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A P R O P O S A L T O L I N K E X I S T I N G P E D E S T R I A N PA S S A G E S

THE PASSAGES PROJECT EXPANDING ON A 1915 PLAN FROM THE CITY BEAUTIFUL MOVEMENT

2009-2019 E D I T I O N

PA S A D E N A PA S S A G E S .O R G


Before Passages, c1991 Looking from Union Street towards what is now the Memorial Park Metro Station before the tracks were relocated below ground.

Before Passages, c1990 Looking towards Colorado Blvd, before the train tracks were relocated below ground.

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Today it’s hard to imagine freight trains and Santa Fe’s Super Chief barreling through this narrow slot or even its use next as anything other than a desolate empty space. This study explores this great potential. Photo: Mark Lewis


Central Park

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Preface............................................................................................................................5 Introduction ..................................................................................................................11 The Vision of 1915.......................................................................................................13 Problems and Opportunities.........................................................................................14 Scenarios for Reconnecting .........................................................................................16 Principles......................................................................................................................18 What Other Cities Are Doing (part 1) ..........................................................................19 Potential Patterns and Elements ...................................................................................20 Potential Uses of the Passages .....................................................................................21 Arts Infusion ................................................................................................................22 1. GOLD LINE PROMENADE (“BIG-BANG THEORY WAY”) ..................................24 Current Conditions ..........................................................................25 Potential Themes .............................................................................26 The Question of Mid-Block Crosswalks .........................................28 Effective Crosswalk Strategies ........................................................29 2. THE DEAD ZONE ...................................................................................................30 The Black Building (aka “Darth Vader”) ........................................31 The Dead Zone Projects ..................................................................32 Potential Links .................................................................................34 3. THE PASEO .........................................................................................................36 Stages of Development ....................................................................37 The East Paseo Link ........................................................................38 Greening on Green Street: Gateway to the Playhouse District .......39 4. PLAYHOUSE PASSAGES ........................................................................................40 Playhouse Alley ...............................................................................41 Converse Alley ................................................................................42 Arcade Lane to Vromans Bookstore................................................43 What Other Cities Are Doing (part 2) ..........................................................................44 SCENARIOS AND OPTIONS ......................................................................................47 PASSAGES PLAN AND MAP All Scenarios Combined, Axonometric ...........................................54 All Scenarios Combined, Plan.........................................................56 All Scenarios Combined, Drawing ..................................................60 The Lost Art of the Pedestrian Bridge .........................................................................57

Memorial Park


“A ‘HOME-MADE’ CITY PLANNING EXHIBIT”

GEORGE A. DAMON DEAN OF ENGINEERING

This 1916 article outlines efforts to create a “Home-Made City Planning Exhibit.” For a copy, including local articles on the exhibit, see pages 12, and 38-43, or download a pdf at:

A few years before Caltech changed its name from Throop, George A. Damon authored the article (left) about the exhibit he helped organize. The “Pasadena Plan” to the right is also a report on his efforts.

pasadenapassages.org/homemade.pdf

“PASADENA PLAN” In 1915, the Pasadena Woman’s Civic League produced this report on the work of Dean George A. Damon. To download a copy, go to pasadenapassages.org/ pasadenaplan.pdf

Pasadena has long defined the cutting edge of science and technology, led in large part by the California Institute of Technology. Founded in 1891, Caltech went by the name of Throop College before 1920. Located at the SE corner of Green Street and Fair Oaks its original building (later added to the Hotel Green) can be seen here in this 1908 photo and still stands today. This photo is striking because most of the buildings here are still standing today.

Hotel Green

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Vandevort Building, still standing at 34 South Raymond Avenue, was the site of the planning exhibit and “Horticultural Hall.”


PREFACE “A ‘home-made’ exhibit, such as herein described, with its backward look into the past

Pasadena Passages is a proposal to link pedestrian passages that exist now and are in use today. Expanding on their 1916 vision of a “a promenade connecting the parks” between Memorial and Central Parks (where the Gold Line now runs underground), the Passages Project also reintegrates ever struggling mall back into the larger urban fabric with pedestrian connections at both ends.

and its forecast of a future linked together with a satisfactory representation of the present, goes a long way toward clarifying a vision of the city’s possibilities.” Dean George A. Damon The American City: 1916.

The second role of the Passages project is to serve as a case study example of a “My City” visioning proposal could be presented in a revived process. A century ago, Pasadena’s Board of Trade sponsored a “My City” Planning Exhibit that helped set in motion much of what is loved about this city today, including its Civic Center, neighborhood parks, tree-lined streets, and civic architecture. Under the umbrella of the City Beautiful Movement and the leadership of Dean George A. Damon, these remarkable projects that followed the Colorado Street Bridge of 1913 include the “Four Corners Competition” of 1914, the “Pasadena Plan” of 1915, and the 1916 “My City” Exhibit that is discussed in the companion document of the same name.

PAUL REVERE WILLIAMS The largely forgotten beginning of the first prominent AfricanAmerican architect was launched by his First Place entry in Pasadena’s 1914 “Four-Corners Competition.”

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PASADENA PASSAGES: A PARTIAL INVENTORY For the purposes of this document, passages are defined broadly as anywhere you can go for a walk that is not a standard sidewalk along a street. Passages include arcades, colonnades, urban parkland and alleys that are used by pedestrians and shared with slow moving cars.

NEW HOTEL

Miller Alley

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Smith Alley

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Euclid Ave.

Garfield Ave.

Colorado Blvd.

Green St.

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City Hall . are the arcades Exemplary passages of City Hall, which connect via…

Plaza las Fuentes ... a mid-block crosswalk to the gardens of the Doubletree Hotel.

Holly St.

One Colorado Alleys of the 1880s & 90s, now walkways to theaters and restaurants.

Mentor Ave.

CITY PARKING STRUCTURE

Mc Cormick Alley

DeLacey St.

Fraser Alley

Mercantile Place The first alley turned into a treelined pedestrian promenade.

Holly St.

Colorado Blvd. Mills Alley

DeLacey St.

Colorado Blvd.

Arroyo Pkwy.

Raymond Ave.

Union St.

Colorado Blvd. JAKES

Paseo Colorado The old mall blocked the Civic Center axis; the new 2001 mall reopened it.

ICE HOUSE

OLD PUB

Martin Alley

Union St.

Colorado Blvd.

Gold Line Promenade

Jake’s Diner Alleys

DeLacey Alleys

Old Town Pub Alleys

Ice House Alley

Where the Gold Line was buried, a century in the making, in progress.

Revamped in the 1990s, shared by both pedestrians & slow moving cars.

Used to walk out of a large parking structure, shared with slow cars.

The west (left) half is pedestrian only, the right half shared with slow cars.

The original back alley business the comedy club opened in 1960.

Playhouse Alley

El Molino

Colorado Blvd.

PLAY HOUSE

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Arcade Lane

Playhouse Alley

Burlington Arcade

Caltech Arcades

Vandevort Alley

Opened in 1927, among Pasadena’s best passages. Also top photo.

With parking behind, the original shared auto and pedestrian link.

A shopping arcade on S. Lake St., and much needed link added in the 1980s.

The beautiful arcades of Caltech are among our finest pedestrian spaces.

This is the location of the Exhibit, Horticultural Court and Espresso Bar.


Memorial Park Gold Line Station The “promenade connecting the parks” is the space beyond the two double columns.

GOLD LINE PROMENADE

PASSAGE SCENARIOS

The four studies found in the second half of this document build on Dean Damon’s 1915 plan for “a promenade connecting the parks” where the Metro Gold Line cuts below the surface of Old Pasadena.

For each of the four major areas that are studied—Gold Line, Dead Zone, Paseo East and Playhouse— there are at least three potential configurations and a wide variety of options.

HOLLY ST.

UNION ST.

COLORADO BLVD.

With the tracks now buried just beneath crossings at Green, Colorado, Union and Holly Streets, the city has finally taken possession of the right-of-way and a process on how to occupy this space is now beginning. From the perspective of the problems mapped on the opposite page, the potential of linking existing passages in the struggling blocks east of the Gold Line Promenade asserts itself. A total of 12 existing pedestrian passages are studied in the second half of this document. These studies are divided into four major areas that explore scenarios for joining these often isolated passages into a more contiguous pedestrian network.

Memorial Park

Memorial (Library) Park

GREEN ST.

Central Park

The Vision From the “Pasadena Plan” of 1915 (above, left), the orange highlight shows the path of the “promenade connecting the parks” where today’s Gold Line has been buried. White labels, and orange and green color have been added for emphasis.

To simplify, the second half of the document ends with three different scenarios that offer a range of options for expanding the Gold Line Promenade. As summarized on page 75 and detailed on pages 102-109, the first scenario improves existing connections, the second adds crosswalks, and the third adds additional links. Taking a page from the original exhibit of 1916, the scenarios section begins with a “short form” survey or, optionally, a detailed version found alongside pages that follow. Finally, the Conclusions describe the potential of commemorating Dean Damon’s Home-Made City Planning Exhibit today and regrounding in the wisdom of Pasadena’s visionaries of a century ago.

Gold Line Promenade Panorama Viewed from the Paseo parking structure, a connection from Mercantile Place can be seen on the right.

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INTRODUCTION Looking west towards Raymond Ave, two girls cross Colorado Street in the 1890s. Within a decade the automobile will appear and within two it will dominate the city’s agenda. In 1915 a “pedestrian promenade connecting the parks” will be proposed for this location where the girls are about to cross.

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PASADENA PASSAGES

RECONNECTING BY LINKING EXISTING PASSAGES

PASEO MALL

City Hall

M ORIU AUDIT ZONE DEAD

Del Mar Gold Line Station

RY

LIBRA

CENTRAL PARK

Memorial Park Gold Line Station

MEMORIAL PARK

ENA ASAD OLD P

CONTENTS Introduction to Part II.............................................................70 The Problems and Opportunities of Downtown Pasadena ....72 Potential Scenarios: An Introduction .....................................75 Principles of the Passages Plan ..............................................76 What Other Cities Are Doing (1 of 2) ....................................77 Arts Infusion ..........................................................................80 Patterns, Elements and Uses ..................................................84

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Project 1. Gold Line Promenade ........................................82 Project 2. The Dead Zone Projects .....................................86 Project 3. Paseo Passages and East Paseo Link.................94 Project 4. Playhouse Alley ...................................................98 What Other Cities Are Doing (2 of 2) ..................................102 Scenarios: A Survey of Alternatives ....................................105 Conclusions .........................................................................117


THE VISION OF 1916

Memorial (Library) Park

For over a century, the people of Pasadena sought the removal of the old Santa Fe tracks crossing downtown streets beside its two parks. In 1916, the call was to reroute the tracks and create “a promenade connecting the parks.” The 1950s plan to relocate the tracks just below ground was finally realized when the Metro Gold Line opened in 2003. As it is passes beneath three blocks of downtown streets, the burying of the Gold Line freed the space above for the promenade to proceed.

HOLLY ST.

However, a lawsuit between Metro and the contractor blocked the transfer of the right-of-way. Asphalt paving, benches, trash cans and potted plants occupied the space for a decade before jurisdiction was officially transferred to the city.

Central Park

The Pasadena Passages project builds on a 1915 plan for a “pedestrian promenade connecting the parks.”

Memorial Park

A century of delay has exhausted the original enthusiasm for this visionary project. The current process is proceeding in a piecemeal fashion with 2D engineering drawings for lampposts preceding the larger 3D architectural issues that need to be explored. The goal of the sections that follow is to breathe life and inspiration into the current process and to expand the original vision of 1915 and 1916 to address the problems of downtown Pasadena today.

UNION ST.

COLORADO BLVD.

GREEN ST.

The Gold Line is buried the same location as the “promenade connecting the parks” in the 1915-16 vision.

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Memorial Park

Lake

Del Mar Filmore

Allen

Sierra Madre Villa

Arcadia

Monrovia

Irwindale

THE PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES OF DOWNTOWN PASADENA In its first half-century, Pasadena’s downtown expanded east along Colorado Boulevard. There was no Old Pasadena, no Playhouse District, just a continuous downtown with its civic center and surrounding neighborhoods. In its second halfcentury, the new 110 freeway shifted that center. Then came the 134 and 210 freeways, which brought the larger shifts in suburbanization. Business declined; buildings were boarded up, and Pasadena took on an air of fallen empire. And so began two very different experiments in urban planning . The first solution, Preservation and Revitalization, worked with existing buildings and alleys from the 1890s-1930s—a market-based approach energized by low rents, an infusion of artists and relatively small projects. The second experiment used an approach of Modernist Redevelopment to cure the ills of urban blight. Redevelopment, for its part, sought to

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reverse declining tax revenues with big projects that received large taxpayer subsidies. Clearing blocks of old Pasadena for Modernist architecture, the new buildings were seen as “machines for living,” their clean lines and flat planes reflecting the newfound freedoms of a car-based culture. From the larger perspective of “urban fabric”—how buildings relate to one another, to the street and their role in contributing to the larger sense of place—the Modernist approach sought to relieve the congestion of the city by building higher and pulling away from the edge of the sidewalk, leaving open space around buildings. This “machine in the garden” approach resulted in a few massive buildings per block and a blank wall facing an empty sidewalk and what William H. Whyte calls “the brutal rejection of the street.” This was especially true of large, wholeblock developments and in particular the suburban solution of the Plaza Pasadena mall, approaches that had a

high degree of risk and a low level of vitality and variety. The Modernist experiment to address urban flight reasoned that it was the car drew people away from the center of the city and that only by better accommodating the automobile could the center of the city draw people back again. To this end, the dead sidewalks and flat, empty landscapes of the Modernists worked best from behind the wheel of a passing vehicle as they did not have too many distractions and kept traffic moving. Over time, people did just that: they drove on by, walked on by; did anything but stop and spend any time around the redeveloped blocks of Pasadena. The building of the fourth freeway, the 710, and failings of the new mall seemed to wake Pasadena up. Though the freeway was stopped midconstruction, the damage had been done. When it was all over, more than 35 blocks of Pasadena were lost in the name of progress and redevelopment.

