History Buff


That Guiltiest Feeling

That Guiltiest Feeling

On July 29, 1925, at 3 a.m., Eva Fenyes, unable to sleep, was quietly engaged in a rather pleasant indulgence that was sweeping the country. She was solving a crossword puzzle. Cruciverbalist, a word that would not be coined until the 1970s, would have described Eva Fenyes perfectly. She had books full of crossword puzzles, [...]

Dark Side of the ’70s: The Darth Vader Building

Dark Side of the ’70s: The Darth Vader Building

The Plaza Centre building at 150 E. Colorado Boulevard looks like “the future” as imagined by a 1970s dystopian sci-fi film. No wonder it’s been dubbed the “Darth Vader Building.” Conceived in 1975 and finished in 1979, it was the brainchild of the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency (PRA), Wolff-Sesnon Development Company, and actor Wayne Rogers, best known [...]

Painting in the Garden

Painting in the Garden

Fenyes Mansion has kept a long tradition of inviting guests to paint outdoors in its grounds. In the early twentieth century, Eva Scott Fenyes welcomed artists to her gardens where she too joined the en plein-air gatherings, sketching alongside Benjamin C. Brown, Richard E. Miller, and Channel Pickering Townsley. In the early twenty first century, [...]

Mystery History No. 25

Mystery History No. 25

Where are we? What’s happening? In the 1985 photo above, a couple stands on a bridge overlooking the waterfall flowing into the stream that runs through the Ambassador College campus. Founded in 1947 by Herbert W. Armstrong, Ambassador College was a four-year liberal arts college that became the headquarters of Worldwide Church of God. Various lots were consolidated within a four-block [...]

Mystery History No. 24

Mystery History No. 24

Where are we? What’s happening? In this 1883 photo, four women wait their turn in front of the Ferndale Gallery, Pasadena’s first photo studio (note the photographs on display). The business had been established the year before by George Weingarth, Pasadena’s first professional photographer. He was among the settlers who founded the Indiana Colony. In addition to portraits, [...]

Christmas Greetings from Dr. & Mrs. Adalbert Fenyes

Christmas Greetings from Dr. & Mrs. Adalbert Fenyes

Hearty Christmas Greetings!  However…before I present a selection of Dr. & Mrs. Adalbert Fenyes’ historic holiday greeting cards, I am going to comment on a curious phenomenon.  So often when I mention the names Fenyes, Fenyes Mansion, and Pasadena Museum of History, my listener dons a puzzled expression or gets a strange sleepy look in [...]

Kites, Wings, & Other Flying Things

Kites, Wings, & Other Flying Things

Non-italicized text courtesy of Pasadena Museum of History. Long before the Industrial Revolution made modern aerospace technology possible, early aspiration of flight began with the kite, an item that epitomizes the intersection of science and artistry. As weapons during war and as recreation during peacetime, they have inspired leaps of the imagination and humankind’s leap [...]

Eva Fenyes & Boadway Bros. Dept. Store

Eva Fenyes & Boadway Bros. Dept. Store

It was an enormous pit, a huge gaping excavation that threatened to undermine Cabrillo Place. The bungalows and shops teetered on the edge of a precipice, and the potential for collapse was undeniable. Wanting documentary evidence, Eva Fenyes methodically photographed the construction site and what seemed to her an impending disaster. East Colorado Street in [...]

More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

Spotting these faded reminders of merchants past can be more fun than a scavenger hunt. Someone either had the foresight to preserve them or the lack of funds to remove them. Either way, they remain an enticement to the architectural detective. As in our May 2011 feature, we take a look at four more “ghost signs” [...]

Mystery History No. 23

Mystery History No. 23

Where are we? What’s happening? In the photo to the right, with throngs of people watching, a Pyrex telescope disc 200 inches in diameter, weighing 20 tons and made by the Corning Glass Company, is offloaded from a rail car in Lamanda Park on April 10, 1936, so it can be transported by truck to the optical lab at Caltech. Because the disc was so [...]

a

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

a

a

Camelot and Vine

Search