Friday, October 29, 2010

PDP/PPM Books Contest, week 2

I love the faded writing on some of the buildings in Old Town. This says "Keller Bros." something. I can't make it out. I wonder what kind of business the Keller brothers had in there.

We're looking at the back of the Braley Building on Raymond Avenue. The Braley has housed a lot of businesses: an antiques mall, a sandwich shop, an accountant, a theater company, a beloved Italian restaurant--all at the same time, all when I was first discovering Pasadena, all gone now.

The Braley recently underwent a renovation it didn't really need, but new owners can do that if they want to. In this photo taken this past May, if you look closely you can see a worker putting the final touches on the etchings in the middle window on the right.

Who is the owner of the Braley Building?

That's today's contest question. I've given you all the information you need to Google the answer, so you don't have to be a local to figure it out.

Let's review the contest rules:

1. Email the answer to me. There's a link to my email in my profile at the upper left. You have until midnight tonight, Pasadena (Pacific) time. Answers in the comments section will be rudely ignored.

2. That's all you have to do.

3. This weekend I'll toss all the correct answers into a hat and ask my cutest, most innocent neighbor child to draw one name. (The job of cutest/most innocent neighbor child will revolve throughout the duration of the contest. Last week it turned out to be Linda. The kids were all at the park or something.) I'll announce the winner in Sunday's post. (That's Sunday. Last week it was Monday. Change of plans.)

4. PRIZES! This week, once again the prize will be a brand new copy of Hometown Pasadena 2009-2010, thanks to Colleen Dunn Bates and Prospect Park Media. I started with five, but last week's winner, Tracie Cohen of Los Angeles, has deprived me of one. Now I have four of these to give away, so the contest will go on each Friday for four more weeks--plus an additional week when Colleen and I will give away a copy of At Home Pasadena, the lovely, hardcover coffee table book about beautiful living in our beautiful town.

I'm very excited because at some point during the contest one lucky winner will receive a copy of the brand new novel, Helen of Pasadena, by Pasadenamanian Lian Dolan. The book won't be available on Amazon until November 1st but I saw it at Vroman's yesterday. And you can whet your Helen appetite by reading chapter one here.

Many thanks to Colleen, Lian and all the Prospect Park Media writers for making this contest possible!

And a Happy Birthday shout-out to my sister, Ginab.


Bellis said...

Happy birthday Gina!

I've never seen the building from this side before, did you roam around a car park to get that view? Hope someone lets us know who Keller Bros were. (I'm going to get Helen of Pasadena from Vroman's - can't wait to see if I recognize any of my neighbors in it.)

Petrea said...

Yes, I was in the car park/parking lot. I'm trying to remember now how I got west of the building from there, because you enter that lot south of the Braley. But that's where I was.

Anonymous said...

gina b

Thanks you! Banging The Drum All Day!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

The Church of Scientology did the renovations and the property is owned by Braley Building, LLC. From what I could discover, the property is probably held by Scientology and leases the Mojo's Cafe and other businesses at street level. (35 South Raymond Ave). It was built in 1906.

Bon weekend, Petrea!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Oh, and happy birthday to Gina B who shares this date with Virginia!


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing it said Studebaker. Good old Mr. Braley had a car dealership there, and I've seen references to a Keller Brothers Studebaker dealership on Colorado Boulevard, so maybe there was some connection?

(I'm not sure I can wait to win Helen either!)

altadenahiker said...

I thought it said Studio, but I expect Terry is right.

WV: Windo. This building has lots of them.

Petrea said...

Bang the drum, Gina!

Genie, I'm rudely ignoring you. See how I'm rudely ignoring you?

Terry, I think you're right. I made out "stude..." but couldn't get further, and couldn't imagine why the Keller Bros. would have students.

Hiker, you've been getting all the good WV's.

Margaret said...

I think Genie is right. Good luck to all, especially Lian with her new book.

pasadenapio said...

Geez, now I feel like so many people who get to my Mystery History posts too late on Tuesdays.

I'll have to discipline myself into looking at your blog earlier in the day!

My WV: blenexcl. The building doesn't have a single one.

Petrea said...

PIO, it's not too late to send in an email. You have until midnight and I draw the winner from among the correct answers.

