Thursday, October 6, 2011

Santa Catalina Branch Library

I had so much fun showing you Pasadena's branch libraries during Banned Books Week that I decided to keep going until I finish. I'll sneak one in when you're not looking for it. Ha! Library! Bet you didn't expect THAT!

This is the Santa Catalina Branch, perched on a slope next door to Longfellow School on Washington Blvd. The website says it's closed for renovation and they're not kidding. Workers are in there scraping and painting right now.

Just like all of Pasadena's branch libraries, the Santa Catalina Branch reflects the needs of its neighbors. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the website:

"Home to the system's Armenian language collection, today's Santa Catalina Branch building was completed in December, 1930. The branch's staff can accommodate both English and Armenian speaking patrons.

Santa Catalina Branch is proud of its Preservation Corner. This collection of books and materials highlights the architectural Bungalow style evident in neighboring houses. Preservation Corner is sponsored by the Bungalow Heaven Neighborhood Association, Historic Highlands Neighborhood Association and the Pasadena Public Library."

While this branch is closed, never fear. Head straight west on Washington and in a couple of minutes you'll be at La Pintoresca branch. You're never far from a library in Pasadena.

14 comments:

dive said...

So nice to see such a lovely warm hand-made brick on a modern building, Petrea. And in English garden wall bond, too! My compliments to the architect. So many "brick" buildings are just a skin of boring stretcher bond over a steel or concrete frame. A decent bond costs more but is worth every penny.
I'm glad they're spending some money on renovation; libraries deserve protection.

Dina said...

So nice you caught the worker on the ladder in the window, Petrea.

I imagine many of our former resident in Jerusalem's Armenian Quarter are now living over there, enjoying this library.

Petrea Burchard said...

Is it hand-made, Dive? How can you tell? I hope you'll also tell us what you mean by "bond." I admire architecture but that doesn't mean I know a thing about it.

Dina, we have a large Armenian population in Pasadena. According to Wikipedia, our neighbor Glendale is "the fourth largest Armenian community outside of Armenia, after Moscow, Beirut and Los Angeles." Just east of this library is an area where you can find Armenian groceries and restaurants, all the best stuff.

I couldn't believe my luck in finding the workman right in the window!

Steven said...

Nice to see that she is getting a spruce-up. She should be good for another 80 years or so.

dive said...

Bonds are the different patterns you can make with brick stretchers and headers, Petrea. I'll go take some photos and do a post about it. As for the bricks, I'm an architect; I can just tell.

Bellis said...

It's unusual to have brick buildings here. I can't think of any local brickworks, can you? What a serendipitous extra to learn about bricklaying this morning.

The garden has been replanted with natives and is looking good, isn't it? I should call in when it reopens to look at the Arts and Crafts book collection. Never knew it was there.

Petrea Burchard said...

That's the spirit, Steven. A spruce-up should last at least as long.

Thank you, Dive. I love that you can tell at this distance!

Bellis, I know clinker bricks were used in some of the older Craftsman homes but I don't know where the bricks were made. There are a few wonderful brick buildings in town (they remind me of the Midwest!) but again, where the bricks came from, I don't know.

Gina said...

I am really looking forward to this renovation. We walk to the Santa Catalina branch frequently. Not only is it the closest library to our home, but I am always impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. This particular branch sorely needed to be renovated - the windows definitely had peeling paint - that based on its condition and age I strongly suspect was lead-based.

Petrea Burchard said...

Gina, a lot of my neighbors walk there with their kids, too. I haven't asked what they're doing instead, but probably going to the Central library. It's a small price to pay for getting the lead out.

Steve Scauzillo said...

Again, you've shown me something new . I didn't know about this branch.

Desiree said...

This is my place. I love the librarians and the renovated landscaping!

Petrea Burchard said...

I've got more. But I'll spring 'em on you later, when you least expect it.

Laura said...

My kids used to go here after school. I believe that originally, the books were at Longfellow as the school library. There were unused glass-enclosed shelves still lining the walls when my older kids went there in the '80s.

At some point, many of the PUSD libraries were combined with neighboring public libraries, as was the case with Santa Catalina.

Some of the old books are still stamped "Longfellow".

Petrea Burchard said...

Laura, that's such a great tidbit. Thanks.