Friday, November 13, 2009

Digging Deeper


The old Fair Oaks/Mission Security Pacific Bank building (and future Comerica Bank building) continues to be drilled, sanded and chiseled. Yesterday I watched the construction team pry off stone to reveal what I assume is the original brick exterior.

I'm kind of sad they took off the wonderful rosettes.

I'll research the history and find some photos of this place. Just how many facades there have been? (If they start removing the bricks, we'll stage an intervention...)

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello. Here's a pict of the same building circa 1920: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt9r29r4nv/?brand=oac4

Mister Earl said...

Holy Crap, as a good friend of mine recently said, how can we let them take off the rosettes? It looks like the rosettes may not have been part of the original. I wonder when they were added.

Mister Earl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mister Earl said...

Thanks for the photo, Anonymous. Looks like the rosettes were part of the original. Maybe they plan to re-do them.

altadenahiker said...

That was one snazzy building. But is it possible even that wasn't the original facade?

Mister Earl said...

From a close-up view of the photo anonymous provided, it does appear to be the original facade... unless you mean the facade when the Native Americans lived there!

Yakpate said...

LA: What a dynamic, exciting composition. I love the way everything angles toward the three workmen, even the clouds. And that orange... uh, thingamajig... appears to be in motion as it leads our eye to them.

TheChieftess said...

I'm so sad the rosettes are gone!!! I don't understand the reasoning behind such a painstaking process of removing the previous facade to get to the original, and then not keep the rosettes...I'm befuddled!!! Did they take the rosettes off in one piece??? or did they break them off??? Thanks for keeping us posted lovely Ms. LA!!!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Maybe it's not as grim as it appears. It's possible that this building got past the earth quake retrofitting laws because it's brick innards were not known until a real estate transaction of the building was conducted. That being the case, they might be removing the rosettes to re-apply them at a later date after the retrofit. Or maybe not

My concern is the use of a scissor lift created by a company called "El Cheapo" I've spent time on these things and that would make me nervous.

dbdubya said...

I think the Rosetta Stone language school needed the rosettes for some reason.

Way back in the 50's when this was a Security First National Bank (even before it was Security Pacific) there was a large sign with the bank's name mounted on a steel frame over the door. It could be seen down Fair Oaks and west on Mission. I've got a great photo of the bank taken during a parade in the late 40's. The bank was pristine then and hopefully is what it will look like when the renovation is complete.

Laurie said...

HEy folks,

Chieftess, as far as I could tell they were just chiseling off the facade. I didn't watch them actually take off a rosette, but I didn't see stacks of rosettes on El Cheapo either. (Great eye, PA. I didn't notice that! Too shocked about the demolition, I guess.)

DB, send me a scan of that photo if you can!

Anon, thank you so much for the amazing 1920 photograph. I love my readers here so much. I just mention something and you all come through.

dbdubya said...

LA - you should drop by for a visit. I've got lots of old photos to show you.

Mister Earl said...

From the 1920 photo, it looks like there was a rosette at the top of each column, which is what the recent work revealed. I suspect, as PA does, that they need to remove the outer facing, which contains the rosettes, in order to do some earthquake reinforcing, and then will replace the rosettes.

Laurie said...

Save the Rosettes!
Save the Rosettes!

Sorry. I get carried away with things.

DB, sounds like a great idea. We'll have to figure out when next week.

Judy Williams said...

I'm cracking up when I see the name of that XXXX lift "El Cheapo Lifts." HAHAHAHA Sorry, but that made my day. As for the rosettes, SAVE THEM ALL!!!

Mister Earl said...

If you go to Google Maps for Mission at Fair Oaks, South Pasadena, CA, the look at the "Street View," you'll see the building in its recent light-aqua tile splendor. You'll note that the tile covered up the original entrance, which was on the corner, but they kept the clock in the same spot as it originally was, above the door. I noticed the other day that the clock is still there in spite of the current dismantling.

Dixie Jane said...

Being from another part of the planet, I'm kinda in the dark about the whole thing. But El Cheapo and Rosettes hardly belong in the same sentence. Like a housedress and a Louis Vuitton handbag. May the ultimate outcome be nothing short of fabulous.

Scott Feldmann said...

Rosettes, schmozettes. What the workers removed was an ugly facade (which was, at the time of installation, thought to be more beautiful) to reveal what's left of an original skeleton. Now, according to sources I know and trust, the workers will recreate the original facade. As much of the original as possible will be saved, the rest recreated. The bottom line is that a time warp will have occurred, and a relic of the past restored. I thank Anonymous for the picture post from the 1920's, and Laurie for the recent shot. But mostly I thank the bank for investing in our community, and look forward to the opening in a year!

Apologies for any preachiness.

TheChieftess said...

Here, Here Scott!!! I trust your sources!!!

Dixie Jane...the visual of the house dress and the Louis Vuitton bag got me giggling out loud!!!!

Laurie said...

Whew! Now that Scott has spoken I can relax and enjoy the transformation.

And I, too, am laughing about the Louis Vuitton bag and housedress. Although, you might be on to a new trend...

Thanks, everyone!

Mister Earl said...

I think we've all been talking about the original facade, believing from the 1920 photo that the rosettes were part of it, and trusting that their removal in the last couple days was only temporary.

Trish said...

I suspect we have 2 options. One, the bricks were the original facade or two, they were the original building. Being that it was the garage, similar to many other garages in the area, the brick might have been the original---then covered up to prettify it for the 20's photo and building and it never looked back.

I also suspect that finding that brick underneath the facade, the retrofit may be what is going on---tho I am surprised after all the quakes and inspections, no one figured this out. There was, around the '87 Whittier quake, someone going around using "superman" technology to look thru buildings and tell you what was inside and how to retrofit the building.

I do hope the rosettes and pretty facade come back to this building. SOOO much prettier than the aqua crud that has been on it for so long.

Laurie said...

Oh yeah, Scott, we were all definitely talking about the rosettes from the 1920 facade -- NOT the aqua facade!

Anonymous said...

The removal of the rosettes is a bit sad, but I am glad they finally got rid of the awful shutter things on the windows.