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'Reality of Living' in Caltech Houses

May 12, 1988

Well, you certainly managed to whitewash the reality of living in an area coveted by Caltech (May 1 San Gabriel Valley section). Approximately one year ago, the house I rent was sold to Caltech. When it purchased the property, Caltech gave us notice that we would have to leave when our lease expired. As we had no lease this meant nothing. Despite numerous requests, Caltech refused to give us any definite date but did say that it was acceptable to stay until May, 1988, because it occasionally let "outsiders" live in Caltech-owned property.

In the year since, Caltech has only recalcitrantly fixed the roof that leaked. It conveniently forgot to fix the broken front door lock.

The house was built in 1904. It has beautiful Victorian lattice work, leaded-glass picture windows, hardwood floors, high molded ceilings and other things which make it distinctive.

The Caltech property management office told me three days ago that the school was not going to demolish the house. Yet I just finished speaking to the demolition crew sent here today to survey "the job." They said they were sent by Caltech and that the school was going to turn the lot into a playground for the large apartment building behind us that Caltech also owns.

Caltech owns the houses next door to us and has first option to purchase at least two other properties on this block. It owns most of the two blocks to the south of us. This is all student and faculty housing. No "outsiders," to use the term the lady at the property management office used to describe us.

So who's bitter? Me.

TIMOTHY RYAN

Pasadena

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