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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mysery History -- Solved!


Helen* wins with her 2:46 p.m. Tuesday guess "Building or repairing the dome of City Hall?"

In the 1926 photo above, the dome at Pasadena City Hall is under construction. 

The dome sits above the tower and below the cupola in this 1927 photo when construction of City Hall is near completion.



City Hall was built before union rules, OSHA and other modern safeguards. The workers in 1926 and 1927, most of them local, didn't have hard hats, back support belts, knee pads, steel-toed boots and nail guns; what they did have was a strong ethic for hard, honest work.



 




There are hundreds of photos in this series shot by photographer Albert Hiller, who was 42 years old and nationally renowned when he was commissioned by the City of Pasadena to document the construction of City Hall. The photos are mostly in albums that are part of the historical collection in the Centennial Room at Pasadena Central Library.  Hiller lived in Pasadena and had a studio at 49 E. Colorado Blvd. He was also a celebrity photographer of sorts, shooting portraits in his studio of Eva Fenyes, Lilly Busch, violinist Henri van Praag and many others.

This 1927 photo is one of my favorites, but the photographer is unknown. A worker stands proudly next to the huge medallion that graces the front of City Hall:



*Helen, please message me on Facebook or email me at AnnErdmanPR@gmail.com so we can schedule our lunch date!


Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mystery History


Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win lunch with me -- I'll buy yours and you'll buy mine. 

Remember, leave your brief guess as a comment on this blog post but don't try to give the entire back story (that's my job). 


I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events Oct. 25 to 31


Here are events scheduled Saturday, Oct 25, to Friday, Oct. 31.

All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena!   



Children are invited to decorate pumpkins Saturday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon in the courtyard at One Colorado. Pumpkins and all other materials will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Latino Heritage Parade Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will begin at Los Robles Avenue and Howard Street and end at La Pintoresca Park with a festival that will include art exhibits, historical displays, live entertainment and much more.

The Lincoln Village Festival  Saturday, Oct. 25, from noon to 4 p.m. will celebrate the re-emergence of this neighborhood commercial area with live music, teen zone, children's activities, sports contests, community resources and more.


Canadian singer Andrew Allen will perform pop and beachy, acoustic grooves Saturday, Oct. 25, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the courtyard at One Colorado.


The opening reception for the solo exhibitions Echiko Ohira: Red and Quinton Bemiller: Recent Work is Sunday, Oct. 26, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Offramp Gallery. Ohira's Red features large-scale paper sculptures that take their cues from the natural world; Bemiller's Recent Work includes paintings with depth and atmosphere contrasted by flat shapes and design.


The Los Angeles Children's Chorus will perform a program of secular and sacred music with the German boys choir Windsbacher Knabenchor Sunday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at Pasadena Presbyterian Church


School-aged children will enjoy a Halloween show with Buster Balloon, a character with a contagious smile and silly sense of humor, Monday, Oct. 27, at 4 p.m. at Hastings Branch Library; Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 3:30 p.m. at Santa Catalina Branch Library; and Thursday, Oct. 30, at 3:30 p.m. at Lamanda Park Branch Library


Pasadena Media invites people of all ages to Trick or Treat TV Monday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. Don your costume, share a favorite scary story on camera, carve pumpkins and enjoy sweet treats at this family-oriented event. 

Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre will present a rollicking Halloween extravaganza for children blending folk tales, fables and rhymes into a frothy brew Thursday, Oct. 30, at 10:30 a.m. at Linda Vista Branch Library. Costumes are welcome.

The Fall Festival at Victory Park Friday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. will include live entertainment, teen zone, face painting, all-ages costume contest and more. Some additional activities will be fee-based.

Teens are invited to explore the dark corners of Central Library -- after it closes! -- during a spooky whodunit dinner party Friday, Oct. 31, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Search for clues, then use deductive skills to determine who did it, how and where. Costumes are welcome. Call 626-744-4246 to register.

"Mad Monster Party" (1967) with the voices of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller will be shown Friday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the courtyard at One Colorado. When Dr. Frankenstein decides to retire from the monster-making business, he calls an international roster of monsters to a convention to elect his successor.



Photo credits: PRWeb, Latino Heritage, JazzZone, One Colorado, Offramp Gallery, Los Angeles Children's Chorus, Windsbacher Knabenchor, Acme Balloon Company, Pasadena Media, Northern Virginia Magazine, Daily Mail, The Black Apple.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events Oct. 18 to 24


Here are events scheduled Saturday, Oct 18, to Friday, Oct. 24.

All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena!   



