YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollections

All Saints expansion faces scrutiny

Critics worry that the work won’t be compatible with historical district.

August 26, 2011|By Adolfo Flores,
(Raul Roa / Pasadena…)

More than a decade after launching an effort to expand one of Pasadena’s best-known churches, members of All Saints Episcopal Church hope they are only a few months away from breaking ground on their $45-million project.

But some critics are concerned that the changes will undermine the Pasadena Civic Center Historical District.

All Saints officials expect that by October they will have the final environmental impact report for the project, which includes four multi-story buildings for classrooms, offices and event space; a columbarium; and a one-level subterranean parking lot.

“We have such a desperate need for the buildings and desire to get it done; it’s a shame it’s taken this long,” said Bob Long, a member of the parish’s building committee. “It started about 1999 when we formed a committee to study our space needs. We have a lot of meetings, programs and ministries.”

Long said the church has raised nearly half the $45-million construction tab, but has suspended the fundraising campaign until the environmental review process is complete.


When Pasadena city officials were presented with the church’s plans in late 2008, they believed the environmental impact would be minimal and no report would be needed. But members of the public weighed in with questions and concerns, and in 2010 city planners and attorneys advised All Saints to do a report.

The draft environmental impact report released earlier this summer found the project raised no serious problems, according to Antonio Gardea, a city planner.

The report, he said, “determined the impact was less than significant, not only to the civic center, but All Saints and individual landmarks,” Gardea said. He added the remaining debate is about whether the project design is compatible with nearby buildings.

Sue Mossman, executive director of the preservation group Pasadena Heritage, doesn’t believe it is compatible. Pasadena Heritage put the Gothic Revival church, built in 1924, on its 2011 watch list of endangered landmarks.

“It’s considered one of the best examples in the county of the City Beautiful Movement of the 1920s,” Mossman said. “It feels like a unique, special place that has a unifying character all its own. When you add new buildings to a district, great sensitivity is required to make them compatible.”

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles