Well, my legions of serious book readers spotted the obvious in this latest mysterious history photograph – a Library! The photo is from a California southland magazine in the early 1920’s.
But whose library? And why was it significant enuf to be featured on Cafe Pasadena?!!
What is it: The Rare Books/Spanish Library Room at our historic Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. Here resided the first editions, the finely bound, rare, valuable book collection of its founder/owner A.C. Vroman.
Location/Description: Above the bookstore on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. If this photo was indeed taken in the early 1920s, then Vroman’s would have already moved from their original location, at 60 E. Colorado Blvd, down the block to 329 E. Colorado. This library was high above the bookstore below. Steep stairs, almost as narrow as a ladder lead to a quiet nook. Wood paneling, wood everywhere. Books behind glass enclosed shelves. Oh, and of course a fireplace that is not seen in this angle.
How Library Began: Founder A. C. Vroman was a devout book collector and avid photographer. In fact this was his 2nd collection. He sold his first in the 19th century to help fund the opening of Vroman’s. By the time of this photo he had long passed away but his book, and photograph, collection lived on through its donation to the Pasadena Public Library.
You can read much more of Vroman’s history in Jane Apostol’s Vroman’s of Pasadena. I suggest you buy it at Vroman’s bookstore.
Can you imagine yourself studying, reading, in that cozy library? The smell & feel of wood. Classics, rarities, in beautiful bindings and paper. In your hands. Quietude from the busy traffic of Colorado Blvd below. Surrounding, comforting you.
And now you know some of the rest of the story.
Gotta Rest. Stay Thirsty My Friends