Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Appealing Court

The Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals building is stunning on any day from any angle. But when you're walking in the Arroyo with clouds mumbling above, it's impossible to resist snapping away. Snap snap snap snap snap whine whine....oh, was I doing something else?

The building was originally a luxury hotel, though very little of the original structure remains. Between 1920 and 1937, four different architects took part in designing the new hotel. Sylvanus Marston, Garrett Van Pelt, Myron Hunt and George H. Wiemeyer all had a hand in creating the structure we see today. It was remodeled in the 1980s "under the design direction of" J. Rudy Freeman of Neptune & Thomas, and from what I hear it's magnificent inside. Since I've never been involved in a federal case, I haven't had the pleasure of finding out for myself.

Read the link. It sounds luscious. I need to see if I can get in there sometime. You know, just wander around a Federal Courts building and take pictures. Shouldn't be a problem.


25 comments:

Cafe Observer said...

It's quite an edifice, P. That ancient monument has held up remarkably well over these many, many, years.

I was in the area of it yesterday in fact, just west of Orange Grove. But, for sum other reason than to pay it a visit.
It was possible for me to resist snapping out the camera. But, the temptation was there....

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

The building is great, but it is the clouds that impress me!

Bibi said...

This looks like somewhere in Europe, southern France or Italy, maybe. I took photos in a city hall once, on the sly....

Sharon said...

That is an interesting building. I hope you do get to check out the inside sometime.

Vanda said...

All right, the first thing came to mind was: "Cut off their heads!"

And the second was : Oooh, puppy!

I need to drink more coffee.

altadenahiker said...

Tell Boz it was worth it. How majestic!

There are some great stories about the old Pasadena hotels -- The Raymond, Maryland and of course the one on Echo Mountain... Wonder if PasadenaPIO has some pictures of the way they were.

Susan C said...

The beautiful campus of the all-girls school Flintridge Sacred Heart in La Canada was also a former luxury hotel.

I've been inside the court building twice - once for the swearing-in ceremony of my judge friend Yvette and once for a non-profit reception. It's stunning.

Petrea said...

I suppose it's not impossible for me to take pictures in there. There are probably public areas where it's okay. I'll call and ask after the holidays.

Bernie K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pascal Jim said...

A courtly photograph.

Laurie said...

It's such a remarkable building. Prettiest courthouse in the world! This is a gorgeous shot. I love that vantage point.

USelaine said...

Like Bibi, I thought this looked like a stately manor nestled among(st) its proprietary woodlands, patrolled by gamekeepers with hounds.

Katie said...

This photo sure gives the 9th Circuit court building gravitas. So dramatic! Boz adds a nice touch. Next time I have to tell a messenger to go to this court, at least I'll know where I'm sending them.

HearkenCreative said...

Precious few days where we actually get clouds (or any weather, for that matter) here in Pasadena; that's why I love travelling elsewhere -- to experience real weather. But I guess that's why they originally turned Pasadena into a resort/recuperation town in the first place: for the consistently mild climate. It would have been great to see this when it was a luxury hotel.

This is such a cool angle on the building; you get to see all the uniquely California vegetation that inhabits the Arroyo -- which was just placed on the National Register of Historic Places this week.

Petrea said...

Hey, I didn't know that, Loren. Good news for Arroyo preservation.

pasadenapio said...

The hotel was built in the late 1800s and went through three owners.

In 1943 it was purchased by the federal government, which converted it to a military hospital during World War II.

After the war, the building housed a number of federal offices for about 20 years before it became the southern seat of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

It is named in honor of Judge Richard H. Chambers, whose concept it was to bring a Federal courthouse to Pasadena.

pasadenapio said...

By the way, tours are offered by appointment. (626) 229-7250

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

I heart this post. You know I do.

Well done.

Christie said...

I'll bet you get your own invitation there if you do stand around and take pictures!! :)

*sigh* Such sun, clouds, and it looks so warm!! Enjoy a warm day for me!

Ms M said...

That's a majestic photo! The court building is stunning and the clouds, tres magnifique!

Trish said...

I was in the Arroyo this afternoon briefly to take a few pics. From below, the clouds and rain made it impossible to see the court.

I thought of Boz later though. I was down at the fields of Brookside and saw two pups running hell-bent-for-leather across the grass. One of them looked a lot like Boz. I turned to take a picture and they were gone. Oh well!

Boz looks so proud here, as if HE found the road to the court!

Petrea said...

Ann, thank you! I'm gonna set that up. If they need a group, I'm counting on you people.

And for those Pasadenamanians who think we're having cold weather, I want you to think of Christie tonight, freezing away out there in Petoskey.

pasadenapio said...

I had ice on my windshield this morning. I figure that qualifies as freezing-@$$ cold for Southern California.

L.Barlow, AIA said...

I worked on the courthouse building and interior with Rudy. The person in charge of letting us know what the judges wanted to have done inside was Judge Dorothy Nelson, who's quite an upbeat personality! The lighting needed refinement, and we managed to obtain decent furniture lines in spite of Federal procurement regs. Harry King of NTD was also working on getting the structure shipshape; there was a fire right after the remodel of the building was started, so a portion of the structure is a rebuild.

Petrea Burchard said...

Good job, Laurie. It's such a lovely place. I wish we could take more pictures up close but the guards don't like it.