Pasadena Heritage continuously works, both proactively and in response to specific threats, to preserve and protect historic resources throughout the City of Pasadena. Below is a list of high priority buildings, sites, and development projects that we are monitoring closely.
Green Street Ficus Trees
Pasadena Heritage is concerned about the iconic Ficus trees that line Green Street and are integral to the City's unique character. Several mature but apparently diseased trees are proposed for removal. Pasadena Heritage urges the retention and proper care of all healthy trees.
Langham Huntington Picture Bridge
One of the few remaining historic features on the Langham Huntington property, the Picture Bridge is in a deteriorated state. Architect Myron Hunt designed the heavy timber pedestrian bridge, which was completed in 1913. In 1933, 40 triangular painted panels by artist Frank Montague Moore depicting various California scenes were added. Working with hotel staff, a team of consultants is now considering how to address the problems facing the bridge. Pasadena Heritage recently met with the team and is studying their recommendations.
Pasadena Avenue Historic District
This National-Register-eligible historic district is within the S.R. 710 Corridor and contains a significant collection of early twentieth-century single-family homes. Pasadena Heritage may need to prepare a National Register nomination for the district if Caltrans will not do so.
3200 E. Foothill Blvd. (Space Bank Site)
A large mixed-use project at the existing Space Bank site, which is eligible as an historic district due to its association with Cold War-era weapons research, has received City approval. Working with Pasadena Heritage, the developer, Trammell Crow, has agreed to mitigation measures that include retention of some historic features and interpretive displays. Design review is underway.
78 Marengo Ave. (former YWCA)
Designed by master architect Julia Morgan, this significant early 1920s building is a contributor to the Pasadena Civic Center Historic District. It has been vacant for more than 15 years and is in dire need of rehabilitation. The condition of the building appears to be worsening, and Pasadena Heritage is urging the City to better “mothball” the historic building. We understand that fencing is being installed to deter illegal entry and vandalism.
86 S. Fair Oaks Ave. (Mixed-Use Project Adjacent to Hotel Green/Castle Green)
Design and environmental review are pending for this large mixed-use project proposed by developer Goldrich Kest for the southwest portion of the block that includes the iconic Castle Green and Green Hotel Apartments. We are pleased that the project is undergoing redesign.
2940 E. Foothill Blvd. (Avon Site)
The Corporate International-style Avon Products Building, designed by Neptune & Thomas in 1947, and the surrounding 14-acre site developed between the 1950s and 1970s, was sold to Home Depot. There is no specific project yet, but Pasadena Heritage has urged retention of the 1947 building, which appears eligible for listing on the National Register and designation as a local Landmark.
135 N. Oakland Ave. (Fuller Theological Seminary)
In May 2018, Fuller Theological Seminary announced the sale of its 13-acre Pasadena campus, its home since 1947, and said it plans to relocate to Pomona. The future of the campus is unknown, and it includes the Ford Place Historic District, open space, and various institutional, multi-family residential, and office buildings. Pasadena Heritage is interested in seeing the historic buildings preserved and adaptively reused in a sensitive manner. We also see the campus as a critically important central Pasadena place that requires careful planning. We understand that Fuller has retained Los Angeles-based commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE to market the campus, which will be sold as various separate property groupings.
101 S. Marengo Ave. (Bank of America)
Bank of America will soon vacate this Edward Durell-Stone-designed building, which it has occupied since its original construction in 1974. The future of the property is not known.
464 E. Walnut St. (First Congregational Church of Pasadena)
This Gothic Revival church, designed by architects H. M Patterson and Leon Caryl Brockway and completed in 1928, was recently sold to a private developer. Local Landmark designation awaits final approval from the City Council, and initial plans are for adaptive reuse under a Mills Act contract.
Historic Route 66
The National Trust for Historic Preservation included Route 66 on its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places on June 26. Pasadena Heritage joins the Trust in supporting a National Historic Trail designation for the fabled highway, which passes through Pasadena.
150 E. Colorado Blvd. ("Darth Vader Building" Site)
A large mixed-use project will replace an existing non-historic office building, often referred to as the “Darth Vader Building,” built in 1980. Pasadena Heritage finds that the concept design responds to its context but continues to monitor the project, which will occupy a critical juncture between the Old Pasadena Historic District, Civic Center Financial Historic District, Civic Center Historic District, and Paseo Colorado.
550 E. Colorado Blvd. (Crown City Medical Plaza)
Pasadena Heritage is concerned about the proposed five-story medical office and commercial building known as the Crown City Medical Plaza. While this project does not directly impact historic resources, it represents, in our opinion, a missed opportunity for a critically located parcel at the very heart of Pasadena. As proposed, the project, we believe, is incompatible with its context.
Colorado Street Bridge
This iconic, National Register-listed bridge constructed in 1912, was fitted with temporary metal mesh fencing to deter suicides. A Task Force has worked for over a year to provide recommendations for a more effective, permanent solution to this ongoing and challenging issue. In September 2018, instillation of additional temporary fencing began, which will span the entire bridge and match the existing at all seating alcoves. We understand that a close-weave mesh has been chosen for the temporary fencing that makes it very difficult to climb. An RFP will be issued in the very near future for the design phase of the permanent fence.
170-180 S. Euclid Ave. (Pinney House Site)
A mixed-use project is proposed for the site of the 1906 Mission Revival-style Pinney House. In order to make way for the project, and with urging and from Pasadena Heritage, the house will be relocated to a site at 840-842 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena Heritage plans to monitor the house’s relocation.