John P. Pedersen, A.I.A. was born in Kjerringøy-Bodø, Norway in 1888. While in Norway he attended Bodø Tekniske Aftenskole, a night-school program with a curriculum similar to many American pre-architecture secondary programs. After migrating to the United States, Pedersen attended the Pratt Institute in New York City. After completing architectural apprenticeships in Connecticut and Southern California in 1928, he opened his own office in Beverly Hills.
During World War II, Pedersen worked with the United States Maritime Commission to design concrete ships. While he designed some commercial buildings, Pedersen’s practice was focused on residential design. Many of the homes he designed are located in Hancock Park, Pasadena, Silver Lake, and San Marino. Some of Pedersen’s clients included R.J. Richards, the “Lettuce King” (Pasadena), Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson (Silver Lake), and Bruno Walter, conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He also designed residential buildings in the Southern San Joaquin Valley including the George H. Barnett residence located on Elm Street in Bakersfield.