I consider myself a virtual expert on Pasadena and its environs, so how in the world had I not previously known that there was a lake – like an actual lake! – within the city limits? Well, believe you me, I immediately added the place to my To-Stalk list and dragged the Grim Cheaper right on out there.
There seems to be quite a bit of discrepancy online about the origins of Johnson Lake, which was formerly known as Mirror Lake and is also sometimes referred to as Johnson’s Lake, Johnston Lake and Beaudry Lake. According to the book Images of America: Garvanza by Charles J. Fisher, the lake is a natural one that was originally located on land belonging to Prudent Beaudry, the thirteenth Mayor of Los Angeles. At the time, the property was part of an area called Garvanza, but it was later integrated into Pasadena. Some other online reports stipulate that the lake was initially part of a natural spring that was dammed to provide irrigation to the 2,200-acre San Rafael Ranch, which was then owned by the Campbell-Johnsons, the very same family who built the oft-filmed-at Church of the Angels. And then there are further reports still which state that the site was first developed by the Annandale Golf Club and/or the San Rafael Winery in the late 1890s. (You can see a picture of the lake taken during that time period on the Pasadena Adjacent website here.) Whatever the case may be, at some point the lake became part of Brookmere, a private gated community comprised of about twenty homes. The Brookmere gates are pictured below.
Because Johnson Lake is located inside of a gated community, I scoped the place out online before heading over there to make sure that it was viewable from the road. And, as you can see below, it is clearly visible via Google Street View. So I was absolutely shocked when we arrived and the lake was nowhere to be found! As the GC later explained, the Google Street View camera is elevated and therefore had a view above the large hedges which surrounded the Brookmere community. Man, I have got to get me one of those!
Have no fear, though – the GC was able to snap some pics of it by holding the camera up over his head. So while we never actually got to lay eyes on the lake ourselves, our camera got a nice view of it and, as you can see below, it is pretty darn amazing.
You can also catch a very small glimpse of the lake through Brookmere’s front gates.
Oddly enough, the house that seems to have the most lakefront land is not located inside of Brookmere at all, but is on La Loma Road, a public street, just a few blocks west of the Beaches mansion (which I blogged about here). The 5,100-square-foot Craftsman-style home, which was designed by area architect Doug Ewing in 2006, boasts four bedrooms, five baths, a .59-acre plot of land, a whopping seven patios, and a 20-foot boat dock! You can see some interior photographs of the place here and here. Have a bib handy to catch the drool, though, because the place is nothing short of breathtaking! I realize that I stated in Monday’s post (which you can read here) that Chris Traeger’s apartment from Parks and Recreation was my dream home, but I think I’d be OK with this place, too.
Because the residence is so incredibly unique, not to mention picturesque, it is, of course, no stranger to filming. In the Season 3 episode of Celebrity Rehab titled “Family Weekend”, Dr. Drew takes his patients, including Heidi Fleiss, Dennis Rodman, and Mackenzie Phillips, to the house for a reunion with their family members. In the episode, the home was referred to as the fictional “Johnston Lake Retreat Center”, but in reality the place is just a private home where actual (and extremely lucky) people live.
Thanks to my buddy E.J. over at The Movieland Directory website, I learned that the home also appeared as the residence belonging to Gabrielle Cafferty (Marisa Coughlan) and Joel Tiernan (Max Casella) in the Season 5 episode of Medium titled “Soul Survivor”. In the episode, quite a bit of the property was used, including the front exterior;
the interior . . .
. . . and the backyard and lake.
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Johnson Lake can (sort of) be viewed from the 800 block of Burleigh Drive, just south of where it meets Laguna Road, in Pasadena. The Johnson Lake Retreat Center from Celebrity Rehab is actually a private residence located at 1260 La Loma Road in Pasadena.