Brick structures are relatively rare here in Southern California (we prefer stucco), so whenever I see a brick building, I have to stop and stare.
Recently, when I was up in Pasadena, I found not only a brick structure, but a tall brick structure.
Since I was driving in an unfamiliar area with a car tailgating me and nowhere to quickly park, I snapped a picture as I was driving by:
That is what I call a snapshot.
I even named it: “The Leaning Tower of Brick.”
First I straightened the tower, then added some contrast and sharpening, and lastly framed it in my own unique Russel Ray way:
Once I did that, I went searching to find out what it was and the history behind it. After all, I remind you, brick buildings are rare here in Southern California, especially really, really tall ones!
I did a Google search on “tall brick building downtown Pasadena.” That provided absolutely nothing. Then, remembering basically where I was, west of downtown Pasadena, I went to Google Maps, zoomed in to the street view, and then went strolling down the streets until I saw that tower in the distance. I Google Map-walked to it and found that it is St. Andrew’s Catholic Church at 311 N. Raymond Avenue.
St. Andrew’s is the oldest Catholic parish in Pasadena, having been founded in 1886. The church, including the brick Romanesque campanile bell tower, was built in 1927.
According to Wikipedia, “[The church] is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and important churches in Southern California. The style of architecture, without and within, is that of early Christian churches of the Byzantine era. The architect, Ross Montgomery, and the church’s pastor, Msgr. McCarthy, both traveled to Italy studying early Byzantine architecture to find inspiration for the [church].”
I think they succeeded.
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