Friday, September 12, 2008

Permanently Parked

What was I doing Monday night and all day Tuesday that was so important?

See, this boarded-up apartment building's been sitting up on blocks in a parking lot at the corner of El Molino and Union for a year. A year. Waiting for bureaucracy to figure out what was going to happen to it. Everyone was tired of it, let me tell you. Even the bureaucrats. Some people wanted to get the project underway, some people wanted to live in the building, some wacky people wanted to actually use the lot to park in, and some people just wanted to stop being forced to look at the thing.

Well, finally they closed down Union St. Monday night through Tuesday and moved the Evelyn Broadway apartments. And I missed the photo op of the year.

John and I stopped by the new location today at the corner of Union and Mar Vista. The historic Evelyn Broadway apartments are ready for their new foundation. (No one mentions why they're historic--someone must have mentioned the word within earshot of a reporter and it stuck.) Now everyone's happy, except probably the folks who live in the teeny pink house next door.

22 comments:

ben wideman said...

Well, We moved just over a year ago, and I can't remember it anywhere else than where it's been! Pasadena is changing around us :)

I also missed the opportunity, but at least I was out of town!

Petrea said...

All right, all right, so you had a good excuse. Well, there's such a thing as a telephoto lens, okay?

Therese said...

Shall we get a picture of the teeeny pink house next door?

Anonymous said...

ginab: Yes, please, the teeny pink house.

Lily Hydrangea said...

those poor people in the tiny pink house! I sympathize greatly.

altadenahiker said...

Weren't these the only apartments that, who was it, Wright? Hunt? Someone like that, ever built?

elizabeth said...

AltadenaHiker- Yep, that's what I heard, too. Maybe Greene and Greene?

Kelly said...

We seem to move "historic" buildings here more than most places. It is always a little surreal to see a roofline driving down Route 38!

I would love to see it in place when the foundation is done!

USelaine said...

See, I reflexively sympathize with saving old buildings, even if it means moving them. I lived in a fine old building from 1905 or so, that was solid as a rock. It needed work to get rid of asbestos and cockroaches, but the construction was so well done, I couldn't hear my next door neighbor play her piano unless I went out into the hallway! The built in furnishings were marvelous too. But the Merrium Apartments are no more.

USelaine said...

That is to say, the building was built around 1905 or so. I may be getting old, but I'm not that old.

Islipian said...

Like the others, my first thought - I'd like to see the teeny pink house, please!

Christie said...

Bummer to have missed it, but at least seeing the difference is good! I hope they are happy in their new home!

Christie said...

Oh, and the teeny pink house, please?

Petrea said...

Teeny pink house it is. It sounds cute when said it this way. I'll try to get a shot of the reality within the next few days.

Altadenahiker, Elizabeth, you're thinking of the Herkimer Arms, the only apartments ever built by Greene & Greene. You're not far off, though. The building I posted today was originally on the grounds of the Fuller Theological Seminary and has now been moved. The Herkimer Arms, on Union St., is currently on Fuller's grounds and is slated to be moved.

Kelly, I'll keep an eye on it and do a follow-up. Good idea.

uselaine, I like saving them, too. Folks put up a fight to save the Herkimer for sure. The first link above takes you to Pasadena Heritage, an organization in town that's all about saving Pasadena's old buildings, et cetera.

Dina said...

Oh poor you, having missed it.
I can't even imagine how a building is actually dug up and planted elsewhere. It sounds like an American thing. I mean, isn't a house rooted in the ground?
Am enjoying your explanation of the "historical" classification. Funny.

Petrea said...

I'm not sure how they do it, Dina. I know that a lot of post-World War II homes in southern California were built on a "slab" instead of a foundation, though people are coming to regret that now. Older buildings such as this one probably had a foundation, though. It's going to take a lot of work to build a new one for it!

Miss Havisham said...

The history of The Evelyn Broadway Apartments is quite fascinating. The lady Evelyn, herself, a chorus girl/actress in silent movies, came from South Dakota in the nineteen-twenties. Her real name was Mildred Rappapport. She met and instantly fell in love with Grover Hubbard Fuller, a cousin of Jack Parsons, 2nd cousin to R. Buckminster Fuller, and wealthy owner of the Brotherton's Dinner House on Colorado Blvd.

At some point in their whirlwind romance, Grover promised Mildred an apartment of her own. In a diary entry Mildred writes:

Binky gave me an entire apartment building for my birthday. I picked it out in the Sears and Robuck's and it'll be rolling into Pasadena fully assembled tomorrow. I'm so excited. Oh, I love my binky bear!

altadenahiker said...

Thanks Miss H, I located that obscure history in the sale pile at Altadena Library. Quick read. Some attribute the phrase to Mae West, but it was really Evelyn who said, "When I good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad I get apartment buildings."

Dina said...

Houses built on a slab, you say? That idea blows me away, and maybe the house too.

Petrea said...

Yes, it's called a "slab foundation." There are a lot of them in the San Fernando Valley. It becomes a problem as the old galvanized plumbing needs replacing (and I imagine other things as well). It's literally encased in the cement. So they have to dig under the house (the slab) entirely. Older homes and newer have normal foundations, but those post-war boxes were put up fast and furious.

sjan said...

In the early 70's there used to be a lot of old bungalows on Mar Vista between Colorado and where Union is now (I don't remember Union being there at that time; I was between 2 and 4 years old when we lived on Mar Vista). Now there is only one house left south of Union, all the others having been demolished to make room for apartments and condos.

Petrea said...

There's a lot of that going on, right, sjan? I think Pasadena's good on preservation, I really do. I think of my once-lovely home town of DeKalb, Illinois and the strip of chain stores and restaurants that lines the highway connecting it to the next town. The farms that used to grace the route are gone. Now it's deep fried, ugly neon.

But I guess you can't preserve everything when a lot of people want to live in one place. I wonder who decides what gets torn down here and what doesn't? City council and whoever can afford to build, I suppose.