Thursday, August 25, 2011

Water Still Life

Once again the Gilman Fountain at OXY. If you see the water on and have a few minutes,  sit down and watch it!  It is a great piece!
For another view and to see it's starring role in a major motion picture,  see my previous post!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Columns and Arches

A view looking towards the football fields from the Johnson Student Center. What a great building right in the middle of the campus,  every direction is a nice view!  I guess that Myron Hunt knew a thing or two!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

City Hall details

Close up of a window grille on our Eagle Rock City Hall.  I just love details like this!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hidden Mosaic

Here is a detail that many people don't know about,  or might even miss if they drive by the building.  This tile mural is above the entrance to the Sparkletts Bottling Plant!  Such great detail for an industrial building!  Another in the series of "They don't make 'em like they used to!"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eaves 4

The last house my dad designed and built in Eagle Rock was designed using a hexagonal grid,  so there were very few 90 degree corners.  This made for some really cool angles, like this eave over the master suite.  The eaves were also a crucial part of the solar design.  My dad calculated the angles of the sun over the course of the year and figured exactly how far the eaves needed to project to block the hot sun during the summer but let the sun come in during the winter.  This exact calculation meant that the house would potentially only vary a few degrees all year (if no one opened any doors or windows!)  We never really got to test that since we had to get in and out,  but it was and is still a beautiful and dramatic house!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Eaves 3

This is obviously NOT one of Myron Hunt's original OXY buildings,  but I have always liked it!  This is the Main Library building,  an extension of the original classic library,   but much larger.  When I was a kid I frequently used this library as a futuristic city for my Super 8 Sci Fi movies!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eaves 2

These huge eaves grace the dramatic Eagle Rock Park Pavilion,  designed by Richard Neutra.  See my earlier post for other views!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eaves 1

These ornately cut eaves are on the Swan Hall at OXY,  one of the original Myron Hunt designed buildings, which is currently being renovated.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Track

No story here, I just really liked the pattern created by the shadow of the fence and the curve of the track!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Big O!

I just got back from visiting colleges with my son, and one of the places we went was Syracuse University in New York. It is a beautiful campus,  but I couldn't get OXY out of my mind!  The school color is orange, and, just as with OXY,  everywhere you turn there is something orange! They don't have an "O" this big though!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer at OXY

It's pretty empty on Campus during the Summer. Instead of thousands of students bustling around the quad there are just a few individuals enjoying the peace and quiet.  This group of high school students was the largest group I saw on a recent photo safari on campus!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Conduit Design

While looking around Yosemite Park, I noticed this nice graphic pattern created by the large electrical conduit on one of the High School buildings.  Having done some electrical work myself,  I'm sure "art" was the last thing on this electrician's mind,  but sometimes mechanical logic and order creates a simple beauty.  It sort of reminds me of the patterns on circuit boards, and I have always found them fascinating!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Signs of Eagle Rock - 5

This close-up shot of one of our local classic signs really shows it's age,  but to give the owner credit,  this would not be an easy sign to clean and maintain! Still,  I like to imagine what it must have looked like when it was new!

Friday, August 12, 2011


(Sorry, couldn't resist!)   Used tires are just not the most attractive of products,  so I love that they have painted the fence in front with a rainbow of colors!  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sparkletts Sign

One on my other interests is Old Sign Art. I am always on the lookout for vintage signs, and as I was shooting pictures for the Eagle Rock Daily Photo blog I found this great old roof sign!  If you are on Facebook and like old signs,  check out my page!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Swan Skeleton

Swan Hall is one of the original Myron Hunt-designed buildings on the OXY campus. Originally it was used for student housing, but for decades it has been used as faculty offices.  Now it is getting a complete renovation and they are going all the way down to the bones!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Corner B(l)ank?

