Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little Details

Old buildings have such magnificent minutiae. I love the varying colors of the bricks that make up the beautiful old South Pasadena Unified School District administrative building. But what really get me are the little zigzag Ws on all the columns.

16 comments:

keith said...

They don't make school buildings like this anymore. Are the W's simply a pattern or do (did) they represent something?

Eki Akhwan said...

Yes, the architectural details of old building like this are always a feast to the eyes.

I like the depth perspective created by those columns.

I have some pictures of old buildings' architectural details. I'd love to share them sometime. But for now, it's time for the pictures about the celebration of our independence day.

Virginia said...

How did you know I love arches etc.? You did a great job on your composition on this one. I didn't see the w's till you mentioned it. Maybe it's a tribute to the President for dreaming up No Child Left Behind. I'll stop right there!

ken mac said...

Great shot and excellent light. I can never get enough of architecture shots, and you've shown a great building here. Would love to see the bdlg facade.

-K- said...

Archways like this are really from a day gone by. Actually, now that I think about it, it's not dissimilar from the shot I took last night of LA's Union Station.

USelaine said...

I love these long arcades as well. They create that indoor/outdoor space that is so perfect in a mediterranean climate.

Per Stromsjo said...

One can only wonder what - if anything - of today's architecture will be truly appreciated a century down the line.

I can only agree, nice shot.

Laurie said...

Thanks, everyone.

Keith, I have no idea what the zigzags mean but I'm so curious about this building I promise to do some research about it.

Eki, I hope we get to see your architectural shots soon!

Virginia -- watch it, girl!

Ken, thanks. I love architectural shots and this building is ripe for finding a lot of perspectives to show it off. I will definitely post more pics of this beauty.

K -- welcome! I'm off to see your pic of Union Station. (One of my favorite places in LA...)

Elaine, agreed. This climate really lends itself to long arched walkways.

Per, I've thought the same thing about today's buildings. I really doubt photographers are going to be shooting pictures of today's dual pane vinyl windows! Thanks for the nice words.

Hilda said...

I completely agree with you about old buildings. I love the textures and colors of natural stone and wood too. But it's true even of new buildings. What is usually missing in the newer ones is the small, finer details, especially if they're sculpted. Like these Ws you noticed — most newer buildings wouldn't bother.

Dixie Jane said...

Varying colored bricks and archways. So pleasing to the eye. It would be interesting to know what the zig zag Ws mean. What has happened to architecture? Mostly it is so stark. This is a place one wants to linger.

Jutilda said...

Oh wow. This is one that is not only incredible in color but could be drop dead in BW. It makes me want to live in a Chicago loft when I see this amazing brick.

The arched curve with the mix of the vertical posts, the horizontal shafts of light and shadow, in combination with MY INITIAL!! (Hee hee - I had to make it all about me. HAHA) Truly one of my favs. MORE MORE

Mister Earl said...

I believe the building was originally a school.

Mister Earl said...

Just found more information. According to the book, "South Pasadena" by Rick Thomas, the building is El Centro School, built in 1928. It replaced a smaller building called El Centro School on the same site built in 1885. Originally, the 1928 building had a bell tower which was removed in 1949 for safety reasons. In 1952, the quarter-ton school bell, cast in 1889, was mounted on the front lawn, where it supposedly remains today. I'll have to go over and look for it. The building was used as an elementary school as recently as 1979. I was thinking maybe the "W" stood for the architect's name or something.

Laurie: I found your website by accident while looking to see if there was another "Concert in the Park" remaining on the schedule this summer. What a great website. I love good photos, local history, and South Pasadena. I take the Gold Line to work every day and live in an 80-year-old house. Maybe I'll run into you sometime at Busters, Kaldi, or even Starbucks!

Mister Earl said...

To see a photo of the front of the building in 1937, google "El Centro School South Pasadena" and "Rick Thomas." It takes you to a preview of Thomas' book, in which the photo appears.

Mister Earl said...

To see a 1937 photo of the front of the building, google "El Centro School South Pasadena" and "Rick Thomas". It will take you to a preview of Thomas' book, in which the photo appears.

Laurie said...

Mister Earl, I am so delighted to have you here! What great information. I knew that the building had been a school at one point -- and I've seen that bell in front -- but I didn't have the specifics yet.

I've linked to the Thomas book on Amazon since I started this blog, but I don't actually have a copy of the book. Now I realize that it's a must have.

I look forward to running into you around town!