B OF A AND THE CONVENTION CENTER

THE BLACK BUILDING

OLD PASADENA

Hot empty plazas atop submerged parking left pedestrian zones where people did not want to go.

Pulled back from the sidewalk with a moat of shrubs, its impenetrable opaque glass leaves it cut off, cold, and widely panned.

Beside Gold Line Promenade (Colorado at Raymond), the fear of congestion yields to the recognition that density equals vitality.


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creates an artificial division between Old Pasadena and the Civic Center/Paseo. The Dead Zone Projects on page 88 examine potential options to reweave these blocks.

Playhouse District

EXISTING CONDITIONS IN DOWNTOWN PASADENA

City

Black Bldg Prkg

approaches that left holes in the urban landscape where people don’t want to go. Specifically, between the failing mall and Old Pasadena, there is a “Dead Zone” that

The 1970s-1980s era of Modernist Redevelopment was characterized by large, whole-block developments and auto-centric

BANK OF AMERICA

MALL PARKING MORGAN ALLEY

Colorado Blvd

THE DEAD ZONE

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Existing Pedestrian Bridge to the Paseo’s Fountain Court.

THE FAILING PASEO MALL

BLAND AND LACKING IN CARE

As discussed on page 17 of the Introduction, anchor tenants have vacated along with many smaller stores.

This photo (right) shows the “lifestyle advertising” at the dead center of the east end of the main Paseo axis. The imagery plays into the bland architecture, making the experience feel generic and low-grade, and leaves the impression that no one cares for this space. The Arts Infusion (page 92) and Paseo Passages (page 94) sections address some of these issues, along with more in-depth studies found in the Paseo East (page 96) and Dead Zone Projects sections (page 86).

CUT-OFF The Paseo largely tore down the failed 1980 mall and opened the ceremonial Civic Center axis. However, the ends of the old mall’s main east-west axis remained cut off and deprived the rest of the downtown from strong pedestrian links at its core. This cut-off quality from the 1980 mall is shown in red lines below.

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SCENARIOS FOR RECONNECTING Because these two experiments coexisted side-by-side, the results were abundantly clear by the end of the 1980s. As people voted with their feet, the approach of Preservation and Revitalization in Old Pasadena proved an overwhelming success compared to the lifeless streetscapes of Modernist Redevelopment.

WALKABILITY DRIVES REAL ESTATE

Specifically, the narrower sidewalks and back alleys of Old Pasadena had variety and vitality, each block offering both the intimacy of a more human scale along with the sense of mystery and urban frontier found in its alleys.

Where the call for a more walkable Old Pasadena in the 1980s came from activists who promoted the virtues of health and community quality of life, developers are now driving walkability as “Walkable Urban” is recognized as the surest path to profits.

Though it was not clear at the time, Preservation and Revitalization had the advantage of continuity found in working with what was already there. On the other hand, Modernist Redevelopment did the opposite, disregarding existing buildings, tearing down the past, starting over and creating heavy debt. In the end, revenues never kept up with expenses nor taxpayer subsidies and the experiment of Modernist Redevelopment ended up exacerbating the very symptoms it was supposed to fix.

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The recognition that walkability is both good for business and good for people is changing expectations of projects, and most significantly, the way people will experience and evaluate the downtown’s success for decades to come.

In June 2014, a new developer sponsored report called “Foot Traffic Ahead” predicts that Southern California will rise as it leads the nation in investment in light rail.

SCENARIOS The four areas studied—Gold Line Promenade, Dead Zone, Paseo East and the Playhouse District—expand the century old vision of creating a “pedestrian promenade connecting the parks” where the Gold Line is now buried. Though each study looks at a spectrum of potential solutions, the second half of the document ends with three scenarios. As delineated on the opposite page and presented in greater detail on pages 102-109, the three scenarios give structure to the wide range of potential options, each with the capacity to dramatically improve Pasadena’s walkability.

Today walkability is the great multiplier. It pedestrianizes dead spaces and stimulates economic vitality and growth by causing both residents and visitors to linger and explore downtown’s commerce, art, and, culture.

As in the original exhibit of 1916, the scenarios section begins with a “short form” survey or, optionally, a detailed version found alongside the pages that follow. Finally, the Conclusions describe the potential of a Home-Made City Planning Exhibit today, further building on the ideas of Pasadena’s visionaries of a century ago.

Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Foot Traffic Ahead This 2014,

Walkability Drives Real Estate

By the 1980s, a new understanding of the role of small urban spaces emerged. YouTube: William Whyte to view this key 1-hour documentary.

developer sponsored report supports walkability as the key to economically sustainable development. See their presentation and its relation to Pasadena here.

The “Foot Traffic Ahead” report resulted in a flury of news in the press based on the recognition among developers that walkable areas draw higher income Millennials.

A City's 'Walkability' Drives Real Estate Values BY DIANA OLICK


Gold Line Station

Gold Line Station

SCENARIO ONE

SCENARIO TWO

SCENARIO THREE

IMPROVE EXISTING PASSAGES

ADD CROSSWALKS

ADDITIONAL LINKS

This first scenario is characterized by improving existing passages and sidewalks, without adding any new midblock crosswalks.

Adds crosswalks timed with the pulsed flow of one-way streets and the unusual “all-stop, all walk” crosswalk at Colorado and Raymond Avenue.

In this scenario, key links have multiple potential configurations: 1) Gold Line to the Paseo; 2) Gold Line behind Stats to Central Park; 3) Arcade Lane to Playhouse Alley.

REWEAVING THE MALL INTO THE URBAN FABRIC EE

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This schematic drawing shows the very broad strokes and rough characteristics of the four studies that follow: Gold Line Promenade, the Dead Zone Projects, the East Paseo Link and Playhouse Passages.

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Each of these four areas have several potential configurations and alignments, as discussed in the sections that follow.

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TWO METRO GOLD LINE STATIONS ARE A WALKABILITY OPPORTUNITY According to “Foot Traffic Ahead,” the walkability ranking of Los Angeles is predicted to rise from 18th place to 11th in the nation because it’s walkable centers are easily connected with transit. “LA’s original walkable urban suburbs are thriving again, helped by the largest rail construction program in the country. With com-

mitted funding of more than $40 billion over the next decade, five new rail lines were under construction in 2014, adding to the eight new commuter, light, and heavy rail lines already open. …The former rail system that Los Angeles developed around is essentially being re-built from scratch. [A] walkable, transit-friendly Los Angeles—is being built right now.

Central Park

The Metro Gold Line in Downtown LA

Del Mar Metro Gold Line Station

Memorial Park Gold Line Station

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A passage is defined as any pedestrian space that not a standard sidewalk on a street.

GOALS, GUIDES, PARTS AND PIECES

PRINCIPLES OF THE PASSAGES PLAN 1. LINK EXISTING PASSAGES The Passages network connects and brings life to dead-end spaces, creating safer connections to both parking and the downtown’s two Metro Stations. By linking existing pedestrian

destinations and points of departure, the Passages network makes a significant contribution towards downtown Pasadena’s walkability.

2. EXISTING PARKING IS WHERE MOTORISTS BECOME PEDESTRIANS It is easy to forget that parking lots are where motorists become pedestrians. The Passages network is within a half-block of 10 major existing parking structures accounting for more

than 6000 places to park. Linking existing deadend passages allows people to safely transition from parking to walking through the center of downtown Pasadena.

3. METRO STATIONS ARE WHERE COMMUTERS BECOME PEDESTRIANS Existing transit stations at Memorial Park and Central Park (Del Mar Station) are the essential anchors of the Passages network. In a multi-

modal transportation system, everything that leads up to the transition between modes is also part of the realm of that experience. Continuity is key.

4. PASSAGES ARE KEY LINKS THAT SUPPORT COLORADO BLVD These pedestrian links between parking and Metro Stations support Pasadena’s main thoroughfare, creating non-arterial links between

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parking and Colorado Boulevard and inviting meandering strolls through a hierarchy of spaces that connect to and from this all important street.


WHAT OTHER CITIES ARE DOING

OPEN AMPHITHEATER

The High Line in New York City The High Line is a great example of how a linear park can be built out of what’s already existing while benefiting stakeholders in unexpected ways. Built on an abandoned elevated railroad in lower Manhattan, the 1.45 mile High Line was first proposed in 1999 by citizens in New York City and was funded by local developers who recognized the value of the urban oasis for recreational walking.

The 3-mile Promenade Plantée in Paris (1993) was the inspiration for the High Line. In the last decade, the High Line has served as the catalyst that has transformed the areas it passes through, exceeding expectations, raising the value of nearby real estate, turning critics into advocates and inspiring other cities to follow suit.

Attracting Diversity: Melbourne’s Lanes and Arcades Plan In the last decade, Melbourne has fostered an urban renaissance by transforming service alleys (lanes) and connecting arcades, creating public spaces that have successfully engaged a diverse array of people instead of one economic demographic. This creates a new cultural imprint on Melbourne that is economically sustainable because of the diversity of people attracted to the downtown area.

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POTENTIAL PATTERNS AND ELEMENTS These patterns suggest potential patterns and elements that are either already being discussed or might be worthy of further study. As with the pages that follow, these patterns are presented as a way of generating further conversation, providing additional input and serving a continual process that will and must change and evolve in coming decades.

ARCHITECTURAL DETAILING THEME: FOR EXAMPLE, WROUGHT IRON An element that creates a touch of aesthetic unity throughout the passages would help create a stronger sense of place. Wrought iron is shown here to

demonstrate one of many viable architectural themes that could be utilized. Tile, vines and/or fountains are also worth exploring in a public process.

CROSSWALKS & BULBS: CITY HALL’S NEW CROSSWALKS AS AN EXAMPLE

“BULB”

The new crosswalks in front of Pasadena’s City Hall serve as an example of what can be done to make the presence of pedestrians known to motorists while

creating a strong sense of place. Crosswalk strategies and mid-block crosswalks are discussed in detail on page 77.

LIGHTING: THE EXAMPLE OF THE PASEO’S BULBS ON THE CIVIC CENTER AXIS Currently, conventional lamposts are planned for Gold Line Promenade, which will chop up the space and not differentiate from streetscapes. A more effec-

tive solution would utilize a canopy of strung bulbs, allowing a unique signature and better light, while allowing the use of the passage to remain flexible.

PARKLETS A parklet is a small extension of the sidewalk (often a parking space) to provide greenery and amenities for pedestrians. Parklets would help create not only green space, but also continuity

at points of transition. An example of how parklets might be utilized are described in the East Paseo Link section (see page 86 for details) and Playhouse Passages sections (page xx).

PLANTERS AT EDGES: THE FIRST HORTICULTURAL COURT The “Home-Made Planning Exhibit” of 1916 included a transformation of a back alley as “Pasadena’s First Horticultural Court” (page xx), with local nurseries, the parks department and local schools participating. Bringing plants and vegetation to the largely hardscaped passages today is as effective as

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it was a century ago. Umbria, Italy has fine examples (left, upper), as does One Colorado. In a centennial planning exhibit today, a range of drought-resistant solutions might be solicited and studied by both professionals, students and experts from the rich offering of local gardens and nurseries.


POTENTIAL USES OF THE PASSAGES EXISTING

PROPOSED

POTENTIAL

Black Bldg

COMMUNITY HUBS AT PASSAGE INTERSECTIONS

MORGAN ALLEY

P

PED BRIDGE

EXISTING

LOT

P

Potential

The planning efforts of 1915-1916 focused on both a civic cetner and “sub-centers” of neighborhood schools, parks, libraries and playgrounds. Community hubs at passage intersections continue this pattern of a multitude of smaller cores.

Potential examples include the permanent Civic Planning Exhibit that was called for in 1916, small parks, a sculpture garden, play spaces, non-profit exhibit space, community bulletin boards, and other community uses.

FOCUSED CHARACTERISTICS AND USES Potential characteristics for each of the 12 segments provide variety and focused points of interest. Potential themes—sculpture garden, rose walk, used book-

sellers row, et al—are presented solely as a way of initiating the conversation of the range of potential uses that could be further explored in an exhibit today.

