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34 Town Houses Rising Near Historic South Pasadena Adobe

April 21, 1985

Construction has begun on the 34-unit San Pasqual Townhomes at 512 Garfield Ave., directly across the street from South Pasadena's oldest surviving adobe, the Adobe Flores, built between 1843 and 1846, and reportedly the last headquarters of the Mexican army.

The town houses' developer, Cantwell/Anderson, and architect, McClellan Cruz Gaylord & Associates, are building the project to take advantage of what Tim Cantwell calls the uniqueness of the site. It contained an abandoned school and a few cottages on a rolling site with 18 feet difference in elevation between ends and is dotted with large pines planted as seedlings by Boy Scouts in the 1930s.

The design flows with the land, reflecting the ambiance of the project's across-the-street neighbor, and including round plaster chimneys, curved arches, exposed wood beams, clay roof tiles, recessed windows, wrought iron balconies and smooth plaster walls. The two- and three-bedroom units, in four split-level plans from 1,432 to 1,820 square feet, are grouped in duplexes and triplexes. Completion is expected in October.

The Flores Adobe, listed in the National Register of Historic Places and by South Pasadena as a Cultural Heritage Landmark, was restored in 1919 by the aunt of Margaret Leslie Fay, who lives next door in another adobe, built by her aunt. The aunt, Clara Eliot Noyes, had found the old adobe in disrepair and disguised as a Victorian town house with wood shingle roof, dormer windows and Victorian balustrades.

After Noyes and architect Carlton Winslow restored it, she opened a tea room catering to golfers on the course that then existed nearby. and in 1926, built four cottages matching and clustering around the old adobe, and rented them to artists. Later, she sold the old adobe and the land west of it to a developer who constructed 52 residential units on the parcel.

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