Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Tree Lane's Mansions - G.G. Green's Mansion, Gartz' "The Cloister", McNally's Mansion, Theosophical Society's Mansion

All that's left of Colonel G.G. Green's mansion, Colonel Green the "Patent Medicine King" and namesake of Pasadena's Hotel Green and Green Street, is just Green's carriage house, which is just south of the present Altadena Library, located at Maripose and Santa Rosa. In 1961, the Altadena Library Board of Trustees bought Colonel Green's southeast corner mansion located at Santa Rosa and Mariposa and the northerly estate grounds, minus the grounds of the carriage house, to build a new library. Architect Boyd Georgi was hired in 1964 to design the modernistic library which was completed in 1967.

Also, on the northwest corner of Santa Rosa and Mariposa, stood the imposing mansion of Altadena/Pasadena social activist Kate Crane Gartz, "The Cloister", where she held a Sunday salon from the 1920's through the 1940's attended by socialist and left-wing political activists, authors, and actors such as Charlie Chaplin, Upton Sinclair, Mary Sinclair, Gaylord Wilshire, Mary Wilshire, George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and other well known personalities of the day.

Gartz mansion is also gone, demolished after her death to be replaced by a Girl Scout campground.

On the southeast corner of Santa Rosa and Mariposa, we have the still extant Andrew McNally estate, showplace home of the map printing magnate from Chicago who built a maginificent edifice replete with a wing housing the interior smoking room of the "Turkish Pavilion" from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The mansion was surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens now subdivided for newer homes.

On the northeast corner of Santa Rosa and Mariposa, we have the imposing estate and gardens of the "International Headquarter of the Theosophical Society" which was formerly located on Point Loma in San Diego, a Utopian campus created by famed founder Madame Blavatsky.

The Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony will be this year on December 11. Here are the details, be sure not to miss it:

I like to tell everybody that I live near Christmas Tree Lane and in the shadow of Mt. Lowe, which I can see from my living room and bedroom window. Aren't we very lucky to live here?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Henries Toys, 1328 North Lake Avenue, Lake Washington Village, 1947 to ?

Here is what appears to be Henries Toys in circa 1978, what is now the Billard Parlor. The added on arches are not attractive. Were these false facades added due to earthquake damage from the Sylmar quake of 1971? No wonder I overlooked this dreary looking place back in the late 1970's, as the wonderful Cornet 5 & 10 was directly across the street and inviting!
Here the March 1st, 1967 Pasadena Star News page showing the Lake Washington Village Dollar Days advertising with Henries Toys having a big sale. Looks inviting!

Here a list of Marklin train dealers from about 1967. Marklin of Germany is the oldest toy company still in business in the world, since 1859, and has always been a high quality maker of high end expensive toy and model trains. Suprising to find Henries as an outlet....

Here the section showing Henries as an outlet for Marklin trains, but a discrepancy with the address. This will require more research. Even Model Grocery on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena was a dealer of Marklin trains, and it appears that Model Grocery was a purveyor of fine things besides high quality groceries.

Here a Marklin catalog from the mid 1960's
We've discussed Henries Toys on North Lake in the Lake Washington Village previously, but I thought I would provide what I believe to be a photo of the last iteration of Henries as a discount toy outlet. Not a pretty picture.
We know Henries Toys survived more than 20 years, as they were celebrating their 20th anniversary in 1967 according to their advertisements in the local papers of the day. Does anyone have any memory of buying cherished childhood toys and hobbies at Henries? I'm a vintage toy and train collector and had many Shuco wind up toys in the 1950's, later Marklin trains, really nice quality toys from old Germany. Don't remember buying any at Henries though.
Please let me know what you remember about Henries Toys. We are trying to get the "Original Whistle Stop" train shop http://www.thewhistlestop.com/ and their wonderful animated projecting neon sign http://www.thewhistlestop.com/images/22.jpg to relocate to Lake Washington Village, so please keep your fingers crossed! What kind of shops would you like see return or locate to the Lake Washington Village?