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October 30, 2008

The year 2008 marks the 100th birthday of the Gamble House in Pasadena, CA, the most famous residential work by architects Charles and Henry Greene. (No relation.) But in these precarious financial times, perhaps equally notable is the 112th anniversary of Greene & Greene's only extant commercial commission: Crown City Loan & Jewelry, Pasadena's signature pawn shop.

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GreenandGreen

Formerly known as the Joseph N. Kinney building (1896), this is a Greene & Greene that any visitor can stroll through without a docent: it's located in the heart of Pasadena's rejuvenated main shopping drag, along Colorado Boulevard. A couple decades ago, Colorado was a deteriorating stretch of boarded-up storefronts, with the Crown City pawn as its anchor. Now the store is an interesting anachronism on a bustling commercial thoroughfare—although these days, the pawn business is booming again.

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