INCUBATOR, MAKER & COWORKING SPACES s

r Space

Incubato

A municipal incubator beside the Paseo parking structure is discussed on page 91.

IdeaLab is a business incubator that launched a host of legendary businesses that have significantly contributed to Pasadena’s excellence in the realm of business and technology, while infusing new jobs and businesses into the local economy.

Business incubator spaces help entrepreneurs during the startup stages, providing services with a mix of like-minded people that “reduce failure” according to the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum. Maker Spaces offer tools and classes for fabrication. Adam’s Forge is an example of a local blacksmithing space. Coworking spaces provide a shared working environment as an alternative to the home-office. Incubator, maker, and coworking spaces hold the promise of infusing fresh vitality and opportunity where it is needed most. Whether initiated privately by economic incentive/variance, or by a nonprofit or City initiative, a coordinated effort could reinfuse vitality and a pioneering spirit that is much needed.

need of public interchange. Because of this, incubator spaces can be either tucked away or placed along passages. Potential locations are many. A municipal incubator beside the west Paseo parking structure is discussed on page 91, #4. TYPES OF SPACES Business Incubators: A range of basic office-based, business and tech incubator spaces are needed. Food and Item Based Incubator Spaces: Small, cart sized spaces that add vitality to passages. Nonprofits: Need spaces to get off the ground.

Without new enterprises the local economy falters. These largely 2-5 year affordable leases would create opportunity, a buzz of energy and projects, along and beside the passages, filling the continual need for news, curiosity and variety.

Artist’s Incubator Spaces: Pasadena had the highest concentration of artists’ studios on the West Coast in the 1970s and 80s. These have all but disappeared. Providing space for the real time creation of art seems imperative if the arts scene is to continue to thrive. An arts-based incubator is a solution.

There are two kinds of incubator spaces: projects worked on behind closed doors and those that are in

Special Ongoing Uses—Potential examples include used book stalls, farmers markets, pedal-cabs, etc.

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Arts Infusion A Tradition of Pasadena Revitalization

ART LADDER PASADENA Pasadena supports an impressive array of artistic activity. Below is a rough representation the current art scene in Pasadena and places where the rungs are missing.

ART MUSEUMS The Norton Simon Museum of Modern Art USC Pacific Asia Museum Pasadena Museum of California Art

ARTISTIC EVENTS The Rose Parade The Chalk Festival Art Night The Fine Art & Craft Fair

ORGANIZATIONS The Pasadena Arts Council The Armory Center for the Arts Light Bringer Project

Art Galleries Stage Theaters Civic Auditorium Pasadena Playhouse Boston Court

INDIVIDUALS

Studio Artists The actual making of Art!

Street Artists standing on the sidewalk crafting and selling!

ARTS EDUCATION Ideas and inspiration

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Among the defining characteristics of Pasadena is the enduring legacy of art and architecture. Where the sciences and entrepreneurial spirit of the city helped define what people do, it is the realm of the arts and architecture that have had the most enduring impact on what people see on a daily basis—that quality that has imbued Pasadena with the feeling that there was a time when people put a great deal of care into its physical landscape, a legacy that extends to the people of Pasadena today. In the decades following 1900, during the advent of the automobile, the Arts & Crafts and City Beautiful movements created a grounding aesthetic of classically inspired bridges, monuments, parks and civic buildings that have been preserved and restored as the jewels in the crown of Pasadena. As described in the history chapter (pages 29-29), these two movements of domestic and civic architecture transformed Pasadena from what would otherwise have been the last stop on Route 66 into a world-class city.

Pasadena’s arts scene supports its own transit system.

and pop-up spaces in the vacant spaces of the Paseo Colorado mall. This excellent idea helps provide balance with the presence of struggling artists and arts organizations. However, once the vacancies at the Paseo are filled, this delicate rung on the “arts ladder” will be once again missing. The suggestions to the right do not attempt to replicate earlier times nor fix systemic “Up-Pop” at the Paseo Mall issues of supporting the arts. The measures on the opposite page are intrinsically Pasadena traditions that embody the minimum of stop-gap measures to infuse a spirit expression into a place where it is sorely lacking, breathing life into bland spaces.

In the evolution of cities, artists find underutilized areas and bring them to society’s attention. With the decline of Colorado Boulevard, a new generation of artists infused the neglected area with the dynamic energy of the largest concentration of artists’ studios on the West Coast. Then come the speculators. As Jane Ellison, senior planner of the city’s urban conservation program for Old Pasadena would rightly lament in a 1980 LA Times article, “People like the artists who helped create the atmosphere that attracted speculators to the area end up victims of the speculation.” In addition to asking what price the artists pay, perhaps the larger question should be what price does the city pay and what can be done to mitigate the effects of a more sterile and bland landscape on the city itself? Where there were once enough artists’studios to support an arts walk of their galleries, today’s annual Arts Night Pasadena balances institutional programs with live performances

A Pasadena Generous to Artists Most cities would chase this guy away. Pasadena’s merchants recognize the character street artists bring.


ARTISTS CAN IMBUE THE PASSAGES WITH THE CARING THAT MADE PASADENA, PASADENA IMBUE BLAND SURFACES WITH ARTISTIC ENERGY THE ROSE PARADE AND CHALK FESTIVAL EXAMPLES ADOPTED AND TRANSFORMED Pasadena’s rightly proud of its Rose Parade and Chalk Festival. Both embody an unusual kind of artistic energy. Imaginative, creative and ever-changing, each lasts for only a day or so and stimulates a fun and fantastic energy for ephemeral art.

Taking a page from the Chalk Festival and from the planning process of a century ago, a public “competition” to add either building detailing (perhaps interpretations of Classical themes), murals or mosaics would go far in adding artistic vibrancy.

INCUBATOR SPACES FOR ART: PASADENA ARTS WALK AND EXAMPLE OF UP-POP S SPACE ATOR INCUB

This is one potential location (see p.68)

To the extent that the arts scene of Pasadena relies on actual artists, balancing the esteemed art museums at the top of the “Arts Ladder” with spaces where artists can affordably do and show their work would go far in creating a stronger and more sustainable arts-scene.

As detailed on page 79, an incubator is a solution used in business that can work for any enterprise. Funded either privately, publicly or by grants and foundations, one possible location is at the west end of the city-owned Paseo parking structure at the corner of Green Street and Arroyo Parkway.

FOUNTAINS AND TILEWORK: THE EXAMPLE OF ERNEST BATCHELDER Many artists have had a strong hand in the rich tradition of architectural artwork in Pasadena, but few have had the impact of the tilework of Ernest Batchelder. His tile fireplaces, door surrounds, fountains and urns define the Pasadena landscape. In the bland detailing of the Paseo mall, the large fountain at

the west end is the one saving grace because of its creative use of tile. The new Urth Cafe is another example of how tile can enrich public spaces. Building on this rich tradition of tilework throughout these passages would go far in infusing a visual richness where blandness now prevails.

MAKER SPACES: THE EXAMPLE OF ADAM’S FORGE As discussed on the previous two pages, a maker space is a workshop where tools are made available to members and classes in fabrication are taught. Along with architectural detailing themes throughout the passages, a complimentary maker space could combine the theme with somewhere that

teaches and produces that element. For example, if the theme were wrought iron, a nonprofit such as Adam’s Forge, which teaches the art of blacksmithing, would go far in creating a dynamic synergy and artistic vitality that has waned and allows for evolving architectural detailing.

THE OPEN ART GALLERY: THE EXAMPLE OF A SCULPTURE GARDEN Giving one of the 10 segments of the passages being discussed an arts-based focus is in keeping with the general priorities of Pasadena. With its broad open spaces and blank walls, the Gold Line Promenade segments hold the greatest potential for an outdoor gallery of some type worthy of study and public input.

The example of a sculpture garden is illustrated on page 85 as a way generating conversation. This location is used as an example as it sits at the crossroads of Gold Line Promenade and Mercantile (Plotkin) Alley. Other locations and mediums (such as murals) are also worth investigating.

SIGNATURE STENCIL & EDGE PAVING PATTERN: THE PLAYHOUSE EXAMPLE Pasadena’s Playhouse District has successfully introduced a unique stenciled motif at its crosswalks. Tastefully executed, the pattern contributes to an overall sense of cohesion and sense-ofplace in the district.

A different unique design for the linking of the passages outlined in this document could be used— primarily at points of juncture and transition, to highlight linkages and contribute to a stronger overall sense of place.

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Viewed towards Raymond Ave, two girls cross Colorado Street at the location proposed in 1915.

GOLD LINE

PROMENADE The City Beautiful Movement set in motion much of what is loved about Pasadena today. The idea of a Gold Line Promenade dates back to their heroic efforts of planning Pasadena’s future a century ago.

UNION TO METRO STATION The tracks buried just beneath this space emerge at the Memorial Park Metro Gold Line Station, seen in the distance.

Their vision was to place a civic center around Memorial Park, requiring the removal of the Santa Fe tracks. As stated in the Pasadena Plan of 1915, the goal was to have “all railroad crossings eliminated,” and that “the Santa Fe tracks are to be replaced by a promenade connecting the parks.” In the mid-1990s, the Santa Fe tracks were finally removed to have the trains pass just beneath the streets between two stations built at Central and Memorial parks, thus providing this rare opportunity: a new space to connect civic spaces that connect to transit and parking and a vibrant streetscape. The following pages lay out the core issues that need to be addressed in creating a promenade today: current conditions, the potential of each block and, separately, the question of mid-block crosswalks. More specific issues are examined on the “Potential Patterns and Elements” page that follows this section.

CUT & COVER AT STATS A link to Central Park requires cooperation to widen this strip.

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Memorial (Library) Park

Addressing what we now call walkability, a promenade connecting people in the spaces between street and parking, transit and home, is an investment worthy of Pasdena’s visionaries of a century ago.

Central Park

The Vision The heavy black lines on the “Pasadena Plan” of 1915 shows planned changes being called for. Orange and green have been added for emphasis. Click here for a copy or download a copy at pasdadenapassages.org/pasadenaplan.pdf


CURRENT CONDITIONS Gold Line Stations

P

Memorial Park

THE GOLD LINE RIGHT-OF-WAY JOINS TWO METRO STATIONS AND TWO PARKS, AN EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY FIRST PROPOSED IN 1915

Gold Line Station

HOLLY TO UNION

HOLLY ST.

P Cafes have been cleared to have tables and chairs in the space, and there is a private sitting area at the north end, but little else.

UNION ST.

The parking structure’s back entry leads to the Gold Line space, but is unlit. The Delacey Street parking structure is a better example of a similar space.

COLORADO TO GREEN

COLORADO BLVD.

MERCANTILE PLACE (EXISTING)

P GREEN ST.

ONE WAY

This is where the Gold Line drops under Green Street behind Stats Though included in the original vision of the promenade from 1915, this segment must be considered separately as it’s not among the parcels of former train right-of-way. However, having a single owner of Stats, Fishbecks and the lot at the corner of Green Street and Arroyo Parkway might help in coordinating a solution in this block.

EMPTY LOT

FISHBECKS

Central Park

Gold Line Station

25

ARROYO PKWY

CASTLE GREEN

STATS FLORAL HOME DECORATIVE CENTER

SINGLE OWNER

Dog Haus Biergarten (left) faces this stretch of the promenade. The large parking lot on the right presents an opportunity for a new arcade to define the promenade. There is also a potential to create a crossroads with Mercantile Place.

GREEN TO CENTRAL PARK

ARROYO PKWY

DIAGONAL ALL WALK CROSSING

P

RAYMOND AVE

UNION TO COLORADO

ONE WAY


GOLD LINE BLOCKS CONSIDERED The potential of unique themes for each block help strengthen the whole, creating variety and points of interest. Suggested themes and characteristics are presented here solely as a way of initiating the conversation of the full spectrum of possible characteristics for each segment as further detailed on pages 20-21.

The following two pages consider the blocks of the buried Gold Line independent of the question of crosswalks, which are discussed on page 28. Unlike a deeply buried subway, the cut-and-cover nature of the buried tracks creates weight and use limitations (ie small trees can be potted but not planted).

BETWEEN HOLLY & UNION ST. THE GOLD LINE STATION SEGMENT

BETWEEN UNION & COLORADO THE PARKING PLAZA SEGMENT

POTENTIAL EXAMPLE THEME

POTENTIAL EXAMPLE THEME

USED BOOK SELLERS ROW

COMMUTERS OASIS

HOLLY

. N ST

UNIO

Opening from the Memorial Park Gold Line Station, this all-important opening segment of the network of The opportunity exists to take a passages at Holly Street holds potential for creating page from Paris by occupying an identifiable gateway to the promenade. This first this segment with small businesses or incubator block combines a central public space and two spaces that bring conversation, life and interest to privately owned side alleys (shown in brown the passage. With all the local used bookstores below). A small plaza already exists as now out of business, spaces for used book stalls, shown in the bottom photo. Building owners create another point of interest to activate this should be encouraged to open windows otherwise dead space. and doors onto this space. Existing Incubator spaces are discussed in detail on bicycle lockers for commuters suggest page 33. the potential for a business catering to cyclists. Other uses include potential incubator business locations LOT focused on transportation and the ting Exis needs of commuters.

