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MAIN ST Reflecting the Outside World Early renderings of the proposed Plaza Pasadena maintained an open-view Civic Center axis. Glass walls prevented that, however, and as a fix to the enclosed feeling of the mall, views of the sky and City Hall were painted inside the arch.

room for alternatives. And fourth, the public had not been given a chance to discuss the issues because the PRA had been secretive. Moreover, opponents argued that with lease revenue bonds, the city had sidestepped a vote on a long-term public commitment and had ignored creative proposals and constructive criticisms.” “Critics were bothered by the fact that while the review procedures for Plaza Pasadena were technically correct, Trimble’s swiftness had undercut the process. In a staff report to the planning commission that never saw the light of day, one city planner complained that twenty-

affairs, told the board of directors, ‘Four years ago, as a member of the Planning Commission, I asked repeatedly for meetings dedicated to a discussion of the Livingston Blayney report [which recommended the retail center] and long range plans for Pasadena. But I was told to wait until the Redevelopment Agency had a specific proposal. It was too early. Then, when a tentative proposal was presented we were told that agreements with the developer had already been signed. There was no turning back. Suddenly it was too late.’ ”

‘CRITICS WOULD CALL IT CRASS POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY; AND IT WAS. BUT IT WAS LEGITIMATE, VIABLE, AND WE WERE OPEN ABOUT IT. WE HAD POLITICAL SUPPORT IN THE COUNCIL. WE WERE INSUFFERABLE, BUT WE WERE RIGHT.’ ” CORNELIUS PINGS CHAIRMAN OF THE PASADENA REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY

two public hearings required by law had sidestepped the important issues by restricting discussion to the most limited questions. The significant hearings, he claimed, “took place behind closed doors in the offices of the Star News, the Chamber of Commerce and the Redevelopment Agency.” “Some public officials also felt shut out of the conversation. Robert Oliver, an economics professor at the California Institute of Technology, long active in public

“Confronted with a legal threat to the retail center; the PRA made quick work of the referendum drive. Although Pings and Trimble doubted whether their opponents had the votes to win, they were not taking any chances. Working around the clock, Trimble and the PRA’s bond consultants converted the financing to tax allocation bonds that were not subject to a referendum, and the PRA won quick approval from the city board of directors for their new plan.” “Opponents circulated more petitions and filed another

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CONTENTS

PREFACE

INTRO

MY CITY 1916

MAIN ST.

TODAY

LESSONS

"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...

"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...