Monday, October 3, 2011

Colonel Bliss

The death of Colonel Bliss, of the Adjutant General’s department, which occurred July 5th, 1853, promoted me to the captaincy of a company then stationed at Humboldt Bay, California. The notice reached me in September of the same year, and I very soon started to join my new command. There was no way of reaching Humboldt at that time except to take passage on a San Francisco sailing vessel going after lumber. Red wood, a species of cedar, which on the Pacific coast takes the place filled by white pine in the East, then abounded on the banks of Humboldt Bay. There were extensive saw-mills engaged in preparing this lumber for the San Francisco market, and sailing vessels, used in getting it to market, furnished the only means of communication between Humboldt and the balance of the world.   9
I was obliged to remain in San Francisco for several days before I found a vessel. This gave me a good opportunity of comparing the San Francisco of 1852 with that of 1853. As before stated, there had been but one wharf in front of the city in 1852—Long Wharf. In 1853 the town had grown out into the bay beyond what was the end of this wharf when I first saw it. Streets and houses had been built out on piles where the year before the largest vessels visiting the port lay at anchor or tied to the wharf. There was no filling under the streets or houses. San Francisco presented the same general appearance as the year before; that is, eating, drinking and gambling houses were conspicuous for their number and publicity. They were on the first floor, with doors wide open. At all hours of the day and night in walking the streets, the eye was regaled, on every block near the water front, by the sight of players at faro.    

Ulysses S. Grant (1822–85).  Personal Memoirs.  1885–86.  XV
San Francisco—Early California Ex
periences—Life on the Pacific Coast—Promoted Captain—Flush Times in California

Fairfax Pavilion, 142 Bolinas Rd., Fairfax, CA

The pavilion, built in 1921 by the Fairfax Fire Department, has served the community well for the past 85 years. It was built at an appropriate time, just after the fire at Maple Hall destroyed the town's major assembly hall.

The Fairfax Pavilion is a large historic building that hosts indoor soccer, basketball, dance classes and large community events.

Nelson Eddy sang here in 1934. (Fairfax,Sagar,William and Brian, p.81)
It appears that he performed at Dominican College right around the same time.
The Marin Music Chest – which turns 75 this year – invited many of the world’s greatest musical artists to present outdoor concerts at Forest Meadows on the campus of Dominican College well before it became a university.
The organization began in 1933, but had its first outdoor concert in September 1934. Subscribers could attend for 25 cents; nonsubscribers had to pay $3.
The debut artist was romantic baritone Nelson Eddy, who became internationally famous the next year when he played opposite Jeanette MacDonald in the musical film, “Naughty Marietta.” An Independent Journal story said the crowd was more than 4,000. Eddy made a second appearance in 1935 and was mobbed by autograph-seekers.
The concerts, a minimum of four a year, were held in the Forest Meadows area of the Dominican campus, to the right of the current home of the Marin Shakespeare Company. Concertgoers sat under the trees on 1,000 benches furnished by the chest.
Nelson Eddy

Among his final opera performances were three with the San Francisco Opera in 1934, when he was still "unknown." Marjory M. Fisher of the San Francisco News wrote of his December 8, 1934 performance of Wolfram in Tannhäuser, "Nelson Eddy made a tremendously fine impression ... he left no doubt in the minds of discerning auditors that he belongs in that fine group of baritones which includes Lawrence Tibbett, Richard Bonelli, and John Charles Thomas and which represents America's outstanding contribution to the contemporary opera stage."
Eddy signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), where he would make the first 14 of his 19 feature films.
Eddy made more than 290 recordings between 1935 and 1964, singing songs from his films, plus opera, folk songs, popular songs, Gilbert and Sullivan, and traditional arias from his concert repertoire.
On December 31, 1966, a few months before his death, Eddy and his nightclub partner, Gale Sherwood, sang 15 songs on Guy Lombardo's traditional New Year's Eve program, telecast from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. He and Jeanette McDonald were an item. Jeanette MacDonald’s older sister Blossom Rock played “grandmama” on the original TV series The Addams Family.
 In March 1967, Eddy was singing "Dardanella" at the Sans Souci Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, when he was stricken on stage with a cerebral hemorrhage. His singing partner, Gale Sherwood, and his accompanist, Ted Paxson, were at his side. He died a few hours later in the early hours of March 6, 1967, at the age of 65. Eddy's meticulously annotated scores (some with his caricatures sketched in the margins) are now housed at Occidental College Music Library in Los Angeles. His personal papers and scrapbooks are at the University of Southern California Cinema/Television Library, also in Los Angeles. During his 40-year career, he earned three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (one each for film, recording, and radio), left his footprints in the wet cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater, earned three Gold records, and was invited to sing at the third inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Jerry performed here on
8/22/81 Jerry Garcia band

1.)^Fairfax,Sagar,William and Brian, p.81
2.)^Rich, Sharon, Nelson Eddy: The Opera Years, Bell Harbour Press, 2001. 
3.)^Kiner, Larry, Nelson Eddy: A Bio-Discography, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, 1992. A near-complete list of every recording and radio show of Eddy's, including song titles, photos and other important facts.

