I have a thing for Palm Trees.
I was raised in the American Midwest, and Palm Trees just weren’t part of the natural urban environment of St. Louis, Mo.
The arched, dome topped building is the Emeryville, California Town Hall, built in the late 19th or an early part of the 20th Century. The way that unique, classic building entry is framed by those two beautiful Palms, gave me a kick every time I went by there.
A few years ago, City Hall expanded, adding the modern glass structure (and more Palm Trees).
Every time, I drove by, I thought, the contrast of these two buildings was a picture I wanted to take.
So I did.
Emeryville has a colorful past, and probably a bright future.For most of the 20th Century, it housed slaughterhouses, manufacturing, steel mills and warehouses. There was also a period when it was known for its speakeasies, bordellos and gambling houses. Local legend has it that one of its Mayors conducted most City business from a local saloon, rather than City Hall (how could he not want to spend time in that great building!).
With the American decline in manufacturing, Emeryville looked like ghost town for a few years, but it seems to have turned around in the 1990s as shopping (IKEA), bio-tech (Chiron/Novartis) and other tech concerns moved in (most notably, Pixar).
As I was shooting this photo, a Model T pickup truck rolled through, driving past the “old” Emeryville building, and moving towards the new.
It was just dumb luck that I was standing there with a camera-a happy accident.