This week we've been talking about the Doty Block, a building at the corner of Fair Oaks and Green Street in Old Town Pasadena. Yesterday, Margaret and Trish asked if the mural that once graced the north face of the building had at one time been only partially visible.
I'm coming up on my fourth year in Pasadena. A lot happened before my time. But Terry Griest, a San Francisco Bay Area graphic designer who grew up in Pasadena, experienced the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake while living on South Orange Grove Blvd. And she kept the clippings.
It was a pretty serious quake:
(All three clippings are from the 10/2/87 issue of the Star-News.)
It just so happens that Terry also studied the Doty Block as part of a photo essay for a class called "The City as an Art Resource," at Cal State Long Beach. She created the essay in the mid-1980's, when Old Town was in transition from "scary part of town that you didn't tell your mother you were visiting after dark" (her words, K!) to the shopping mecca it is now.
Terry didn't think this 1984 photo she took was any big deal, but to me it's amazing. I'd never before seen a photo of the mural in context. I'd never seen the garage next door, only an enticing glimpse of the brick work along the top, in a black & white photo (see yesterday's post). I just love it.
I also love this shot from 1887:
Terry says it's "a photocopy of a photocopy." But you can see the turret that was once on the southeast corner, and the bay windows that faced out on Fair Oaks. Sweet.
I blog about Pasadena because I enjoy it. If only I didn't have to make a living! But I can't always run out to the library or the Pasadena Museum of History every time I want to research a post. I'm limited to what I can find on the web, and believe it or not, the web is limited. It doesn't have every photo, and it doesn't have personal memories.
So it's incredibly rewarding when PDP visitors get involved. The posts from yesterday and the day before (and tomorrow) wouldn't have been possible at all without Loren Roberts of Hearken Creative. Additional links in the comments really rounded out the information. And Terry Griest's contributions today are really outstanding. This participation in the conversation about our home town is extremely gratifying, and I can't thank you all enough.
I've also received a few emails this week from people who voiced their feelings about the Old Town they remember from before the changes. I'm only beginning to understand what an upheaval that must have been. I only know Old Town as it is now and I love it, not because I'm a shopper (I'm not) but because I love well kept old buildings. But knowing me and my love for old things with a little bit of dirt on them, I think I would have loved Old Town just as much before.
Maybe even more.