ST.

Gold Line Station

Parking

. N ST

UNIO VE OND A

RAYM

AY EW ON

ST.

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HOLLY

MEMORIAL PARK

Existing

ARRO


GOLD LINE BLOCKS CONSIDERED BETWEEN COLORADO & GREEN MERCANTILE PLACE CROSSROADS

NOT PART OF THE BURIED GOLD LINE BEHIND STATS TO CENTRAL PARK

POTENTIAL EXAMPLE THEME

POTENTIAL EXAMPLE THEME

SCULPTURE GARDEN

THE ROSE WALK

A sculpture garden in this segment could help anchor the middle of the Gold Line Promenade in a way that creates a civic space that is both destination and a point of interest along the way. Perhaps curated as a rotating exhibit, a sculpture garden might favor kinetic work or lighter sculptures, perhaps highliting a larger exhibit at one of the many arts venues throughout Pasadena. The parking lots are also building sites with potential for structures that face both the street and the promenade. More uses of this“Crossroads” are discussed on page 90, #2.

This Stats/Fishbecks/Empty Lot parcel has a single owner and the potential to coordinate development and strengthen the urban fabric of these properties. With this property’s historic ties serving as Stats focus on floral supplies, a Rose Walk theme would help tie the fence along the edge of the submerging Gold Line with the final link to Central Park. Proceeding behind Fishbecks for a more direct connection to the Gold Line Station is also worth serious investigation and consideration.

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Gray Buildings © CyberCity 3D / City of Pasadena

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THE QUESTION OF MID-BLOCK CROSSWALKS In the abstract, intersections are the best place for pedestrian crosswalks, as motorists don’t expect pedestrians crossing in the middle of the block. The Exception of One-Way: As with all rules, there are key exceptions. For example, in places where there are one-way streets, as in front of Civic Auditorium or on South Lake Street, it is unrealistic to expect someone to walk two blocks to cross the street. It is in the name of public safety that we have mid-block crosswalks in these The Mid-block Crosswalk locations. at the Civic Auditorium

The Exception of Linkages: Mid-block crosswalks are also appropriate to create linkages between two pedestrian zones. An example of this occurs in the link between City Hall and Plaza Las Fuentes. Here, the presence of a welllandscaped pedestrian zone at both the Plaza Las Fuentes and the garden courtyard of City Hall make clear the Plaza need for a mid-block las City Hall Fuentes crosswalk. Another example of this type was been painted in front of the Pasadena Playhouse in 2014 connecting to the new Playhouse Plaza across the street.

Mid-block Crosswalk from City Hall to Plaza Las Fuentes

THE KEY: STREET SIGNALS TIMED WITH THE PULSED FLOW OF CARS ON ONE-WAY STREETS AND AT THE ALL-STOP, ALL-WALK CROSSWALK AY EW

ON

ST.

UNIO

HOLLY

. N ST ting

Exis

Gold Line Station

X-ING TIMED WITH Existing

EXISTING ALL-STOP, ALL-WALK CROSWALK

MEMORIAL PARK

X-ING TIMED WITH THE ONE-WAY FLOW OF

UNION ST.

28

AT RAYMOND

ST.


EFFECTIVE CROSSWALK STRATEGIES

Flashing Signs

Zebra Striping

Rumble Strips

We used to have only boundary line crosswalks. Taking a page from European cities, we now use the more effective zebra stripe solution when greater visibilty is needed.

Grooves alert cars they are entering a pedestrian zone. Independent of this proposal, where one-way Union St. narrows at Arroyo Pkwy and enters Old Pasadena, rumble strips will make pedestrians safer along Union St.

Crosswalks Bulbs

The Arroyo Seco Parkway now has a white version of this type of light embedded in the road at the end of the tunnels near Dodger Stadium to alert motorists of a left-hand exit to 5 north. Use of embedded lights would also help highlight a pedestrian crosswalk.

This is a solar powered crosswalk sign with flashing lights, a particularly effective strategy where children are likely to congregate.

At City Hall, the relatively new crosswalks and curb “bulbs” pinch the sidewalk at crosswalks and bring planting beds forward, thus alerting motorists to the presence of the crosswalk.

Crossing Arms

The All-Stop, All-Walk Diagonal Crosswalk

The other measures should suffice, but it’s worth conisdering: for 100 years, crossing arms kept motorists safe from trains along this stretch. This is the NE side of Colorado.

At Colorado and Raymond Ave, all traffic is brought to a halt while pedestrians cross, which could easily synchronize with the timing of a mid-block crosswalk where the Gold Line Promenade intersects Colorado Blvd.

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THE

DEAD ZONE PROJECTS

MENDING A GAP IN THE URBAN FABRIC

MARENGO TO ARROYO PARKWAY, UNION TO GREEN STREET

Morgan Alley

THE BLACK BUILDING: Colorado Blvd. and Arroyo Parkway. Unknown as Plaza Centre, 150 E. Colorado is referred to by many of its detractors as the Darth Vader Bldg and Darth Vader’s Tomb.

Before the 1980s, there was no division between Old Pasadena and the mall that is now called the Paseo. Though the oldest blocks were struggling, Pasadena had one continuous downtown along Colorado Boulevard from the middle of Pasadena at Colorado and Fair Oaks to the Civic Center and east along this old section of Route 66.

30

Black Bldg Prkg

ARROYO PARKWAY

The following pages describe but a few of the many projects that can revitalized and reintegrate this area that is now so void of life back into the urban fabric of Pasadena.

MALL PARKING GREEN ST.

ALLEY MORGAN

COLOR A

DO BL VD.

The above photos show the same stretch of Colorado Boulevard in both the 1930s and today. There were nearly a dozen buildings in this block, each with a different owner, architect, flavor and personality. Then in the early 1980s, the block-long, black-mirrored monolith referred to in this document as the Black Building and by many Pasadenans

as “Darth Vader’s Tomb” appeared. Together with the AT&T Building, West Paseo parking structure and Bank of America building, these remnants of Pasadena’s experiment with Modernist Redevelopment, are hermetic, opaque and impenetrable structures that separate Old Pasadena from the rest of the downtown. Like a massive wall, they squeeze out the variety, richness and vibrancy that once defined this area, creating an artificial division between Old Pasadena and the Civic Center’s main axis.

BANK OF AMERICA


BLACK BUILDING PASEO PARKING

Morgan All

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Black Bldg 1-Story Parking Structure

ES AVE.

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THE SLOT BETWEEN PARKING STRUCTURES

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Project 6: Option C connects to here

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THE DEAD ZONE THE PASEO FOUNTAIN

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Behind the Black Building, Morgan alley is a two-lane, one-way driveway serving its parking structure. Few places in Pasadena are more under-utilized than this alley where a train turntable was located (see “Legacy of Tracks,” page 91). A piece of Morgan Alley also exists on the west side of Arroyo Parkway

EXISTING CONDITIONS IN THE DEAD ZONE PLUS GOLD LINE (WITH CROSSWALKS SCENARIO )

E G PARKIN PASEO

BLACK B

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One of the best views in downtown Pasadena can be found at the top of the Paseo parking structure. A transformed Black Building extending back to the Paseo Parking Structure would have a similar view.

THE

E

N

DEAD ZONE ES AVE.

PROJECTS

1

“Streetscape” defines a street’s visual elements, including street furniture, adjacent buildings, trees, open spaces, etc—anything defining the street’s character. By developing a public/private partnership between the City of Pasadena and the owners of these buildings, the problem of people walking away from this zone can be reversed. Examples include the reskinning the Black Building and addressing its block-long monolithic, boxy, and dark-sunglasses-quality. As it’s set back from the edge of the sidewalk, expanding to that edge at intervals would do much to increase the esteem and value of this key building. Similar improvements throughout this zone would help raise Pasadena’s middling walkability score and draw people back to these streets.

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STREETSCAPE, FACADES & SIDEWALKS

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COMPLETE THE CROSSROADS: MORGAN ALLEY WEST Morgan Alley runs behind not only the Black Building, but also has a short piece behind Anderson Business Technology west of Arroyo Parkway. The 1995 city council approved “Streetscapes & Alley Walkways Plan” delineated a “proposed cross-over” on page 77, which is shown again here. Today, this connection would create a crossroads at Gold Line Promenade that would anchor the center of the promenade by creating an extension to Arroyo Parkway, either directly behind, as shown, or across the middle of the lot as shown on the next page, Option 6c. A variety of options also exist to maintain the ability for deliveries to reach the back of ABT.

ARCADE (OR COLLONADE) PROMENADE POTENTIAL LOCATION OF CITY PLANNING EXHIBIT The need for a permanent civic planning exhibit as articulated in 1916 has never been more pressing than today. Though there are many possible locations, this parking lot could define the “Crossroads” of the Gold Line Promenade, creating an anchor and focus at the center of the pedestrian promenade where it meets East Mercantile Place (aka Jim Plotkin Alley). The original 1916 “Home-Made City Planning Exhibit” was around the corner in the alley at 34 S. Raymond Ave; this location would make a fitting location for a permanent planning exhibit.

ting

Exis ntial

Pote

Existing

MEMORIAL PARK

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Black Bldg 2-story Parking Structure

Black Bldg

PaseoPaseo Parking Parking Structure Paseo Parking Structure

Incubator Spaces

ARROYO PARKWAY

GREEN ST. ARROYO PARKWAY

4

ARROYO PARKWAY

THE POTENTIAL OF INCUBATOR SPACES BESIDE PASEO PARKING The west end of the city-owned Paseo parking structure at the corner of Green Street and Arroyo Parkway is recessed 50-feet, leaving a space 150-feet wide, maintaining the opportunity to line this space with street frontage on Arroyo Parkway that would go far in rekindling life in this area.

O SE PA

In a way, this effort animates the vacant storefronts of the Paseo Colorado mall with pop-up arts spaces that the Paseo has during Art Night to great effect. When those spaces are leased, incubators could Civic Auditorium fill that void. As detailed on page 79, incubator spaces take their cue from the IdeaLab model, offerConf. Ctr ing a short-term (2-5 year) space for a start-up business, group, or artistic endeavor. This space would serve well for that effort and will add life, energy and attention to this dead space at the end of the Paseo, drawing greater interest to this aces p S r o t area that so greatly needs it. a Incub

THE GOAL T

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REWEAVE THE ARTIFICIAL DIVIDE AND RECONNECT THE CIVIC CENTER/PASEO WITH OLD PASADENA

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Orienting privately developed buildings on empty lots towards both the street and the back passages will make for a stronger urban fabric throughout the area. Having a single owner for the Stats, Fishbecks and the empty lot at Green Street and Arroyo Parkway also helps coordinate development.

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ES AVE.

DEAD ZONE

POTENTIAL LINKS

O

PROJECTS

PROJECT 6

SE PA

THE

LOS ROBL

CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN OLD PASADENA AND PASEO USING THE EXISTING PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

6

PROJECT 6 OPTIONS A, B, & C

6A

The goal of Project 6 is to create a pedestrian connection from the fountain at the west end of the Paseo’s main axis to a potential crossroads at the Gold Line Promenade and Mercantile Alley. Three options are explored, each connecting from the bridge’s current end at the under-utilized Paseo parking structure at Marengo Avenue. Option 6A adds no new bridge; Options 6B and 6C look at the potential of connecting from the existing pedestrian bridge over Marengo Avenue (two photos above) at the existing Paseo parking structure with a new pedestrian bridge over Arroyo Parkway.

VE NGO A

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Paseo Parking Structure

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PROJECT 6: OPTION A

GROUND LEVEL, EXISTING SIDEWALK LINK TO IMPROVED MORGAN ALLEY, NO NEW BRIDGE

RA DO

This first option to create a pedestrian link from the Gold Line Promenade to the mall uses the existing crosswalk and sidewalks to connect to the under-utilized Morgan Alley behind the Black Building to create a casual and non-arterial pedestrian link to the double set of elevators connecting the Paseo pedestrian bridge and parking structure with the sidewalk on Marengo Ave.

Gold Line Station

MEMORIAL PARK

34

The Paseo mall’s parking structure’s dual elevators complete this connection.

Vacant An

(formerly M


6B

Paseo Parking Structure

Oaklawn Pedestrian Bridge

Still in use over the Gold Line, this Greene and Greene bridge is the type of elegant structure that could cross Arroyo Parkway today. The Hotel Green’s old pedestrian bridge is another.

PROJECT 6: OPTION B COL O AD OR

A NEW BLACK BUILDING, SWAPPING MORGAN ALLEY FOR NEW BRIDGE CONNECTION TO PASEO BRIDGE With the publicly owned Morgan Alley reduced to a two lane, one-way driveway, this option offers the owner of the Black Building an incentive: Take possession of Morgan alley, thus uniting your two divided parcels into a single united parcel than can accommodate a much larger building in exchange for an open-air pedestrian right-of-way between the existing Marengo pedestrian bridge and a new pedestrian bridge across Arroyo Parkway to the Gold Line crossroads. There is enough space to ramp gently, a zigzag could add a nice winding passage quality to the great view seen at the top of page 90. This diagram show one of many possible configurations.

