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Freeway #1 (110): The Arroyo Seco Parkway The vision of a greenbelt park system in 1912 became a freeway system in 1939.

Freeway #2 (134): The Colorado Fwy, 1954 and Ventura, 1971

lawsuit, but Trimble outmaneuvered them once more by bringing the first bond issue to market before they could get to court. PRA members worried enough about political fallout to hire a public relations firm for a few months to repair the damage, while Trimble did his best to rebut the charge that the mall would raise property taxes.

Freeway #4: The 710 Long Beach Freeway

“Pings and Trimble believed they had a mandate to get the mall built, and for that purpose they were prepared to cut some corners. ‘Critics would call it crass political expediency; and it was,’ said Pings. ‘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.’ ” Amidst the outrage surrounding the Plaza Pasadena mall, splitting the Civic Center axis stood as the greatest objection. The grand arch across the axis promised to be transparent, but instead offered a glass reflection, a fitting metaphor of this unfortunate chapter. Within a decade, the $110 million mall was struggling and within two, its was almost entirely torn down. In late 2015, its last vacant building, where the Athletic Club once stood, was finally demolished. As the public subsidy for the Plaza Pasadena mall grew from $14 to $41 million, it “set a record as the largest issue of tax allocation bonds in California.” Once the mall failed, the subsidy for the mall doubled again attempting to fix the fix. #3 (210): 1971 Planning for the Foothill Fwy began in the Freeway 1950s, bulldozing many Black and Japanese homes and churches.

Ending at the Eagle Rock exit, the Ventura Fwy doubled its width.

In the late 1960s, yet another freeway was proposed that would have further torn apart the fabric of the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown. But instead of the poor being impacted, this time the proposed freeway threatened wealthier and more well connected citizens. As the long term effects of freeways on downtown became clear, locals moved to block the 710 Freeway in the courts. Pasadena’s Old Neighborhood Church which stood in its path. The campaign to save it, and later salvage the church was lost one weekend as bulldozers arrived unannounced, even as Caltrans issued a stay. “Sad but inevitable” wrote one local on a clipped article. Fifty years later, there is still an empty lot where the church once stood. The “freeway revolt” that saved South Pasadena’s downtown inspired other cities as well. Today the stub of the halted freeway and the playground where the church once stood makes it clear there is no such thing as inevitability. It is possible to reverse course, change direction and take the situation in hand, from the bottom up, which is exactly what Pasadena did next. The Freeway Revolt and campaign to stop the Mall served as a catalyst for Revitalization, which sought to preserve what remained. Freeway #4: The 710 Freeway Stub and the Freeway Revolt

This is where the 710 was stopped at more affluent parts of Pasadena.








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"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...

Profile for mycityis