A community room named in honor of local black entrepreneur and visionary Thomas D. Scott was dedicated at the newly inaugurated Heritage Square Apartments, Pasadena’s newest housing development.
Heritage Square was opened last Thursday, March 16, and now gives 70 deserving seniors brand new affordable housing accommodations in the heart of Northwest Pasadena.
In remarks delivered during the dedication of the Thomas D. Scott Community Room, City Councilmember John Kennedy spoke of Scott’s background and his desire to secure permanent housing for Pasadena’s seniors.
Scott was born in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1930. At a young age his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Booker T. Washington High School and Morehouse College.
In the early 1960s, Scott moved to Southern California, and, inspired by the work of Gordon Parks, began a career as a professional photographer.
Scott later branched into the film and television industries as an assistant cameraman and became one of the first African American members of the local union. Among his most cherished entertainment industry projects include “Lady Sings the Blues,” “Bewitched,” “Police Story,” “Blazing Saddles,” and “The Partridge Family.”
He was inspired by the legacy of his paternal grandfather Richard Bazell, a free Black man from Barbados, who began purchasing real estate in Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia around 1865.
Scott developed a passion for real estate ownership and community development. He established his home in Pasadena and began investing in real estate, becoming active in community affairs.
He originally purchased the historic Decker House to open a restaurant in the promising Fair Oaks corridor and seized the opportunity to purchase additional property adjacent the Decker house with plans for a development to enhance the community.
“The vision for Heritage Square came from Mr. Scott’s deep belief that seniors in our community should have safe, affordable and elegant housing,” Councilmember Kennedy said.