Event Center, 290 South 7th and San Carlos St., San Jose, CA

Event Center squirrel

On the main campus of San José State University. The Event Center was built and opened in May, 1989 and is home to the SJSU Spartans men's and women's basketball teams.

Seating capacity 5000

Jerry performed here on
4/25/92 Jerry Garcia Band

Esby Gym, Glassboro State, 201 Mullica Hill Rd., Glassboro, NJ

Seating 1500

In 1917, 107 residents of Glassboro raised more than $7,000 to purchase 25 acres, which they offered to the state for free if the borough was selected as the site. The land tract included the Whitney mansion (now known as Hollybush) and carriage house. Before the purchase, the entire property belonged to the Whitney family, prominent owners of the Whitney Glass Works during the 1800's. This show of support, along with the site's natural beauty, convinced the selection committee that Glassboro was the perfect location.

Bunce Hall

In September 1923, Glassboro Normal School opened with 236 students arriving by train to convene in the school's first building, now called Bunce Hall. Dr. Jerohn Savitz, the institution's first president, expanded the curriculum as the training of teachers became more sophisticated.

As one of America’s most popular poets, Robert Frost was awarded Pulitzer Prizes for poetry in 1924, 1931, 1937, and 1943. Between Pulitzers two and three in April 1935, he brought his verses to campus.
An eyewitness account:
"Recalled for me a spring day in 1935 when Mr. Frost visited the small State Teachers' College at Glassboro, N.J. . . .
He held us spellbound for more than an hour, despite the sounding of buzzers signifying the period's end, and while the next class came quietly in and stood listening at the back of the room . ."(2)

The renowned Carl Sandburg— poet, essayist, novelist, biographer, children’s book author, and Pulitzer Prize winner— came to campus in October 1936 and again in December 1978.

Despite the rigors of the Depression, the program was expanded to four years in 1934, and in 1937 the school changed its name to New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro. The college gained a national reputation as a leader in the field of reading education and physical therapy when it opened a clinic for children with reading disabilities in 1935 and added physical therapy for the handicapped in 1944. The college was one of the first in the country to recognize these needs and was in the forefront of the special education movement.
Rowan's second president, Dr. Edgar Bunce, created a junior college program in 1946 to serve World War II veterans taking advantage of the GI Bill.

In the 1950's, Dr. Thomas Robinson, the University's third president, expanded the curriculum, increased enrollment and added several buildings to the campus.

In 1958, the school's name was changed to Glassboro State College to better reflect its mission.

The Temptations performed here in 1967.

October 30, 1970 - Black Sabbath played their first American gig here.(1)

Baton in hand, world-renowned conductor Arthur Fiedler brought part of the Boston Pops and his genius to the campus in 1972.

September 29, 1973 - Actress Jane Fonda spoke out against the Vietnam War in Esby Gym.(1)

Timothy Leary spoke about his theories on space migration, intelligence increase and life extension here in October, 1976.(1)

Dizzie Gillespie performed here in 1978. "You only have so many notes," John Birks Gillespie once explained, "and what makes a style is how you get from one note to the other."(1)

Known as Rowan University after a $100 million donation by Henry and Betty Rowan in 1992.

Jerry performed here on
2/15/81 Jerry Garcia Band[3]

1.)^Quigley, Patricia A., Classics and Culture, 75 Years of Big Name Visitors to Campus, Rowan Magazine, Fall 1998, vol. 4, #1, pg.26-32.
2.)^Frost, Robert,Frost, Elinor, Frost, Arnold E., Family Letters of Robert and Elinor Frost, Volume 873951875.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

EMU Ballroom, University Of Oregon, 1228 13th and University St., Eugene, OR

Erb Memorial Union, April 6, 1956

Capacity 760

Architect: Lawrence, Tucker and Wallman.
Design work began in Jan. 1945 on the long-desired student union. Plans were initially developed by H. Abbott Lawrence, son of Ellis. F. Lawrence, who briefly held the partnership Lawrence and Lawrence until Ellis Lawrence's death in 1946. Design work ended by Aug. 1948. Early concepts included a high-rise hotel. Construction began in Oct. 1948 and ended in 1950. Planned for 25 years, Lawrence, Tucker & Wallman revised the plans after Lawrence's death.

