Thursday, October 23, 2008

Observers

This little-known gem is part of The Carnegie Observatories, a venerable institution that's been around since 1904, when George Hale got the idea to hit up the Carnegie institute for the money.

The simple, classically-styled building pops up at 813 Santa Barbara Street, a residential side street off of Lake Avenue. If traffic never got tight on Lake you might not know it was there. Hey! You can observe them! They give tours! And they're having an open house November 16th.

The plaque dedicates the building to George Ellery Hale, the first director of the Observatory, and notes that the "building was erected in 1912. Myron Hunt, Architect." Mr. Hunt designed many of Pasadena's most beautiful homes including that of Henry E. Huntington (now a gallery of the Huntington Library), as well as such other southern California landmarks as Occidental College in Eagle Rock, Pasadena's Public Library and the Rose Bowl.

Here's a side door. The sign in the window says "no skateboarding." I picture guys and gals with Einstein hair, whipping their wheels off that porch and onto the sidewalk.

12 comments:

Loren said...

Looks like this building could sit on the Occidental Campus -- he had such a defined style. I love the understanding of proportion that Myron Hunt used when designing buildings; you have captured it nicely here.

From what I've heard, the Carnegie puts on awesome lectures that are open to the public.

USelaine said...

Yes, I'd be curious about their observations after all this time. Have they drawn up any conclusions? Or do they still claim to need "more data"?

Lovely, lovely.

elizabeth said...

Petrea, I keep thinking that I'm familiar with this town, and then you pop up with something delightful like this that I've never realized existed. :-)

I think the grass is probably a better deterrent to the skaters than the sign, though...

Laurie said...

This is great, Petrea! I never knew about it!

Hey, I thought of you yesterday as I drove past Stillspeaking. That would have been me yelling "Hi Petrea!" out the car window as I raced by. (Okay, I didn't actually do it. But I thought about it!!!)

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Wow, I'm signing up for the tour. They dragged off one of Mount Wilson's Telescope and took it to Chile. Maybe I can get the full scoop on a tour.

altadenahiker said...

A public service, this. I think I'll go to the open house.

Katie said...

Beautiful buildings, and I really love that blue sky. I would love to take a tour. Must start planning my next trip to Pasadena!

Miss Havisham said...

That is the oddest place.

Miss Havisham said...

Weren't you struck by that amazing wooden front door?

Petrea said...

Welcome, Loren. I checked out the "about" page on your blog. (I love to know who's visiting.) Nice credits! And I guess you'd know if a building would fit in at Occidental.

Hello, blogsistuh. I once asked my favorite college astronomy professor if his vast knowledge made him an atheist. He said it made him agnostic, because every discovery, every answer, only created more questions. So I imagine they've drawn up conclusions and need more data.

Elizabeth, what you said (the first sentence, not the second) is one of the main reasons I do this blog. Thank you for saying it, it's very rewarding.

I heard you, Laurie! We're THAT sympatico.

PA, it would be cool if the tour went to Chile.

AH, do you believe I looked right at that entry and missed it? Thank you, I'll add a link to the main post. I'm bummed I won't be able to go.

Put it on your list and come back, Katie!

Miss H, I didn't think it was an odd place at all, but it's IN an odd place. What's odd is I didn't notice the front door. It was in shadow, as you see, but that's no excuse. Wait. Wait. I looked through it. It was glass, or so I thought...no?

Bernie K. said...

@ Elaine: "Have they drawn up any conclusions?"

I refer you to our beloved Mr. Vonnegut:

"With every passing day, Globular Cluster M113 draws nearer to the Andromeda Galaxy—and some people insist there's no such thing as progress.

Jilly said...

I love the clean lines of this building. It somehow manages to mix modern and classical. Very nice.