Archive for the ‘Architecture & History’ Category

History Lession #344 – Norton Simon Museum

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Andy Warhol, Billy Al Bengston and Dennis Hopper at the opening of Marcel Duchamp's 1963 retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum. Photo: Julian Wasser

I came across this great photograph in a recent book review from the Wall Street Journal “When the West Coast Went Pop.”  It reminded me of the wonderfully rich and varied history behind the Norton Simon Museum, which perhaps, few people know.   In reviewing two separate books addressing the West Coast and Pop Art, the opening lines from the WSJ posit:

Where else would Andy Warhol have actually met his conceptual godfather,  Marcel Duchamp, in the flesh but in Los Angeles in the 1960s? The  occasion was the opening of Duchamp’s first American retrospective, in  1963, at the old Pasadena Art Museum.

The Norton Simon Museum has a long illustrious history dating back to the founding of the Pasadena Art Institute in 1924.  It became the Pasadena Art Museum in 1954, and concentrated its efforts on the acquisition and exhibition of modern art.  From the Norton Simon Museum’s website:

In 1964, the Museum decided to expand its programs. It commissioned the  Pasadena-based architectural firm of Ladd Kelsey to design a new  85,000-square-foot structure on the original Carmelita Park site.  On November 24, 1969, the new Pasadena Art Museum opened.  Purchases and donations of modern art included works by Larry Bell, Richard   Diebenkorn, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Ed Ruscha, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol.

Gallery of Andy Warhol exhibition, 1970, Pasadena Art Museum.

Over the next two decades the   Pasadena Art Museum earned an international reputation for organizing  and presenting critically acclaimed exhibitions of 20th century art.   They presented the first retrospective of the work of Marcel Duchamp  (with Duchamp attending), exhibitions of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg,   Joseph Cornell, a landmark Bauhaus exhibition, and many others.

Read the entire history and how in 1975 the name of the institution changed to the Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena at www.nortonsimon.org/museum-history.

Don’t miss  Vermeer’s “Woman with a Lute” on Loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the Norton Simon Museum through September 26, 2011.

Pasadena Digital History Collaboration!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

We are long familiar with the wonderful archive maintained by the Pasadena Museum of History and have even used historic photographs from their research library on the elevator doors in the three Park & Walk garages, as well as on a photo-mural in the Schoolhouse garage entrance.   These photographs tell the rich story of Pasadena’s early years and so we are very pleased to announce the launch of the Pasadena Digital History Collaboration!  Now you can browse through hundreds of digital images of Pasadena people and places – for free online. Check it out at www.pasadenadigitalhistory.com or on Facebook under Pasadena Digital History.

Original Pasadena Schoolhouse - Park & Walk Garage mural

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What a nice ending to Historic Preservation Month!

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

In a letter from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we learned that our plea for votes may not have gone unheard… well, maybe our plea and a few others. The National Trust for Historic Preservation won $200,000 in the Members Project from American Express and TakePart! And it gets even better… Because the intense competition in the Arts & Culture category ended in a tie between the two organizations, the generous people at American Express have awarded $200,000 to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, too.

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May is Preservation Month!

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Historic Friend Paper Building – now The Sofa Co.

So, May is Preservation Month, an effort spearheaded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation that began in 1971 as Preservation Week and was expanded to a month-long celebration in 2005. According to the City of Pasadena:

The 2010 Preservation Month theme is Old is the New Green. In Pasadena, preservation month has been celebrated since 2004 with an annual awards program that recognizes positive contributions to historic preservation in the city. Awards are given to property owners and designers/architects and contractors for exceptional historic resource restoration or rehabilitation projects. Awards have also been given to recognize individuals that have contributed to multiple projects and for positive infill projects in historic neighborhoods.

