The Bridge


March 15, 2007
South Pasadena

Here’s the Gold Line, its passengers mercifully unaware that they are zipping along to Pasadena in the “Gorge of Eternal Perilâ€Â beneath “The Bridge of Death.â€Â


Here’s a close-up of a patch made to fix one of the 1907 cracks in the bridge. And yes, the darn thing is still standing. Hm. Maybe I should call it “The Bridge of Hopeâ€Â instead.

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Architectural Ramblings


Feb. 10, 1907
Los Angeles

The Times features a hillside home “near the ostrich farm” in Pasadena. Presumably that was the Cawston farm in South Pasadena. (What, South Pasadena, again?) Unfortunately, many of the homes in the city of Los Angeles photographed for The Times in 1907 have been torn down and replaced by parking lots, warehouses, etc. Not so in suburban South Pasadena.

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E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com



Architectural Ramblings


Feb. 4, 2007
South Pasadena

The Times publishes three architectural drawings of “artistic bungalowsâ€Â prepared by the firm of Wilson and Barnes. One is being built by W.E. Fox on Columbia near Sunset Boulevard, the second by Dr. T.H. Lowers on Main Street in Alhambra and the third by A.J. Padau on Marengo in South Pasadena “near the Monrovia car line.â€Â

The Times says of Padau’s home: “This, perhaps, is the best located of the three houses, as from its windows can be seen the entire panorama of mountain and valley to the north and east. It is strictly modern in its design. A feature of the exterior is the broad span from corner to corner of the porch, affording an unobstructed view from the large living room in the front of the house. There are five rooms in the little structure. The cost was $2,500 ($51,308.93 USD 2005).â€Â

Here’s the home I found at 1517 Marengo, which is similar to the design (note the front porch) but has many minor differences.

Ps. Jim Draeger of the Wisconsin Historical Society sends along a link to the patent for Ducker Portable Homes, which I wrote about here.

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E-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com




Architectural Ramblings

Dec. 28, 2006
Los Angeles

As promised, here are some photos of a few neighborhoods I visited recently.

Views of South Pasadena





First, a few shots of South Pasadena taken along Mission and El Centro to contrast with the views from 1907, then a visit to the 4600 block of South Wesley Avenue. Note the various states of preservation and decay, along with generous layers of stucco.

Views of Wesley Avenue









I always seem to run across interesting cars, a Corvair on Wesley and an old jalopy in South Pasadena.





And here

Slaughter of the Innocent


Nov. 23, 1907
South Pasadena

Warning: This is a grotesque, tragic story with graphic details.

Pasadena Detective Wallace H. Copping is investigating the murder of a young baby boy, whose half-eaten body was found in a pigpen on the Berry ranch in South Pasadena.

Authorities say the boy, weighing about 14 pounds and less than 10 days old (yes, quite a large baby by today’s standards), was discovered by Mrs. J.H. Anderson, whose husband leases the ranch. Apparently Mr. Anderson picked up the baby

Religious Recycling


Nov. 18, 1907
South Pasadena

Calvary Presbyterian Church at Center (now El Centro) and Fremont was dedicated in a service featuring prominent local religious leaders, including Dr. John Willis Baer, president of Occidental College.

The Times notes that the original church building was located on Columbia Street, but the location was inconvenient, so the church bought the Nazarene Chapel on Center.

The church, which cost $10,000 ($205,235.70 USD 2005) incorporates much of the old First Presbyterian Church of Pasadena, which was at Worcester Avenue and Colorado Street, The Times says.

Fortunately, this church is still standing and I

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation

Nov. 10, 1907
South Pasadena

What sort of monument do we leave for real estate developers? For John B. Althouse, who built hundreds of homes in the Wilshire district, as well as the West Adams district and the San Gabriel Valley, the answer might be nondescript offices and vacant lots.

Here’s the house he built for himself at Oxley and Fremont in South Pasadena, a few blocks from my home. In fact, I pass the corner every day.

Here’s another one he built on Manhattan Place.

Don’t rush out to look for them, though. They’re gone, although the wall around Althouse’s home survived.

Born in Baltimore, Althouse died in July 1939 at the age of 72 at his home, 230 S. Gramercy Place. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1886 and spent 37 years in the real estate business after operating a fruit store at 1st and Main Streets for many years. He constructed hundreds of homes in the Wilshire district and was one of the first members of the Los Angeles Realty Board.

What’s this? One has survived in the West Adams district, 1415 S. Gramercy Place. Also read here. And here. Zillow link.

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e-mail: lmharnisch (AT) gmail.com

Update: Further research reveals the home of Daniel T. Althouse, a partner in Althouse Brothers, at 2125 S. 4th Ave., where he died of blood poisoning in 1914.

The Crime Bus Lurches Out of the Fog

Join us, gentle rider, on the Crime Bus! We’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled Crime Bus touring in early 2006 to develop some new and very wild rides, but private tours can still be booked during this time. Typically, public tours run on both days of a weekend about once a month, and prospective passengers can subscribe to our email list– just click the link at right to be kept informed of all the details. Or watch this site for announcements.

Tours include… THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA… PASADENA CONFIDENTIAL… WEIRD WEST ADAMS… NIGHTMARES OF BUNKER HILL… HALLOWEEN HORRORS… with more to come.