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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Livingstone Living

Yesterday Pasadena's own Miss Havisham paid a visit to Pasadena Daily Photo to send me on an errand. Because we were discussing a favorite red brick wall, she expressed concern for a beloved old brick building, the Livingstone Hotel at 139 S. Los Robles Avenue. The poor old hotel is closed and sagging. Signs posted around it say "No Trespassing/Pasadena Police." It's enough to put our Miss Havisham in a tizzy.

To be specific: Miss Havisham said the Livingstone was "scheduled for demolition."

Then a mysterious commenter known only as "Anonymous" chimed in and said, "Please take a closer look - the Livingstone is not going to be torn down."

I love a mystery, so I took my trusty little camera and went snooping. I found workmen cleaning out the building.
Why would they bother?

There was definitely work going on inside. If they were going to tear it down wouldn't they just smash it and skip the niceties? Unless they wanted the doorknobs.

I love a good Google search, and I turned up this. Of course it proves nothing.

The Japanese restaurant in question, absolutely closed:
(By the way, if you haven't seen the updates to yesterday's post, including historical photos from Pasaden's Public Information Officer, then I suggest you scroll on down.)
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Update: The Livingstone is being renovated. It is a matter of public record, it's just that the records were not easy to find on the internet.

Blogger won't load a .pdf, but the one my contact sent lists the Livingstone as a "mixed-use project, 1700 square feet retail, 34 new residential units, hotel renovation." The Stanley next door has a beauty salon on the ground floor. I'll post some shots tomorrow to show you how that looks.

The city website's Major Projects page hasn't been updated lately, but it's still interesting. Unfortunately the Livingstone project wasn't on it or it might have been easier to find.

I'm grateful to Miss Havisham for bringing this to my attention for an fun and interesting post, and to Anonymous for getting more detailed information to us.

20 comments:

J+P said...

Anyone repairing that old hulk would be a Livingstone doctor, I presume …?

[confo]

Dina said...

So did you chisel out a brick souvenir, just in case?
Cool old photos in the last post.

lynn said...

Ooh Petrea the investigative journalist. Love it! Well sourced! :)

Shell Sherree said...

Well, now I'm curious too! I've seen far more ramshackle buildings undergo renovations rather than being torn down - unless there's a structural problem?

Petrea said...

As I said, this is far from conclusive. A Google search, an anonymous commenter and a guess don't necessarily prove that the building's being renovated. But it certainly looks that way.

Anonymous, if you'd care to point us to more conclusive information it would certainly be appreciated. Or perhaps send a confidential email?

Petrea said...

And Dina, I didn't chisel out a souvenir! Not with all those police signs!

Margaret said...

I used to live right down the street from there. I'm getting a little weepy just remembering.

altadenahiker said...

Our cracker jack reporter.

Petrea said...

Oooee!

Here's why I'm not a journalist: you're just going to have to believe me.

I've been in touch with someone at the City who is not Ann or Linda. The Livingstone is being renovated as opposed to removed. As a second phase to the project, there will be a parking structure on the adjacent lot (presumably NOT to the south, as the Stanley is looking especially gorgeous these days).

Links to factual information will be posted momentarily.

toast said...

Ooo, sounds like you did some investigative work! ^^ I always hate to see perfectly good buildings get torn down, so it's great to hear that this one is getting an inside-out makeover.

Cafe Observer said...

P, it's good to know you have the free time to attend to errands for your loco blogger's!

We appreciate your photojournalistic investigation. My errands require less work than this. But, I'll keep that in mind.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

Most impressive. Much thanks. I do hope I have NO occasion to be down there videographing the place being hit by the wrecking ball. (it could happen at 2am--like the tree at Vroman's)

Katie said...

Wow, great work on this one Petrea! So nice to hear that this won't be torn down.

Petrea said...

I hope so too, Miss H.

Katie, I didn't do much but receive email. If the research can't be done on the internet I'm unlikely to do it. A girl's gotta make a living!

Lori Webster said...

I love those old buildings and often would admire them in passing when I worked across the street (when First Interstate Mortgage was at the corner of Los Robles and Cordova). Loved Miyako's too, in fact, it was a favorite of management there at First Interstate and I spent many a meeting there, enjoying their food.
I'm relieved to know that that beautiful brick building won't be torn down!

Candace said...

I live next to the Stanley (in a 1916 apartment building) and am very happy to hear the Livingstone will be reused. Tearing it down would have changed the entire character of the block.

Anonymous said...

I moved into the Stanley Apartment building in Mid-May. Two weeks later, they began construction on the Livingston. My apartment faces the Livingston so I'm blessed to be able to hear the construction noise begining at 7am during the week and 8am on Saturdays. Saturdays!!! Oh yes, they began using jackhammers to demo the old Japanese restaurant concrete overhang. Have you ever woken up to jackhammers 10 feet from your window? The manager of the Stanley expects the heavy construction to last about a month. I doubt it since the plan is to turn them into condos once the market improves. I wish he would have mentioned this to me prior to my lease signing...

Petrea said...

I'd be a little put out myself, Anonymous. (I'd post about it anonymously, too.) How's the building otherwise? Is it charming? Average? Quaint?

Anonymous said...

Other than the noise, the building is definitely charming. The owners have worked to keep up the historical feel of the building in regard to the decor and old style amenities. I live in a studio with a detached kitchen and bathroom. The layout is defintely atypical as compared to modern studios. All in all the place is great asthetically speaking. If you like, I can take pictures of the interior and email them to you.

Petrea said...

That would be so cool.