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)

Could iconic Frank Lloyd Wright home in Pasadena be transported to Japan?

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From the Associated Press:
A real estate agent who has been trying to sell a Frank Lloyd Wright home for two years is considering an inquiry from clients who would move it from Southern California to Japan.
La Miniatura in Pasadena is among two of Wright’s experimental textile-block homes that have languished on the market.
In 2008 agent Crosby Doe listed the partially restored home at $7.7 million, but recently dropped it to under $5 million.
He says it is a long shot but he has been talking to an international art dealer with Japanese art-collector clients who might be interested in buying the house. He says the London Bridge was moved to the Colorado River, so it’s possible Wright’s house can be moved to Japan.
Wright built four of the masonry homes in the early 1920s, all in Southern California.
See more photos of La Miniatura in our previous post.

Read the full story in the L.A. Times.

(File photos)

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

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We’re playing catch-up around here, since we were working around the clock to get our winter edition of the Rose Magazine to press.

Here’s what’s been happening recently on the Pasadena real-estate scene:

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    Private, all-girls Westridge School is expanding with a new science building that will be LEED-certified [pictured / via Brigham Yen]

  • Across the street from the future mixed-use Playhouse Plaza, a bridal shop has moved into the corner of Colorado and El Molino [via Brigham Yen]

  • Brigham Yen scores a closer look at the Westgate Apartments. The first phase opened up last month, with about 29 units ready for move-in [via Brigham Yen and CurbedLA]

  • The new building on Raymond Avenue that will become the future home of KPCC radio is coming along [via Brigham Yen]

Residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper Los Angeles:

  • Children’s educational materials professional has listed for sale a six-bedroom, seven-bath home in Pasadena for $2.8 million

(Rendering via Brigham Yen)

Pasadena area real-estate and development roundup

>>LIVE

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    Both halves of the Greene & Greene-designed Herkimer Arms apartment building are now in their new location at 470 N. Raymond Ave. The second, 115-ton half was moved early this morning. [Photo]

  • The city is converting an unused alleyway, underneath which the Gold Line trains run, into a walkable path for pedestrians. Planters, benches and trash bins will be installed. [CurbedLA and Brigham Yen]

  • The original El Taquito has shuttered, but a second location lives on at Lake and Villa. [Hometown Pasadena]

  • Troy Boyle, former bartender at the now-defunct Crown City Brewery, has opened his own nightlife venture: T. Boyle’s Tavern opened on Halloween in Rhodes Alley behind the Ice House. [Brigham Yen]

Residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper LA:

  • Cushman & Wakefield executive lists a three-bedroom, 3.5-bath home at 820 Laguna Road in Pasadena for $1.79 million

  • Agajanian Law Group founder lists a six-bedroom, five-bath home at 1430 Old Mill Road in San Marino for $3.13 million

  • Internist, pediatrician list a three-bedroom, three-bath home at 2875 Wallingford Road in San Marino for $1.58 million

(Photo by Walt Mancini / Staff)

Historic Herkimer Arms is split in two, ready for move to new home on Raymond Ave.

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From Brigham Yen’s Pasadena real estate blog, the historic Herkimer Arms — the only apartment building ever designed by Greene & Greene — has been cut in half in preparation for its move to 407 N. Raymond Ave.

There, Heritage Housing Partners will convert the two-story structure from its current configuration of eight apartment units into two large, full-floor units. Architectural features like the exterior Gunite finish, terra-cotta tiles, built-ins, corner cabinets and
original doors will be preserved.

You can see some of those details here, in interior shots captured by staff photographer Keith Birmingham in August 2007.

A full story and more photos will be in the Star-News tomorrow.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed ‘La Miniatura’ house still on the market and coming down in price

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>>INSIDER

CurbedLA notes a price change on Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic “La Miniatura” house, built in 1923 into a ravine above the Arroyo Seco.

It’s been on the market for more than a year, starting back then with a selling price of $7.733 million. Now the listing is down to $5.59 million, CurbedLA reports.

The home’s owner David Zander (that’s him at top) talked to the Star-News in July 2008, following a multimillion-dollar restoration and just after he first put the property up for sale. From the archives, reporter Janette Williams wrote:

… it’s not for everyone.

Lloyd Wright’s buildings are known for being less than watertight, and the building materials and techniques don’t always
stand up well to climatic wear and tear.

The architect pushed the design technology and materials beyond his time, Zander said.

“That’s why many of his houses leak. I think that the house will leak forever – it just wants to, but it varies from
time to time and place to place. The house has a mind of its own.”

The restoration has put “La Miniatura” in very good condition, (Wim) de Wit, (architectural curator of the J. Paul
Getty Research Center) said, but agreed it will always need a lot of upkeep.

“It needs someone who appreciates architecture and will have patience,
who enjoys the spatial quality relating architecture
and nature,” he said. “It really needs to be lived in … not to be a
museum.”

(Below are some photos from a July 2008 photo shoot by photographer Walt Mancini.)

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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.

Pasadena area real-estate roundup

>>LIVE

Related: The Smith brothers, Bob and Gregg, opened up about the economic realities of the restaurant biz in Rose Magazine’s summer issue. (PDF)

  • Construction is ongoing on the Atlantic Times Square project in Monterey Park. There’s no predicting when the 210-unit condo and mixed-use project off the I-10 will be complete. (via CurbedLA)
  • Cue The Bangles theme music, and live in your very own pyramid in the hills of Sierra Madre. You can lease for $3,500 a month, or buy for a cool $1.098 million. Photo gallery worth a peek. (via CurbedLA)

Residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper Los Angeles:

  • President of Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC and his wife have listed a five-bedroom, three-bath home at 577 Woodland Road in Pasadena for $1.75 million.

  • Outdoor music festival producer and San Marino realtor have listed a four-bedroom, four-bath home at 920 S. Oak Knoll Ave. in Pasadena for $2.15 million.

  • Land developer has listed a five-bedroom, seven-bath home built in 1913 at 585 Bellefontaine St. in Pasadena for $3.99 million.