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PROJECT 6: OPTION C

BRIDGE TO PASEO PARKING

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This option links a new pedestrian bridge across Arroyo Parkway to a potential new building beside the Paseo parking structure (as discussed on page 91, #4). Ramping up a level through this new building to the top of the parking structure could also make a link to the existing pedestrian bridge.

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This part of Arroyo Parkway was where the commuter train to downtown terminated at the Black Building. The turn table was where its parking structure is. Morgan Alley served more than a dozen businesses with the Southern Pacific’s ticket office remaining until the 1950s.

Morgan Alley

Legacy of Tracks

Black B

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Playhouse Passages

The Potential of Rich Detailing to Transform the Bland Surfaces of the Paseo

See page 98.

Vienna’s Majolica House (left) and Pasadena’s Gas Building (right) are examples of how rich detailing has the power to transforms surfaces and imbue a feeling of care.

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PASEO PASSAGES

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The following is not a recipe for fixing all that ails the Paseo; only the two largest issues of reintegrating the mall into the urban fabric of Pasadena are considered. STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT 1. Plaza Pasadena: Suburban Mall A suburban mall built in an urban setting built to address middle-class urban flight. 2. Paseo Colorado I: Urban Village The failed mall was largely torn down for the laudable aim of an open-air “urban village.” 3. Paseo II: Upscale Tourist Destination Replacing Macy’s with an upscale hotel further alienates the local middle-class that subsidized its creation.

Though the Paseo reopened north-south Civic Center axis, it did nothing to address the far more significant east-west flow of Pasadena’s urban fabric. Clearly, the sins of the original mall were too great to fix all at once. Opening the east and west ends of the Paseo’s main axis is key to addressing its cut off qualities. The preceding Dead Zone Projects and East Paseo Link that follows create needed eastwest pedestrian connections. ISSUE 2: VILLAGE AUTHENTICITY New York has “Grenwich Village,” Westwood Village was once the reigning destination, why not Pasadena. Neither of those two are actually villages in the purest sense, but they have architectural diversity and a sense of place, offering unique experiences and a sense of unpredicability. Like the Americana in Glendale, the Paseo may be mixed use, but the single developer, single architect approach creates a feeling of superficial reproduction, lacking the “village” authenticity of Old Pasadena.

The “Arts Infusion” section (page 80), provides an alternative to the lifestyle advertising approach that seems to be the next underlay for the upscale tourist destination. This Arts Infusion has the potential to help turn around the Paseo’s bland appearance and involve the people of Pasadena.

PROPOSED HYATT HOTEL

SE PA

Though its anchor tenants have vacated along with many smaller stores, failing does not mean failed. Failing is a serious wake up an exciting opportunity to turn it all around for its owner DDR Corp, which is rumored to have the mall up for sale.

ISSUE 1: WALKABLE CONNECTIONS

O SE PA

...the continuing the story of Pasadena’s shopping center, builds on the introduction told on page 17 and page 73 of the Overview.

San Francisco’s Ferry Building is a good example of a public process that delivered a commercial space appealing to both tourists and locals. The ongoing issue of the mall is an opportunity to incubate new ideas and revitalize. Constructive dialogue between DDR, the mall’s owner, and the community that surrounds it helps relink the Paseo back into the fabric of Pasadena, which is essential to the success of what comes next.

LOT LDG ON NEW B 85, #5) (See p

Parking

MEMORIAL PARK

36

EX


PASADENA ATHLETIC CLUB

AVE. S ROBLES

Los Robles and Green Street: The Tragedy of Errors

THE EAST

The still standing corner of the original 1980 mall at Green Street and Los Robles Avenue is a great reminder of how bad architecture can scar a city and how good architecture can make it shine. The 1926 Pasadena Athletic Club located here embodied the qualities of great and beloved buildings: scale, detailing, historic significance and sidewalk presence.

PASEO LINK

EO

See next page for details.

When the Plaza Pasadena mall was planned, the Athletic Club site was almost excluded. Dean Frieden writes, “In response to citizen concerns, the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency asked [the architect] Curran to cut a notch out of his site for the Athletic Club Building. All of Curran’s alternatives would have pushed

AUDITORIUM

CONVENTION CENTER

G XISTIN E BRIDG

part of the Broadway behind the six-story Athletic Club, making the store less prominent from the street. As far as Broadway executives were concerned, no plan would do except demolition” (Downtown, Inc., p.92). In sum, the Athletic Club was torn down so these windowless walls could be prominent for a store that died. Poor as the existing plaza pedestrian gateway is, this small concession to walkabilty is going to be replaced by a Hyatt Hotel that will constructed out to the corner. The architect’s drawings suggest an arcade is there, but they are only windows. This long-suffering corner deserves better. Options are discussed on the East Paseo Link page that follows.

Proposed Hyatt Hotel, Los Robles at Green.

THE

DEAD ZONE

Six potential projects link the Paseo to Old Pasadena. The link shown here represents one of three potential connections. See page 86 for details.

PROJECTS

LDG ON

NEW B

LDG ON

NEW B

Gold Line Station

LOT

LOT

NS

EE

GR T.

The Crossroads

DO

A OR

COL D.

BLV

TOP ALL S ALK ALL W G X-IN

CASTLE GREEN

CENTRAL

GOLD LINE PROMENADE

PARK

This study of the Paseo mall shows Gold Line Promenade (orange line) in its most ambitious form. Originally envisioned in 1915 as “a promenade connecting the parks,” the burying of the Gold Line right-ofway in Old Pasadena has left a paved space with bicycle parking, benches, a few potted plants, but little else. Like the High Line in NYC, activating its use by creating public spaces, encouraging adjoining business and creating public spaces along the way would go far in improving this vital link to and from both parking and two Gold Line stations. Considered with and without crosswalks and the Stats segment, see Gold Line section (pages 82-87) for details.

37


THE PASEO/PLAZA PASADENA

Vacant Macy’s, Hyatt Hotel Site Vacant Bank

The tragic story of this corner is told on the previous page.

Parking Lot

Green St. ONE-WAY=>

THE

EAST PASEO LINK RECLAIMING PEDESTRIAN SPACE

As plans proceed to replace Macy’s at the east end of the Paseo, DDR, the mall’s developer, is proceeding with a much welcomed extension of the Paseo’s main axis. The project calls for a Hyatt Hotel on the Green Street side and a building called “Villa at the Paseo” on the Colorado Boulevard side. The pedestrian plaza that had been a small concession when the Athletic Club was torn down at the corner of Green Street and Los Robles (described on the previous page) will become the Hotel’s circular driveway, a significant shift from pedestrian to vehicular use. Though some of that loss will be made up for by the

Paseo Axis Extension, it is a net loss of pedestrian space. The new terminus of the axis ends unceremoniously with as narrow a sidewalk as can be found around the mall, only 12’feet-1 inch. This bottleneck also services a bus stop, making it effectively even more narrow.

Three suggested changes include: 1) A wider sidewalk on Los Robles to match the setback of Colorado Boulevard, 2) An arcade along Los Robles like the one planned for Colorado Blvd, and 3) A wider point of entry at Los Robles. Two blocks north, Plaza Las Fuentes’ connection with the Civic Center axis is a good example of a stronger connection.

DEVELOPER’S PLAN FOR THE EAST END OF THE PASEO

ARCADE ADDED

COLORADO BLVD.

Paseo Axis Extension

WIDER SIDEWALK

Proposed “Villa at the Paseo”

LOS ROBLES AVE

Though the proposed elevation drawing on the left appears to have an arcade, the arches are actually windows. The suggested improvements as shown above include an arcade carved out of the proposed design without altering the size of the floors above.

Pedestrian plaza at the Broadway (later Macys).

LOS ROBLES AVE

38

SIDEWALK TOO NARROW 12’-1”

A deeper sidewalk, an arcade like the one planned for Colorado and a wider entrance make for a more attractive walking space.

GREEN ST.

LOS ROBLES AVE

ARCADE HERE, NONE HERE

COLORADO BLVD.

Paseo Axis Extension

GREEN ST.

Hyatt Hotel

Developer Proposed “Villa at the Paseo”

In addition to improving the end of the Paseo, the opportunity for a small park across the street is examined next.

POTENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS TO DEVELOPER’S PLAN

The Hyatt Hotel’s circular drop off area replacing the old Macy’s pedestrian plaza makes for a net loss in pedestrian space.

Developer Proposed

The net loss of the pedestrian plaza is a significant issue when combined with the narrow sidewalk. An arcade is planned by DDR along Colorado Boulevard, but on Los Robles is only intimated in the shape of windows, but there is no actual arcade


THE PLAYHOUSE DISTRICT Converse Alley Colorado Blvd.

Church Parking

First United Methodist Church

Oakland Ave (at Green St.)

GREENING ON GREEN THE PASEO

COLO RAD VD O BL

LOS ROBLES VACANT BANK

ALLEY

EXISTING LAWN

Securing, preserving, and relandscaping this strip would go far in enhancing this back corner of the Paseo, and further improve the gateways to both the Pasadena Playhouse District and the Paseo. In final form, the sidewalk could be pulled away from the curb where there is not parking on Green Street, relieving the roots of trees that fracture the sidewalks. A range of droughtresistant native vegetation is worthy of studied exploration.

Paseo Parking

GREEN ST

This block of Green Street would be largely unremarkable were it not for the beautiful canopy of trees planted a century ago. An existing of lawn extends east from the corner of Los Robles and Green St. Halfway down the block, planting areas beside the parking lot entrances continue this zone.

(DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY)

LEGEND Passage (Existing) Pedestrian Space Lost Existing Green Strip Propoposed Parklet Existing Crosswalk 1st United Methodist Church

Potential strip park is to left. Also potential for flexible park and parking on this parcel as at Casita del Arroyo.

EA X DD

A. SECURE LAWN TO CORNER OF CHURCH

The development rights of the existing lawn on Green St. (left) should be secured down to the church, creating a gateway to both the Paseo and Playhouse District.

EXISTING LAWN: Looking East from Los Robles and Green St. to First United Methodist Church.

X A X

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

OAKLAND AVE

B. A PARKLET ON GREEN STREET

Le Cordon Bleau

Parking Structure

C. PARKING ON OAKLAND

This study of Oakland Avenue is one possible configuration for this very wide block. Diagonal parking would more than make up for lost spaces on Green Street.

EY CONVERSE ALL

A parklet is a small extension of the sidewalk (often a parking space) to provide a amenities for pedestrians. In the above pocket park, a parklet is proposed from church to the corner at Oakland Avenue. This would take up six parking places regained with diagonal parking on Oakland Avenue.

Parking Structure

Converse Alley is a pedestrian zone now, serving Cordon Bleu and County Children’s Services.

39


THE STORY OF THE DISTRICT AND THE RANGE OF POSSIBILITIES

Playhouse Passages The Pasadena Community Playhouse was founded in 1917 amidst the great wave of WWI-era civic planning. A Spanish Colonial Revival theater designed by architect Elmer Grey opened in 1926. A School of Theater Arts and world renown followed. With its parking located back behind the Playhouse, patrons are required to walk down Playhouse Alley to get to the theater. Improving existing pedestrian connections along Playhouse Alley, Converse Alley and Arcade Lane provides a unique opportunity to strengthen the urban fabric at the core of the Playhouse District. What follows is an overview of projects in progress and issues currently discussed in the Playhouse District. These projects

Dustin Hoffman

Gene Hackman

stand on their own merits, even without an East Paseo Link to the revitilized Paseo Colorado mall and its new hotel. Connecting with the East Paseo Link creates a connection that serves as a kind of funnel from the Paseo into the district towards its continually struggling Playhouse. In the late 1960s the IRS padlocked the Playhouse and it did not reopen until the 1980s. Financial crisis have repeatedly shuttered the Playhouse, again in 2010, reopening soon after. Demand is the key, the complete play-going experience is the supply. Connecting to the new hotel and the rest of the Passages network can only help bring more people into the sphere of the Pasadena Playhouse and contribute to its continued success.

Eve Arden

Raymond Burr

William Holden

Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman attended the theatric school as the greats of Hollywood appeared on stage.

40

A mid-block crosswalk is already planned here for the new development across El Molino Avenue.

39 S. El Molino Avenue. Architect: Elmer Grey

Playhouse Alley


DISTRICT ELEMENTS

EXPAND PLAYBILL GALLERY

PAINT THE ALLEY

Adding lights and more cases enlivens the stroll.

1

PLAYHOUSE ALLEY

This Majolica Building pattern applied to Playhouse Alley illustrates the potential of using a passage as a canvas to beautify and alert motorists they are entering a special zone.

Six Level Parking Structure P

SHOWCASE ALLEY WINDOWS

Windows have potential to showcase.

PUBLIC ART

Extending the district’s successful public art program to Playhouse Alley will enliven the passage.

