I know. You're thinking I posted this photo the other day. I don't blame you.
Look again. Since I took last Sunday's photo on May 1st, the Crown City Loan And Jewelry "Money To Loan" signs have been removed on both the Colorado Blvd. and Raymond Avenue sides of the building. According to one commenter on that post, that signage has been up since the 1970's.
The older lettering--"For Values," above, and I'm not sure what, below--has suffered in the intervening years. So has the black grid, which I'm going to guess was once clear glass.
I suppose I would have noticed this eventually, but what drew me to Old Town this time was Terry Griest, PDP's Bay Area designer friend, who was in Pasadena for a short family visit. She saw the changes and emailed me, so I ran over to get a shot. This time I actually stopped into the pawn shop. I had never been there before. Nice girls don't go to pawn shops, or something like that.
Well. This is Pasadena after all. Our pawn shop is not your creepy, greasy TV kind of pawn shop but rather a bit upscale. Sunlight streams in through big windows, gleaming on all sorts of cool stuff including jewelry, guitars, rare coins, power tools and three beautiful, antique cash registers. I asked the woman behind the counter about the changes to the facade and she said the plan is to remodel the building to its original appearance. When I told her I thought that was pretty cool, she said she thought so, too. She was excited about it.
I haven't read anything about this in the Pasadena Star-News or on the Pasadena Heritage website. But restoration of one of Pasadena's oldest Greene and Greene buildings, and, according to this 2006 article by Janette Williams, the only commercial building the favorite sons ever designed, is worth getting excited about.
I heard from Robert Montano, the Project Manager at Pasadena's
Economic Development Division. He says:
"As background to your post, the Owners, helped by a façade grant from the City of Pasadena’s Redevelopment Department are embarking on a façade restoration of the Kinney Building – the only Greene and Greene commercial building. The “Black Grid” is actually a panel of purple glass tiles frequently used in transom windows as can be seen at 55 E Colorado (above the future Intelligentsia and existing Foot Locker), just around the corner.
No one was certain as to the condition of the building when we started out, so needless to say, we are pretty happy to find so much original character in place. We have a long way to go until completion, but are very excited about starting down the path."
I know there's an online photo of 44 E. Colorado, but I couldn't find it today. But this post about Pop Champagne Bar from Fightin' Mad Mary shows the same kind of transom windows, just around the corner from the Pawn Shop.