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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Artist's Notebook -- Pasadena City Hall


Pasadena City Hall by Marion Eisenmann, Sept. 6, 2008

Marion sends her impressions of this Pasadena landmark, which was closed for a major restoration and renovation after being badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the 1991 Sierra Madre quake. As part of the work, the building's substructure was replaced with a system of base isolators to insulate it from further seismic damage.

Now that the retrofitting is done, the 1927 building sparkles like new, especially when it's lit up against the night sky.

Marion says: It is probably not the most accessible view of the Pasadena City Hall, yet the sky-high cypresses emphasize the monumental value of the architecture behind them.

There is no palm tree in the drawing, because there was none standing there, which is uncommon for a site in Pasadena. Just a few weeks ago I was commissioned to do a painting of the San Gabriel Mountains viewed from Pasadena. The person paid the full amount up-front and asked me to leave out the palm trees, she didn't like them. This just came to my mind, while I thought about the production of this pencil sketch. That's funny, no?


"Union Station"

"Olvera Street"

By the way, Daily Mirror readers have asked about buying copies of Marion's artwork. Naturally, the interest is gratifying because I think Marion's work is terrific and one of my great pleasures is sharing it with readers every week.

When we began this project, it was without any thought of sales so Marion and I hadn't discussed the matter until now. We decided that the project is still new and evolving, and that it's a journey about discovering Los Angeles rather than creating things to sell. Working as an independent artist, Marion is busy with other projects and says she isn't set up to mass-produce prints but she would entertain inquiries about specific pieces.

For further information, readers should contact Marion directly.

Note: In case you just tuned in, Marion and I are visiting local landmarks in a project inspired by what Charles Owens and Joe Seewerker did in Nuestro Pueblo. Check back next week for another page from Marion's notebook.

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Busby Berkeley.


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