The Board of Directors has voted to negotiate with the federal government to buy a complex of bungalows on the grounds of the old Vista del Arroyo hotel. The city plans to eventually turn the vacant structures over to a foundation for use as a national center for judicial research and reform.
The U.S. General Services Administration had been scheduled to put the 14 bungalows--some of them architectural gems designed by such noted architects as Sylvanus Marston and Myron Hunt--on the open market by this week. But the board's 6-0 vote and subsequent notification to the federal agency in effect gives the city an option on the properties.
Judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which occupies the Vista del Arroyo building, had been lobbying since last fall for the conversion of the bungalows into the Western Justice Center, which would provide a "campus" for national law reform organizations and a research facility for visiting law professors.
But west Pasadena residents and Pasadena Heritage, a preservationist group, favor a residential use for the complex. A consultant hired by the city has said that residential development of the bungalows would be economically feasible if one or two bungalows were demolished to provide access and parking spaces for cars. The consultant said the likely purchase price for the property would be $300,000.