I'm not going to show you every picture I took at Eliot School. I took a lot. We'll take a Zen Monday break tomorrow then I'll show you a couple more favorites. But first I have to show you the cafeteria.
Lake Avenue historian Dale Trader tells me the architect of Eliot School was the one and only Sylvanus Marston. Although the Pacific Coast Architect Database lists every other project of his I can think of, it doesn't list Eliot School. Then again, PCAD is missing out--it doesn't list Eliot at all.
This cafeteria is polished to a shine. And kind of Dickensian, don't you think? I love it.
I love the institutional look, the basement-ness of it, the dim. It reminds me of the cafeteria in my junior high school, which made me feel like I was having my macaroni and cheese at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. I wonder how the current Eliot students feel about this room.
Principal Peter Pannell told us more than one movie has filmed in the cafeteria. (Eliot's often used for movies--a film crew was nosing about the premises that day.)
It was also in the cafeteria that Pannell told us he was an Eliot alum. His family had just moved to Altadena; he knew no one and the school "felt huge" to him. He had come from Detroit where he'd been going to a small, neighborhood school across the street from his home. Suddenly he was thrust into an institution that took up a whole city block and where all 1300 students were strangers. "I can tell you," he said, "the personal touch makes a difference."
Peter Pannell is a polished man, but that speech came unpolished, from the heart.
Loren of Hearken Creative tells us "most PUSD schools have tours similar to Elliot's; for instance, McKinley's is the first Wednesday of every month." Call the main office of the school that interests you to see if they offer a tour, or check with the Pasadena Education Network.