When I need a dose of superfluity all I have to do is check out the almost unnoticed Singer Building on the southeast corner of Colorado Blvd. and Oakland Avenue.
Everett Phipps Babcock designed the Spanish Colonial Revival structure for the Singer Sewing Company. It was built in 1926 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The current main tenant is the Pasadena branch of Sofa U Love, which may not seem dignified at first glance but it's better than an empty landmark. Another furniture store that occupied the building went out of business not long ago, so I'm glad to see the sofa place there.
Colorful tiles line the street below the windows. Iron filigree decorates above. Then you have these "somewhat ornate" columns outside the front door. I even like the cracks and rust. It's gems like this that make Pasadena charming.
We do have ugly office buildings. I just don't often photograph them!
UPDATE 3/27: Further information thanks to Laurie Barlow, AIA: The Singer Corporation made/makes more than sewing machines. In the early days of the company, corporation presidents made lots of money and built incredible homes. Laurie says "On Saturday [today] there is a public sale of arts and antiques at the house [see "incredible homes" link]. In case anyone wants to go over and see the house and browse the arts and antiques."