Thursday, September 15, 2005

Rekindling Saint Germain's Violet Flame

CENTRAL & UNIVERSITY SE--The old laundry always sparked an interest among people who gazed at it: those art deco letters stating "PIG & CALF" acr0ss the front of the building and a picture of a pig and calf at each end of the sign. And not just a picture either, these were actually a part of the glazed tiles that the building was made from. That is why they are still visible after 60 years. They don't make buildings with that kind of glazed material anymore. In fact, they don't make those tiles at all. They cannot be replaced.

And then there is the postcard. It was called "The Pig Stand Cafe" at that time. The neat thing is that it gives an interior view of the restaurant as well as the exterior. It is really quite a striking structure.

Well, good news. The former laundry (which went by the name of Saint Germain's Violet Flame when I first moved here...a reference, I thought, to the gas-fueled dryers) is going to be a restaurant again. It will be serving pita sandwiches. I think it might even be called "The Pita Pit."

And most important to some of us, they are doing their best to preserve a lot of the historical nature of the building! This includes the tiled mosaic designs on the walls of the building. They are still there!

It is heartwarming to see buildings of a distinctive character rejuvenated like this...even if it is only a former pig stand!

1 comment:

hypowren said...

I'm glad you wrote about the history of this building. I walk by it all the time on my way to school/work, and I've always wondered about it. There seem to be so many layers of interesting things there: the pig and calf icons, the odd lettering on the "St. Germain's" sign. I'm glad to know that the building will be turned into something good, and that they're not going to destroy its interesting parts..