Monday, July 6, 2009

A visit to Pomona

I took a drive out to Pomona yesterday.

I knew next to nothing about this small Inland Empire town, but there's a very good backgrounder on Pomona's history here thanks to (although "Metro Ponoma" might be pushing it a bit).

Pomona in the early days, coutesy of Metro Ponoma.

There are a few more-or-less preserved architectural keepsakes in the town center, but fewer than one would hope. The Masonic Temple (1909) is in a style that might be called "bumpkin Beaux-Arts," but the building is still in use by the local Masons, bless their compass-and-angle-wielding hearts:

Masonic Temple, Ponoma (1909)

Masonic Temple side view

Masonic Temple Beaux-Arts cornice and roof detail

Just nextdoor is a handsome storefront building, the Rockroth (1910). It's no major architectural statement, but it's nicely maintained and has a lovely street-feel that made me want to set up shop then and there . . . perhaps selling nostalgia?

The Rockroth Building (1910)

The Craftsman-esque Seventh Day Adventist Church a couple of blocks away is a bit the worse for wear, but seems to be have great potential for restoration. It flanks a lovely winding block of Gordon Street planted with glorious cottonwoods in full bloom.

Seventh Day Adventist Church

It's difficult to be cynical about the many little places like Pomona that made Southern California a small-town paradise for so many people in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They're as much as part of our history as urban/urbane Los Angeles.


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