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South Pasadena Up Close

Feb 14, 2017
Historic little details everywhere…

By Laurie Allee

If you look closely at South Pasadena – and I mean really closely, sometimes with your nose right up to the surface — you’ll find some historic little details. While much of Los Angeles (and much of the United States) has boomed with the philosophy of “New is Better” — South Pasadena and much of the neighboring San Gabriel Valley have stuck to the idea that old is cool.

Look closely around here and you might notice an Eastlake door hinge or some innocuous Batchelder tile around a fireplace. You’ll walk across a segment of sidewalk marked 1928, visit neighbors whose kitchens sport 1930s Wedgewood ovens or Roper stoves. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a porch with an authentic Stickley chair or spot a perfect Judson stained glass window. For our friends around the world who live and work among centuries old buildings, pointing out a tiny detail left over from last century may seem slightly absurd. But for those of us weary of seeing a new GAP take over a corner bookstore, places like South Pas are a haven. Even the town improvements are kept within old style guidelines. Mission Street has reproduction “antique” streetlamps, and it is a city violation here to put a prefabricated carport on your property.

That’s why this little sign on my old range hood makes me smile.

We’re modern here – of course we are – just spelled with an old fashioned font, with a little paint peeled off and a little rust showing through…

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