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Photography

February 2009

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Thursday, February 19, 2009 Precious Palladian

Pasadena City Hall 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown in the early Renaissance style of 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio. Construction was completed on December 27, 1927. 

The history

    In 1923, the people of Pasadena approved a bond measure issuing $3.5 million towards the development of a civic center. City Hall was to be the central element of this center. The San Francisco architecture firm of Bennet, Parsons, and Frost designed the City Beautiful and California Mediterranean influenced City Hall. It was completed on December 27, 1927 at a cost of $1.3 million. It measures 361 feet (110 m) by 242 feet (74 m), and rises 6 stores. There are over 235 rooms and passageways that cover over 170,000 square feet (16,000 m2). The defining dome, located above the west entrance, is 26 feet (7.9 m) tall and 54 feet (16 m) in diameter. On July 28, 1980, Pasadena City Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Listing # 80-000813)

    The City Hall has long been a favorite shooting location for filmmakers. The courtyard was used in the 1995 movie "A Walk in the Clouds" to portray a Napa Valley town square. It has also been used as an embassy in the "Mission: Impossible" television series, the Beverly Hills police station in all the "Beverly Hills Cop" movies, and a villa in Charlie Chaplin's Oscar-nominated 1940 film "The Great Dictator." 

In July 2004, the building was vacated to allow for a complete overhaul of the structure the required seismic retrofit and a complete restoration. Staff moved back in starting in April 2007.

Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)

More from Walt Lockley

    The architects of this massive Beaux-Arts landmark were (John) Bakewell and (Arthur) Brown (Jr.) of San Francisco, both of them students of the Beaux-Arts and also of Bernard Maybeck. a building genre unto themselves, sort of a California-Mediterranean-Beaux-Arts-Civic-Baroque that provided an untrue back-story and grounding formality for the affairs of this young and evanescent state. John Bakewell himself described the style as "a modern interpretation of sixteenth century Italian Renaissance" but it sure as hell looks French to me.

It is what it is, and here's the latest award and if you're going to build a City Hall, go all out.

Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)
Pasadena City Hall - 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown  (1927)

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back to this site.

Technical Note:

These photographs were taken with a Nikon D200 the lenses used were AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or AF Nikkor 70-300 mm telephoto.  The high-resolution photography here was modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0 software.

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All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 - Alan M. Pavlik

[February 2009] [The Silver People] [Just Not Into You] [Election Residue] [Afternoon Moon] [Wilshire Monsters] [Raw California] [Dark Curves] [Possible Messages] [Up On the Walls] [Accidental Magnolia] [Hollywood Rain] [Quetzalcoatl Lives] [Street Whimsy] [Iconic All American] [Bad Characters] [Hope and Grand] [The Music Center] [Lincoln] [Twists and Turns] [Orange Trumpets] [XIV on Sunset] [A Rainbow] [Before the Oscars] [Standard Hollywood] [Neighborliness] [Byzantine-Latino] [Saint Sophia] [The Big Mix] [Precious Palladian] [God Gone Now] [Bronze Brothers] [At the Red Curb] [February Iris] [Bank Art] [A 1955 Family] [Stone Clouds] [Back to Normal] [The Bates Motel] [No One Around] [In Beach Gardens] [Still Life] [Dangerous Times] [Out of the Darkness]