Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Castle Green - a slice of old school comfort

Around the end of the 1890's, Pasadena was becoming a winter and holiday destination for the nation's elite. The warm climate, the verdant green of lush gardens and the beautiful San Gabriel mountains were a magnificent backdrop and lure to travelers from the East.

There were quite a few grand resort hotels that went up - Hotel Raymond, built in 1886; The Hotel Wentworth, built in 1907, which later became the Huntington Hotel, officially in 1914, and now the Langhorne; and Hotel Maryland, built in the early 1900's and was adjacent to the Hotel Green. These last two were close to the train line that connected with  Union Station, in downtown Los Angeles. A wonderful oasis of friends, parties and the start of the Rose Parade awaited you here.

The left portion of the Hotel Green (below), now referred to as Castle Green, was built in 1898. The bridge connected it to the original part of the hotel, which burnt down.

Castle Green has six stories, with turrets on several levels, a grand staircase and many regal spaces for entertaining and sitting on a wide veranda. This was built to last and made fire-proof.  Fires were a scary event that kept destroying other hotels with the advent of electricity and faulty wiring.

Here are some interior shots 

There have been quite a few famous residents living there - Marcel Duchamp - famous for his Nude Descending a Staircase, Tim Burton, the film maker, and several films, like The Sting and the Little Rascals had scenes filmed there.

The Veranda, all the more pleasant with chairs set up for your comfort!
 The Castle Green opens up a couple times in the year for tours, and there are multitudes of weddings going on most weekends.

The Castle Green has seen some down days...like anything, it's upkeep is dependent on the economy. But for those who have lived there for many years, they cherish both the very civilized attributes to 'hotel' living with concierges and elevator men on the ready to help you out and the independence of living quietly among some very interesting bedfellows.

Sometimes nostalgia for a more romantic period overtakes me. This was hilariously depicted in the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel and makes me want to live in a place such as this. There is a lot of life packed into the wood-worked, velvet-curtained interiors.

Hope you'll get to visit sometime.

Here's a link to some Castle Green history.

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