Crown City Medical Center

FLEX-PARKING

MADISON AVE.

ouse Alley

RA

LO

Zona Rosa Cafe

D.

BLV

red white+ bluezz

DO

Jacob Maarse Florists

PASADENA PLAYHOUSE

Fiesta Grande Restaurant

CO

Potential Plaza

ST.

Existing Plaza

Playhouse Parking

Urth Cafe

GREEN

Since opening in 1926, patrons have walked from the rear parking lot down the alley, shared with cars, to get to the theater. Marking the alley by painting it with a pattern would alert motorists this is a special zone.

Playh

P

AN EXISTING PEDESTRAN LINK FROM PARKING

As at Casita del Arroyo, a lattice of concrete and grass allows parking to become occasional public space. Part of the lot behind Fiesta Grande Restaurant makes for great seasonal outdoor dining.

EL MOLINO

Playhouse Plaza (Under Construction)

ARCADE LANE

PLANTS AT EDGES

PLANTED CURB BULB They calm traffic at junctures and beautify. (Icon is example only)

A raised planterbox solution 10” wide on the edges of parts of some alleys follows the pattern of “Planters at Edges” and the 1916 “Horticultural Court.”

THE PARKLET A parklet is a sidewalk extension (often a parking space) providing greenery and amenities for pedestrians.

COURTYARDS Inner plazas enliven the hierarchy of spaces. Urth Cafe built an excellent one on Madison. The map shows other potential locations.

41


2 CONVERSE ALLEY AN EXISTING PEDESTRIAN LINK FROM PARKING

As motorists become pedestrians at parking structures, the following improvements make stronger, safer and more vibrant connections independent of the Passages Plan. Converse Alley is unique among the ten segments of the Passages network as it is already signed and lighted as a pedestrian zone. With the possible exception of adding some paint, it is largely already done. With the First United Methodist Church framing the view, Converse Alley feels more like a promenade than an alley, serving the adjacent LA County Children’s Services, Le Cordon

Murals reflecting surrounding uses (culinary, medical and children) have been added via Photoshop to some of the surfaces of the parking structure and the alley to illustrate how painting can also be used to alert motorists they are entering a special zone.

Bleau School, as well as the church and playhouse at either end. The Interplay of Parking and Cars The alley is lined on the south by a six-level parking structure accessed by the two side streets with pedestrians entering and exiting onto Converse. The interplay is far more dangerous inside the parking structure where cars and pedestrians travel unpredictably in all directions. This is

key in considering the soon-to-be-built Crown City Medical Center. More cars will utilize Converse as its entry sits at the alley’s east end. Alerting motorists that they are entering a special zone by painting the alley’s surface would make their parking safer for pedestrians as well. With CCMC’s commitment (see opposite page), making sure their rear facade contributes to the “promenade” qualities of Converse is also essential.

3 ARCADE LANE: POTENTIAL LINKS Built in 1927, Arcade Lane is the first pedestrian passage in Pasadena that began as a space for automobiles, originally to drive through from Colorado Boulevard to the rear parking lot. Among the most cherished passages in Pasadena, it has never succeeded enthusiastically as its architecture. Arcade has a dead-end and retraceyour-steps-quality if you’re walking down Colorado Blvd.

On the opposite page, the diagram shows how Arcade Lane is currently situated beside a new building, the nowunder-construction “Playhouse Plaza,” which will sit opposite the old theater with a mid-block crosswalk already approved and in the works. To the right are three options for the current owners of Arcade Lane worth considering in connecting this final link in the Passages Plan.

1

2

3

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

PLAYHOUSE PLAZA BUILDING

Arcade Lane Parking

Three potential links See opposite page for details.

42


LOOKING WEST TOWARDS OLD PASADENA Marriott

MEMORIAL PARK

CROWN CITY MEDICAL CENTER PARKING Crown City Medical Center is a proposed building moving through the approval process, slated for the empty lots on Madison Avenue at Colorado Boulevard, across from the Urth Cafe.

O SE PA

EO PAS

City-Owned Paseo Parking Structure

Currently plans call for a parking entry and exit on Converse Alley. Though not ideal, this is workable as a mixed pedestrian and car zone here would see the 400 cars parking somewhat spread out through the day, perhaps a car entering each minute, sometimes more sometimes less. However, serious consideration should be given to moving the parking entrance to Madison Ave. As visiting motorists always become pedestrians; this is PAC.ASIAN acknowledged by the developer’s MUSEUM goal “to strategically place street level uses that promote significant PAS. MUS. and pedestrian activity to help expand commercial CA ART recreational activity.”

New Hyatt East Paseo Link

2

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

CO

LO

SE

ER

NV

PASADENA PLAYHOUSE

EY

THE ARCADE LANE LINK(S)

ALL

3

Three Alternative Ways of Connecting Existing conditions between Playhouse Alley and Arcade Lane are shown to the right. Potential options for the Arcade Building’s owners are shown just to the left). Options 1 and 2 assume development in the Arcade Lane Parking lot, option 3 links through the new Playhouse Plaza. Option 1 routes a potential arcade beside Green St. Option 2 runs through the Arcade Lane parking lot with parking below.

BLV

D.

Y

USE

YHO PLA

Parking

ON

DIS

MA

Urth Cafe

Playhouse

DO

LE

EY

ALL

Potential Crosswalk

RA

AL

SE

LA Co Children & Family Services Crown City Medical Plaza

CO

Cordon Bleau Parking Culinary Structure School

VER

All crosswalks shown are existing. There is no crosswalk here on Madison Ave. These improvements could work using the existing crosswalk at Colorado or, as studied in the scenarios section, a crosswalk could be added here.

CON

CONVERSE ALLEY

. AVE URTH CAFE

Though not a simple change of plans, this would allow Converse Alley to be used with Playhouse Alley and El Molino for events on weekends. A calmer Converse Alley could prove to be among the great spaces of Pasadena.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION 2014

PLAYHOUSE PLAZA BUILDING

Arcade Lane Parking

CURRENT CONFIGURATION AT ARCADE LANE

ARCADE LANE

Existing Plaza

696 E. Colorado Boulevard Architect: Sylvanus Marston and Garrett Van Pelt

43


WHAT OTHER CITIES ARE DOING, PART II Part 1 of What Other Cities Are Doing on page 77 covered how New York’s High Line and Melbourne’s Alleyways plan has tranformed struggling urban areas by infusing pedestrian spaces where they might be least expected. This page covers other cities that are also making the wise investment in walkable urbanism.

Atlanta’s BeltLine is a multi-use trail that is being created out of a former rail corridor. The 22-mile project includes both multi-use paths for walking, running, bicycling and rollerskating through its 2500 acres. Greenspace, streetscapes, public art, affordable housing, and streetcar extensions have all drown to be a part of the BeltLine. In 2013 the project received a $18 million federal grant. The following six sections, from Paris to Spain, come from beltline.org.

44


WHAT OTHER CITIES ARE DOING, PART II

The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA In the last 20 years San Francisco has gone through an extraordinary transformation. After World War II, “freeways were built down the Embarcadero, separating the city from its front door to the Bay, and right through the city’s center, casting huge swaths of several neighborhoods into perpetual shade.” Continued calls to tear them down were met with objections of gridlock. When the 1989 earthquake rendered them structurally unsound, the predicted gridlock did not materialize. Even then the debate to tear down the freeways was often contentious. A grand boulevard and pedestrian promenade in the City Beautiful tradition was built. An extensive bicycle network was completed. “People started spending more time at the waterfront. Businesses sprouted like weeds where cold, dead shade had once been. Neighborhoods, like Hayes Valley, were reborn. The economy in those places grew. A school that had once stood underneath the shadow of the great freeway beast was now warm and light, and became a good and happy place to learn.” “And in a clear expression of direct democracy, the people voted that we didn’t want the freeways back, thank you very much. We prefer living in a city that connects to the natural environment of water and sky.” Today, it is hard to believe these projects were once controversial. But results speak for themselves as San Francisco has stimulated economic development by addressing the quality of life for pedestrians.

The Boiler Room: Port Townsend, Washington Sixty three years after the Home-Made City Planning exhibit was at 34 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena’s Espresso Bar was located in the very same space. When owner Margaret Schermerhorn sold the Espresso Bar and moved to Port Townsend, Washington, an employee in her new shop there poured through her scrapbook of the old “E-Bar” in Pasadena and decided to start a similarly “all ages” space in a back alley and named it the Boiler Room after the former use of the space. When ever rising rent threatened the “B-Room”, the for profit business transformed into a non-profit, community supported coffee house that now owns its own building.

45


THE PASSAGES PROJECT SCENARIOS & SURVEY

46


SCENARIOS & SURVEY As a way of simplifying potential solutions, three scenarios create: 1) A version that is largely “as is,” 2) A variant that adds new crosswalks, 3) Additional links for a more contiguous pedestrian network.

In keeping with the 1916 commitment to creating a feedback loop through a straw poll, a survey with two versions is presente. The “Short Form” version polls preference for one of the three scenarios highlighted below.

For each scenario, there are three or four potential solutions. Details can be mixed or matched while still enhancing walkability. The solutions are loosely descriptive and presented so that these scenarios can be “not approved but improved,” as Dean Damon wrote in 1915.

Alternatively, the following six pages also comprise the long version of the survey, highlighting all 45 details of the project. The survey can be printed and filled out or, a separate printable survey can be found at pasadenapassages.org/survey.pdf. An online version will also be appearing.

IMPROVE EXISTING PASSAGES

Economic Environmental Health Safety Residents Visitors Walkability Quality of Life Streetscapes

NAME ______________________________________

THE SHORT FORM SCENARIO SURVEY SCENARIO ONE

BENEFITS

ORGANIZATION ____________________________ CONTACT INFO _____________________________

SCENARIO THREE

SCENARIO TWO

ADDITIONAL LINKS

CROSSWALKS

Gold Line Station

Gold Line Station

This first scenario is characterized by improving already existing passages and sidewalks without adding any new midblock crosswalks.

Crosswalks timed with the one-way streets and unusual “all-stop, all walk” crosswalk at Colorado and Raymond Avenue are added

Gold Line Station

Gold Line Station

Links with multiple potential configurations are added: 1) Gold Line to the Paseo; 2) Gold Line behind Stats; 3) Arcade Lane to Playhouse Alley.

47


THE PASSAGES PROJECT SCENARIOS & SURVEY

SCENARIO ONE

IMPROVE EXISTING PASSAGES A passage is any pedestrian space that is not a standard sidewalk.

Scenario One is characterized by the use and improvement of existing passages and sidewalks, without adding any new mid-block crosswalks. Scenario One has no connection behind Stats nor a new bridge to the Paseo parking structure, nor a direct connection to Arcade Lane. SEGMENT 16 SEGMENT 13

Arcade Lane

SCENARIO ONE

Playhouse Alley

SEGMENT 12

PASEO EAST p96.

SEG 11

SEGMENT 10

Existing Sidewalks

1

Red denotes the most significant improvements to existing spaces as described right and detailed on the noted page.

BLES

LOS RO

SEG

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ri to di

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8

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T. NS EE O GR ASE P

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City Hall

9

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IS ER AX

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ck

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YO PK ARRO

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HOLLY S T.

48

6

SEGMENT

4

SEGMENT

p88, #2 ES SAG PAS E N D LI GOL

Gold Line Station

MEMORIAL PARK

SEGM

Paseo Parking Structure

GR

Bla

COL

LIBRARY

7 CIVIC

E.

GO AV

SEGMENT

5 SEGMENT

3

SEGMENT

2

SEGMENT

1

top, ll-S lk A g in Wa Eist All- tion s r ec Inte

Mercantile Place

Old Pasadena

Stats

.

D AVE

ON RAYM

Castle Green

CENTRAL PARK


PASSAGES SURVEY

SCENARIO ONE

1

NAME ______________________________________ ORGANIZATION ____________________________ CONTACT INFO _____________________________

IMPROVE EXISTING PASSAGES

Scenario One is characterized by the use of existing passages and sidewalks, without adding any new midblock crosswalks. 1.

Independent of specific details, is Scenario One your preferred scenario in general? ................................................__Y __N p.107

GOLD LINE PROMENADE Independent of scenario and crosswalks, which of the following specific details do you support? Segment 1: Holly St. to Union St.; Segment 2: Union St. to Colorado Blvd; Segment 3: Colorado Blvd. to Green St. .............. p.82 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

General Improvements: paving, benches, trash cans ........................................__Y__N p.84 Extra Improvments: public art, landscape architecture, placemaking ...............__Y__N p.84 Lighting: .___Lamposts; ___Canopy of Bulbs; ___Both; ___Other._______________ p.78 Should there be a unique focus or use in each of these three blocks?............... __Y__N p.79 If yes, what do you suggest? Segment 1______________________________________ p.84 Segment 2____________________________Segment 3:_________________________ If you are interested in some way contributing to the above topics, please specify here. ______________________________________________________________________

DEAD ZONE PROJECTS

Independent of scenario and crosswalks, which of the following details do you support? ....

Segment 5:

7.

