Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Work on the Braley Building has finally been completed after four years, during which many Pasadenish lamented the sale of this historic structure to the Church of Scientology and wondered if renovation would ever even begin. Upon purchasing the building, the Church immediately evicted long-standing businesses only to leave the building empty and waiting. Not exactly starting off on the right foot, but outsiders to this institution generally approach with mistrust, so I suspect the wrong foot was the only one to start off with.
Renovations finally began in earnest early this year. I took this shot in mid-May, grabbing a peek while the doors were open to Mercantile Place. It shows the first floor atrium in mid-construction. There, one could once find entry to the Pasadena Antique Mall, and a great little Italian restaurant where J. and I began falling in love, and a sandwich shop run by an immigrant couple who named the shop after their daughter. Apparently the the old wall clocks will be allowed to stay.
Walt Mancini's photo in the Pasadena Star-News shows a chapel. Knowing the Braley Building, I can only assume that's in the basement where the Knightsbridge Theatre once was. There I performed the Shakespearean roles of Tamara in Titus Andronicus and Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. Fun times.
The theater company moved on to a better space before the Braley was sold. Say what you will about Scientology, but my bet is the chapel doesn't have cockroaches.