Since 1950, the Erb Memorial Union has been the gathering place for campus activities.

After several UO presidents who served relatively short terms, Donald Erb was selected at age thirty-seven, in part because it was believed he would give the university a president with a long tenure.  With the national economy improving somewhat, Erb used his considerable patience and powers of persuasion to gain the return of science classes to the UO. World War II saw students and faculty members depart for military service, but Erb foresaw their return and worked to prepare the university for an influx of ex-GIs when the war ended. In line with this, he also successfully lobbied the state board for funds for a student union building, an idea that had originated with former President Campbell in the 1920s. Erb, however, did not live to see this project completed, as he died of pneumonia in 1943 at age forty-three. The completed student union was named after Erb and dedicated as a memorial to him and to those from the university who served and died in World War II. erb was president from 1938-1943.

The EMU Ballroom is a box-shaped hall with the stage at the narrow end of the rectangle, with doors leading out to a deck to stage left and doors to the student union interior to stage right.

William Beaty Boyd, the president of the University Of Oregon from 1975-1980, regretted his decision not to allow The Graduate to film on the campus—so much so that he practically gave director John Landis the key to the university for Animal House. He even let Landis use his own office for Dean Wormer’s.
"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

 The 'free speech plaza' was long envisioned as part of the EMU's features and the 1998 project restored that concept which alterations after the 1950 original design impeded.

Seating capacity 760.

Jerry performed here on
1/30/68 Grateful Dead
12/15/74 Merl Saunders

Ellis Lawrence Building Survey. v.2 (Eugene). Compiled by the Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon ; project directors, Michael Shellenbarger, Kimberly Lakin. [Salem, Or.] : State Historic Preservation Office, [1989]. "Erb Memorial Union." in Style and Vernacular: A Guide to the Architecture of Lane County, Oregon. Portland: Western Imprints, 1983, p. 51.

McMillan, Adell. A Common Ground: Erb Memorial Union 1950-2000, University of Oregon. Eugene, Or.: Xlibris Corporation, c2003.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

E.M. Loew's, 261 Main St., Worcester, MA

Architect: Arlan W. Johnson

The theatre opened as the Plymouth Theatre on November 24, 1928. According to the Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ it did have a 2/8 Robert Morton organ. The newspaper article on the opening identified "Buddy" Webber at the console of Our Mighty Organ.
A venue for mainly movies and vaudeville performances.
Operated by Alfred Gottesman who sold out to Warner Bros. in 1929.(3)

The theatre then had a rectangular marquee with white letters on a black background. Attractions were “This Thing Called Love” and “Dangerous Game”. There appears to be a ticket booth in the center under the marquee. The street in front consists of cobblestones and also trolley tracks. The Report says the Plymouth is on Main St.,that it has been playing MGM product for over 10 years; is over 15 years old (in 1941) and in Fair condition. Seating is listed as 1400 on the main floor and 1200 in the balcony, total: 2600. (these figures were probably rounded up.) Competing theatres are listed as the Olympia (Art), and the Elm Street. Worcester’s population in 1941 was 193,000.

Nate Goldberg, manager of the Plymouth, discovered a Worcester GI played an extra in a scene for “Paisan” and capitalized on it, the story hitting page one of the dailies when the picture played the Plymouth. It became the  E. M. Loew Center for the Performing Arts on April 14, 1980 and the Palladium after that.(1)

It was featured on Sci-Fi's "Ghost Hunters" series on 4/6/06 (Bryan Krefft).
The marquee still has E.M. Loew's on it.