The first bank account I set up as an adult growing up in Eagle Rock was at the Security Pacific Bank on  the corner of Eagle Rock and Colorado.  The building was nothing special, it was just the first place I dealt with money on my own, and it was the first place I used an ATM.   Eventually the bank left,  and Blockbuster moved in. They painted the entire building white making it, in my opinion, even uglier! Now Blockbuster has left.  What is next for this very visible corner?

Since I love researching old photos, I found the original, (much more interesting) Bank building.  This is a close-up from a photograph from 1955:
By Metro Transportation Library and Archive
Coincidentally, the original bank was similar to an existing bank in Highland Park at York and Figueroa:

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Forest in Eagle Rock?

When I was a kid,  this was one of my favorite places to hide out and play with my neighborhood friends.  It has changed since then,  the bushes used to go all the way to the ground which made it sort of spooky and dark.  This area feels a lot safer now,  which is good because it is a major thoroughfare!  If you are not familiar with this beautiful forest it is right in the middle of the OXY Campus!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Tiger in My Family!

I've never been much of an athlete, so I must admit to being proud to stand on the OXY football field and think that my grandfather,  Oakley T. Norton, was a varsity football player here in 1917 and 1918!
Interesting that both of my sons are now athletes, and my youngest is entering his 2nd year as varsity QB for his high school!

Oakley T. Norton,  1918

Saturday, August 6, 2011

OXY in the Movies - Part 7

The Gilman Fountain,  originally titled Water Forms II, was designed by Sculptor and professor George Baker and was built as a class project in 1979.  I've always found this a mesmerizing piece of art.  I can sit and watch it as it slowly changes shape, and listen to the sounds also change as the pieces are hit and moved by the water.  It is very photogenic, and has been featured in many photographs and at least one movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) where it stood in for the planet Vulcan!

Friday, August 5, 2011

OXY in the Movies - Part 6

My final view from  Pat and Mike (1952).  I love this scene, Katherine Hepburn is wonderfully lively and athletic, she hops in the back of this car so easily!  Check out the big missing building in the background. That is the Arthur G. Coons Administrative Center,  built in 1968.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

OXY in the Movies - Part 5

At first glance, I thought this view was almost the same as the screen cap from "Pigskin Parade" 1936, but the more I looked, the more I realized it may be one of the most changed. The stands are new, the light towers are new,  and the current field is artificial turf which is definitely new! If you look very closely,  you will notice in the screen cap that Thorne Hall is missing and there is another building in it's place.  I'm not sure what the old building is, but the beautiful   Thorne Hall was not completed until 1938! The reality is,  the only things in this photo that are still around would be some of the larger trees!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

OXY in the Movies - Part 4

Pretty much everything in the screen cap from Pat and Mike (1952) below is the same as it is today.  The Johnson Student Center has been adapted and part of the new building is visible to the left in my photo above.  The biggest difference?   There are no 50's cars driving on the walk ways!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

OXY in the Movies - Part 3

Here is the outside of the Johnson Student Union today, as seen in the opening of Pat and Mike (1952) in the screen cap below. Because of the Swan Hall construction I was not able to match the angle exactly,  but this is pretty close!

Monday, August 1, 2011

OXY in the Movies - Part 2

Today I move to a different movie,  Pat and Mike (1952).  This charming movie stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy as a very talented college gym coach who is coached as a pro by a gruff older trainer. Hepburn is wonderful in this movie, and she was right here in Eagle Rock shooting on campus!   The movie opens when her fiancee, played by William Ching, leaves his office,  located in the Johnson Student Center.  In this view you can see the black pillar holding up the new glass roof ove the courtyard,  other than that it looks pretty similar.   If you look closely at the screen cap below you will see how much the trees have grown! In the background the old library building is visible over the trees, and you can see that the newer Library addition is not there!

As promised,  today I present Judy Garland's first appearance in a feature film!  The screen cap below is from the movie "Pigskin Parade" 1936.  I am pretty sure the building in the background is also the old library!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

OXY in the Movies - Part 1

I just love seeing familiar places in old movies,  so this week I've decided to check out some of the oldest movies I could find that were shot on campus and try to match the angles from the movies!