Morgan Alley West Gap Closure

Segment 10: Morgan Alley Behind Black Building

p.88

Extending the existing short piece of Morgan Alley behind Anderson Business Technology west from Arroyo Parkway to a crossroads with Gold Line Promenade. This extension has potential variations either directly behind Anderson Machines or further south, away from these buildings. See page 90, Project 2. Is this segment worth exploring? .......__Y__N p.90

Morgan Alley is behind the Black Building (Marengo to Arroyo Parkway). 8. Should streetscape improvements to Morgan Alley be explored? .....................__Y__N p.90 If you are interested in some way contributing to the above topics, please specify here. ______________________________________________________________________

THE PASEO EAST LINK

Independent of scenario and crosswalks, which of the following details do you support? ....

Segment 9:

9. When the Macy’s Dept Store is replaced by a Hyat Hotel, should the developer include a stronger pedestrian link on Los Robles (arcade, parklets, wider sidewalk). ..__Y __N p.96 10. Green St Pocket Park (Los Robles to Oakland). Purchase development rights of the existing green lawn, extending to church and including a parklet in 6 parking places ... beside the church (made up for in Segment 11) ................................................__Y __N p.97 11. Diagonal Parking on this very wide street replaces parklets on Green St..........__Y__N p.97 If you are interested in some way contributing to the above topics, please specify here. ______________________________________________________________________

East Paseo Link

Segment 10: Greening on Green Segment 11: Oakland Ave.

p.96

PLAYHOUSE DISTRICT

Independent of scenario and crosswalks, which of the following details do you support?

Segment 12: Converse Alley Segment 13: Playhouse Alley

12. General Improvements: stenciling surface, murals ............................................__Y__N p.100 13. General Improvements: stenciling surface, improve playbill cases, etc ............__Y__N p.99 If you are interested in some way contributing to the above topics, please specify here. ______________________________________________________________________

49


THE PASSAGES PROJECT SCENARIOS & SURVEY

SCENARIO TWO

CROSSWALKS A passage is defined as any pedestrian space that is not a sidewalk.

This second scenario builds on Scenario One, adding crosswalks on the Gold Line Promenade timed with the pulsed flow of one-way streets and the unusual “all-stop, all walk” crosswalk at Colorado and Raymond Ave as well as well as at Madison Avenue. Scenario Two also has no connection behind Stats nor a bridge to the Paseo parking structure, nor a direct connection to Arcade Lane. SEGMENT 16 SEGMENT 13

2

Arcade Lane

SCENARIO TWO

Playhouse Alley

SEGMENT 12

Converse Alley SEG 11

Red denotes the most significant improvements to existing spaces as described right and detailed on the noted page.

SEGMENT 10

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SEGMENT

4

SEGMENT

Stats SEGMENT

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1

Mercantile Place

E

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Old Pasadena

. ST

top, ll-S lk A g Wa tin All- tion Exis ec s r Inte

Castle Green

EN

2

SEGMENT

.

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ON RAYM

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SEGMENT

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50

Y

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5 ES S AG PAS E N D LI GOL

Gold Line Station

MEMORIAL PARK

6

N ST

HOLLY S

UNIO

space that is not a sidewalk.

SEG.

B of A

Paseo Parking Structure

ldg

D ORA COL

A passage is defined as any pedestrian

VE. NGO A

MARE

O

7

SE PA

SEG.

CENTRAL PARK


SCENARIO TWO

CROSSWALKS

2

NAME ______________________________________ ORGANIZATION ____________________________ CONTACT INFO _____________________________

Scenario Two builds on Scenario One, adding two mid-block crosswalks along Gold Line Promenade and a third in the Playhouse District near Urth Cafe on Madison Ave where the existing pedestrian zones of Converse and Playhouse Alleys come together. 14. Independent of specifics, is Scenario Two your preferred scenario in general ............................................................__Y__N p.108

GOLD LINE CROSSWALKS

Independent of your preferred scenario, which details do you support?

15. Widen the Existing Holly Street Crosswalk ................................................................................................................__Y__N 16. A Union St. Midblock Crosswalk (timed with one-way signals) ....................................................... __Now__Later__Never 17. A Colorado Blvd. Midblock Crosswalk (timed with “all-stop, all-walk signal) ................................ __Now__Later__Never PLAYHOUSE CROSSWALKS

p.86 p.86 p.86

Independent of scenario, do you support:

18. A crosswalk where Playhouse Alley and Converse Alley meet (Near Urth Cafe) .......................................................__Y__N p.101

USES, PATTERNS & ELEMENTS

The questions below apply to ALL scenarios.

19. An Architectural Detailing Theme is a repeating element used at junctures to define, accentuate and give a sense of place. The example given on page 84 was Wrought Iron. Vines and fountains were also mentioned. Do you think there should be an architectural detailing theme and if yes, what should it be? ................................................................................................................... __Y__N

p.78

______________________________________________________________________________________________________ 20. Crosswalks and Bulbs

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.78

21. Parklets

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.78

22. Plants at Edges

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.78

23. Community Hubs at Passage Intersections .......................................................................................................... __Y__N

p.79

24. Incubator, Maker and Coworking Spaces can be funded either privately, publicly or by foundation. .............................. Independent of funding source, which of the following do you think are worth encouraging along and nearby the passages: Incubator Spaces ___Y___N Maker Spaces ___Y___N Coworking Spaces __Y___N

ARTS INFUSION

p.79

See pages 92-93 for details.

25. Should a general program of infusing artistic energy into these passages be pursued? ............................................ __Y__N

p.80

26. The Paseo Colorado mall: Should a program of imbuing Bland Surfaces with Artistic Energy be pursued?........... __Y__N

p.80

27. Artists’ Incubator Spaces

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.81

28. Fountains and Tilework

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.81

29. Maker Spaces

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.81

30. The Open Art Gallery

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.81

31. Signature Stencil

........................................................................................................................ __Y__N

p.81

If you are interested in some way helping to contribute, develop or support an Arts Infusion effort please indicate here: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

51


THE PASSAGES PROJECT SCENARIOS SURVEY

SCENARIO THREE

ADDITIONAL LINKS A passage is defined as any pedestrian space that is not a sidewalk.

In the third scenario, key links are added to the first two scenarios to complete a more contiguous Passages network. Each of these three projects have multiple potential configurations: Extending the Gold Line Promenade behind Stats to Central Park (Gold Line Segment 4) ; Linking Gold Line Promenade to the Paseo Axis (Segment 5, aka Dead Zone Project 6b or 6c) ; 3) Joining Arcade Lane to Playhouse Alley. SEGMENT 16 SEGMENT 14

15

3

Arcade Lane

SCENARIO THREE

Playhouse Alley

SEGMENT 13

Converse Alley

SEGMENT 12 SEG 11

Red denotes the most significant improvements to existing spaces as described right and detailed on the noted page.

SEGMENT 10

BLES

LOS RO

9

O

8

um

ri to di

T.

SEG

Au

SE PA

City Hall

NS

EE

GR

SEG

ENGO

MAR

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7

SE PA

SEG

AXIS NTER

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UNIO

LVD

OB

RAD

6

Y

YO PK ARRO

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5

SEGMENT

1

Castle Green

Mercantile Place

E

Y WA

AY W

Old Pasadena

AVE.

OND

RAYM

ON

, Stop All- alk g n W ti All- tion Exis ec s r Inte

Stats

3

SEGMENT

E ON

52

4

SEGMENT

2

MEMORIAL PARK

SEGMENT

SEG

ES SAG PAS E N D LI GOL

Gold Line Station

B of A

T. NS EE

Bla

O COL

SEG

Paseo Parking Structure

GR

CE CIVIC

AVE.

CENTRAL PARK


SCENARIO THREE

ADDITIONAL LINKS

3

NAME ______________________________________ ORGANIZATION ____________________________ CONTACT INFO _____________________________

In the third scenario, key links are added to the first two scenarios to complete a more contiguous network as shown on the opposite page. 32. Independent of specifics, is Scenario Three your preferred scenario in general? ........................................................__Y __N

GOLD LINE SEGMENT 4

Behind Stats to Central Park (and the potential of connecting to the Del Mar Metro Station) p.81 The original plan of 1915 connected through this private parcel to Central Park. Today, link could be realized by adding to the existing palm tree dirt strip shown here in dark green. The potential of a “Rose Walk” theme is discussed on page 85 using a modified version of this fence. 33. Is this segment worth exploring? .............................................................................. __Y__N p.85 34. Should this segment link to Raymond Ave and Central Park at Fishbecks? ............. __Y__N p.85 35. Should continuing behind Fishbecks to the Del Mar Metro Station be explored? .... __Y__N p.85 36. Should this segment have a unique focus, use or theme? .......................................... __Y__N p.85 If yes, what should it be?__________________________________________________ ..... p.85 If you are interested in some way helping to further this segment, please indicate here: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ DEAD ZONE PROJECTS 3-6

These projects are is detailed on pages 88 to 93.

37. Project 3: Civic Building on Segment 3 of the Gold Line Promenade, see page 90, #3. To anchor a stronger civic presence between Old Pasadena and the Dead Zone, should a public building be built on one of the privately owned lots on Segment 3?___Y___N If yes, check uses you support: ___ Civic Planning Exhibit; ___ Visitor’s Center; ___ Public Meeting Rooms; ____Arts Gallery 38. Project 4: Beside the Paseo Parking Structure on Arroyo Parkway at Green Street, what should go there (page 91, #4)? ............. ___Incubator Spaces; ___Artist’s Studios; ____ Shops; ___ Civic Planning Exhibit; ____Leave As Is; ____Other

p.91

39. Project 5: New Buildings on Lots: the Arcade Promenade. Should new buildings along segment 3 have an arcade?. ..... __Y__N p.90 40. Project 6: LINK. Options for link from the Paseo Fountain to the Gold Line Promenade. ............................................................. Chose one of these three options or add a fourth: ____OptionA: Existing Sidewalks and Improved Morgan Alley..... ____Option B: A Swap and Link to Paseo Bridge. New Pedestrian Bridge to elevated right-of-way behind Black Bldg ____Option C: New Pedestrian Bridge to new Building Beside Paseo Parking and link to existing Marengo bridge. ..

PLAYHOUSE SEGMENT 15:

p.92 p.92 p.93 p.93

This project is discussed in the Playhouse Passages section and detailed on page 100-101.

41. Converse Alley: Should the Crown City Medical Plaza now being designed shift its parking to Madison Avenue?. .......__Y__N p.101 42. New Playhouse Plaza to Arcade Lane Link: Three options are explored. Is this segment worth exploring? ............__Y__N p.100

If you are interested in some way helping to further these segments, please indicate here: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A HOME-MADE CITY PLANNING EXHIBIT TODAY

These questions apply to ALL scenarios.

Independent of the question of scenarios and the pedestrian passages in general, this question relates to the 1916 “Home-Made City Planning Exhibit” discussed in the Introduction and in part 1 on pages 118-121. 43. Do you support the use of a “Home-Made City Planning Exhibit” approach to compliment the general planning process?__Y__N

p.122

44. A Centennial Home-Made City Planning Exhibit in 2016. Do you support the creation of a centennial planning exhibit? __Y__N p.122 45. A Permanent Home-Made City Planning Exhibit. Do you support the creation of a permanent planning exhibit?

__Y__N p.124

If you are interested in some way helping to contribute, develop or support an effort to create an exhibit today, please indicate here: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

53


PASADENA PASSAGES

Play house

THIS IS ALL SCENARIOS

The Passages projects do not describe an arterial route, nor a direction of travel, especially east of the Paseo where it is a pedestrian alternative that happens to connect to a lot of parking.

COMBINED

GR

OR COL D.

LOS ROBL

T.

ES AVE.

BLV

’S OLD MACY TEL O H T T HYA O SE PA

O SE PA

As a way of simplifying the broad spectrum of potential solutions, three scenarios characterize potential directions. In the illustration to the right, all three scenarios are ES AVE. LOS ROBL combined to show the network in its most ambitious form.

NS EE

O AD

The goal of the Pasadena Passages project is to reintegrate the mall back into the urban fabric of downtown Pasadena.

For each scenario, there are three or four potential solutions, as detailed on the pages that follow. Specific details can be mixed or matched while still enhancing walkability. As such, the solutions presented should be considered as loosely descriptive more than prescriptive and a way of generating further conversation. SCENARIO ONE is characterized by the use of existing passages and sidewalks, without adding midblock crosswalks.

CIVIC

Ge now T

E OFFIC POST

IS ER AX CENT

LOT LDG ON NEW B 85, #5) p e e (S

Gold Line Station

54

DG

ST.

The Survey In keeping with the 1916 commitment to creating a feedback loop through a straw poll, a survey highlighting the 44 details of the project is presented in this Fall 2014 Draft to gather your response to the potential elements discussed. The survey can be filled out from your printed document, OR, a separate printable survey can be found at pasadenapassages. org/survey.pdf. An online version of the survey will also be appearing on the website.

