Pages

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Royal Laundry Complex

I should probably call this post "Disney Stores World Headquarters," because that entity occupies the Royal Laundry Complex at 443-477 S. Raymond Avenue. But I poked around the web and discovered Disney's leasing the property, so I guess we can still call it the Royal Laundry.

Designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann, an accomplished architect credited with Greystone Mansion, the Los Angeles Times building and several buildings at Caltech, our regal laundry complex is on the National Register of Historic places. Its interior was redone for Disney Stores by Clive Wilkinson Architects.

I encourage you to look at all the links but especially that last one. When you walk along the Raymond side of the building you can peer in and catch glimpses of the giant honeycomb. (Along the Bellevue Drive side, you can see toys.)

There's a nice master shot by an uncredited photographer at you-are-here.com. They have a lot of great stuff.

Enlarge this one to see the printing painted over on the sign.

I love Raymond Avenue--all of it, south to north.

30 comments:

TheChieftess said...

Glad to know it's on the historic registry, cause it appears to be for sale!!! I recognized the building once I saw it, but didn't know it housed anything Disney!!! Your neighborhood sleuthing is mahvelous, dahling!!!

Hilda said...

The tile is gorgeous!

Petrea said...

Thanks, guys. Yeah, I couldn't tell from that listing if it's currently for sale or not because it's not dated. Very interesting, these movings and shakings.

Mister Earl said...

I've always been fascinated by that building, and have looked at it closely on occasion when I had to park a ways from a doctors office.

Vanda said...

I would get a complex from Royal Laundry too.

Nice tiles!

St├ęphane Kardos said...

just popping by to say hi :)
voila.

Greg Sweet said...

HAH! I've never driven into anything Disney and saved.

altadenahiker said...

Looks like a movie marquee (hope I'm spelling that right.)

I agree, Raymond is a fascinating street. Home to some famous hotels back in the early part of the last century. You can find some of the remains.

pasadenapio said...

Supporting documents for its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places went to the Pasadena City Council for review in June 2007.

Trish said...

there used to be several drive up laundry places in the area. I guess it was too much trouble to get out of your car and go in to a store, so, like Twohey's, you could get car service.
Though, looking at this drive, am not sure a 1950's anything would make that tight turn! I suspect those trees out front weren't so large back then!

I believe this was open in my youth. My parents never went there, as there were several laundry services closer. As I recall though, at one point, they did delivery and pick up to your home or business. I believe at one point my godmother used them, as I recall their logo.

The building and most especially, the tiles are incredible. I am surprised Disney is using such a not up-to-date building, but I suppose in this economy, what's available and not expensive is a good thing for the bottom line!

pasadenapio said...

I meant July 2007...

Pascal Jim said...

When operating as a laundry, this was the place to go. Home Pick-up and delivery. Your laces, antimacassars and delicate whatnots were handled in confidence. The Big Pasadena Houses were the reason the Royal existed. The Drive In component,with the arrow, was added after WW11...A classy Pasadena operation..not many remain...

Pascal Jim said...

Classy operations, that is...

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Should I mention those gorgeous Catalina tiles? I have a few. A big influence on me and other collectors of California ware.

Pascal Jim said...

P.A...Yes Stunning,,

Petrea said...

I have it on good authority that "The tile was made by Tropico which later was taken over by Gladding McBean. Tropico is an area in the south of Glendale."

Petrea said...

Okay. The tile info I got was from Sid Gally, a volunteer at the Pasadena Museum of History who contributes the Pasadena Star-News Sunday Feature, "Past on Parade," which always includes a historical photo from the Museum. This Sunday, coincidentally, it will be a photo of the Royal Laundry. Sid says:

"We have at the museum other early pictures showing what an enormous laundry it was, with a big fleet of trucks. Those were the days when affluent families sent their washing out and had it picked up and delivered. Less affluent families like mine had a washer but it didn’t spin and you had to squeeze the water out with a “wringer” (rollers). Then it had to be hung to dry on the clothes line in the back yard.

"When you sent laundry out, there was a family ”laundry mark” placed on it in India ink. When we sent laundry out at the family beach house, it used my grandparent’s mark, “514.”

Thanks, Sid. That's such a wonderful bit of detail.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Should I mention those "Tropico which later was taken over by Gladding McBean" tiles?

Bellis said...

It's lovely when so many people contribute to the history - I didn't realize it was such a big laundry operation. My family weren't affluent so I dreaded Monday mornings when my mother would get the washing machine out and I had to turn the ringer. The kitchen floor would get soaked and buttons would pop off the shirts and my mother would be in a really bad mood all day. This wasn't that long ago, either - it was the mid 1950s. Nowadays, women have so much leisure time that they can write blogs and comment on them.

bellis said...

I'd love to know where to find the remains of the hotels.

Katie said...

Terrific tiles! Great colors and design. Thanks for the link for Gordon B. Kaufmann; what a wonderful collection of buildings he created. The Clive Wilkinson Architects site is fun too.

Kim said...

You hooked me big time with today's post, Petrea. I am a sucker for gorgeous old tile and for old metal signs, particularly ones that incorporate arrows. What super finds and very intriguing to find out about the glory days of this once thriving laundry. You and your commenters provided a lot of great info to explore!
-Kim

Petrea said...

Hee hee, PA. For all I know Tropico is a type of Catalina tile.

Thanks to commenters this was a fun post today. As Kim said, a lot of great info to explore.

nicknpas said...

The big hotel was on Raymond Hill in South Pasadena, called the Raymond Hotel. It burned down (i think over 100 years ago now) and nothing remains. It's now apartment buildings.

Petrea said...

...and the Raymond Restaurant, right?

Margaret said...

Oh, I really like this one.

Petrea said...

Why thank you, Margaret.

nicknpas said...

Actually yes, I think the Raymond restaurant used to be a caretaker's house, or something related to the hotel.

Kat said...

This is one of my favorite buildings in Pasadena-- interesting to know that Disney rents it, not owns it... And I didn't know that Disney people were there until about a year ago, when I started running into them at Jones Coffee all the time. Lines and lines of them.

Be that as it may... thanks for featuring this cool architectural gem!

Petrea said...

From what I understand Disney owns, does not rent, Glendale's Grand Central Airport. I hope they fix it up and use it.