Published : Monday, June 19, 2017 | 3:14 PM
The City of Pasadena’s Historic Preservation Commission is expected to decide Tuesday on an application to designate the Craftsman Heights neighborhood as a Landmark District in the City.
As proposed, the district will be bounded by Prescott Street on the north, North El Molino Avenue on the east, Eldora Road on the south and North Los Robles Avenue on the west. The neighborhood has about 192 properties within these boundaries, with most of the homes built in the Period Revival Era (1991 to 1942) and about 56, a minority, built during the Arts and Crafts period (1895 to 1918).
Property owners in the area, represented by Sandra Sanchez, submitted an application for designation of the Craftsman Heights Landmark District on March 15. Staff from the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development evaluated the district according to the landmark criteria in Title 17 of the Pasadena Municipal Code and determined that the district qualifies for designation.
Among the findings are that 73 percent of the properties within the district boundaries were built with the period of significance (1901 to 1936), retain architectural integrity on the exterior and represent required historic context. The Pasadena Municipal Code requires a minimum 60 percent of the properties as contributing to the significance.
The criteria also requires that the grouping of homes should represent a “significant and distinguishable entity of citywide importance” and one or more of a defined historic, cultural, development and/or architectural context. The neighborhood, according to staff finding, is representative of the Arts and Crafts and Period Revival Era architectural styles and development patterns.
A report by the Planning and Community Development Department said among the architects and designers with buildings in the district include Foss Designing and Building Company, David M. Renton, Frederick Kennedy Jr., Glenn Elwood Smith and Buchanan and Brockway. A number of uNknown architects are also listed on building permits for houses in the district.
Most of the properties in the proposed landmark district are zoned single-family residential homes, although some properties on or near North Los Robles and El Molino Avenues are zoned multi-family residences.
Currently, the proposed district is surrounded by other existing landmark and historic districts: adjacent to the south is the Orange Heights-Barnhart Historic District, adjacent to the east is the Washington Square Landmark District and adjacent to the west is the Garfield Heights Landmark District. To the north, along Washington Blvd., the properties adjoining the district are of substantially different character and construction date and are recommended to be excluded from the boundaries. The Normandie Heights Landmark District is on the north side of Washington Blvd.
In a preliminary petition submitted to the Planning and Community Department, 54 percent of the property owners signified their support for the district designation in writing, representing 103 of the 192 properties in the district. The minimum requirement is 51 percent. Nor formal opposition to the landmark district designation has been received.
A landmark district designation protects the historic and architectural character of a neighborhood by requiring submittal of an application for Certificate of Appropriateness for any exterior changes that are visible from the street. Demolitions, relocations and new construction are also reviewed in landmark districts. Alterations and demolitions of non-contributing structures also need to be reviewed, although more changes may be allowed on non-contributing structures, as they have few features that need to be preserved.
The district does not have a single unifying feature from which to draw a district name. The name “Craftsman Heights” was just recently chosen when the neighbors decided to establish a neighborhood association. Staff is recommending the district be known as the Craftsman Heights Landmark District.