M

K BL

HOLLY

. N ST

UNIO

SCENARIO THREE In the third scenario, key links are added to scenarios One and Two to complete a more contiguous Passages network. Each of these three projects have multiple potential configurations: 1) Extending Gold Line Promenade behind Stats to Central Park; 2) Linking Gold Line Promenade to the Paseo Axis; 3) Joining Arcade Lane to Playhouse Alley.

ING EXIST GE BRID

BLAC

City Hall SCENARIO TWO This second scenario adds crosswalks timed with the pulsed flow of timed lights along one-way streets and the unusual “allstop, all walk” crosswalk at Colorado and Raymond Ave.

MEMORIAL PARK

Paseo Parking Structure

YO P ARRO NEW

Parking Parking

VE OND A

RAYM

TOP ALL S ALK ALL W -ING X


Playhouse Passages

The Playhouse District’s existing pedestrian alleys link parking to side streets and Colorado Boulevard. Improving pedestrian connections provides a unique opportunity to create a chain of pedestrian spaces from Old Pasadena to the Paseo mall and to the heart of the Playhouse District. See page 98 for details.

Hilton

THE EAST PASEO LINK

While the rebranded Paseo mall opened the north-south Civic Center axis, the east-west connections to the rest of Pasadena remain disconnected from the Paseo. When the old Broadway/Macy’s is torn down for a new hotel, there will be a unique opportunity to repair the old Athletic Club corner and relink the east end of the mall to the Playhouse District. See page 96 for details.

Sheraton

CIVIC AUDITORIUM

& CONVENTION CENTER

elsons is w “Rose Theater”

THE

DEAD ZONE PROJECTS

VE NGO A

B of A

MARE

Paseo Parking Structure

s r Space o t a b u c In

PKY

The 3,029-seat Pasadena Civic Auditorium was built in 1931; a hotel and convention center were added in 1975. A 2009 expansion tripled the conference space. Together, these facilities have the capacity for over 7000 visitors.

The “Dead Zone” creates an artificial divide between the Paseo mall and Old Pasadena, making a gap in the urban fabric of downtown. Six potential projects reweave the link between the Paseo’s west parking structure and Old Pasadena. The link between the Paseo and Gold Line Promenade shown here represents one of three potential connections, including one that uses existing sidewalks and Morgan Alley. Detailed on pages 88-93.

LDG ON

NEW B

LOT

FISHBECKS

LOTG LDGILONDIN

EW BBU NENW

G

EE GR

BUILDIN

T.

NS

The Crossroads

Existing Mercantile Place

Gold Line Station

STATS OND RAYM

AVE

CASTLE

CENTRAL

GOLD LINE PROMENADE

PARK

Originally envisioned in 1915 as “a promenade connecting the parks,” the burying of the Gold Line right-of-way in Old Pasadena has left a paved space with bicycle parking, benches, a few potted plants, but little else. Like the High Line in NYC, activating its use by creating public spaces, encouraging adjoining business and creating public spaces along the way would go far in improving this vital link to and from both parking and two Gold Line stations. Considered with and without crosswalks and the Stats segment, see Gold Line section (pages 82-87) for details.

55


PASADENA PASSAGES RECONNECTING BY LINKING EXISTING PASSAGES

Library June 2018 Draft

ALL SCENARIOS COMBINED

Passages document for variations.

Police

MEMORIAL

This map shows all scenarios and options examined in the Passages project. There are many possible variations and alignments, this is only one possible

PARK

Doubletree Hotel

P GOLD LINE STATION Sr.Ctr

GOLDLINE PROMENADE

EXIS

Black Bldg

EXISTING

PASEO

MORGAN ALLEY

P

LOT

EXISTING

POTENTIAL CONNECTION

EXISTING PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

THE PASEO FOUNTAIN

VACANT MARKET

EXISTING

P

EXISTING

pasadenapassages.org

R A Y M O N D

GREEN STREET

Castle Green

Existing Crosswalks Potential new crosswalk Potential Civic Exhibit Parking

Presented by David Robert Wolf david@pasadenapassages.org

AT&T

Post Office

COLORADO BLVD

Potential Link Behind STATS to Central Park

Fishbecks

LOT SINGLE OWNER ARROYO PKWY

P

P

ONE WAY

See the complete Pasadena Passages document for details.

LEGEND

UNION STREET GARFIELD AVE.

GREEN STREET

YWCA

MARENGO AVE.

P

LOT

ARROYO PKWY

P

P

DIAGONAL ALL WALK CROSSING

EXISTING

O A K S

P ONE WAY

EXISTING

R

TING

HOLLY STREET

Originally envisioned in 1915 as “a promenade connecting the parks,” the burying if the Gold Line right-of-way in Old Pasadena has left a paved space that has bicycle parking, benches, a few potted plants, but little else. Like the High Line in NYC, activating its use by encouraging adjoining business and creating public spaces along the way would go far in improving this vital link to and from both parking and two Gold Line stations. Because Union and Green Streets are one way and there is an COLORADO BLVD all-stop all-walk crosswalk F at Colorado Blvd, crossA MERCANTILE PLACE (EXISTING) walk lights can be timed I signals. A future segment could potentially continue behind Stats (at Green and Raymond) to Central Park.

YMCA

Bank of America

Conference Center

Civic Auditorium

P DEAD ZONE PROJECTS

CENTRAL PARK SINGLE OWNER GOLD LINE STATION

The “Dead Zone” between the Paseo mall and Old Pasadena creates a gap in the urban fabric of downtown (outlined on page 44). Six projects reweave the link between the Paseo’s west parking structure and Old Pasadena. See the Pasadena Passages document for details.

Shera


y

Converse Alley is an existing pedestrian zone. A stencil and murals have been added here to illustrate how an arts infusion would help fulfill its potential.

Courts Westin Hotel

PLAYHOUSE PASSAGES The Playhouse District’s existing pedestrian network links parking along alleys to side streets and Colorado Boulevard. Linking existing passages provides a unique opportunity to create a chain of pedestrian spaces from Old Pasadena to the Paseo mall and into the Playhouse District

Plaza las Fuentes

City Hall

Vromons Bookstore (one of Pasadena’s oldest businesses) on Colorado Boulevard completes the network. For details, see the Pasadena Passages document.

P

P UNION ST.

P EL MOLINO AVE.

Presbtrn Church

MADISON AVE.

OAKLAND AVE.

LOS ROBLES AVE.

P

EUCLID AVE.

P

Pas. Mus. of CA Art

Pacific Asian Museum

Arclight Movie Theaters

Vromans Bookstore

COLORADO BLVD

PASEO

Urth Cafe

Potential EXISTING CONVERSE ALLEY Plaza

EXISTING CONVERSE ALLEY

P

P

Pasadena Playhouse

P.H. Plaza

Arcade Lane

PROPOSED

EXISTING SIDEWALK

Future Crown City Medical Ctr.

EXISTING

P PASEO

Methodist Church

P

EXISTING

NEW HYATT

LA Co. Youth Srvcs.

LOS ROBLES AVE.

EXISTING

EXISTING

EXISTING

EXISTING

P

Culinary Institute

GREEN STREET

ONE WAY

ONE WAY

Conference Center

P

aton Hotel

P

EAST PASEO – GREENING ON GREEN

EXISTING LAWN (Looking East from Los Robles and Green St.) A small linear park would create a gateway to both Paseo and Playhouse District, while addressing the buckling of the sidewalk by the roots of these much loved trees that form a canopy along Green St.

While the rebranded Paseo mall opened the north-south Civic Center axis, the east-west connections to the rest of Pasadena remain disconnected from the Paseo. When the old Broadway/Macy’s is torn down for a new hotel, there will be a unique opportunity to repair the old Athletic Club corner and relink the east end of the mall. This section has two goals: 1) P A Stronger Pedestrian Terminus to the Paseo axis on Los Robles Avenue

Hilton Hotel

2) Greening on Green: Securing the development rights of the existing lawn for a small linear park serves as a two-way gateway to both the Playhouse District and the new Hyatt Hotel. For details, see the complete Pasadena Passages document.


The Missing Pedestrian Bridge Over Raymond Ave to the Original Hotel Green of 1898 When Hotel Green expanded from its original building, architect Frederick Roehrig designed this elegant pedestrian bridge over Raymond Avenue to what is now referred to as “Castle Green.� The bridge was a popular viewing site for the Rose Parade, which ran along Raymond Avenue for the first time in 1903. Though the bridge no longer crosses over Raymond Avenue, the portion on the right half of this photo still stands today.


Greene and Greene’s 1906 Oaklawn Pedestrian Bridge Still in use over the Metro Gold Line tracks, this former auto

bridge is the type of elegant structure that could ramp up over Arroyo Parkway, serving as inspiration for what’s possible today.

The Lost Art of the Pedestrian Bridge Today, the creation of pedestrian bridges have fallen out of favor in urban planning and design for a variety of good reasons. During 1960s and 1970s, modernist redevelopment had a vision of separating pedestrians from streets altogether. The best local example of this is the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where the pedestrian spaces have been elevated above the street. As a result, the areas around the hotel are vacant, feel unsafe and lack human presence. The same would be true of the Plaza Pasadena mall, which tore down four city blocks and a pedestrian bridge was built over Marengo Avenue. Today, tearing down the past is no longer considered best practice. Instead, adaptive re-use and working with existing structures (such as the Marengo bridge) is considered prudent planning today. Although the mall was largely torn down in the late 1990s to make way for the Paseo, its Marengo Avenue pedestrian bridge was retained and became an

entry point to the Paseo second floor plaza. With plans to replace the “Darth Vader” building at Colorado and Marengo with a new design by Moule and Polyzoides, connecting to this pedestrian bridge is a critical first link for the Passages proposal to repair the separation between the Paseo to Old Pasadena. The challenge lays in drawing people to circulate to an upper level, as is the case with the Marengo pedestrian bridge. Though a crosswalk on Arroyo Parkway maintains a street level connection (p35), creating a new pedestrian bridge across Arroyo Parkway would offer people a much safer and easier alternative for crossing this busy boulevard. Though some argue that new pedestrian bridges should never be proposed, the richness of “complexity and contradiction” and exceptions to the rule are what make for an extraordinary city today. Greene and Greene’s Oaklawn Bridge could be inspiration for ramping pedestrians up from the street level “crossroads” at the south-east block of Colorado


and Raymond, over Arroyo Parkway and up to the second floor of the new building that Moule and Polyzoides is designing to replace “Darth Vader.”

This prudent and worthy investment would go far in repairing the divide between Old Pasadena and the south end of the Civic Center axis and would pay great dividends for not only local businesses, but for the quality of life in Pasadena for future generations moving forward.

Though the Passages project could proceed with a crosswalk across Arroyo Parkway, it would be a weak link compared to the funneling effect of a gentle ramp rising from the “crossroads” at the “promenade between the parks” first planned in 1915.

David Robert Wolf david@pasadenapassages.org

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The Existing “Darth Vader” (Black Building) and the Marengo Avenue Bridge

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Potential Link from the “Crossroads”

Proposed Building

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Though the current schematic design centers around a courtyard that draws pedestrians up towards the Marengo bridge and has a place to receive a bridge at Arroyo Parkway, its final approval is not contingent upon it.

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Note The orange line and white labels have been added to the Moule & Polyzoides rendering for this study and are not a contingency of their current project or the original version of this rendering. n

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THE PASSAGES PROJECT SCENARIOS & SURVEY

EXISTING CONDITIONS IN DOWNTOWN PASADENA MEMORIAL

P

ALL-STOP ALL-WALK CROSSWALK

PARK

P

GOLD LINE STATION

PASSAGES Green lines show existing passages. For the purposes of this document, the word “passage” is used to describe any open-air pedestrian space that is not a standard sidewalk, including arcades, colonnades and alleys shared with cars, such as Playhouse Alley or Ice House Alley. P

P

GOLD LINE PROMENADE These passages connect to Metro Gold Line Stations.

P

P

P The Civic Center Axis runs through the Paseo shopping center.

CIVIC CENTER AXIS CIVIC CENTER

P

Black Building

P

P

OLD PASADENA

P

P

P

Pasadena Playhouse

P

DEAD ZONE

Civic Auditorium

P

CENTRAL

PLAYHOUSE DISTRICT

FAILING P MALL

PASEO P PARKING

P

PASEO

PASEO

P

THE PASEO COLORADO MALL In 1999, the Plaza Pasadena mall was replaced P by the open-air Paseo Colorado shopping center.

PARK GOLD LINE STATION

DEAD ZONE Between Old Pasadena and the main Civic Center axis, this area creates an artificial division and fragmentation that harms the walkability of downtown Pasadena. OLD PASADENA Old Pasadena’s 20 passages create a rich hierarchy of spaces.


Levitt Pavilion at Memorial Park

Chalk Festival

Swing Dance Party at the Paseo

The Playhouse District Block Party

Zona Rosa Alley

Arcade Lane

The Paseo and Civic Auditorium

The Pasadena Playhouse

El Portal, Arcade Lane Jazz in the Vroman’s Bookstore courtyard. Passages enrich walking through Pasadena with the mystery of the unexpected around the next corner.

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