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October 26, 2007

Grand Chromolithograph of Castle Green in Old Town Pasadena

30. [CALIFORNIA]. [OLD TOWN PASADENA: CASTLE GREEN & HOTEL GREEN COMPLEX]. Anonymous untitled oversize chromolithograph of the resort in Old Town Pasadena, California. N.p., n.d. [ca. 1903]. Image size: 32 x 118.5 cm. Overall sheet size: 36 x 122 cm. Other than a few minor nicks and short tears to blank margins, a very fine, brilliant copy.

            The image offers a grand view of the lavish resort-hotel complex, with its rambling red-tiled architecture blended from Spanish, Moorish, and Victorian styles and other stylistic elements incorporating domes, arches, pillars, balconies, and verandahs. Many consider the complex the most unique structure in a town filled with many an architectural delight. Atop the four domes fly flags and banners, including the Stars and Stripes and the red and green banner of Hotel Green. Lush plant life adorns the ground–palm trees, conifers, cactus, and an array of brilliant blooms. A transition in transportation modes is documented by the presence of horse-drawn carriages and early open automobiles puffing out little streams of white smoke. Many people are milling about, attired in fancy late Victorian garb—long, flowing, bustled gowns and top hats, some carrying umbrellas to shade themselves from the bright sun. The brilliant blue sky and white clouds floating past form a backdrop for the magnificent California mountains.

            A landmark of Old Town Pasadena architecture, the complex was built between 1898 and 1903 to cater to Easterners and others wishing to escape winter rigors. The complex became the social center of Pasadena and hosted many luminaries, including presidents. Castle Green is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Architectural trivia: Castle Green is home to the oldest elevator on the West Coast and was the first fireproof building in Pasadena. ($300-500)

Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $587.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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