Wednesday, April 10, 2013

El Centro de Accion Social

How many times have I driven by this brightly-painted building at the south end of Central Park? I can't count 'em. It's not smart to drive and take pictures at the same time. But it's easy to get a shot when the circumstances are right: there's a train coming, traffic is stopped, and you happen to be stuck right across from the building.

This is El Centro de Accion Social, "dedicated to providing opportunities for low income individuals and families to become self sufficient and to provide culturally sensitive programs to those in need of services, especially in the Spanish-speaking population of Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley." (I got that from the website.) They've been there, in the same building on Del Mar, helping folks for 45 years.

I don't know when the paint job happened but I admire it, and I hope the scaffolding means touch-ups and restoration, as opposed to painting over it.

15 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Gorgeous!. I had heard they're going to restore a lot of the murals done on the freeway passes along downtown L.A. that will be great to see again!

Adele said...

I've never known what this is either! How great... Hope they don't cover it up. It's just right.

savannah said...

serendipity! thanks again for another peek into pasadena. xoxo

Petrea Burchard said...

When you enlarge this picture you can really see it. I hope to get stuck in traffic there when the work is finished.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I can't remember a time this mural wasn't there. A kind of psychedelic Aztec warrior has landed in Pasadena.

TheChieftess said...

I've seen this building many times, but have never really SEEN it!!! Interesting info!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Anybody ever been inside?

Bellis said...

I drive past it all the time, and the chances of getting stuck in traffic because of the train (better not use an expletive , public transport is a good thing) are very high. I've never worked out what it is, or if it's open. So thanks for the information!

Latino Heritage said...

Been inside, looks very much like a modest craftsman style bungalow. Originally the building was a clubhouse - I'm needing to recheck what the sport was, but I think it might have been a clubhouse or tea house. I remember the past and current use being way across from each other on some sort of social spectrum. El Centro was originally an advocacy group that was born out of a law suit against the city. There are other groups that are older. When it began it the Latino population in Pasadena was about 10%, it is now about 30% Latino. There are somewhere between 15-20 groups that serve the Latino community, especially the students in PUSD.

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, the key is to get stopped in exactly the right spot.

Roberta/LH, I should have just sent you the link instead of hoping you'd see this. Thank you for all the info; you are our treasured historian for Latino culture in Pasadena.

altadenahiker said...

I've always been fond of this mural, it reminds me of Cozumel. The island is kind of touristy on the outskirts, but much more interesting if you wander inland. I met a lot of nice people, and their profiles, incredibly strong; as though carved out of stone.

TheChieftess said...

That's a great description of Cozumel Hiker!!! And I'm sure applicable her too!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

It's true of of at least one other Mexican tourist town. I went to Cancun many years ago with a man who had a profile much like that of our mural king. Away from the hotel in the local side of town, we found delicious restaurants where I was the only gringo, and a city full of nice people with those powerful profiles. At the time, many of them weren't allowed on beaches and other properties where they'd grown up because it had all been sold to tourism.

Laura Monteros said...

I do recall when the building didn't have the mural. I think it was painted a couple years after we moved to Pasadena, so maybe early '80s?

It has been restored at least once that I recall, and it looks a bit brighter in this photo than the last time I noticed it, so I'm sure that's what they're doing.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I've driven-by it numerous times since last century. Don't really know exactly what it's about. Never seen it open - even when Lit Fest came to the park last year.