Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Parking Space

I'm fascinated by the big empty parking garage attached to the big empty building on the far north end of Arroyo Drive. It was the inspiration for a recent post, and here it serves as a melancholy study in shadow and light. There is something palpably sad and yearning about this place, and not just because it returns a pretty spooky echo when presented with footsteps. Is it possible for abandoned office buildings to be haunted? These asphalt ghosts feel poetic. (Maybe they never really wanted to be in business anyway...)

19 comments:

Abe Lincoln said...

It goes without saying that some life styles changed forever in space like this.

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Judy Williams said...

Your capture of shadow and light couldn't be more spot on, in my opinion. It does give a sense of sadness but I don't have any feeling of ghosts. They've all been set free to soar out from the open area on the right. I like the column of bricks and the slight diagonal of the shadowy line in the foreground. Nice going. This might be a fun study if done in black and white too. :~)

as the long shadows
fade at days end
into the dark of night
they lie in waiting
for the sun
to rise again
giving them back
their dark gray color
and a life of their own

Babooshka said...

You do have a way with words setting a mood for a capture. The light filtering through on bold colours is captivating. Sorry for my absence of late, but you know I've had a little trouble of late.

Dusty Lens said...

If this abandoned office building is haunted, who will they haunt?

Cafe Pasadena said...

Haunted by emptiness, light, & darkness on the edge of town.

dbdubya said...

I believe this is the old Micro-Dot building at Arroyo and Pasadena Ave. There are actually two empty buildings here - one has been empty since being condemned following the Northridge Earthquake. The other was vacated about a year ago. There's a spooky boarded up apartment house nearby. It's part of the same complex and can be found off the raised parking lot on Arroyo just north of the buildings.

These buildings are part of the Ostrich Farm area where there was an actual ostrich farm 100 years ago. It's zoned commercial but has been hard to develop, due in part to their being no truck traffic on the nearby 110 freeway and most commercial ventures need trucks for deliveries! The original Hang 10 t-shirt factory was across the street many years ago.

Yakpate said...

Anything that blocks even a centimeter of that lush, transparent, robin's-egg blue sky is a tragedy.

Just looking at it through the dark frame of that abandoned office building makes me yearn for freedom, and envy the birds their ability to fly.

Trish said...

db is right, it used to be microdot...but before that it was something else more memorable...brain isn't firing on all cylinders this morning so the name is escaping me. It was manufacturing and office together---I used to see folks wearing blue smocks coming out of there and wonder what they did---I later understood more about manufacturing.

db's also right about the Hang 10 building. Pretty cool for little ol' SoPas.

the difficulties are more than just the 110 (or the 11 as us old farts call it). SoPas allowed this on the outskirts of town so that they'd have the income, but they wanted to keep it as far away from town as possible. It USED to be right next to the rail line, which many, MANY years ago actually had real rail cars on it and that silly intersection did not exist. My understanding is that they'd come up the line and stop along Hawthorne Ave and unload or load as needed and truck it over to the manuf bldg.

There are (or used to be) a host of other buildings around, quietly sitting there---SoPas had some interesting businesses...but like pushing TJ's out, SoPas has slowly let go of a lot of them.

And the apartments along Arroyo have always been a mishmash. Some condos went in during the 70's and 80's, but the apartments that were left pretty well ran down.

A fantastic find L!

altadenahiker said...

Did you break and enter?

WV: Refrump. When just plain frumpy isn't good enough.

Margaret said...

Asphalt ghosts. That's poetry.

Ken Mac said...

maybe you should research the location...Indian footsteps?

dbdubya said...

The problem with the 110 freeway is why this commercially zoned area isn't working now. Trish is right - freight trains ran along what's now the Gold Line track until the early 90's. The area's no longer suited for commercial.

Among the former businesses headquartered in South Pasadena was Wham-o toys, inventors of the hula hoop and frisbee.

TJ's, Panda Inn, Cogent and others have left because they wanted to expand and there was no space available and a very strong anti-growth/development sentimentality in town. That thinking has helped keep South Pasadena the small town that it is, but has also meant the loss of some good businesses and employers.

The apartment I referenced is one in particular that's been vacant and boarded up for years. It's got a weed choked vacant lot next to it. It's spooky and a good subject for Laurie if she can get past the chain link fence.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Give ddubya a blog! Or, at least a contract to write So Pasa's history. What a bottomless source of here, there, this, and that!

"The So Pasa's: Their Crazy History"
-with Photos by L.A.

dbdubya said...

The history's just about all there in Jane Apostl's great book on South Pasadena.

WV: squircom - a new telecommunications system designed for squirrels.

Laurie said...

Oh, I'm so happy to see Jane's book mentioned. It really is an amazing source. I'm such a huge fan of her work. She makes history read like a great novel told by someone you really like.

Laurie said...

Thanks for the great comments -- and history lessons -- everyone! Til tomorrow...

Jilly said...

Beautiful angles, colours and shadows - and as always with you, words.

SP said...

I love shots like this, that tension between light and dark always makes me feel like the pictures are breathing in a way, a real release. I've just stumbled across your blogs and am enjoying them greatly.

Laurie said...

Thanks so much, Jilly. And SP, thank you for stumbling upon my blogs! I'm looking forward to exploring yours, too. Thanks for the kind words.