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MAIN ST Hotel Green’s bridge added to the air of mystery.

The Ritz Hotel Pasadena is where WWI pensioners lived in the ‘70s.

EXPERIMENT #2

Revitalizing Old Pasadena By the time Pasadena’s fourth freeway was finally stopped, the flight of the middle-class to the suburbs had left an increasingly vacant downtown. While some stopped going to Old Pasadena altogether, the younger generations saw something different. Of the two experiments addressing the decline of downtown, the bottom-up approach of revitalizing Old Pasadena became the beacon of success. Compared to the promising start of Redevelopment, which quickly failed, Revitalization had a discouraging start, but achieved a more steady and enduring success. The Mystery of Fallen Empire Into this vacuum of urban blight and smog choked air, cheap rents attracted pensioners, prostitutes, veterans, the destitute, and a flood of artists. By the early 1980s, Old Pasadena had the highest concentration of artists’ studios on the west coast, arriving just in time to save Old Pasadena from further decline.

Antique and Thrift Stores The cast off relics of Pasadena

families filled the dilapidated buildings of Colorado Boulevard.

Tearing down the rest of the old buildings, including what remained of Hotel Green remained a threat until the Old Pasadena Plan of 1983. Even the iconic Colorado “Suicide” Bridge was not immune as the threat of demolition persisted into the 1980s, symbolic of a city seemingly bent on its own destruction. The urban frontier of the derelict downtown, with its decaying Old World architecture, crumbling terra-cotta detailing, and mysterious Hotel Green bridge that now led nowhere added to the air of mystery that lured a new generation of hip urban pioneers. In the late 1970s, near the old Santa Fe train tracks (what is now the Gold Line right-of-way), where the diesel Super-Chief train to Chicago still rumbled through Old Pasadena, an old Batchelder fountain stood in anonymous ruin. Once featured in the now forgotten “My City” Exhibit, the broken Batchelder fountain remained a silent relic of another generation’s great ambition and a forgotten remainder of better times. Back when Old Pasadena was Old Town Poobah Record

Store is here. The Oaks Theater is where the Playhouse began.

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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...