Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mystery History -- Solved!

I stumped everyone this week.

In the photo above, an unidentified man stands on the beginnings of the foundation of Pasadena City Hall. Construction began in 1926 and the building opened for business in 1927.

The original photo is in the Holtzman album of City Hall construction photos in the Centennial Room at Pasadena Central Library.

Here's a photo of Wilfred Holtzman and his wife Ina. Holtzman was the contractor who oversaw the construction of Pasadena City Hall.

I've posted photos of City Hall under construction in the past.

I think it's time for a reminder that the first dedicated Pasadena City Hall was at the northeast corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Union Street. It was built in 1903 and served its purpose until 1927:

The building was demolished decades ago. That corner is now the site of the Container Store. I like to think it was designed with a nod to that early City Hall, but I don't know.

Where was city business conducted before 1903? Find out here.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library. The photo of the Container Store was shot by the mighty Zack Stromberg of the Public Affairs Office.


Petrea said...

You did fool me! The area covered looks so vast from that angle. Plus it looks like it's in a canyon. But that must be the area dug out for the basement foundation. Great post.

Margaret said...

Well, that one had me stumped. I thought it was something agricultural.

Jean Spitzer said...

Not only can't I fight city hall, I can't even guess it correctly.

Interesting. I think I read somewhere that the Container Store building was deliberately designed to remind us of the old building.

Mister Earl said...

I think Jean is correct, and I think there's even a photo or a plaque at the front of the container store explaining that it was designed to resemble the original city hall. For years it was just the parking lot for the Old Town Pub and other local spots.

Latino Heritage said...

Jean is absolutely right. If I remember correctly the shape of the stained glassed window is supposed to be reminiscent of a clock face.

Bellis said...

I was also fooled into thinking there was a rock face behind the rebar - holes in the ground don't seem as rugged at the edges nowadays. Maybe that's because they're no longer using steam shovels?