Bring a picnic to Pasadena Community Gardens Saturday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy live music, children's activities, garden tours and more. Yvonne Savio will be honored for her continued support of community gardens throughout L.A. County.

L.A. electronic indie group Say Say will perform Saturday, Oct. 18, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the courtyard at One Colorado

If you've never been to the elegant headquarters of the Carnegie Observatories -- and even if you have -- don't miss the annual open house Sunday, Oct. 19, from 2 to 5 p,m. Meet the astronomers, learn about exciting discoveries underway, view the sun through a solar telescope, visit the machine shop to see how instruments are built for the Carnegie telescopes, enjoy the beautiful courtyard with refreshments and live music, and much more.


Photographer Robert Dawson will discuss his experiences documenting libraries throughout the nation and present photos from his collection Monday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library.

Francesca Lia Block, the 2014 writer in residence at Pasadena City College, will lead writing workshops Tuesday, Oct. 21, at noon at PCC and Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Pasadena Senior Center. The workshops will provide focused instruction and practice in the craft of storytelling, from basic writing concepts to character and conflict development. These events are open to the public; you do not have to be a student at PCC or a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to attend.

This week's free movie in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library is "Ghost Town" (2008, PG-13) Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear. A man who dies suddenly and then is revived wakes up to discover he has the annoying ability to see ghosts.


Admission to USC Pacific Asia Museum is free the fourth Friday of every month. On Friday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. enjoy the current exhibitions "A New Way Forward: Japanese Hanga of the 20th Century," "Insight: The Path of Bodhidharma" and everything else the museum has to offer.

Celebrate healthy living with fun and informative activities at Pasadena Public Health Department's Food Day Festival in the parking lot adjacent to the building Friday, Oct. 24, from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy live music, games, prizes, food demonstrations. healthy eating, fun physical activities, a community health forum and more.


If you've always wanted to witness a presidential inauguration, now's your chance! In this case it's incoming Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum,, who will be the ninth leader of the institution. The ceremony will take place Friday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m. at Beckman Auditorium. (building 91 on this map).

SAVE THE DATE!

The Latino Heritage Parade Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will begin at Los Robles Avenue and Howard Street and end at La Pintoresca Park with a festival that will include art exhibits, historical displays, entertainment and much more.


Photo Credits: Prudential Texas Properties, Say Say, Carnegie Observatories, Robert Dawson, IMDB, Pasadena City College, Pasadena Public Health Department, Caltech, Latino Heritage.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mystery History -- Solved!


Liz wins with her 10:07 a.m. Tuesday guess "Building that overland bike path that went through Pasadena?"

In the 1899 photo above, wealthy Pasadena resident Horace Dobbins (in dark suit at right) watches over construction of the elevated wooden bicycle highway that would soon be named after him. At the time Dobbins was a member of the Board of City Directors (known today as the City Council).

In Pasadena and throughout the nation, bicycling had become wildly popular before the turn of the century.

Here are photos of the Pasadena Bicycle Club taking a break during one of their rides in 1887, Arthur P. Smith (front) on a tandem with a friend and Dr. Hiram Reid (an early Pasadena pioneer) and his wife Rachael cycling to church with their grandchildren in 1895.




With about 30,000 bicyclists in the L.A. area, Dobbins had an early vision for a tollway -- 10¢ one way and 15¢ round trip -- that would begin in Pasadena, go past South Pasadena and Highland Park and end in downtown Los Angeles at the Plaza on Olvera Street. He and former California Gov. Henry Markham, a Pasadena resident, incorporated the California Cycleway Company in 1897 and construction began two years later. 

The first mile and a quarter of the Dobbins Bikeway, from near the Hotel Green to Raymond Hill, opened on Jan. 1, 1900.

 
Dobbins would become chairman (now known as mayor) of the Board of City Directors that same year. Here is his photo from the Hall of Mayors:



Here are a couple of additional photos. Note the toll booth at the lower end of the first photo.



The reason the bikeway was elevated was to provide a flat, fast and scenic route for bicyclists so they could avoid obstacles such as creeks, railroad tracks and roads rutted by wagon wheels. 

Here is a portion of the bikeway in 1900 at Bellevue and Raymond behind the Pasadena Grand Opera House:


Unfortunately the completed bikeway never made its way to downtown Los Angeles. In fact, the only portion that was completed went from the Hotel Green in Pasadena to the Raymond Hotel in South Pasadena.  

A new invention -- the horseless carriage -- caused the demise of the bikeway.

Dobbins used the bikeway as a backdrop as he posed on his new-fangled Oldsmobile -- a photo opp he may have lived to regret!