"I am the janitor of the Palladium in Worcester, MA. It holds 2160 patrons, not 2633. It is a wonderful place to work for a lover of older architecture. I will never tire of caring for my old theatre. The original chandelier from its movie palace days still lights the balcony. The bowling alley in the basement is long since defunct. Most of the old marble, (stairs, walls) is still intact. Though long unused, the screen is still perched high above the stage. My old theatre is still alive and kicking and I do love it dearly."(8)

The "upstairs" room is small and wonderful but I wonder what it was originally? It's just above lobby level and lies under the floor of the main theatre. Anyone know what it was originally?(5)

It's hand-painted architecture stands the test of time and can be still seen to this day. The velvet curtains, elegant columns, and central chandelier were all common in theatres during the early twentieth century, but it would be rare to see such detail put into a chain movie theatre being built today. Besides the Palladium’s main theatre hall, there were offices upstairs that housed dentists, dance studios, and a foot support company, and in the basement there once was a bowling alley. The main theatre went through its’ club stages, endured multiple renovations, and today has a two bars - one downstairs and one upstairs. The downstairs theatre serves as a live concert venue for mainly non-mainstream and/or up and coming bands of multiple genres and the upstairs is mainly reserved for small acts or local bands. (Adam Straughn)

There is a balcony which is rarely seen open, but the main area is tiered to allow for better viewing. The main floor is on the smaller side, but just makes the venue feel more informal. There is no AC, no ventilation.

Featured on Sci-Fi's "Ghost Hunters" television series in 2006.

Jerry performed here on
11/9/82 Early and late shows Jerry Garcia Band

1.)^Boxoffice magazine, 1949-03-19.
2.)^sat123, comments, 2012-03-12,
3.Goodkin, Barry, comments, 2007-10-09,
4.)^rsalters, comments, 2007-04-22,
5.)^ododson3, comments, 2006-09-09,
6.)^btkrefft, comments, 2006-04-06,
7.)^Goodkin, Barry, comments, 2005-10-25,
8.)^(T.R.Koski, comments, 2005-09-22,
9.)^Keenan, Walter, comments, 2012-11-09,
E. M. Loew, "Worcester Palladium (E.M. Loew’s)," in Digital Worcester, Item #192,

Eisenhower Auditorium, 101 Eisenhower Ave., University Park, PA

Opened in 1974 and later named for former University President Milton S. Eisenhower, the modern-style auditorium hosts almost 200 events each year. Most of the events presented by the Center for the Performing Arts occur on the Eisenhower stage.(1)
Dwight and Milton Eisenhower
Milton Stover Eisenhower, (September 15, 1899 – May 2, 1985) served as president of three major American universities: Kansas State University, the Pennsylvania State University (1950-56), and the Johns Hopkins University. He was the younger brother of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Edgar N. Eisenhower, and Earl D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower served as Director of Information for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1928 to 1941, where he was a spokesman for the New Deal. In 1942, he was director of the War Relocation Authority, the U.S. civilian agency responsible for the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and from 1942 to 1943.
Milton Eisenhower died of cancer in Baltimore, Maryland in May 1985, at the age of 85.

The Milton S. Eisenhower Auditorium is Penn State's major multi-purpose performing arts facility and home to the Center for the Performing Arts.  The 2,455/2,551 seat (depending on orchestra requirements) proscenium stage theatre presents programs by nationally and internationally recognized performers in music, drama and dance, and is open all year to the Central Pennsylvania community.

Jerry performed here on
11/16/84 John Kahn (acoustic)


East Gym, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

Official dedication of the East Gym was held on Oct. 18, 1957.
originally called the “HSC Gymnasium", with the designation “East Gym” originating when construction on the Forbes Complex addition, including the “West Gym” was completed in the mid 70s.

The first basketball game played in the East Gym was an exhibition matchup between the Lumberjacks and the traveling Harlem Clowns on Dec. 10, 1957. Humboldt State dropped that contests, 72-64, despite 22 points from Jerry Hathaway. In their first official intercollegiate contest in their new home, the Lumberjacks defeated Central Washington, 51-49, on Thursday, Dec. 19, 1957.
Bleachers supply the primary seating for the East Gym.

“I can remember the bad lighting, the dark floor, the old bleachers and the wood side backboards,” Tom Wood said. “There’s been quite a change over the years. But the Marching Lumberjacks (band) has been one constant that has been there almost every game.”
Following 51 years of occupancy, the HSU intercollegiate athletics program, along with the kinesiology program, are scheduled to move into their brand new facility across Union Street in 2008.

Jerry performed here on
11/13/76 Early and late shows Jerry Garcia Band

Dupont Gym, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, 120 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Originally built as a State Armory, but was later acquired by MIT and converted to a gymnasium in an early example of "adaptive re-use" on the MIT campus.
Opened in 1959, the building is named for David Flett DuPont, an M.I.T. student of Metalurgy, who contributed a million dollars toward the improvement of athletic facilities, whose bequest also facilitated the building of twelve outdoor tennis courts.
In 2012 it's known as the DuPont Athletic Center.

Jerry performed here on
5/7/70 with New Riders Of The Purple Sage and Grateful Dead