Forgive me, but my inner sci-fi geek just can’t resist: this looks for all the world like it should be part of the Superfriends Hall of Justice. No, that’s not quite right. It might be an intergalactic embassy for planet Krypton! Or maybe, when ET phoned home, this is where the call came in…
Actually, it’s one side of South Pasadena High School – an art deco treasure and undoubtedly the coolest school in Southern California. I didn’t know they had schools like this anymore. (My old alma mater in Austin, Texas looks like a minimum security prison. Seriously.) This is more like something from a Bauhaus drawing board or a 1930s film with Greta Garbo. And after dark, the glass-brick cylindrical sections look like they might just be warming up to transport the entire structure to another dimension.
At the very least, it harkens back to another, highly stylized era -- which is probably why our home of the fighting Tigers has been the location for so many movies. Halloween, Back to the Future, Mr. Deeds, Old School, American Pie and Legally Blonde are just a few of the films that have included scenes here.
In 2006, SPHS celebrated it's 100th anniversary at this spot -- though this building has only hosted about half those years. Famous alumni include William Holden (class of '36) and Bronson Pinchot (class of '77.) If you drive behind the school, past the football field, you’ll see the school’s motto inscribed on one of the buildings: Scholarship, Leadership, Strength, and Fair Play. Inspired words. Inspiring architecture.