Sunday, March 30, 2014

Evanston Inn: Don't give up the ghost

I say this as a friend, so take it in the spirit it's given.


Yes, yes, we are all responsible for our own lives and our own choices. But honey, since you started keeping company with that feller of yours, that development corporation,



well, let me cut to the skinny. You look like shit. Bandaids everywhere, all black-and-blue and beat up. It hurts every time I drive by. Of course I've tried knocking, but you're too proud to answer.



Anyway, I suppose you'd claim the usual excuses. "I walked into a door," or "I fell down the stairs."


I hope I'm wrong, Sugar. But the way I see it, this guy, he's going to let you fall in the next good windstorm, without even a backward glance.

Later, he'll play to the crowd, pretend shock and sorrow; sob, "But I loved her!"

After the excavation, internment, and a brief period of mourning, the papers will quote him, "One can't grieve forever. Onward and upward."

Within six months we'll have five floors of beige and orange condos.


"So all my words, however true,
might sing you through a thousand Junes.
And no one will ever know that you,
were beauty for an afternoon." FSF

23 comments:

  1. I don't recall the FSF ditty. It's not from Gatsby, is it? I like it a lot.

    Remember that prof I mentioned and tried to paraphrase a year or two ago? "We always think of setting good against evil, and it doesn't work. Maybe it's time to set beauty against evil." His words were better. And maybe he made me realize just how important beauty is, not that I ever belittled it.

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  2. I do remember that, Banjo. I'm in his, your, camp. (The poem is from This Side of Paradise. A stepping stone to GG.)

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  3. it doesn't look good if the house next door is shuttered too

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  4. Sad to think about this once grand inn being razed for more condos. FSF quote very fitting.

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  5. It looks like your guess may be right, Karin. I'm not fond of orange and beige condos. If anything, fix up the place and divide it into apartments. The lesser of evils.

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  6. When I read the title I thought you were writing about something in Evanston, Illinois. Many of my colleagues in Chicago lived in Evanston and commuted. I'll always love the Midwestern sensibility. It's a something... a plain honesty, a straight talk or level way of being accutely noticed by one (me) born and raised in the land of the phoney.

    I appreciate the tone of speaking to this abused and neglected beauty. Poor darling old starlet with the artful bone structure that can never be outshone by the newer, younger leading ladies. And, I love Banjo's response.

    As you know, I'm a sucker for project houses. I've got mine and plenty of love for it but no $ to support her restoration and recovery, at the moment. Still, my gal has her lovely long, narrow 1890 windows and her wood floor, gouged and paint splattered. She's gritty. Though mine is not as grand as this Evanston Inn. And, love goes only so far. The magic of the investor's dream and wherewithal to implement it has to take over for the greater good to be fully realized.

    As Petrea points out, a savvy lover with the $ could create or recreate something extraordinary of the place instead of another bland new thing. History is worth so much more than we know. Every building like this one should be preserved.

    There's an extraordinary rooming house on Marengo just around the corner from Trader Joe's in Pasadena that I've been meaning to photograph in its current decrepit state. Like you here with this, I have a feeling she is not long for this world and it makes me sad, at the same time it strengthens my love and appreciation for those early Midwesterners, building their sturdy foundations in a set designer's paradise.

    Pretty Woman was a movie that glazed over the reality of becoming just another hooker in place that bills itself as a center to elevate and appreciate beauty. FSF knew that game as a screenwriter all too well.

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  7. Nooooo!!!! That breaks my heart!!! She's a grand beauty...

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  8. I wonder if someone will reclaim the wood: beauty reborn. Do you have heartpine wood flooring or is that a regional thing, maybe you haveisomething equivalent?

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  10. What a grand Lady! She certainly is deserving of respect and dignity in her twilight years. What a shame it'll be if your prediction comes true and she's replaced by some young upstart with no tasted whatsoever.

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  11. KB, what are you doing?
    Didn't you already used these photos and wrote about the Evanston??
    Are you Ok???

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  12. Dianne, if I recall, the original owners came from Evanston, Illinois. And we're talking about the same place -- this is on Marengo, about two blocks north of TJs. We should revive our old Trespasser's group and hold a high tea on the grounds.

    Paula, I think much of the turn of the century flooring was quarter sown oak.

    CP, the boarded-up photos were from two weeks ago. Not much has changed in a year, has it?

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  13. I always feel sad over the "Then and Now" photos in our Sunday paper. This Victorian beauty isn't looking good.

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  14. See it's on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Pasadena is interesting because of its long-ago architecture. Sorry to see this place fall into the state it's in.

    Must have had quite a history. Off on a side street . . . and now I'm curious why there.

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  15. I know someone who lived here not so long ago. It was a dump, but a beautiful dump.

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  16. Seems like it should be a historical landmark...

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  17. is beige and orange better than blue glass and steel? I don't know..

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  18. Very beautiful style and architecture!
    I enlarged the first photo and I can see a lady on the garden.
    I hope this building will be considered historical patrimony.

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  19. When I pass such historical icons I send up a hope that someone who cares will get involved to save it. In 2006-2007 my son rented a room in a mansion in Boston, and the place was in terrible shape. We talked about the possibilities and what we'd do if we had the million or so they were asking for it. It was sold, renovated, and just three years later was a gorgeous, stately single family home worth millions. Maybe in my next life ~

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  20. He can replace her with as many condos as he wants, they won't hold a candle to this beauty. Newer, is rarely better...

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  21. Gina just posted this on my blog. Looks like they may not be tearing it down?
    http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Planning/evanstonscourt/

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  22. Wasn't there some guy who sort of hinted he'd give us a tour? Or maybe we just asked him for one.

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  23. I read through the comments. There's one by a former resident named Bill. That's the closest I can come to it, unless you know someone.
    http://pasadenadailyphoto.blogspot.com/2011/08/victorian-pile.html

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