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MAIN ST

Main Street The Pasadena Case Study Pasadena’s main thoroughfare, then known as Colorado Street, is seen here in 1929 on the eve of the city’s first major redevelopment project. Designed to better accommodate the increased flow of Route 66 that ran through the center of downtown, the project cut back buildings by 14 feet on each side of the street, widening Colorado to four lanes and elevating it to boulevard status. Despite this effort Route 66 continued through the middle of downtown for less than ten years. The 1939 Arroyo Seco Parkway, the first freeway in the West, made the street widening superfluous, contributing to the decline of downtown through the next 50 years. In parallel with this decline was an increasing centralization of city planning that resulted in an imposition of top-down solutions and abandonment of the participatory “My City” process that had produced Pasadena’s Golden Age. The street widening was the first example of a massive top-down effort imposed on taxpayers that drove away business during reconstruction and resulted in precedent-setting litigation. This pattern would then repeat four decades later with the Plaza Pasadena mall.

C O N T E N T S Last Main Street Before L.A............................ 55 Main Street in Decline................................................ 58 Experiment 1: Redevelopment and the Mall......................... 60 Experiment 2: Revitalization and Old Pasadena.............................. 64 The Results of the Two Experiments........................................................ 70 The Mall: Version II: 2000.................................................................................. 72 The Mall: Version III, 2016............................................................................................ 74

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OVERVIEW

PROJECTS

EVENTS

PLANITORIUM

NEXT STEPS

CONCLUSIONS

"My City"  

"My City" tells the story of Pasadena’s City Beautiful Movement and the century that followed, exploring how this proven approach can be rev...

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