It was ‘crunch time’ for the Friends of the Raymond Theater supporters when, on March 15th a poorly-mic’ed and uncomfortable meeting room in the Pasadena Civic Center filled to near-overflowing with a few supporters of developer Gene Buchanan and a flock of partisans for Gina Zamparelli’s Friends of the Raymond group. Among the latter: Hollywood Heritage’s Robert Nudelman, Kay Tornborg, Dave Monks and Mary Zickefoose, who braved 4-1/2 hours of hearing to add their own testimony regarding this gracious old theatre on the northern edge of Old Pasadena which, if Gene Buchanan has his way, will become a gigantic mixed use project recycling the theatre in a way that will destroy the 80-year old interior. This is a plan enmeshed in the arcane world of Pasadena ‘old money’ politics with poor Pasadena Heritage stuck in the middle, holding a facade easement on the structure about to be compromised into oblivion by one of its biggest donors and (truth to tell!) a friend in the past to OTHER preservation projects around town.
The outcome of this hearing?? A (temporary) victory for preservation, when the courageous Design Review Committee turned down the reports as being “too vague,” “incomplete,” “contradictory,” etc. and continued the hearing to mid-April. For more info, visit the Friends of The Raymond website or join us at the next hearing (date TBA).
(Be warned: in this case ‘Public Hearing’ is an oxymoron, as the very last thing the public does is Hear Anything in this meeting room.)