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This Sunday: Rose Bowl Stadium and Ferraris

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

This Sunday the Rose Bowl Stadium is an “open house”. As the Rose Bowl Operating Company embarks on an extraordinary renovation and upgrade, they are inviting the public in to see the stadium like never before under the banner of the “Rose Bowl Stadium Games.” Tour the stadium, the locker rooms, and actually play on the field itself!

…I have to say, I’m no sports fan. But recently I was lucky enough to attend the retirement festivities for one Lt. George Wiley of the Pasadena Police Department, and ‘party-central’ was on the field of the Rose Bowl Stadium.

It was totally cool.

Walking across the field, looking into the expanse of stadium seats… unexpectedly cool. Anyway, this Sunday you have the chance to experience some of the same, along with lots of activities detailed on their website .

Check out 154 Historic Facts about the Rose Bowl Stadium, too.

On the topic of  quite cool…

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The New Old Holly Street Clock

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Holly Street Clock and the Shops on Holly signage

Holly Street Clock and the Shops on Holly signage

A stately vintage-style corner clock has taken its proud perch at the corner of Holly Street and Fair Oaks Avenue to anchor what property owner, Jim Plotkin, has christened “The Shops on Holly”. Jim conceived of this project about a year ago and has been working diligently with historians, design experts, and city officials to design, manufacture and install an authentically styled clock to crown the unique independent mix of stores and restaurants that line Holly Street.

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Success Doesn’t Take a Miracle in Old Pasadena

Monday, January 25th, 2010

by Tony Nino, Pasadena Advertising owner
Old Pasadena Management District – Chairman of the Board of Directors

Times are hard, and doing business anywhere is a challenge, but as far as Old Pasadena is concerned, the rumors of the economy getting better seem to be true.  Like anywhere else, to take full advantage of that, you not only have to work harder, you have to work smarter and in Old Pas, we also work together.  Cooperation is what gave Old Pasadena its start in the late ’80s, and it’s what is keeping us ahead of the curve today.

This was a very good holiday season for our 21-block district.  Even though we don’t have all the figures in from all the stores, we can see that our garages were consistently at full capacity, unique visitors to our web site nearly doubled from last year, and merchants have come to us with thanks and stories.

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Meet Jim Plotkin…

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Jim Plotkin - Old Pasadena fixture

Jim Plotkin - Old Pasadena stakeholder

Jim Plotkin has made a significant investment in Old Pasadena and is as committed as anyone to keeping the District vital and competitive, particularly in this tough economy.  Jim started out in retail in 1964 as the owner of the Pasadena Vacuum and Sewing Company located in the Stanton Building at 80 East Colorado Blvd.  He purchased the building and then refurbished the property in 1972.  The Stanton Building is now the home of the Sprint store.

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The One Colorado Development

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
onecolorado_square

One Colorado

The award-winning One Colorado project is comprised of an entire city block in the heart of Old Pasadena.  Located on Colorado Blvd. between Fair Oaks and De Lacey Avenues, it was the first project to spark the redevelopment of Old Pasadena. The property’s historic architecture, alley, and brick courtyard are filled with dynamic shops, restaurants and public art pieces.  One Colorado also plays host to an innovative series of special events, such as outdoor film festivals with films beamed onto one wall of the courtyard, live concerts, as well as various art shows for thousands to enjoy.

patagonia

Patagonia's pre-1900 building

The One Colorado Management team led by General Manager Sally Lunetta and Operations Manager Tony Lucero have completed a number of improvements to the buildings and courtyard over the last year in order to preserve and enhance the character and charm of this urban oasis.  In April 2008, they power washed, repaired and re-sealed the courtyard brick plaza improving the overall look.

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Looking Good in Old Pasadena

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Starbucks Old Pasadena

Starbucks Old Pasadena

We are pleased to make note of several remodels and improvements, both interior and exterior, taking place on Old Pasadena businesses and properties.  In an effort to promote these enhancements and this type of pro-activity, we will be featuring many of the individual efforts here so check back every couple of days for each new installment.

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