CASTLE GREEN

CASTLE GREEN

I have lived in many parts of the world over my lifetime.

New York. North Carolina. Paris. I have spent considerable time in Turkey, Cambodia and England. Most of the time the reason I get to spend five to six months in different parts of the world is because of my job: Being an actress working in cheap movies where the major focus in the plot is how many times my top comes off.

I spent three months in the Philippines shooting a picture that is only now becoming “famous” in Pakistan and India due to reasons I can not fathom. I mean, would you pay, hard cold Rupees for a glimpse of my bare breasts? I was even invited to Lahore, Pakistan, to accept an award for Caged Heat 2 : Stripped of Freedom” and I went — that shows serious dedication not to the love of film making but to the love of traveling to parts even today’s Reality Shows wouldn’t go.

I spent months in Spain and Mallorca working on a film for Playboy that had nothing to do with any real plot but plenty to do with how naked can the production folks convince me it was a “good career move,” only to end up stuck in Paris without a dime or a ticket home, and praying for a Franc to drop mysteriously from the sky. Trust me being broke in Paris, without a Franc or Dollar is seriously horrible — there are not cheap “flop houses” in Paris, there is no cheap food and a Baguette even twenty years ago ran you about five dollars. There were times I felt like I was a puppy on the wrong side of the window looking in as I would pass one bakery after another waiting for a check to arrive from the film company. There were days, I would walk the streets of Paris and pray for a ticket to Cleveland, Ohio, over one more day at The Louvre
.

But I love… Architecture
. And I, especially, love History. Doesn’t matter where in the world I can be — if that place has six months of history? I am so there. Ha.

One of my favorite places here in Los Angeles is this place:

Castle Green

And, since I have to run to another doctor’s appointment in a few minutes — I have ripped off Castle Green’s historical information from their website for you all to read.

Castle Green in Pasadena CA, as it looked back in the 1920s. Photo courtesy http://www.castlegreen.com/

Castle Green in Pasadena CA, as it looked back in the 1920s. Photo courtesy http://www.castlegreen.com/

One of Pasadena’s most unique buildings, the Castle Green was built in 1898 as the annex for the famous Hotel Green. The Castle Green is an imposing seven story Moorish Colonial and Spanish style building sitting next to Central Park in Old Pasadena at Raymond and Green Street. The Castle Green was built by Col. George G. Green of the Patent Medicine Business.

The Castle Green, opened in 1899 as the second of three buildings in the Hotel Green complex, was a lavish resort for easterners and others escaping winter rigors. Architect Frederick I. Roehrig, for what was later to be called the Central Annex, drew on Moorish, Spanish, Victorian, and other stylistic elements to produce Pasadena’s most stunningly original building. He blended domes, arches, pillars, balconies, and verandahs in a building of structural steel with brick walls and concrete floors, making it Pasadena’s first fireproof building. He tied it to the first part of the hotel complex, built on the east side of the street, by an ornate enclosed bridge crossing Raymond Avenue. When the Annex opened for business, its two cylindrical towers on the south and much of the roof line were illuminated with exterior lights. There was even a penthouse garden with a glass roof.

The Hotel Green became the social center of Pasadena, playing host to vacationing tycoons and even presidents. It was also home to both the Tournament of Roses and the Valley Hunt Club.

At the end of the resort era, the west annex was purchased by a group of regular hotel guests who wished to continue to come to the Hotel Green. In 1924 the group of investors divided the hotel complex into three parts. The Central Annex was divided into fifty individually owned units and so it remains today, renamed the Castle Green.

A side note to all this is that each year, for a fee, the folks who live in these condos put on a “Twenties” show. The entire building is opened to the public and the folks living there dress up from the time period. They do this because, I think, this place attracts truly artistic and obviously crazy folks to want to open up their real homes for a bunch of strangers to walk from unit to unit going “oooh-ahhh” but mostly they do this, because the financial cost to maintain these beautiful building as original as possible costs dough. Lots of post 1920’s cold hard cash.

So I shot some pictures of these silly folks and next time you find yourself in Pasadena — check Castle Green out. Especially, check it out on that one day each year they turn the clocks back to one of my favorite periods in time.

 
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