As a member of the Pasadena Heritage board of directors, I want to clarify several issues with regard to One Colorado, the development in Old Pasadena covered in the Aug. 13 Real Estate Section ("Old Pasadena Project Is Dogged by Profit vs. Preservation Battle" by Morris Newman).
--The proposed One Colorado project does not meet the guidelines established by the city for development in Old Pasadena, nor did John Wilson's Marketplace project, formerly approved for the site. Had the city denied the project eight years ago, abiding by its own principles for sensitive rehabilitation in this historic district, the buildings in question would have since been returned to productive use.
--The amount of demolition proposed for One Colorado threatens seven of the buildings with the loss of their listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Though pressures have mounted to see something accomplished on the One Colorado site, jeopardizing National Register status to accommodate a developer's risky leasing strategy is an unjust sacrifice of community resources.
--An alternative, cost-effective project could be done in keeping with the "Guidelines for Old Pasadena" and fully supported by Pasadena Heritage. It would not be a pure restoration, but a reasonable rehabilitation, keeping the exterior walls of each building intact and preserving appropriate architectural detail as set forth in the "Plan for Old Pasadena."
Pasadena Heritage continues to hope that, as plans are further refined for One Colorado, modifications will be made which better preserve our important historic structures while returning them to active life in Old Pasadena.