Throwback Thursday | Anatomy of a Craftsman Take Down

Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas

PHOTO: South Pasadena Public Library | SouthPasadenan.com | Mayor Don Gates’ craftsman home on Monterey Road – wife and three daughters (1907)

Today, the Monterey Townhomes at 1200, 1202, 1204 on Monterey Road marks the spot of a massive “take down” of craftsman homes (Gates Place) in the late-1960s. I should know, I once lived on the historic grounds during the 1990s and served as a board member of the townhome association.

I also have the photographs in my collection of the two beautiful craftsman homes that once graced our city here, and the wrecking crew that removed them forever.

Backstory

When the city approved adding two extra lanes along Monterrey Road, the historic craftsman homes at the corner of Indiana Avenue and Monterey Road were also approved for demolition. The public outcry for such a cowardly act never came. Such is not the case with our preservation-minded citizenry today. South Pasadena’s beloved tree huggers and freeway fighters would come out in mass and tether their small children to the dozers (figuratively speaking of course).

But not that long ago, the city failed to stop the demolition of the historic South Pasadena train station, High School Administration building, and looked the other way when developers had plans for the historic drive-thru market on Mission Street (saved by Harry Knapp, Glen Duncan, and Cultural Heritage Commission). Today, the drive-thru market on former Route 66 is a beautifully restored building (Mike & Anne’s Restaurant) with a natural garden and sitting area at the corner.

Photo Gallery: P.G. Gates’ Home and Demolition

Now, with a heavy heart, I present the following images:

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | Exterior view of P.G. Gates home from Monterey Road and Indiana Avenue (1907)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | Exterior view of P.G. Gates home from Monterey Road and Indiana Avenue (1907)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | Interior view of P.G. Gates home, South Pasadena (1907)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | Interior view of P.G. Gates home, South Pasadena (1907)

The five Gates brothers (retired lumbermen) and their families built craftsman homes at Monterey Road and Indiana Avenue.

The P.G. Gates mansion was demolished along with former South Pasadena mayor Don Gates home to make room for a townhome complex constructed in 1971. The arroyo stone wall bordering the property was also removed to widen Monterey Road.

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com | P.G. Gates’ craftsman home during lumber salvage operations (1968)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | P.G. Gates’ craftsman home nearing completion of lumber salvage operations (1968)
PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | SouthPasadenan.com News | P.G. Gates’ mansion foundation remains marking the future site of the Monterey Townhomes (1970)
Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.

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