Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pasadena Central Library, East Wing, Upstairs

We've returned to the main floor and the room north of the Reference Desk. I've looked at the floor plan and I think the room is part of the Reference Materials area.

In my previous post we went downstairs. Now we're going up, into another "staff only" area. The upstairs in this wing is less used than that in the west wing because there's only one entry and one exit. It's not up to code, therefore not accessible to the public, nor is it a regular office space for staff.

Dan McLaughlin, librarian, archivist, historian and author, was my delightful guide for a wonderful tour of some of the library's secrets.

I'm pretty sure he didn't show me everything.

The room above is at the top of the first flight of stairs.We couldn't get the door open. It's currently being used for storage, as you see.

Dan takes a right turn and leads me across an open area with more storage. It's the balcony you've seen from the Main Hall.

We're facing west now. On the left you see the large, arched windows that look out over the front courtyard and fountain of the Walnut Street entry. The counterpart to this photo, looking out from the opposite balcony, is in my post about the east wing.


Each window bears an inscription. This one is above the balcony we're standing on.

Another view of the same window shows something I didn't notice until I enlarged it on my computer screen: it looks out over more windows. These illuminate more storage areas. Some we were able to access, some we weren't.

There is so much here. Archivists work constantly, and they will never catch up. Job security!



More stairs. We're heading to the third floor now. This small window looks across Walnut Street to Pasadena's Police Headquarters.



Yes, there is a fourth floor in this wing. We were moving fast and I was snapping away; I can't remember if there's a fourth floor in the east wing. If there was, I'm pretty sure I didn't see it. Notice the dust on the stairs. They are used, but not much.

We weren't able to open this door, nor were we clear on the origins of the message, "ESK BEFORE USING THIS ROOM." It appears a letter has been scraped off, but it still doesn't make sense.

It's just as well. The library has secrets. It always has and it always will. I'm glad of that. Secrets are mysteries, and I like mysteries.

Dan calls the rope "security." It seems to be working.


15 comments:

llandudnopictures said...

Always fascinating to see 'behind the scenes!

José Mendonça said...

Great shot from the balcony!

William Kendall said...

I do like the nooks and crannies of the place.

altadenahiker said...

This is much more what I expected and wanted, including the dust. Now the Esk is going to bother me for awhile...

Petrea Burchard said...

Nooks and crannies are wonderful things.

ESK bothers me, too. The only word I can think of that would fit is "desk," but it doesn't fit the sentence. Maybe the whole thing is a library in-joke, but Dan seemed to be just as stumped as I was.

LOLfromPasa said...

Fascinating. Lovely photographs and so terrific for us to see what you have seen.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Lauren.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

so whats the back story on all those paintings/prints leaning up against the walls?

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't have the answer, PA. Perhaps they're awaiting their place in the library, like the other stuff is. Or maybe pictures are rotated. But I'm speculating.

Bellis said...

I've really enjoyed your tour of the library's hidden side. The building is like the Tardis, much bigger on the inside than the out.

Petrea Burchard said...

Well put, Bellis.

Lowell said...

First of all, thank you for stopping by Ocala DP!

I had to go back several posts to get the full impact of what you were showing. This is truly an amazing place. It's hard to imagine a library like this still in existence. But it is a delight. I could spend days wandering through its maze of rooms and stacks. If I worked there, I'd want to be an archivist so as to discover where and how the past is hiding its secrets!

Petrea Burchard said...

Lowell, I knew you and I were kindred spirits!

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

Thank you so much for your dedication and support, so strongly appreciated. I usually slow with the feed back, but I am so thankful every time I see your message.

Petrea Burchard said...

I like seeing what you're up to, Irina, so I'm glad we stay in touch.