You're still eligible, people! Keep those answers coming in. Email me!

Jean Spitzer said...

Happy birthday to Gina.

Not too thrilled with the answer to this one. It's to be a library?

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Well, flunk this student! It is obvious that I did not read the directions... hehehe!

Petrea said...

Sure, Jean, if you want to call it that.

Genie, it's because you were so excited, right?

Susan Campisi said...

Next time I'm in Old Town I'll be sure to check out this side of the building so I can see those window etchings. Thanks for opening my eyes to such lovely details around town.

Katie said...

Cool photo! Love the faded signage. At first I though it had snowed in Pasadena -- doesn't it look, at first quick glance, like snow on the rooftops? Ok maybe that's just me.

Genie's eager first comment reminded me of high school psychology class when one day we were given a sheet of paper with a bunch of instructions on it. The first instruction was to read all the instructions. Then it went on to ask us to do all sorts of goofy things, which people immediately started doing. And of course others followed thinking they were going to get behind. Of course the last instruction was to IGNORE all the other instructions and pointing out the very first instruction. Thanks for the flashback Genie! Now I have to do my homework as I don't want to get caught cribbing.

Petrea said...

Susan, to get this view you have to park in the city lot at the corner of Green St. and Raymond. I must have been on the third floor. I'm not quite sure about that. I still can't quite remember because of the configuration of the lot.

Katie, it does look like snow!

Isn't it funny the things we remember? Interesting that that quiz stuck in your mind. Maybe my instructions are just too long and drawn out to bother reading!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Katie, I think that I learned that lesson so long ago that I needed to re-learn. Next time I won't spoil the fun for everyone else either.... I still can't figure out the word on the right as it does not seem to be enough room for "Studebaker." hummmm.....?

Linda Lane-White said...

Terry is correct. It was home to Keller Brothers Studebaker. I read up on some geneology of the Keller Brothers in Pasadena. You'll see the information on page 11 of this link

Linda Lane-White said...

Oh, and here is some more information from the same document:

The 1900 Census gives George's occupation as "Traveling Agent, Carriages";
he and his family were living in Minneapolis, MN; also in household were
Norwegian servant Mary Sandoigen (sp?) b Mar 1873 and Swedish nurse Alice
Johnson b May 1870. George had been promoted to General Manager,
Studebaker Corp. just a year or two before his untimely death in 1910.
George's parents; Samuel Edwin Keller (b 7 Jan 1845, Cincinnati, OH, d 12 Jul
1919, St Paul, MN) and Sarah Drukker (b 6 June 1846 London, England, d 15
Sep 1910, St Paul) were married 20 Dec 1865, St Louis County, MO. George's
brother Eugene was married to Grace Mayer and Catherine Wall (2nd wife) and
brother Louis was married to Helen Olive (aka Aunt Ollie) Forar. Both brothers
moved to CA shortly after WWI as the vanguard of Keller migration in the '20's.
Eugene and Louis owned the Keller Brothers and Marcy Studebaker dealership
on Colorado Blvd, Pasadena. (This store provided a great venue for watching
the Rose Parade - stand on a bench behind the display window and peer over
the heads of the chilly people on the sidewalk). Both couples lived their later
years in Long Beach, CA.
George's grandson Don remembers his father, George's son Norman, telling
him about the time when his father passed away in 1910. George, as a senior
executive with the Studebaker Corp., had a salary of $36,000 per year. The
family had a large home with servants. Norman was 16 and attending Prep
School. When his father died there was a modest estate but not sufficient to
continue the current life style. Norman quit school and went to work in the
steel mills of Gary, IN. George's will stipulated that the estate earning should be
used by his widow Almira for her and the children's benefit. If she remarried
then the estate was to be distributed to their children: Norman, George Jr. and
Virginia. Subsequently Almira met and married William Freethy. She asked the
children to waive the immediate
distribution provison, which they did. The estate was decimated by the 1929
market crash. The estate was valued at about $15,00 when Almira died in 1962.
Career: Sales & Management, Studebaker Corp

Petrea said...

Wow Linda, excellent information, thank you! I would call that definitive proof that the sign says "Keller Bros. Studebaker."