Saturday, May 31, 2008

Loading Dot

This might be the cleanest loading dock I've ever seen. It faces the alley behind Cook Books and The Archives Bookstore on Washington Blvd. at Hill. (The mind-boggling Cook Books store will be featured here Monday.)

I think this is an early 20th century building, say, before about 1940. It's easy to make such a guess, as Pasadena was incorporated in 1886.

The "dots" on the upper part of the building are washers or plates that anchor reinforcing bolts, or tie rods, to protect the building from bowing. Some plates are even designed to prevent bolt heads from pulling through the brick. You can tell by the relatively random pattern that the tie rods were added later and not part of the original design. You'll see a lot of these around Pasadena in older buildings, because tie rods are popular (if sometimes futile) in earthquake zones.

Pasadena has a lot of these old brick buildings, well-preserved and put to good use. They feel Midwestern to me, and since I grew up in Illinois, it's one reason I feel so at home here. You can't beat it—a bit of Midwest, with California weather.

12 comments:

Lily Hydrangea said...

It does look quite clean! Clean is nice. Friends of mine say California in general is clean.Your photos are piquing my interest Petrea-nice shot! The tree's burst of green off to the side is a nice touch. Pasadena is another place I have to visit.

marley said...

That is clean! It looks like a very nice building :)

Christie said...

So very clean! And very interesting that they would try that to protect against earthquakes. I absolutely love bookstores and books.

I've only been in a few earthquakes, all very small. One in upstate New York where I was at college and I thought that my dormmates were jumping up and down in the corridor; but they weren't. We found out later it was an earthquake. How very odd it felt.

Freefalling said...

Those little dots make the photo.
If you didn't know what they were, they pull you in because they seem so curious.
The clean, bare lines evoke a bit of New Mexico, for me.

Katie said...

This building also seems SO midwestern to me too! I saw lots of cool old brick buildings like this on my just-finished vacation in Minnesota. I'm not sure why I love brick buildings so much, but I do. Maybe it's because of all the brick buildings on the campus of Wabash College in Indiana, where my dad taught when I was a kid. You've managed to make a mere loading dock look quite spectacular. Add this to my Pasadena tour! Sheesh, I better just book my ticket to Pasadena before airfares go up too much; I so want to visit all these great places you've featured!!!

Petrea said...

lily hydrangea, now I have to go get you a picture of some dirt. 'Cause we've got that, too.

Same for you, Marley. Dirt. I'm on the lookout.

It is a funny feeling, isn't it, Christie? The small ones are interesting. I've experienced one large one, which wasn't funny, of course.

I hadn't thought of it that way, freefalling. You usually say something I wouldn't have thought of. We should just call you Refreshing.

Petrea said...

Katie, it's a loading dock! You made me laugh. I wonder what it is about a building like this. Is it the brick? The shape? The age? There are older buildings. Prettier ones, too. It could be the Midwest in it.

Katie said...

Yeah, I know it's a loading dock, but I can totally see wanting to live here! Yes, it's the brick, the shape, the vintage feel; I don't know, I'm just attracted to his building! Lots of parking too I bet.

Rose said...

Petrea
My family loves joking about my fixation for brickwork. So jokes like "Do you know anyone who likes being stuck in a traffic jam? Mum, because then she can stare at the brickwork!" are common at the dinner table.
The dots, somehow, look good in there. Well done on you Pasadena citizens for making the effort to protect your buildings.

Lily Hydrangea said...

LOL! Petrea- Dirt is good too! I actually like playing in the dirt/garden. So I will be looking forward to it!
; )

lynn said...

Love the history, Petrea! Really does look clean doesn't it.

Petrea said...

Katie, I used to imagine living above a store, or even in a storefront building. I like the idea of re-imagining architecture for new uses.

Rose, you'd like Pasadena. And as I'm the one who always stops to look at stones, I know I'd love Canterbury.

Should have seen me in the garden yesterday, Lily Hy. We seem to be growing dirt in our yard and nothing else.

Yes, Lynn. I wondered if they even load things from that dock? Maybe it had just been swept. A good place to put a table and chairs, maybe, or to sit and read a book.