Which Pasadena neighborhoods are up-and-coming?

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Hometown Pasadena asked blogger and Realtor Brigham Yen to name an up-and-coming neighborhood in the area “that not everyone knows about yet.”
He continues the discussion today on his blog, putting forth Colorado Boulevard between Lake Avenue and Pasadena City College as a segment of the city that should continue moving toward “neighborhoodification.”
I’ve always driven past this part of Pasadena lamenting the lack of pedestrian connection between PCC (a strong anchor) and the rest of Downtown Pasadena (to the west of PCC) as parking lots in front of strip malls and motels prevented this section from becoming conducive for an enjoyable walking experience. …
However, even with its drawbacks, the area contains a number of beautiful historic buildings and some new creative life …
Yen names A Room to Create, Taco Station, Zankou Chicken and Daisy Mint, pictured above, among the businesses, new and old, that are infusing energy there.
… this stretch of Colorado is really acquiring a cool and funky vibe that could become Pasadena’s answer to Silver Lake or Los Feliz.
Weigh in: What would you like to see happen along this strip of Colorado Boulevard in East Pasadena? What are some other up-and-coming neighborhoods in the city?
(File photo)

Ambassador College 1969 yearbook

>>INSIDER

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On the heels of news that a 10-acre portion of the old Ambassador College property has been sold to a builder that plans to start constructing town houses there in 2011, Gawker Media’s women’s blog Jezebel shares this gem: Clips from the college’s 1969 yearbook.

The whole gallery of pages from the yearbook, called the ENVOY, is really worth checking out, particularly the entries on science and technology. Quoth the ENVOY:

“NEVER was the world like it is today! Gigantic leaps ahead in technology and certain sciences — men walking and cavorting about on the moon, yes — BUT, unsafe to walk on sidewalks here on earth. …

The principal contribution of Science and Technology has been the production of constantly more terrifying weapons of mass destruction. Pushbutton world? Yes, today either of two men could push a button and destroy two whole continents, probably ending in the extinction of mankind!”

The liberal-arts college was rooted in the evangelical tradition of the Worldwide Church of God. Its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, preached very non-mainstream beliefs. From a 2003 Star-News article:

Armstrong believed, for instance, that Jesus Christ will return to Earth to assume the throne of England, where he’ll reign in peace and prosperity forever.

He also preached that members earned salvation through their commitment to the Old Testament law. Christ may have died for the sins of the world, he taught, but acceptance of his death wasn’t enough. The believer must also obey Christ. …

Obedience was Armstrong’s key to qualify for God’s grace, and in the former Worldwide Church of God parlance that meant following the rules.

As with Orthodox Jews, members didn’t eat “unclean” things such as pork and shrimp. They observed all the Jewish festivals in the Old Testament and celebrated the Sabbath on Saturdays. Members were discouraged from voting, serving in the military, marrying after a divorce, relying on doctors, using cosmetics, or observing Christmas, Easter or birthdays.

The emphasis on obedience was apparent in some of the headlines from the church’s newsletter.

“HOW YOU DRESS FOR CHURCH Could it keep you out of the KINGDOM?”

“OUR LIGHT IS SHINING! and not the cosmetics on our faces.”

After Armstrong’s death in 1986, the church dropped the controversial teachings.

A report by Janette Williams in tomorrow’s Star-News will have more details of the sale and building plans, which revived what had seemed to be an interminably delayed real-estate development.

(Photo via Jezebel)

Pasadena area real-estate and development roundup

>>LIVE

  • There will be a ribbon-cutting Monday for the new Jet Propulsion Laboratory Flight Projects Center at 4800 Oak Grove in Pasadena. The structure was designed by Irvine-based architecture firm LPA Inc. (via CurbedLA)

  • Would you prefer two years of NFL games in Downtown Los Angeles or Pasadena? What Majestic Realty’s John Semcken wants, he almost always gets. (via CurbedLA)

  • The Pasadena Convention Center has received a
    Best of 2009 award from California Construction for its $150 million
    expansion project.
    (via Star-News)


  • Elected officials gave the hard-sell for Gold Line Foothill Extension funding Wednesday. (via Star-News)

Residential real-estate highlights:

  • An abandoned mid-century Pasadena home with three bedrooms and one-and-three-quarter bathrooms is on the market for $550,000. (via CurbedLA)

  • Legal consultant Stuart A. Forsyth and Mary J. Forsyth have listed a two-bedroom, two-bath home at 455 Cherry Dr. in Pasadena for $1.195 million. (via BlockShopper)

