Preservation Foundation Elects New Board, Celebrates 710 Demise

The newly elected officers of the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. Front row: Tom Fields, Peggy Christ, President Mark Gallatin, Joanne Nuckols, Marina Khrustaleva. Top row: Odom Stamps, Dan Evans, Jim Tavares, Aleta Blanc, Steven Lawrence and Glen Duncan (former member). Not pictured: Adam Fratto, Joan Hillard, Christina Park and Nanda Fernando. Photo by Henk Friezer

The 710 was 86’ed. It was time for a victory lap.

The South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, a leader in the now-successful fight to keep the 710 Freeway extension out of the city, held its annual event this past Saturday, June 22 – electing and installing a new board of directors but, just as significant, celebrating one titanic triumph of over traffic.

“The fight to save the town from the 710 is virtually over, and a lot of us worked for many years, and the foundation has been a major factor in that,’’ said Glen Duncan, a longtime freeway fighter and Preservation Foundation member.

“We were a co-signer of the complaint that led to the lawsuit that led to the ruling against the 710 project, which was one of the major, major success stories.

“That was one of the things we were really celebrating.’’

Duncan had previously described the years-long fight against the 710 as, “a little like being Jedi warriors and defeating the Evil Empire in a galaxy not so long ago and far away.”

While Duncan couched the victory over Caltrans’ plans to route a 710 extension through the city as “virtually” over, it’s unlikely the battle will need to be re-engaged.

Caltrans now is expected to begin another long process – selling off properties it has owned for decades, some with residents, some with empty houses in need of repair – along the proposed 710 route. 

Mark Gallatin was elected the Preservation Foundation’s new president during the event, held at the Fairview Avenue home of Kate and Odom Stamps.

Joining Gallatin on the 2019-2020 board are Tom Fields, Peggy Christ, Joanne Nuckols, Marina Khrustaleva, Odom Stamps, Dan Evans, Jim Tavares, Aleta Blanc, Steven Lawrence, Adam Fratto, Joan Hillard, Christina Park and Nanda Fernando.

During Saturday’s event, foundation members also heard a presentation from architectural history researcher John Ripley, who discussed historical houses in South Pasadena and gave advice on how to use the South Pasadena Historic Inventory and his own independent historic database to apply for centennial plaques on homes at least 100 years old.

Duncan, meanwhile, said the foundation also celebrated its successful May 4 tour of six local historic churches.

“We had a very successful church tour,” Duncan said. “Over the years, we’ve had many home tours, and we got the idea this year that, hey, we’ve never had a church tour … so we did a tour of historic churches.

“Most people who go to church don’t know anything about the architecture or the history of the building.

“It [the foundation’s tour] opened a lot of eyes. It was sort of a way of having a nexus between the faith community and the historical community.’’

Duncan said the tour included visits to Grace Brethren Church (920 Fremont Ave.); Calvary Presbyterian Church (1050 Fremont Ave.); St. James Episcopal Church (1325 Monterey Rd.); the South Pasadena Christian Church (1316 Lyndon St.); Holy Family Catholic Church (1527 Fremont Ave.); and Oneonta Congregational Church (1515 Garfield Ave.).

“We were certainly celebrating the success of the tour and the people that helped with it, too,” Duncan said.