Saturday, May 19, 2012

Now Begin

From a sidewalk cafe at the Paseo Colorado on Thursday, I observed a crowd on the other side of Green Street. They were hard to miss with those banners. It was obvious what they were doing at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, but it wasn't obvious who they were. We have a lot of schools around here.

Because of the date and time, I figure these particular commencement exercises were for Western University of Health Sciences. I don't know much about Western University, but I think it's interesting that they had Temple Grandin as their commencement speaker. And they certainly chose a beautiful place for their ceremony.


Cleo. said...

Looks amazing.

Susan Campisi said...

I like this shot. The building looks Asian somehow, certainly grand. I find it interesting that Temple Grandin was the commencement speaker, too!

Jean Spitzer said...

That is interesting, but mostly your photo just reminds me of how lovely Pasadena is.

Katie said...

Beautiful building. Are those mosaics above the middle windows? Grandin would be an interesting speaker; I wonder what words of advice she had for the graduating class.

LOLfromPasa said...

Another nice day in Pasadena. I can feel the air right from where I am sitting here in Coventry. Nice feeling!

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi Cleo, thanks for your visit!

Susan, there could be a bit of an Asian touch. Although City Hall's architecture is termed more Palladian (Italian), this building seems to have a different influence. The two, plus the Central Library, Post Office and Police Station, were built around the same time as a Civic Center.

We had such a pretty day Thursday, Jean. Breezy. Do you get to visit much?

Katie, I don't know if they're mosaics. I'll venture a guess that they're not, but I can't be sure. When I stand beneath them they're so high up I can't tell! There must be something in the literature that will tell us but I haven't found it. There is similar decoration on the George Ellery Hale Building, also in the Civic Center area, and it's more red.
I realize I've never gotten a good enough photo of that building to post here. It's a pretty one.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi LOL, sunny, cool and breezy! We feel lucky to have these days.

Laura Monteros said...

Love the pic. It's such a wide building, it is difficult to get a good shot. And buildings are so unforgiving--if you shake just a little, they are all out of focus!

I believe those are mosaics, as is the one on what was the Gas Company building by City Hall. Pasadena had so many great architects designing public and private buildings in the early 20th century.

Inside is amazing, even the ticket boxes are hand-carved.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

the sun is straight up? nice photo. Pasadena should purchase this photo from you and use it in their web site

Bellis said...

Temple Grandin is one of my heroines. Her books about animals have given me a much greater understanding of how their minds work. Do read one of her books if you can.

As for Commencement, that's such a weird concept for us Brits. We call it Graduation.

Oh, your weather makes me homesick! It's been grey, cold and cloudy in England this whole May.

Anonymous said...

This lovely building was part of the plan for the City Hall plaza area that included the Central Library to the north and the Civic Auditorium (I refuse to call it the Convention Center) to the south.

Then the ugly original Paseo intervened, spoiling the open Mediterranean and early California plaza effect.

The current Paseo is better, but unless they bulldoze the entire center out, restoring the broad visual sweep from library to the Civic Auditorium, it will never be the same.

I believe it is the banners that make it look slightly Asian.

Native Pasadenan Betsy

Anonymous said...

Here is what appears to be the official website for the Civic Auditorium. A few interesting photos, though there is no explanation for the colored decoration around the windows. Mosaic?

Local commencements (though we students called them graduations) were at the Rose Bowl. Huge affairs combining high school level graduates and those receiving AA degrees after two years of junior college.

In those days Pasadena had a 6-4-4 education plan to encourage students to go on beyond high school. Commencement was not to be the end of their education, thus the term.

Elementary school went from kindergarten through 6th grade. Junior high schools throughout the city covered 7th through 10th grades. And there was a commencement at the respective schools.

Pasadena Junior College (later Pasadena Community College) took a student from 11th grade through 12th. There was a commencement exercise and a diploma, but the student could then go seamlessly into two years of college prep work or a two year certificate program in a trade or fields like nursing (LVN level), cosmetology, dental hygiene.

The Royal Ball, where the Rose Princesses were introduced to their school friends and the public, was held in the Civic's beautiful ballroom. The Coronation of the Rose Queen was an evening event in the Civic Auditorium.

These are the things that make natives long for those days. We hear now of the importance of a school system that includes community college for either training in the trades or an easier transition into college.

Pasadena was a wonderful community in very many ways.

Thanks for listening!


Anonymous said...

Oops. Blathering on, I forgot the link to the Civic's website:


Cafe Pasadena said...

I was at the same Cafe in Pasadena a yr or 2 ago and caught the same shots of their commencement. I dunno how long they've had their commencement at the Civic.

Petrea Burchard said...

I've only been inside once, Laura. It's indeed a beautiful building and I'd love to get in there again.

PA, that would be nice! It was almost 2:00 but the sun was high.

We call it Graduation, too, Bellis. Both, I guess. I don't know why.

Betsy, I love your information, thank you. I have the links to the site in the post, too.

I don't know how long they've done it either, CP, but it's a good place to have it.

Petrea Burchard said...

By the way, Betsy, I have to agree about the Paseo. There are some good shops but the building itself is ill-conceived in my opinion, and shouldn't be there in the first place. Too bad for me! I think it's permanent!

Margaret said...

Temple Grandin. She's such a great role model for so many people. I loved that HBO movie about her.

BaysideLife said...

What a lovely place to end an academic idyll. Good luck to the Grads.

Petrea Burchard said...

I think this picture is crooked. If I remember later, when I'm not tired, I might fix it. Then again I might not.