Friday, December 4, 2009

The Mural Wasn't Hard to Find

Hen's Teeth Square is a small shopping center nestled where Los Robles Avenue meets Woodbury Road. Pasadena comes to one of its northernmost points there; Altadena is across the street.

The square offers the popular Puebla Tacos #3, where the staff is really sweet, Pollos Puebla (possibly owned by the same folks?) and a little market, and it looks like a new, hip clothing store is going in. Plus bunches of other stuff, according to the sign.
I've never been able to figure out exactly where the police hole up in there. But the place is bigger than it looks.

I recorded a voice-over yesterday at the PCAC studios. I'll tell you more about that very soon.

I did a little research on the mural, which faces the rear parking lot. Supervised by a teacher named Alex, students from Pasadena High School's Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA) painted the mural in 2004 and/or 2005 (hey, these things take time). Go to Alex's AngryBee website and click on the bee to see a video about it. More shots here. I'm pretty certain Alex is Alex Schultz, the only teacher named Alex listed on the PHS VADA site. (Keep reading.)

The mural gives the idea of Hollywood coming to Pasadena. At the west end you see the green Hollywood hills. At the east end a production crew shoots in Pasadena's own TV studios at Hen's Teeth Square.

It must feel pretty good to drive by something of permanence that you contributed to your city.

Update from Roberta Martinez: "It is Alex Schultz. He is a teacher and a gentleman." Roberta says in an email that he and Brooke Kent head the Graphic Arts at PHS. "They are great role models for the students. They and the other teachers on the team are truly dedicated. At the end of the year there is a closing 'ceremony'. The students typically produce a video/slide show that reviews their year. These are wonderfully independent, thoughtful, and kind kiddoes; not saccharine, just basically sweet."

Another update, this one from Thal Armathura:
"Hen's Teeth Square, 2053 - 2057 North Los Robles, Pasadena, designed by architect Theodore Pietsch is a designated Pasadena landmark and is reputed to be the first corner drive-in market shopping center in the country, built in 1930. There is a similar corner market scenario recreated at the Petersen Auto Museum at Wilshire and Fairfax, Los Angeles. Hen's Teeth Square is a monument to our car culture and the cornerstone of our local historic district. The name Hen's Teeth Square is original to the development and does reflect the rarity of the time of a corner drive-in shopping center."

14 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

I love these kinds of projects, Petrea ~ the students and teachers must get such a sense of achievement and belonging every time they pass by.

Petrea said...

Hi Shell! What time of the Australian day do you sit down to do your web visiting? You're my early morning commenter and it's such a pleasure to have your visit.

Bellis said...

That's a beautiful mural and I had no idea it was there, because it's not visible from Woodbury. Any idea where the name Hen's Teeth Square comes from? I love it!

Petrea said...

Bellis, when something is hard to find, the saying goes, it's "as rare as hen's teeth." Thus it's a charming name for a place to shop.

Thal Armathura said...

Hen's Teeth Square, 2053 - 2057 North Los Robles, Pasadena, designed by architect Theodore Pietsch is a designated Pasadena landmark and is reputed to be the first corner drive-in market shopping center in the country, built in 1930. There is a similar corner market scenario recreated at the Petersen Auto Museum at Wilshire and Fairfax, Los Angeles. Hen's Teeth Square is a monument to our car culture and the cornerstone of our local historic district. The name Hen's Teeth Square is original to the development and does reflect the rarity of the time of a corner drive-in shopping center.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Always nice to hear something positive going on with PUSD in the land where private schools seem to rule. What a fantastic program.

Greg Sweet said...

Check out the cool folk-art garden outside the taco joint. It is a work in progress made with lots of found objects. One can often spot an 'area man' mortaring, painting and planting cuttings from local gardens. Some of it bleeds into the interior of the restaurant.

Margaret said...

Like Shell, I like these projects, and that one is really sweet.

Petrea said...

Thal, you went to the actual library, didn't you? I'm going to quote you in the body of the post, if you don't mind. For posterity's sake.

I agree, PA.

Greg, he was there yesterday working on a project. He told me it would be finished in a few days. I'll try to get back and get a shot of it.

I agree with you, too, Margaret. I'm very agreeable today.

Bellis said...

Petrea, Thal and Greg,you've made my day! I've spent ages on Google and in history books trying to get more information on Hen's Teeth Square and always drew a blank. Now, in one day, I have more than I bargained for. The first in the COUNTRY??? That's amazing! My instinct was to drive over there right away and take a good look around, even in the dark, but I've forced myself to wait till tomorrow.

Ms M said...

Great murals! And wonderful to hear about the teachers and kids who created it.

Petrea said...

Bellis, I had no idea you were such a Hen's Teeth fan. More tomorrow.

I think so, too, Ms. M. It creates community.

Shell Sherree said...

Hi Petrea! Usually I start 'doing the rounds' late afternoon/early evening, and if yours isn't up by the time I'm finished, I'll check it again later on before I go to bed so I don't miss out. :) Occasionally I might have to catch up the following morning, and by then, everyone else has said Hello to you!

Petrea said...

I wish I could have a regular "checking up routine!" There are about a thousand blogs I like to visit and some days I don't get to do it at all. That's the trouble with bloggers--too many interesting people out there in the world.