Wednesday, September 3, 2008

South Pasadena Post Office

The South Pasadena Post Office looks about the same as when it was built in 1932. With the exception of the handicap-access ramps out front, not much has been added or altered. You can even see the wonderful original mural inside next to the old post office boxes. Located on Freemont Street at El Centro across the street from Calvary Presbyterian Church, it has several of the things I love in a building: a cool deco transom over the door, ridiculously beautiful vintage street lamps along the walkway, and enough contrasting dark and light to, um, simply force me to present this photograph in black and white!

18 comments:

USelaine said...

I miss the Spanish style tiles used down there so well. They seem to offer better fire protection too. Am I obsessing too much on the drought/fire/dryness ideas? I need to get a glass of water...

Virginia said...

You are right, the photograph will tell you (or force you) to choose color or monotone. Angle is so nice on this one too. The sharp BW contrast thing is perfect.

Dusty Lens said...

Perfect in B&W. A stylish Post Office to center the community around. I like tis architectural style. Our Post Office is bleak and bland on the outside.

Neorelix said...

Like the black and white and the geometric quality afforded by the railings and lamp - nice one.

Palm Axis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Webradio said...

Jolie photo en noir et blanc !

En France, les bâtiments des PTT (post offices) sont en général jaunes...

pasadenaadjacent said...

Now that mutual reciprocity has been established, I can tell you where the bodies are buried. Oh, and the insider joke to the "Red Badge of Courage"

Dixie Jane said...

I'll be back. I have got to mail a letter. With the age of this post office, it has known the 3 cent stamp. Have any of you? Handicapped people at that time were on their own. It's nice to see you give artistic recognition fo one of our important institutions: The U.S. Postal Service. Along with his key and his kite, thank Benjamin Franklin who started it in 1775. The Postmaster General thanks you. I thank you.

ken mac said...

great black and white. How does it look inside?

Kelly said...

Love the fence lines, which just pop out with the black and white!

babooshka said...

Oh no this would have been a cardinal sin to add colour. All those lines and angles. I have no objection to a monochrome blog all the time. When you feel the force it must be right.

Château-Gontierdailyphoto said...

Its a real good choice to present this photo in B&W. It gives a very graphic aspect to your picture.

Mister Earl said...

I haven't been in the post office for awhile so I'm not sure if it's still happening, but it used to be that there was a small vase of fresh roses or other flowers by each postal clerks' window every day. A lady named Miriam Spaulding, who turned 100 last November, had been bringing the roses each day to decorate the post office counter for over a decade. You can read about her at
http://www.todoinstitute.com/library/public/post_office_rose.php

life observer said...

I've passed by this post office unmentionable times, L.
But, I just haven't felt anything special from it. I'm just callin it the way I feel it.

The 1 special thing it has going for it now is you're pic shot.

Laurie said...

Greetings all,

Thanks for indulging me in my B&W addiction.

Bienvenue Webradio and chateaugontierdailyphoto -- merci!

Ken, I love the way it looks inside. Nothing spectacular -- it's not on par with Grand Central Station or anything like that -- but authentic and old-fashioned with that great mural. (Now I realize I am going to have to post a shot of the mural...)

Mister Earl, once again your knowledge of our town is a wonderful addition. I don't know what I'd do without your commentary to back up my posts! This is such a great collaborative effort. Thank you! I hope Miriam is still around. I'm definitely going to ask about her the next time I go in.

Dixie (Mom!) I love that you knew when the Postal Service was started.

Hi Pasadena Adjacent! (All of you should run over and visit PA's blog -- another fabulous San Gabriel Valley blogger and all around cool one to know...)

Life Observer Mike, not even those great streetlamps? Look at them next time you pass by...

Thanks for being here, lovely people!

Jutilda said...

Doing it in anything other than black and white would truly be a travesty. The orb/globe light really makes it with the rest of the shapes being so linear and rectangular. This seriously looks like a page out of an old book. Great eye.

Trish said...

ditto what earl said---Mrs Spaulding used to drop off roses from her garden and prettify the place. Mrs Spaulding was a friend of the family and a great addition to SoPas!

Those access ramps have not always been there---they were added later as were the handrails. Lots of changes over the years, but the building has stayed basically the same.

interestingly, I recently took a trip to the Napa area. As we were hurtling northward towards Calistoga at the speed of snails, I saw a near replica of the SoPas PO. I did not have my camera with me or I would have taken a picture to compare. it was nice to see a bit of my hometown so familiar, but 500+ miles north!

Laurie said...

Hello Trish, one of my wonderful South Pas experts! I have a photo from the 40s with these lamp posts. Do you think they took them down and then recreated them? I assumed they had been there since the beginning. (I have mentioned before that I have a thing for streetlamps... always notice them...)

It must have been odd to see our PO in another area. I had a similar experience here. There is a four-plex building on Orange Grove that is an exact copy of my first Hollywood apartment. Honestly, it must be the same blueprint, and both built in the early 1920s.