One of the earliest movies that feature OXY was "Pigskin Parade" 1936 starring Jack Haley and introducing his future famous costar, Judy Garland!  Haley and his Patsy Kelly are shown below as husband and wife coaches.  In the background of the screen cap below Swan Hall is visible, but that is about it.  My photo taken from the same location in the middle of the Football Field shows Swan Hall being renovated,  and Herrick Chapel,  which was built way after Pigskin Parade was made!

Tomorrow, Judy Garland's Feature Debut,  right here in Eagle Rock!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

OXY Squirrels!

Right now there are very few students or staff on Campus,  so the squirrels have taken over!  This little guy let me get pretty close before he jumped onto the fence and ran away!

Friday, July 29, 2011

OXY Pool

As a kid growing up across the street from the OXY Campus,  I spent many a summer day at the OXY Pool!   When I was little the facility was open and the neighborhood kids would walk right in the back door,  use the weight room if we wanted to,  and spent long afternoons swimming until the sun started to set.  Later,  the OXY Summer Drama Festival (where I spent most of my time once I was old enough to help) would throw company parties at the Pool. Great Memories!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eucalyptus Shadows

While exploring the OXY campus for my upcoming series on classic movies shot at OXY,  I noticed these shadows cast on the walls of Herrick Chapel.  Herrick has always been an interesting anomaly for me,  it is so different from the original Occidental College buildings designed by Myron Hunt almost 100 years ago, yet somehow it works!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gates and Fences - 1

Because the homes of Eagle Rock have such diverse styles,  so do the fences and gates surrounding them.  Almost every street I go down I see something new,  like this gate that looks like it is made of sunflowers!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Old Car and Bougainvillea

Another great old car seen on the streets of Eagle Rock.  I bet there is a great story here.  Who is driving it?  How long have they owned it?  Is this owned by a collector or just someone driving the old family car?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finials Rainbow

When I was growing up we used to go to the old Julios Pizza.  When my boys were young this one one of our favorite restaurants.  Julio retired a few years back and the place has changed hands,  I just went by there and noticed the new paint job on the fence!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weighing in at Tritch

When my dad took me to buy nails at Tritch Hardware,  I always asked to be the one who did the weighing! Years ago when my boys used to help me buy nails I realized they were the 4th generation of Nortons to use this old scale!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hidden Curves

I must have passed by this detail on the old Library hundreds of times but only noticed it recently. Maybe it was covered with vines?  This is just another in a series of great details you won't find on a newly built building! They really DON'T "make them like they used to!"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Old Details

This light fixture is part of the DWP building near Eagle Rock High.  I used to walk by it on the way to school.  I have never seen these things lit up,   but I have always appreciated their design and details.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tile Arch

Here's another detail on an Eagle Rock home that you might not see as you drive by.  I love walking the streets of my home town!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In the Shadow

A very familiar tower is this bell tower at the OXY Johnson Student Center.  The glass cover is a newer addition but the tower is part of the original 1928 building.  If you couldn't see the tower you could probably still hear the bells chiming the hour. What a pleasant sound, and one that takes me right back to my childhood growing up across the street from OXY!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Anyone Guesses?

Here's an angle on an object that many people have seen but few have noticed!  Is it a prison? a military ship mast? No, it is one of the light towers at the OXY football field! 
When I was a kid my bedroom window looked out towards that field. When there was a game or event I could hear the announcers and the crowds cheering like it was right next door.  Back then, the light towers were much larger,  a giant rectangular bank of huge incandescent bulbs in big reflectors.  The light was so bright that I made shadow figures on my wall from the shaft of light coming through my window! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reading Light

These sconces are mounted on the exterior of the Old Carnegie Library,  now the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.  I don't remember these details as a kid, and they look new,  but they are certainly unique!  Are they reproductions or restored originals?  Does anyone know?