Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pasanita

I had glimpsed this building before I knew what it was. It's set back from Altadena Drive, easy to miss. I admired it's cloister-like structure. And then I sort of forgot about it until I read a fascinating post at Avenue to the Sky. (Check it out. He's even got old newspaper clippings.)

It was once called the Artist's Guild Building and the Pasanita Apartments. It housed a pottery school and a popular dining and dancing venue in the 1920's and 30's, according to blogger Thal Armathura. I tried to find more information about the building online, such as the architect and when it was built, but I struck out. I like the California mission style, though. Very pretty.

It's not clear to me when the structure was altered. The Pasadena Jewish Temple purchased the building in 1942, and somewhere in there the north wing of the building seems to have been either shortened or somewhat drastically remodeled. But for the most part, from what I can tell, the building remains in beautiful condition.

This building is not listed as a historical property in Pasadena. It makes me wonder what else is out there, set back back from the street, easy to miss and almost forgotten.

27 comments:

pasadenapio said...

Petrea, do you know if it has a different address than the temple? If so, I'd be happy to look it up in our database on Monday to see if there's any interesting info.

Mister Earl said...

Very interesting, Petrea. Who is Avenue to the Sky?

altadenahiker said...

Ah, you made it there before I. Earl, here's his link: http://avenuetotheskylakeavenuepasadena.blogspot.com/2010/06/artists-guild-building-1432-1456-n.html

Bellis said...

What a discovery! When I first saw the photo, I thought it was taken at Caltech. Then in Thal's post I read that it's modeled on the San Juan Capistrano mission. The Spanish knew how to build for the hot climate, didn't they? I like the name Pasanita ... is there an Altanita?

Mister Earl said...

Thanks, KB. Do y'all know him?

Petrea said...

Thanks, Ann. The address is 1432-1456 N. Altadena Drive. The official address of the Pasadena Jewish Temple is 1434, but their property covers a lot of space. The pdf I have of Designated Historic Properties in Pasadena doesn't have it.

Earl, the link is also in the post. Thanks, Hiker.

Bellis, to my eye it doesn't resemble the mission in San Juan Capistrano, but the idea is similar. And it's a nice idea.

Petrea said...

I've only met him online, Earl.

Pascal Jim said...

Just looking at this restful photo is relaxing,

Trish said...

first glance---it is modeled after a lot of the Ca missions (ironic, isn't it). But, looking at PJT&C's site, their front pic looks nothing like yours.

if they've been there since 1942, one would think there would be some historic designation--unless they just don't want the hassle to go thru the process and maintaining to the historic standards. tho if they've altered the building as you suggest, it may not qualify.

in that I've been sitting in ~100F heat a chunk of the week, the thought of sitting in that shade, up against a nice cool building sounds divine!

Michael Coppess said...

This deep shade looks good today. The name "Pasanita" is interesting too. I'm guessing a cross between Pasadena and Santa Anita Ave.which is the former name for Altadena Dr.

Susan Campisi said...

Like Bellis, my first thought was that this was at Caltech too. That shade looks so inviting. A new spot to explore.

pasadenapio said...

Thal (his nom de plume) and I were complimenting each other's blogs at the Colorado Street Bridge party. I'd reveal his true name but he might not appreciate that. I'll leave it up to him.

Petrea said...

Yeah, me too, Ann. The combination of your two blogs brings us such interesting local history. Both are real treasures.

Petrea said...

Not to mention East of Allen, I might add.
http://eastofallen.blogspot.com/

mark said...

A very fine photo. Nice depth. It looks very inviting. The design is perfect.

Mister Earl said...

I went over to Best Buy just now, and cruised by the PJT on my way home. It's amazing to know the history of that part of the building. You'd never know that there was anything very historical there. I wonder if the PJT is even aware of it. (I have to admit, my first thought that it was another shot of city hall. ;-))

Mister Earl said...

Oh, I also like the phone numbers in the ad. Niagara 5111.

Petrea said...

Thank you, Mark, how sweet.

Earl, I'm pretty sure they're aware there's history in their building. I spoke to a security/maintenance man when I was there who allowed me to photograph the exterior. He said his boss told him he'd heard the building had once been a brothel, but since we couldn't verify it I didn't put it in the post.

Pascal Jim said...

Brothel...Closed,.... Sundown,... Friday Night...

Trish said...

Pascal Jim---LOL! Closed at least for 25 hours Friday night at sundown! Guess it ought to be open about now?

and Earl---Niagara 5? I don't remember that one...Sycamore and Atlantic were more familiar locally.

Petrea said...

Trish, it's in the first newspaper clipping at the Avenue to the Sky Post (my first link). Cool old phone numbers and even old addresses that don't exist anymore.

Bellis said...

I drove past there yesterday and there's nothing old or lovely apart from roof tiles visible from Altadena Drive or the back streets around the property, so without your photo and Thal's post I'd never have known. Thanks for intrepidly driving into the car park and asking to look around.

Petrea said...

Yeah, not easy to see from the street. But you catch a glimpse of the arches if you're looking. Just don't go on a Saturday and I imagine they'll be nice about it if you're not pushy. There also appears to be a small school on the grounds, so perhaps after school hours is best.

Trish said...

Petrea---assuming my father hasn't changed out the old springs in his garage---the sticker from the installation many years ago STILL had SY, AT and one other number I can't recall on it. I remember the numbers well---just didn't recognize Niagara or even the associated prefix.

And, am sure the temple wouldn't mind you visiting Fri nights or Sat mornings, as long as you're respectful and not working or taking pictures or distracting from the service. Most temples are welcoming to visitors---but jot an email to the rabbi or other leader to check during the week and ask. And---if you're going to poke around, you might want to ask the rabbi first---most Jewish organizations are a little nervous about people poking around. Be prepared to show ID too---most JCC's require it for admittance these days.

Jilly said...

Just love this. So peaceful,love the light.

Petrea said...

Absolutely, Trish. It's a place of worship and therefore must be respected.

Thanks, Jilly.

Lori Lynn said...

Beautiful. I really like the tiles.
LL