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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Superfluous Detail: Professional Lamp

The Professional Building at 65 N. Madison Avenue is one of Pasadena's quieter architectural gems. You've been by it; it sits on the southwest corner of Madison and Union. The internet is strangely silent about it, so I welcome tips from readers on who the architect was or when it was built. My guess is 1920s or 1930s. It's got a bit of Deco flair to it.

If you aren't lucky enough to have a doctor, lawyer or accountant in the building, there's a pharmacy and a coffee shop on the first floor. A reasonable excuse to drop by and pretend you're Hildy Johnson for a few minutes. If that's reasonable.

24 comments:

Bernie K. said...

Looks like Foucault's censer.

Laurie said...

Petrea, you're my kind of girl. You dropped a His Girl Friday/Front Page reference while describing a deco building!

I've never seen this building but I"m going to make a point to look for it now. Isn't that light fixture amazing? I'm kinda crazy about old light fixtures.

Meead S. said...

How nice this lamp is!

Knoxville Girl said...

Looking at this on the portal, I was wondering if you shot this in a very stiff breeze! Ha! Love that!Very whimsical - and we all need more whimsy in our lives, IMO.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Such a lovely light fixture.

USelaine said...

I love the angle, love the elements, love the style (slight nouveau influence?). Love ya, baby.

Kelly said...

Lovely photo, Petrea, and I love the angle!

Susan C said...

I covet that light fixture!

I love shots like this with lots of angles. I get to play the "how many triangles can you find" game.

jill said...

Nice photo of the lovely light fixture and interestingly-angled ceiling. How many times I walk around without looking up and miss so much.

Kim Thomas said...

Growing up my doctor was in this building. 35 years later, my 4 month olds pediatrician is there.

USelaine said...

... love the colors, love the focus, love the framing ...

altadenahiker said...

My dentist. Only the building keeps me coming back.

pasadenapio said...

I looked it up in our city records: It was built is 1925, is owned by Pasadena Medical Building Partnership and does not have landmark status (which may simply mean that it has never been nominated).

marley said...

It looks art deco to me. What a lovely lamp, real style there. I like the angle of your photo too. All in all a visual treat!

Cafe Observer said...

I pass this corner bldg all the time. I like it but didn't look that old 2 me. It's amazin what the govt (PIO) knows. I hope she doesn't have anything on me!

Petrea, I'll wait to tell you about Zephyr's omelette's (we had 2 kinds) when I see you after Labor Day

Ted Thompson said...

The lamp recalls to me seeing pipe organs and old parlor organs built in centuries past. You'd find even there, in the most inaccessible place where no one would ever see it, some very decorative works - a place were a simple oblong block of wood would have done the job and it's carved and fluted like part of a fine piece of furniture.

Thinking on it, you have a number of these sorts of photos, showing the extra effort that was made in a bygone era.

Here's to their continued preservation!

Petrea said...

Would the world be different if Foucault had created a censer instead of a pendulum?

Laurie, I used the play because the movie didn't come out until 1940, but it still works!

Thanks, Meead.

KG, I shot it from a few different directions and liked this one best.

Yes, WCGB. But too big for my dining room.

usE, you could say the lamp is Nouveau. It's the only squiggly thing in an otherwise angular building.

Speaking of angular, thank you, Kelly and Susan C. Hey Susan, since it doesn't work in my dining room, maybe it'll work in yours!

Jill, my neck is starting to hurt.

Kim, that's so cool!

usE, you came back. You are sweet.

Altadenahiker! Ha!

PasadenaPIO, I can't thank you enough for taking the trouble. I've always been interested in this building. The exterior and entryway are striking. Last time I was there I climbed the stairs to every floor, and they're not unusual; the lobby's the special part. But even the other floors--simple fixtures, old tile, slim stairways--when you're in the building you feel like you're in another time. Pasadena Medical Building Partnership has maintained it very well. Perhaps the building hasn't been nominated for landmark status because it's not endangered. I hope it never will be.

Marley, I think you're right, now that we know it's 1925.

C.O., she'll have info on you if she needs it.

Ted, I like your description. That's why I call it "Superfluous Detail," because it serves no function except that of beauty. Of course some of us would argue that beauty's a necessity.

Christie said...

Oh, what a gorgeously gorgeous lamp. (Is it possible to have lamp envy?)

Oh, and beauty is definitely a necessity!

Coltrane_lives said...

Christie..."lamp envy" LOL. I think it is possible. Petrea, this is a beauty. Like Laurie, I too love these older light fixtures. Ciao.

Dina said...

"Superfluous Detail"? A favorite quotation, by Voltaire:
"The superfluous is very necessary."

Dina said...

I'd go for a swinging Foucault censer instead of a pendulum any day. At least the world would smell better....

Bernie K. said...

It's true, M. Foucault was reportedly rather fragrant, though such rumors incensed him. But he worked long hours, and the French have never been big fans of air conditioning. Perhaps if he'd rented rooms next to M. Pasteur's—for at least 20 seconds, at 161 °F … but alas, these are the tragedies of history.

Anonymous said...

As to his swinging—well that depends …

Petrea said...

Christie, I like "gorgeously gorgeous."

Hi Coltrane. I like the older fixtures, too. Our house has its original fixtures (1924). Some are more attractive than others...

Dina, I'm going to use that Voltaire quote.

Ha! Bernie.
Ha! Anonymous!