Restoration of Pasadena’s historic former YWCA building remains viable despite significant damage and decay, according to the most recent architectural assessment of the structure.
Designed in 1921 by celebrated Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the South Marengo Avenue landmark has remained vacant and become increasingly derelict since its 1996 sale to an investment firm.
Sue Mossman, executive director of the preservation group Pasadena Heritage, credits the Morgan building as setting an architectural tone for the Civic Center that influenced development of City Hall, the Central Library and the Civic Auditorium.
In November, city officials invoked eminent domain to take temporary possession of the former YWCA, citing public interest in preservation of a historic asset, said Dave Klug, a senior project manager for the city’s redevelopment department.
Workers have since secured entrances and windows that had allowed squatters to enter the building, removed trash and pigeon droppings, and installed tarps over the roof to block major leaks.