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Pasadena Pawn Shop Owners Fixing Up Mixed-Use Greene & Greene

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Here's the pitch: a father and son buy a fifty year old pawn shop on a corner in fancy Old Pasadena. They find out they've got the only known commercial building by architects Greene & Greene and eventually decide to fix it up with the help of a wacky local architect. Highjinks ensue. That's more or less the story with Crown City Loan and Jewelry, which sits at Colorado and Raymond in a late 1800s building where the Greenes also had offices at one point (although we have no idea if architect Steve Dahl is wacky or not). The building also has 16 apartments on the upper floors, with access by original stairway and balustrade, but the front of the building is only from 1929, when, according to the Pasadena Star-News "14 feet was sheared off the Greene and Greene and every building on Colorado Boulevard to widen the street. New, often Art Deco, frontages were attached." The paper adds that the pawnbrokers have so far found "intricate wrought iron, an arched transom window, red and black Carrara glass panels long hidden under painted metal plates, and vintage lettering from previous businesses." The owners say the facade work is "Phase One," and that they also plan to eventually renovate the interior. [1984 photo of the building by Terry Griest via Pasadena Daily Photo]
· Old Pasadena pawnshop has prestigious pedigree revealed [PSN]