Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Say Dodworth, You Say Dodsworth?

Yesterday's photo of the Dodworth Building was different from today's in many ways.

Yesterday's photo was taken by me in 2010, looking at the north face of the building on Colorado Blvd. Today's photo was taken by Terry Griest in 1984, looking at the building from the northeast. Terry's our graphic designer friend from the Bay Area who used to live in Pasadena. I'm so glad she continues to check in here. In the 1980's she did a thorough study of Old Town for a college project, took a lot of pictures and saved them. Terry has contributed to the blog twice before. Lucky for us!

About today's photo, Terry says,
"Here's what I wrote in 1984:
'Originally classical when built in 1902, it was twice remodeled, most recently after the 1929 street widening. What exists now is a combination of the original Classic style of the arched entrance on Fair Oaks, some Spanish Colonial in the tile roof and ornamentation, and even some Moderne in the slim vertical pilasters.'
I think that is college-essay-speak for 'superfluous details.'
I never noticed until today that the Cheesecake Factory spot used to house a T.V. rental joint. Only 25¢ a day!"

The 1929 remodel refers to a time when many buildings along the Old Town stretch of Fair Oaks lost their facades for the sake of widening the road.

This structure's been cleaned up nicely since the '80s. This is my recent shot of the eastern face of the building, which I grabbed as we scurried by on the Pasadena Heritage Old Town Walking Tour. I wonder what the interior's like.

I'm still not sure if the building is the Dodworth or the Dodsworth and I'm not the only one. Google (scroll to the map) and Wikipedia both have it as Dodsworth, as did my guide on the Tour.

It's one of Pasadena's venerable architectural treasures no matter what you call it.

Update, 10/26/10: I happened to notice as I drove by the other day, that the sign painted on the door says "The Dodsworth Building." So go figure. 


Greg Sweet said...

Yep, that's the old Old Town. I don't know how to spell the name of the building, but I am glad to see there is a woman named Terry who doesn't spell her name with an "i"

Mister Earl said...

I moved to Southern California in 1981. At that time, what is now called Old Town, was a skid row area. You can still see vestiges of that in the pawn shop, Le Sex Shoppe, and the 35er bar. Seems there were two or three pawn shops back then. The transformation of Old Town began in the mid-80s. Soon, it was no longer necessary to go to the West Side of LA for a good restaurant or just to hang out. Old Town began to replace Westwood as a place to go on a Saturday night. In the 1990s, I believe the Casablanca Fan Company may have occupied the space that is now the Cheesecake Factory, although I may be off by a block or two.

Love these old photos. I wish I could see Terry's whole collection.

Petrea said...

My sentiments exactly, Greg.

Me too, Mister Earl. Maybe if I keep posting Old Town photos she'll send me more. Let's look at the Pawn Shop tomorrow, shall we? Perfect blog fodder for a Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I think Casablanca Fan was at the southwest corner of Del Mar and Fair Oaks at one time. Was it here before that? I do remember visiting Dodsworth Bar and Grill here (or was it Dodworth Bar and Grill?) in the late '80s.

A 1984 shot of the Pawn Shop huh? Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Mister Earl said...

As I said, I know Casablanca Fan was at one of those southwest corners, but not sure which one. I'm sure you're right, Terry. There was a Dodsworth Bar and Grill there before Cheesecake Factory, and I can't remember what was there before that. One time in the 90s a radio talk-show host, who did not live in Pasadena, was making the point that the cheesecake thing was over. He said, "I was driving down Colorado the other day and they're taking out the Cheesecake Factory. I called him and explained that no, they were putting in a Cheesecake Factory. There went that topic!

Katie said...

Very interesting to see Terry's photo of this building from the 80s and to see what the neighborhood used to look like. Pawn Shop Sunday -- will that be a regular feature?

Petrea said...

Funny story, Mister Earl!

Terry I think your 1984 shot of the Pawn shop, compared with mine from May 1st, might surprise people.

Katie, fortunately we don't have enough pawn shops in town to do this every Sunday!