• Historic & Vacant

      Stats on Raymond, 2016 (Photo – Marina Khrustaleva)

      The long-term effects of COVID start to show on the main streets of cities all over the world.

      By Marina Khrustaleva

      A year ago, there were temporarily closed stores and restaurants working for take-out. Today, as the rental agreements expire, tenants tend to leave the retail spaces they cannot use to the fullest capacity.

      There are currently at least 20 vacant storefronts on the short stretch of Colorado Boulevard from Old Pasadena to the Playhouse District. It is clear that the property owners enter a new level of competition, and commercial spaces have to offer something more than mere square footage and parking spots. Unique properties with a story and architectural merit will have higher chances to find new users.

      ColoradoBoulevard.net starts a new series, Historic and Vacant, to present a diverse collection of historic commercial properties in Pasadena that have been sitting abandoned for months – or for years. One of them is a northern portion of the former STATS store at 80 South Raymond Avenue.

      A historic building with elaborate Christmas decorations

      Stats at Christmas time (Photo – Marina Khrustaleva)

      Although this little one-story structure with a rounded corner looks seamlessly attached to the main brick body of STATS built in 1940, it appeared 50 years earlier. In fact, this is the last remnant of the original Webster Hotel (later Hotel Green, later Pasadena Hotel, and then Park View Hotel), which started in 1887 when Pasadena was booming as an aristocratic winter resort. Webster House was doubled in size by architects Strange and Carnicle and re-opened in 1893 as the East Building of Hotel Green. The eclectic façades with arches and loggias reflected Spanish, Moorish, and Mexican styles.

      The northern corner once was a part of the hotel’s luxurious banquet room and a “sample room,” and later served as a billiard and card room. In 1911, the Green Arcade was opened here to house a tea room, an information bureau, and an art gallery. The Central Annex (now Castle Green) was built in 1898 by famous architect Frederick L. Roehrig, and the two structures were connected by a 200-foot-long elevated pedestrian bridge., crossing Raymond.

      a black and white photo of a hotel

      Hotel Green circa 1900 (Photo courtesy of Pasadena City Library)

      In 1935, due to the Great Depression decline, the original four-story East Building was demolished, except for this one-story fragment on the corner. It is not clear to me how it was possible to tear down a whole building and keep the corner intact. However, the interiors still retain features from the Hotel Green era: ceiling beams, round and square columns with ornamented capitals, and flattened horseshoe-arched doorways.

      A charming old-fashioned Shaving Company shop, the last occupant of the building, closed in June of 2018 together with adjacent STATS holiday decor store. The whole property is vacant since that moment. In 2016, STATS’ owner Damon Stathatos shared his plans to convert the property into a kind of “Central Market” with various vendors. His current plans are unknown.

      The glorious history of Hotel Green is now exploited by the bigger survivor – Castle Green condominiums. Its older relative across the street could also enjoy some recognition. Its perfect location in Old Town Pasadena makes it a great restaurant or an old-style café – with tall mirrors, gilded ornaments, and crispy tablecloths.

      old designs on walls

      Interior of Stats (Photo – Marina Khrustaleva)

      a column decorated with designs

      Column details (Photo – Marina Khrustaleva)

      Christmas decorations

      Stats at Christmas, 2016 (Photo – Marina Khrustaleva)

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      1. Nick Nelson says:

        The main part of the Stat’s space is being refurbished for a tech company, Misapplied Sciences.

      2. Lei Lei Winson says:

        Be careful you might be pointing them out to people in power and they will tear them down and build parking lots

      3. Parke Houser says:

        The problem is these old buildings will be turned into apartments by the city. They only care about money and not history and charm. Pasadena is being ruined by the inept leaders. Wake up.

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