Thursday, May 7, 2009

Washington Park: What She Said

Yesterday's post about Washington Park brought informative and informed comments from Pasadena's Public Information Officer, Ann Erdman. In case you missed her or you don't read blog comments, I asked Ann if I could quote her in today's post. Ann knows a lot about pretty much everything in Pasadena, plus it gives me a chance to post this photo of the river rock bridge at Washington Park:

"I love giving background about this park!

Credit for the transformation of Washington Park needs to be shared with the Friends of Washington Park and the Washington Square Neighborhood Association. They did tremendous outreach to get volunteers who worked side-by-side with city Public Works crews, and they were at the table throughout the planning and implementation of the improvements.

Big credit should also go to City Councilman Victor Gordo and his field representative Vannia De La Cuba. They advocated for the improvements as well, and worked closely with the neighbors.

Everyone expressed the desire to restore the historic structure and beauty of the park, bring it into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and emphasize its association with landscape architect Ralph Cornell an horticulturalist Theodore Payne, who designed the park in the early 1920s. At that time it was known as one of the most beautiful places in Pasadena, but later it fell into disrepair.

Much of the funding for the improvements was provided by a Proposition 40 grant from the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. The design team of Troller-Mayer, Bob Perry and Onyx Architects designed ramada-style picnic shelters and a nature interpretive kiosk.

Extensive re-landscaping with new irrigation and indigenous plants, and a stage built from recycled stones are all featured in the 5.2-acre park. The park retains most of its historical hardscape, including river rock structures such as the arched bridge [above] and many original trees.

Washington Park was rededicated in all its improved glory in 2006.

A couple of months ago there was a big cleanup and tree-planting at Washington Park, and the neighbors were right there once again!"

Whew. That was an easy post to write. Admittedly, I spent a little time on the links. But I understand that's good for a blogger.

Thank you, Pasadena PIO.


altadenahiker said...

What a history! Theodore Payne is one of my botanical heros.

Trish said...

wow P, you've never worked so hard on a post! wink-wink-nudge-nudge.

thanks to PIO for the details. Always fascinating to learn about the history, including the rebirth. It certainly was not a place I would hang out on purpose 20-25 years ago, especially at night. Glad it's been cleaned up and that the neighborhood cares.

Petrea said...

Well, I did spend some time on the links...but Ann did all the writing. Much gratitude! I didn't know all this.

Also, sorry I posted late. One button. I forgot to press one stupid button.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

Ah, so interesting about the crafters, too.

Katie said...

Kudos to all those who helped restore Washington Park! The stone bridge is especially beautiful. If I have a chance I'll check out some of those helpful blinks you provided. (Are people already calling blog links blinks, or is it just me?)

D5Rep said...

the Washington Square Neighborhood Association link is not for our local WSNA but rather for one in Santa Ana (it seems they, too, are doing great neighborhood building!)

The website for our local great WSNA is:

Petrea said...

D5Rep, hmm, what might that be code for?
Thank you for catching my blunder. I've updated the copy with the correct link. Thanks!

Petrea said...

Katie, this is the first I've heard of "blinks." BTW, must we abbreviate everything? LOL, WTF?

Dina said...

I love the way Americans know how to, and do, get involved in projects like this. And how great to have public officials who actually volunteer to share what they know.