Pasadena area real-estate and development roundup

>>LIVE

  • A mixed-use project is being developed for the southeast corner of Colorado Blvd. and El Molino Ave. The new five-story office building will replace the two-story furnishings store. (Brigham Yen)
  • The 71-unit Granite Park (on Granite Drive, obviously) that’s being developed by Vornado Realty Trust will be finished in November with units starting at $975,000. (CurbedLA and Brigham Yen)
  • David Haskell teams up with producer Gale Anne Hurd to revamp up the 3-year-old Vertical wine bar on Raymond Ave. (EaterLA)
  • A group has formed to re-start restoration efforts of “Lucky” Baldwin’s adobe home in Arcadia. (Star-News)

Residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper Los Angeles:

  • City of Hope doctor Ryotaro Nakamura and Megumi Nakamura have listed a four-bedroom, three-bath home in Arcadia for $1.098 million.
  • Stern & Goldberg lawyer Justin J. Lansberg has listed a four-bedroom, three-bath home in La Canada Flintridge for $1.689 million.

Get to know Gold Line bridge designer who will shape ‘gateway to the San Gabriel Valley’

>>INSIDER

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In today’s paper, a Star-News reporter caught up with Andrew Leicester, the Minnesota-based artist who was chosen to design a bridge along the Foothill Gold Line extension in Arcadia.

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The 739-foot structure is being billed as an iconic gateway into the San Gabriel Valley.

Reporter Nathan McIntire writes:


The Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction
Authority chose Leicester in July to design the artistic elements of
the bridge, which will cost an estimated $20 to $25 million to build.

Leicester’s initial concept for the bridge, part of his pitch to the selection committee, was actually scrapped. (The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a rendering of that original concept, which featured references to peacocks.)


Now Leicester …
plans to incorporate the artistic traditions from Native American
tribes from the San Gabriel Valley, including the Chumash and
Gabrielenos, and references to the region’s native animal and plant
life into a contemporary structure.

It was Leicester’s experience that got him the job.

At right are some of the transit-oriented projects Leicester has in his online portfolio.

The top photo shows platform and bridge cladding that Leicester designed for the Charlotte, N.C.-area transit system.

Second and third photos from top show a light-rail transit stop designed in Minneapolis.

Bottom two photos show a ceramic wall mural project for Penn Station in New York City.

Below are some of Leicester’s past sketches for various public arts works.

(Photos and renderings courtesy Andrew Leicester)

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24-hour art: Daniel Buren’s ‘A Rainbow in the Sky’ at shifting One Colorado in Pasadena

>>GO

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Another large-scale public art installation is on display in the One Colorado Courtyard, and it is already garnering a lot of attention from the media and public since it went on display over the weekend.

The installation is presented by One Colorado, Armory
Center for the Arts
, and FLAX, a Los Angeles-based foundation
dedicated to fostering a cultural exchange with France
through the arts.

“A Rainbow in the Sky” is the second display in that space for French contemporary Daniel Buren. (The installation follows his 2007 work “A Colored Square in the Sky.”)

In between the Buren displays, the courtyard was home to Yoko Ono’s equally popular and interactive “Wish Trees” in 2008.


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There’s a lot of change going on in the One Colorado complex right now, with a couple arts projects taking up residence there and general retail fluctuations. The old Gordon Biersch is still vacant, but several new stores — including Dot’s Cupcakes and Jumping Jellyfish — are moving into the complex.

You can get a sense of the transition in the photo at right. Shadows from the “Rainbow” installation dance on the ground, while construction crews work on the Gold Class Cinemas that is expected to open in December.

(Photos by Walt Mancini)

What’s to become of the former YWCA building designed by Julia Morgan?

>>THINK

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Curbed LA has obtained renderings for a proposal to restore the historic YWCA building designed by Julia Morgan.

The images come on the heels of a Pasadena Weekly story about the growing movement by city officials and preservationists to breathe life back into the vacant Marengo Avenue property.

The renderings are part of a proposal that was designed by Cal Poly architecture student Milad Sarkis for his master’s thesis. Earlier this year, he presented the plan to the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

As part of his plan, the restored facility would also become a new headquarters for Pasadena Water and Power.

The city hasn’t yet settled on any proposal.

With officials and residents mulling future uses for the YWCA building, we decided to dig through our photo archives for images of the 1920 structure.

At top is a photo by Walt Mancini taken in 2006. The image just below it is also from the same photo shoot, after the crumbling N. Marengo structure was put on Pasadena Heritage’s endangered buildings list.

At the time, there were discussions about developing the property into a boutique hotel. Those plans were scrapped.

Third from top is a historical photo, from the J. Allen Hawkins studio, courtesy of the Pasadena Museum of History.

The bottom three are historic images, re-photographed by Sarah Reingewirtz in Dec. 2008, when the Pasadena YWCA celebrated 102 years in the city.

The YWCA sold the historic Julia Morgan
building for $1 million in 1996.

It’s worth weighing in: What would you like to see happen in a restoration of the YWCA building?