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Council Approves Structural Work for YWCA Building

Published on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 1:28 pm

As part of Monday’s consent calendar, the Pasadena City Council voted to award a contract to Axiom Group, an engineering contractor based in Los Angeles, for the installation of structural shoring of the city-owned YWCA building at 78 N. Marengo Ave.

The building has continued to decay since the city acquired it in 2012.

“… This valuable resource has been in disrepair for far too long, and its condition continues to deteriorate,” wrote Sue Mossman, executive director of Pasadena Heritage. “This work is urgently needed, and will serve to prevent more dire consequences for the building.”

Axiom Group was one of two contractors who submitted bids for the structural shoring project after it was advertised in April and a notice inviting bids was published in trade publications and on the city’s website.

Construction work is expected to begin in July, with work completion expected within three months.

A rehabilitation and conditions study performed by Architectural Resources Group in 2011 and updated in 2018 revealed a number of structural issues in the building, and recommended engineering work to preserve the historic architectural elements of the structure.

The city’s Department of Public Works said the scope of work for the proposed contract includes furnishing and installing structural shoring to remain in place at various locations within the building where it requires stabilization.

As recommended, the amount of the contract will be up to $250,000, including the base amount of $218,000 and a contingency of $32,000 to provide for any necessary change orders.

The city recently listed the YWCA as surplus property, and is examining previous bids to redevelop the property. The surplus declaration could lead to more interest in the property.

The YWCA building was designed by master architect Julia Morgan and constructed in 1922. In 1980, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributor to the Pasadena Civic Center historic district, and in 1998 was designated a Historic Treasure by the city.

In 1996, the YWCA sold the building to a private developer, which vacated the structure the following year. After 15 years of neglect that caused damage and deterioration to the YWCA’s historic fabric, Pasadena initiated the process to acquire the building in 2010 through eminent domain.

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