Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baranger Studios

Baranger Studios in South Pasadena reminds me of an old church in an English village, put to reuse in modern times. There's nice detailing around the doors and windows, and a pretty courtyard you can begin to see on the right.

My impression isn't far from wrong. Baranger Studios is an old building by California standards. The plaque to the left of the front door says "Architect - G. A. Howard, Jr. Built in 1925 to serve the Jewelry Display Industry. Dedicated historical landmark No. 27 by the City of South Pasadena Cultural Heritage Commission June 6, 1982." Currently, the Baranger Studios building houses a law office, an accountant and an optometrist.

But what exactly is (or was) the "jewelry display industry"? All I know about are the velvet-covered pedestals in the windows at Tiffany.

From 1925 to 1959, Baranger Studios created colorful, mechanical displays that they rented to jewelry dealers for their shop windows. Before today I never knew such things existed, but that's not surprising. They were unusual in their own time, and even had a book written about them.

You just never know what you're going to find out there.


Pont Girl said...

What a pretty place - I don't think I've ever seen it. I was in your neck of the woods last night, Petrea. My dear friend broke her leg snowboarding and I popped by for a visit. I thought of you as I drove past some of the landmarks!

Petrea said...

Hi pont girl,

It's on Mission Street at Orange Grove, just a little bit west of downtown South Pasadena. I was on my way to photograph the typical stuff and this place stopped me instead. This is what usually happens. I have a plan and I see something else.

If you ever have time as you're passing through, email me and we'll catch a coffee. The folks at (the other) PDP would love it and so would I.

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Petrea said...

Thanks, Sandro.