Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pasadena Professional Building

Last week we viewed a bit of Pasadena skyline from atop the Professional Building. (To see those posts, click on the label "Pasadena Professional Building" below.)

Here's a view looking up at the building itself. I wish I'd had a ladder. Better yet, a jet pack. I'd like to get up to those rosettes for a close-up. The best I can do is suggest you click on the photo for a closer look at the tasty superfluous details on this creamy building.

Amelia, the building manager, told me when she began working there in 1989 the basement was creepy, with lights hanging from the ceiling (some of them nonfunctional) over an old wooden desk amid boxes and old furniture. Supposedly there's a ghost of a little boy in the basement, too. Amelia's never met him face to face, but he's closed a few doors on her when she knew she was the only one on the premises.

The basement's been cleaned up now. Originally it held an assembly hall for meetings, but it's no longer in use.

There have been other changes. When Amelia first came to the Professional Building the elevators still had seats for the uniformed operators. Not anymore. The elevators are nice, but I prefer the stairs. I'd take them even if I had a jet pack to get to my doctor's office. (Use it or lose it, they say.)

For a view from a bit further away, see Ben's post.

20 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

Here's an original comment: Looks can be deceiving.

You make it look like a new, modern bldg, P!

Laurie said...

I love your vantage point, here! This reminds me of so many great shots from movies from the 1930s -- where that streamline modern sense toward architecture still made people feel dizzy when they looked up. What a wonderful image, Ms. P...

Jilly said...

My neck hurts looking at this - I can't imagine what your neck was like afterwards. Super shot, Petrea - some building!

Margaret said...

Ohhhh...the ghost of a little boy. How spooky. I'm intrigued. Why a boy? What happened to him? Hmmmm...

Vanda said...

reminds me of vanilla ice cream.

ben wideman said...

very cool vantage point! It makes the building look kind of short.

pasadenapio said...

Are you double-jointed, Petrea? How else could you have gotten that shot?!

maria said...

i love the reflection of the blue sky in the windows...very professional ;-)

USelaine said...

This is beautiful, P. The architect would thank you.

Petrea said...

Thank you all very much. It is indeed a pretty building; it's hard to take a bad picture of it. I like it because it has that streamlined look - 1925 looking to the future.

As for the ghost, Amelia didn't know who he was. She did say she'd been told of a suicide there long ago. A woman had jumped from the roof. She hadn't been able to find documentation of it. Nowadays you can't go on the roof without authorized escort.

Ben, PIO: I am "kinda short," and I stood by the front door and looked up. The building is 8 stories.

Elaine, that's very kind. I thank the architects of our lovely Pasadena buildings every day. We're lucky so many talented ones have practiced their art here.

Christie said...

Very interesting perspective, Petrea. Lovely building.

I remember that in Kindergarten we had a "ghost" who would open and shut the door of our classroom. We called him George.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

excellent perspective

Ms M said...

Very nice shot. And interesting history. Has someone written up the history of this building?

Ted Thompson said...

Love the angle, and the creepy basement in my minds eye (courtesy of your descriptions...) beckoning from a time when form was still seen as a part of function...

postie said...

Oh yes the manual elevators. My first job out of high school was to be a bellman and an elevator operator in a older local hotel in Victoria. The Dominion. What a great experience!

Petrea said...

Christie, I'll bet George just wanted to hang out with all the other kids.

Welcome, Julie! Thanks for dropping in.

Ms. M, Amelia had a lot of it in her brain. She also had a framed newspaper article (copy) from when the building originally opened. It's been difficult to find information about it on the web, but surely Pasadena Heritage or the Museum of History has something archived.

A time sorely missed, Ted. But the good architects are still out there. I know at least one.

Postie, if you haven't done so already, I encourage you to hook up with Benjamin at http://victoriadailyphoto.blogspot.com/. I'll bet he's got a photo of the place.

Mister Earl said...

Amazing photo.

Saretta said...

Great angle!

Nathan said...

This is a great building. It's a Dodd and Richards, unheralded LA architects--most of their work was downtown. People pay more attention to Walker & Eisen, or Parkinson, but I'm going to give Dodd and Richards some love: I'm working on a big fat post about them for the On Bunker Hill.org blog (not that they had a building on Bunker Hill, but the Architects' Building across from the Monarch Hotel was, well, kinda close...sometimes I cheat)...all I know so far about this 'un: the Pasadena Medical Building Company broke ground September 13, 1924. The cost for the Pasadena Professional Building was 400k. The archs were D&R and the engineers were Schofield Engineering. It was an exciting time: large buildings the Star News, Home Telephone Company and Pasadena Furniture were all going up at the same time. Nathan

Petrea said...

Hi Nathan, Thanks for stopping by. If you click on the label "Pasadena Professional Building" at the bottom part of the post, you can read several posts I did about the building. The building's manager was happy to share information with me and she had quite a bit!