Monday, November 9, 2009

Excavation

Take a look at what's being uncovered at the corner of Mission and Fair Oaks. The old Security Pacific Bank building used to look like this. Those big, empty windows used to have these 1950s style louvers. Who could have guessed that beneath the midcentury aqua facade lurked this historic beauty? (I'm particularly fond of the little rosettes along the top of the windows.)

If you peek inside, you can see the original 1920s South Pasadena Garage mural on the exposed brick wall of the adjoining building.

15 comments:

Judy Williams said...

Oh that's fantastic that they are restoring it to it's former beauty. This is a great study in squares and rectangles!!! I can't wait to see when it's finished.

Yakpate said...

LA: Do you know who is restoring this building, and/or, what plans there are for future use?

I ask, because... wouldn't it make a great art gallery?

Whatever its future use, I hope it is for an enterprise befitting the SouthPas soul.

dbdubya said...

I remember when it was a Security First National Bank, then Security Pacific, and then the takeovers. Lately it's been Gandel's Furniture, an interesting store with no advertising or signage. They sold mostly through catalogues. It's being restored and is going to be a bank again. I can't remember which one. I believe Gandel's may also remain in a portion of it. Regardless of what goes in there, it's great to see it being restored to its original style.

altadenahiker said...

You're kidding! What a find. Wonder what it once was.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Did you look in the dumpster?

Dixie Jane said...

Going back to the turquoise bathroom tile stage here, Judy, I too am reminded of the 1957 Belaire Station Wagon. We drove it to Calif. and you had a new box of toys to open every day. It took three days to make the trip. This was before seat belts. Putting you in one for three days would have been some kind of feat. I am anxious to see the completion of the metamorphosis happening here. Laurie, be sure and let us see when all is finished.

Petrea said...

We drove by this the other day and marveled. Please do keep us informed, Laurie. Your shots of the transformation will be a valuable archive one day.

TheChieftess said...

Wow!!! I didn't realize the started the restoration!!! It's going to look great!!!

Ken Mac said...

what a great find. Beautiful. Sneak in and shoot that mural!

Shanna said...

We just drove by there last night on our way home from Gus's BBQ (my new favorite eatery). I noticed that gorgeous facade and wondered why I had never seen it before.

Trish said...

holy cr@p! I was sure this building would stay that awful 50's shade of aqua until the end of time! None of the quakes could knock it down and despite the furniture store and the seeming lack of traffic which suggested mob dealings...it has been that store for what, 20-25 years?

Of course, you have to be a little more specific to some of us old timers...both of those opposite corners used to be Security Pacific buildings at different times (Thrifty's and FO Rx have always held the other two corners---well, ok, not always, but longer than I've been alive---back more in line with Jack Gillette's time)

The rosettes don't surprise me---take a look around town in the nooks and crannys, you'll find more, that is, of the ones that haven't been upgraded and covered over or torn down.

Keep us updated...this is almost as exciting to me as when they closed what is now Bristol Farms (used to be...Safeway I believe) and put up signs making it look like a market again--but it was for a movie---people actually tried to shop there...annoyed the film crew to no end. The Review, I'm sure, still has the notices---please don't hassle the crew, it's a movie set!

dbdubya said...

You're right, Trish. Bristol Farms used to be a Safeway. I remember it from the late 50's being a dark green building on the corner. I don't remember other Safeway's being that color.

Mister Earl said...

I wonder where we can find a photo of what the bank looked like when it was originally built?

DBDub: These days the choices for what bank it's going to be are becoming fewer and fewer.

My bank, Cal National, was just taken over by USBank.

Mister Earl said...

Isn't it funny how back whenever they covered this building with the blue-green tile, they thought they were doing something nice, and nowadays we wouldn't think of covering up an old building.

Laurie said...

Hey guys,

I'll definitely update with images of this spot as it progresses. I don't remember seeing a picture of this place in Jane Apostol's South Pasadena history, but I'll go back and look. If not, I'm sure my friends at the library will be able to help!

Thanks, everyone. I've been under the weather for a couple of days so I'll catch up with you all tomorrow. Until then...