Sunday, September 25, 2011

Historic Mission Street

South Pasadena's business district boomed between 1906 and 1908. At the time, the South Pasadena Record reported, "Rapidly and surely the march of progress is wending its way from Fair Oaks west and from Meridian east."

The first man to build on Mission Street was Alexander R. Graham, who razed a grove of eucalyptus trees at Mission and Meridian and built this concrete building. (Graham named the building the Alexander Building. Lest we forget who he was, two years later he erected another building right next door and called it the A. R. Graham Building. Now, what was his name again?)

I've raved about it before, and I'll rave again: for the ultimate South Pasadena history, you can't beat Jane Apostol's comprehensive South Pasadena, 1888-1988, A Centennial History, Second Edition with Chronology, 1988-2008. Check it out at the South Pas Public Library. Or better yet, purchase your own copy at the library bookstore.

You can read my former interview with Jane right here.

14 comments:

Mister Earl said...

Not sure if I've heard of Alexander Graham before, but the name rings a Bell. ;-)

Judy Williams said...

I always appreciate the linear quality of a modern street scene. Then the piece de resistance is that bicycle with it's circular wheels to change it all up. ;)

Jon said...

I love the photo and the subliminal
preservationist message underscored by the shadow of the crossing gate.

Laurie said...

See why Jon and I got married? I thought the same thing about the words in the street!

Judy, I ALWAYS think of you when I see a bicycle!

Earl: Smart-aleck. :-)

altadenahiker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
altadenahiker said...

Must be the season for local history. I've got my nose buried in "The Associates -- Four Capitalists who Created California." It has to do with the unsavory characters who built the Central Pacific.

(And that's why Jon and I are not married -- never would have caught it.)

Anonymous said...

Nice picture, and it looks like it could have been taken in the 1960's. (Is there an app for that?) Nice picture.

Laurie said...

No app here, just my Nikon and a mono conversion.

Hiker, that book sounds great. I need to add it to my pile of local history books I haven't yet cracked. California history is so rich with cool stuff as well as corruption.

Laurie said...

Had to come back to recommend another California history book: Embattled Dreams, California in War and Peace, 1940-1950 by Kevin Starr. I love all of Starr's books on California -- I think there are 6 in all -- and this era offers a lot of juicy stuff to ponder and digest.

Starr is such a passionate, wonderful writer who captures the frivolity, darkness and cockeyed myth of this place. He's one of my favorite historians.

Laurie said...

Oh, and Anon there are a lot of great retro phone apps! My favorite is Retro Camera for iPhone, but everyone else seems to love Hipstamatic. Judy can inform about Android camera apps. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, Laurie.

Dixie Jane said...

You beat me to it Mister Earl.

Dixie Jane said...

I can go back even farther. The life story and the name of the movie was Alexander Graham Bell. It starred Don Ameche. For a time after that people would say, "I'll call you on the Ameche." Sounds a bit corny today and far removed from the Smart Phone.

Michelle said...

That is a great story, Dixiejane!