Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Inner Light

The Pasadena Presbyterian Church is at the corner of Colorado Blvd. and Madison Avenue, a prime Tournament of Roses Parade viewing spot. For the parade, the church had bleachers in its front yard. All along Colorado Blvd. every year, every space that can fit more than two super-deluxe adult derrieres gets bleachers.

I took the photo December 30th, two days before the parade. I like it, hate to waste it, so here it is. The cyclone fence is there to protect the church grounds from revelers. The revelers are not bad people, they don't come here to destroy, but there are just so many of them. So businesses along the parade route put up cyclone fencing or plywood to protect windows and landscaping from super-deluxe revelry.

We're facing south in this photo. The Pasadena sun is always in the southern part of the sky, and it hangs especially low in winter.

Here's another view of the church, taken from the roof of the Pasadena Professional Building at the north end of the same block. This part of the church is at the lower left of that photo.

Pasadena's quiet now. John and I went out last night and--without having to wait for it--got a table at a restaurant less than a block from Colorado Blvd. That's impossible between Christmas and New Year's Day, but a normal Pasadena Monday.

The post title: I like it, hate to waste it, so here it is. It may be relevant to the photo, but it has nothing to do with the prose.

30 comments:

jb said...

This is lovely. Reminds me of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp

Kate said...

Looks like an ultra-modern building.

Joanne said...

We won't be seeing any parades here for awhile, especially with over a foot of snowfall predicted for tomorrow :)

Mister Earl said...

I went to a concert in that church. It was a couple years ago, put on by Georgia Stitt and Susan Egan, both top performers. There is a huge pipe organ inside the sanctuary - probably one of the biggest around nowadays.

SUSAN EGAN

Laurie said...

Very cool shot.

Steven said...

Very nice photo. The colors jump out at you. Good decision to not waste a great photo.

Petrea said...

Good morning! Nice to see you all.

JB, I looked that up. What an interesting building.

Kate, I haven't been inside but yes, this wing of it looks modern. It also has a more traditional wing.

Bundle up, Joanne, and stockpile the hot chocolate!

Mister Earl, is this the church that has the noontime concerts?

Thanks, Laurie. I loved how the light came in through a window I couldn't see to light the window I was seeing. Or something.

Steven, I'm glad you think so. I'm keeping all my other parade shots for next year, so I won't have to go outside.

Bellis said...

It's a stunning photo - I've never seen the stained glass illuminated from the inside before. And you've made my day with "two super-deluxe adult derrieres."

Steve Scauzillo said...

I always remember that church with the fencing or bleachers... it's nice to see it as it truly is (somewhat). I like the light on the stained glass.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

The Pasadena Presbyterian Church is one of the most supportive of the 12 step community within the San Gabriel Valley. Kudos to them

Speedway said...

Like a lot of people...hard as concrete on the outside, hiding a colorful soul within.

Cafe Observer said...

As much as I like your exterior church fotos, I think I'll love them much more when you get inside.

Latino Heritage said...

Beautiful flow of light. Love that you feel that title and text don't necessarily match.
When you get a chance there's much to explore on church grounds - 3-4 more architectural styles. And there used to be a TV station housed down in the basement.

Mister Earl said...

Don't know about the noontime concerts, P.

Petrea said...

I wonder if they'd let me snoop around inside and take photos. I've never been inside. But yes, it's an interesting group of architectural styles. Looks like some parts of it have been there for a long time.

As for 12 step, I hadn't known that, PA, but kudos, as you said. It's important.

Ms M said...

Wonderful photo! I love stained glass, and this building looks like an attractive bit of architecture.

Mister Earl said...

Yeah, you should ask if they'll let you go inside. As I said, I just went to see two ladies singing with a piano, and was surprised to see this incredible organ there.

pasadenapio said...

Inside the church, during daylight hours, that window is equally stunning.

Petrea said...

You all have convinced me to go inside. When, I don't know, but it's on my ever-growing list.

Laura said...

This is a wonderful photo! I was delighted to come across it, because this is the church I attend. (And "Inner Light" is my favorite Star Trek TNG episode).

To answer some of the questions--

Pasadena Presbyterian is the oldest congregation in Pasadena. It was founded in a schoolhouse on March 31, 1875 in the morning, and First United Methodist was founded in the same place in the afternoon.

This sanctuary was designed by Pasadena architect John Gougeon and dedicated in 1976. The orginal gothic santuary on the site was destroyed in the 1971 earthquake, but the organ was saved and reinstalled in the new sanctuary.

It is lovely inside as well, and has the largest church organ in Pasadena (maybe the largest period, I'm not sure). There's an echo organ in the balcony with a trompette-en-chamade.

The sanctuary is designed to look somewhat like a ship, which is a symbol for the church in Scotland. Presbyterianism got its start in Scotland with John Knox.

In addition to several concerts a year like the one Mr. Earl mentioned, there are noon concerts every Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. All the concerts are free, though donations are gladly accepted and go directly to support the concerts.

The church is one of the few private seating vendors along the parade route, and we offer continental breakfast and indoor restrooms, so give us a call if you want to purchase tickets for 2012.

Of course, a church is actually the congregation, and PPC's is quite amazing. We worship in three languages every Sunday--Spanish, Korean, and English--with all language groups being members (not "nesters") and participating in the governance and program of the church.

You can find out just about anything you want about the structure, the history, and the organ at www.ppc.net

Petrea said...

Hi Laura, welcome! I was wondering about private seat vendors on the parade route and you've answered my question, along with some others. Thanks for your informative comments.

Anita said...

Yes! Please come visit a Music at Noon concert! The series has been around for almost thirty years and features some of the the best professional musicians from So. Cal and beyond. Concerts are every Wednesday at 12:10 pm and are free to the community. There is inner beauty to be found here. The ppc.net website shows the artist lineup. Music at Noon is a hidden gem in the city.

Gunn said...

Love the shapes and colors in this image!:)

Petrea said...

Thanks, Gunn.

Anita: may I take pictures?

TheChieftess said...

Wonderful job of capturing the lighted window!!! I remember when it was constructed...I generally prefer the old Gothic type of church, but they did a really nice job on this...nice design...beautiful window!!!

Susan Campisi said...

I agree with Chieftess: I wouldn't normally admire that style of architecture but your photo makes me appreciate it.

Petrea said...

I'm in the same camp as you two: I like the old stuff. But there is a place for the new when it's done well. We live in a progressive world, after all, and people love to leave their mark. The marks that last are thoughtful and considered--the ones that mean something and speak of a generation or a time. I think they're also the ones that answer the other times. Maybe this one does that.

Laura said...

When considering designs for the new sanctuary after the old Gothic one was lost, the congregation made a deliberate decision to speak to its commitment to looking looking ahead rather than back by choosing a modern architecture.

Petrea, I'm sure it would be OK to take pictures inside, as long as it does not disturb worship. Please call the church office at (626)793-2191 to see when a good time would be.

Anonymous said...

I remember the original church, much more inspiring than the new modern church

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, anonymous. I wish I'd seen it.