Pasadena has been a bicycle-friendly city for well over 100 years. You can learn more about current City of Pasadena bicycle programs here



Many thanks to Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Highland Park Blog and U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mystery History


Where are we? And what's happening?


The first person to guess correctly will win lunch with me -- I'll buy yours and you'll buy mine.

Remember, leave your brief guess as a comment on this blog post but don't try to give the entire back story (that's my job).


I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events Oct. 11 to 17

Here are events scheduled Saturday, Oct. 11, to Friday, Oct. 17.

All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena! 
 

A 50+ career fair and workshops Saturday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pasadena Senior Center will feature representatives from private companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations who will connect with those looking for part-time and full-time work, plus workshops on resume writing, job searching, interviewing skills, starting your own business and a motivational session. You do not have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to attend.


Some of Southern California's best visual artists will showcase their works in a juried art festival during Pasadena ARTWalk Saturday, Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Playhouse District. ARTWalk also includes live entertainment, hands-on activities for all ages and free admission to the USC Pacific Asia Museum
 

The annual Open House at Jet Propulsion Laboratory is Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11, and 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. With the theme Welcome to Our Universe, the event will take visitors through the wonders of space.


Teens are invited to Anime Afternoon Saturday, Oct. 11, at 2 p.m. at Central Library. Enjoy the Sengoku Collection, Japanese snacks and the newest manga in the library's collection.   

Fishtank Ensemble will perform Turkish, Romanian and Gypsy music Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the courtyard at One Colorado.

 
Bring your family and friends to One Colorado and choose your own masks and props, then stage your tableau in a fun photo booth and enjoy tunes spun by a DJ Sunday, Oct. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Teen Read Week for ages 13+ is Oct. 12 to 18 with a series of themed programs and activities including Turning Dreams into Reality, Book Swap, Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? and YA Book Club.

Join Pasadena firefighters in forming a sea of pink around the Rose Bowl Stadium Monday, Oct, 13, during a gentle lap around the 3.3-mile Rose Bowl Loop for breast cancer awareness. Register in front of the stadium's neon sign at 7:30 a.m.; the walk will begin at 8 a.m. 

Students from Westridge School for Girls will join volunteers 50+ to help maintain the grounds of the Pasadena Senior Center Monday, Oct. 13, Wednesday, Oct. 15 and Friday, Oct. 17 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. To volunteer, call 626-675-6706 or email raulm@pasadenaseniorcenter.org. Bring your own gardening tools and gloves. You do not have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to participate. 

Elementary-aged children 6 and older will love reading to gentle, well-trained dogs at Barks and Books Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 3:30 p.m. at Hastings Branch Library.

This week's free film in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library is "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947) starring Rex Harrison, Gene Tierney and George Sanders Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 1 p.m.. In 1900 a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted and forms a special relationship with the ghost.

PUSD's annual College Fair and Career Pathways Showcase is Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center. Meet admissions representatives from about 100 public and private colleges and universities, get your questions answered about financial aid and learn how to write a stellar college essay and navigate the application process. 

 
We all know the three classical states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. But what is a quantum state of matter, where do we find it and what is it good for? David Hsieh, assistant professor of physics at Caltech, will provide the answers Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. at Beckman Auditorium. (building 91 on this map).

The 2012 documentary film "Justice for my Sister" by award-winning filmmaker Kimberly Bautista will be shown by the YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley Thursday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Center. The screening, part of YWCA's Week Without Violence, chronicles the unstoppable determination of one woman to see that her sister's murder does not go unpunished.

"Hairspray" (2007, PG) starring John Travolta, Queen Latifah and Nikki Blonsky will be shown Friday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. at the Pasadena Senior Center. Teenager Tracy Turnblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show. You do not have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to attend.

SAVE THE DATE!

If you've never been to the elegant headquarters of the Carnegie Observatories -- and even if you have -- don't miss the annual open house Sunday, Oct. 19, from 2 to 5 p.m. Meet the astronomers, learn about exciting discoveries underway, view the sun through a solar telescope, visit the machine shop to see how instruments are built for the Carnegie telescopes, enjoy the beautiful courtyard with refreshments and live music and much more. RSVP by Oct. 14 to rsvp@obs.carnegiescience.edu or 626-304-0250.


Photo credits: Clovis Senior Center, Playhouse District Association, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Fishtank Ensemble, One Colorado, Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, Pasadena Now, Daft Daisies, Analia Saban, Black and White Movies, C. Michelle Styles, Phys.Org,  Latin Heat Entertainment, Outlandish, Astronomy Now.