Thursday, June 27, 2013


This was found behind the 1950's facade of the retail bays being renovated along Colorado Blvd.!

The retail bays are being restored and renovated to their 1920's appearance as part of the Hotel Constance restoration project, located on Colorado Blvd. from Mentor west to the Bank of America parking lot, with the most westerly bay being demolished, it being not of the same vintage as the rest. 

Under the 1950's facade covering we see an ancient king or philosopher in bas relief.  Could there be more of these allegorical figures under the blank and featureless newer facade?  Stay tuned!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Marcell Inn - The Signs

Still hoping to get one of these great signs.

Apparently, when prohibition ended in 1933, the Marcell Inn's popularity as an isolated speakeasy located in laxly patrolled by the L.A. County Sheriff dropped off, the isolated location became a liability and Marcell took to placing these signs on the more frequented highways and bi-ways in neighboring Pasadena and on North Foothill Blvd. which is now Altadena Drive.  Marcell wanted to make his place a watering hole and bookie joint for the horse racing crowd centered at the 1933 newly built and licensed for betting Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, horse racing had been illegal in California since 1909 and was allowed in 1933 once again, so exciting illicit behavior supported by the mob changed from rum running to illegal gambling in the back rooms of the former speakeasys of the area.  The mob had to make money some way now that alcohol was once again legal.  A searchlight was mounted on a tower at the Marcell Inn to help late night gamblers find the joint up at the top of Lincoln from the adjacent North Foothill Blvd., which in those days was well traveled by all those heading to points north.  Seems Marcell didn't do too well with the gambling and dealings with the mob so he sold his joint to the Mount Lowe Military Academy in 1937 and the rest is history.

I am looking forward to getting one of these signs, as I plan to make my house a museum when I'm gone anyway.  Just have to save up the endowment; I'm working on that now!  I want to emulate, on a very, very small scale, W.R. Hearst, J.P. Getty and H. Huntington, leaving something for future generations.  You'll have to have reservations, like the Getty Malibu, and be bussed to the site in a small minibus, since there will be no parking on site.  Well, we can dream, can't we?