Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ton of Bricks

Calvary Presbyterian Church offers up an inspiring Old World backdrop to any stroll along Freemont Avenue. Whenever I see beautiful brickwork like this in Southern California, I always wonder how it has survived decades of seismic activity. I lived in Venice Beach during the Northridge Quake. Almost all of the brick chimneys in the area fell down, and many of the old brick facades on the boardwalk buildings were damaged or outright crumbled. Along the main streets in neighboring Santa Monica, it looked like stores had been bombed: the sidewalks were strewn with broken bricks and shattered glass. All over the greater Los Angeles area, friends saw giant cracks form in their ceilings and walls, and almost everyone had something made of brick that just fell down. If this lucky church managed to stand up against that kind of periodic Southern California shaking…well, maybe I should consider joining the congregation!

20 comments:

Life Observer said...

You're on church row. One of my fav streets.
That whole section always seemed solidly built to me, church lady.

I'm still thinkin bout yesterdays pic. I think I gotta sign up w/you for photo-lessons once I take up a collection 1st.

Webradio said...

The place seems quiet...

Per Stromsjo said...

Let's hope the congregation is as rock solid as the church! :)

Virginia said...

Interesting. Never thought about it . Bricks + a whole lotta shakin' = a mess!

Sharon said...

This looks very Midwestern and reminiscent of the church I went to when growing up in Illinois.

Dixie Jane said...

I live in a brick house in a brick-laden city.....pink and yellow Mexican bricks, used bricks, red bricks and a lot of stone of different colors and shapes. It makes an interesting landscape. But I have never noticed any bricks in California. This church must be an anomaly. Maybe they know something that we don't know.

Hilda said...

Amazingly well-built then. Hmmm… maybe that's also why we don't have many brick buildings here in the Philippines.

Yak Pate said...

Once again, your image tells a powerful story... I LOVE all the windows in groups of two, with the strolling young twosome below. It is droll, makes me smile, and HEY... it worked for Noah's ark!

Also a nice juxtaposition of the ageless with the ephemeral nature of our lives.

OK, I'm intellectualizing, but I've been in this mode since your Quantum Theory post!

Eki Akhwan said...

I like the beautiful facade of this church. Those two human figures passing really makes the picture, make it more alive.

Your Aug 31 black and white candid shot of the market is also very interesting; you did well to capture the mood and the atmosphere of the market.

Jutilda said...

Makes me think of an Ivy League school although the young couple in shorts puts it more into a Southern California perspective. I like the mix of the domed windows combined with the rectangular ones. I love old brick. Makes me want to live in a loft with the walls still displaying the same bricks that were seen by the original workers/inhabitants.

Petrea said...

Like Sharon, when I see the dark red bricks I think of the Midwest. There aren't a lot of these buildings in soCal, and there are so many of them in northern Illinois!

Mister Earl said...

Great photo, Laurie.

Yes, unrenforced bricks are very messy in a bad earthquake. Many chimneys in South Pasadena, including mine, came down in the 1987 Whittier quake. Others came down in the 1991 Sierra Madre or the 1994 Northridge quakes. That church must be made of steel with the bricks as an overlay.

There was a brick building in Old Town Pasadena at Fair Oaks and Green, next to a parking lot. On the side of the building was painted the quote,"My people are the people of the dessert," said T.E.Lawrence, picking up his fork..."

A good portion of the top of the wall of that building crumbled in the 1987 quake, crushing a few cars in the parking lot, and leaving the quote as, "said T.E.Lawrence, picking up his fork..."

After that, people who didn't know what the entire quote was, found it really cryptic.

Kelly said...

Your photo aptly illustrated the beliefs about faith being founded on a rock!

Looks like a beautiful building!

Bergson said...

Beautiful opposition of color!!

altadenahiker said...

I'm a big fan of walking South Pas, and a big fan of the way your blog captures the experience. Thank you from a regular visitor.

Kris said...

I am a big fan of these sort of buildings too. Red brick can be very nice.

Columbo said...

Great photo which brought back memories of the Northridge earthquake. I was up here in Salem visiting my parents when I turned on the TV and first saw the fires and information that there had been an earthquake. I was still living in Culver City and was very anxious to get home. When I got home I had no damage, but a mile away the Santa Monica Freeway had come down. What a mess. Don't miss the earthquakes.

Mike said...

I'm still learning so here goes a 2nd chance:
L,u might want to ck your email.

Laurie said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for all the comments -- it's such a treat to read what you all have to say.

Welcome altadenahiker! I'm so glad to have you here -- now everyone else be sure to check out her marvelous blog.

Kris, glad to see you here!

Mister Earl, you have given us yet another cool regional story. I would have loved to have seen that sign when it was cryptic and inexplicable. (I love things that are cryptic and inexplicable...)

I just love all the analysis and gorgeous imagination of all of you. I'm going to need your feedback on everything I do if I don't watch out...

Leedra said...

All brick buildings are beautiful! I have always thought so, but I am now married to man in the brick industry. Other than earthquakes brick last longer than anything else.