Michael White Adobe is Under Siege

Folks, we've got a crisis.

First, hats off to Ann Gray for alerting me to the evil machinations of the San Marino School District, who want to knock down a 164-year-old adobe to expand their high school swimming pool. Yes, you read that correctly.

Here's the brief story: "The adobe was constructed in 1845 by Michael White, a European sailor who adopted the name Miguel Blanco and became a Mexican citizen so he could own land in California, which was under Mexican rule at the time. White's mother-in-law was Eulalia Pérez de Guillén Mariné, who worked at the San Gabriel Mission and owned land that eventually become part of Pasadena, South Pasadena and San Marino." And then 100 years later, they built a high school right next to it. In the past few years they've spent $35 million on infrastructure to the high school, exactly $0 on the adobe (which is actually pretty well preserved – it isn't just a ruin) and now that they're out of money, it's called an "economic downturn," and they want to pave it until funds become available to expand the pool.


How about "you idiots built the pool in the wrong place."

Here's where it is: 2701 Huntington Drive, San Marino, CA 91108

Here are the villans on the Board of Education:

President Jeanie Caldwell
Vice-President Dr. Jeng Yen
Clerk C. Joseph Chang
Member Karen Preston
Member Chris Norgaard

and here's when the adobe gets the hatchet:

Board of Education Meeting
10/27/2009, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: District Office Board Room

1665 West Dr., San Marino, CA 91108

Please write them a letter and tell them what you think about their ideas of "economy" and "progress."




~ by ravenjake on October 5, 2009.

2 Responses to “Michael White Adobe is Under Siege”

  1. [this is good] This just in from Cindy Toffelmier in the Office of Historic Preservation. Although the adobe is not listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it otta be. So let’s save it, and then preserve it, y’all:
     I would like to clarify the status of the Michael White Adobe. The property is not listed on the National Register. It does, however, have a “3S” status code, which means it appears to be eligible for listing on the National Register through survey evaluation. It does not appear to have been nominated to the National Register.        The Office of Historic Preservation has commented on this property under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. You may request a copy of the comment letter. I am Ccing Michelle Messinger on this email, as she is the Office of Historic Preservation’s CEQA coordinator. Please contact Michelle directly if you require a copy of the comment letter. Sincerely, Cynthia Toffelmier State Historian II Registration Unit Office of Historic Preservation 1416 9th Street, Rm 1442 Sacramento, CA  95814 (916) 653-5789 (916)653-9824 fax ctoffelmier@parks.ca.gov http://www.ohp.parks.ca.gov

  2. Our girl Terri at Pasadena Heritage thinks the building is worth saving too, and has been writin’ letters for the cause. She says that Mike Buhler, the Advocacy Director for the LA Conservancy, thinks the Environmental Impact Report ain’t right, and he ought to know. Look, when you got all these folks sayin’ an old house is worth more than a swimming pool or parking lot, they’re gonna be right: 
    “Thanks very much for your email and your interesting and insightful comments about the Michael White adobe.  Pasadena Heritage shares your concern and dismay about the possible fate of the building.  I wrote a letter on PH’s behalf to the San Marino Board of Education about two weeks back expressing this, and urging them to re-think their plans.  I have also had numerous conversations with Mike Buhler, the Advocacy Director for the LA Conservancy, and he feels that the EIR for the project is terribly flawed.  As you likely know, the LA Conservancy has been advocating on behalf of the adobe since this all began.  Unfortunately, we have a major workshop for our members happening on October 27th, but still hope to be represented at the School Board meeting to express our concern and show solidarity on this with other preservation groups. Thanks again for your email, and feel free to contact us any time! Terri Geis, Ph.D. Preservation Director PASADENA HERITAGE 651 South Saint John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105 tel:     626.441.6333 ex. 17  fax:    626.441.2917 web:   pasadenaheritage.org email: tgeis@pasadenaheritage.org

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