You Say Garbonzo, I say Garvanza

by Pasadena Adjacent

I live in what is called a “Historic Preservation Overlay Zone” An older Los Angeles neighborhood that gets it’s name from the mispronunciation of a bean. Ours is a community of terraced houses, rolling hillsides and winding streets. Although other hilly hoods such as Echo Park are more readily known for their many concrete wonders:(Hidden Stairways) I’d like it to go on record that we here in the Highlands have quite a few of our own. I plan on being your guide.

Garvanza Hillside Stairway, originally uploaded by Access Palm 2009.

These stairways are artifacts of a time before the automobile. Real estate developers built them as a means to get people to the hillside properties they eagerly wished to profit from. This particular and seldom used concrete pathway begins at the top of Lantana St and concludes at Ave 64. Note the “Church of Angels” which can be spotted in my Wee Video production.

Just a tad south of this Mission Revival home  by architect Charles Henry Greenshaw (I refer to it as Van De Kamp Dutch Revival); is where our journey begins. I once went to a garage sale here and bought a Donna Fargo tape while Mr V scored with a set of miniature hand made Conestoga wagons. Like you care.

We pass by this 1870’s Gothic Revival house (origin of construction noise) which wasrecently moved here from Chinatown. Once owned by former Los Angeles Mayor Prudent Beaudry (who ironically also held land in this area). Beaudry eventually sold his 2,200 acres section of Garvanza (north of Meridian) to Alexander Cambell-Johnston whose wife would go on to build Church of the Angels. “Said church” was later annexed by Pasadena. Garvanzans say “stolen” as this was against their wishes (and hers).

This boxy Victorian was also moved from Chinatown and onto another Ave 64 property, north of the Baudrey home. The back barn is not historical but rather a faux creation of sorts. The alarmingly white abode is part of a larger 1.25 acre property that also contains the historically recognized Workman’s Cottages. They’re connected to the construction of the Church of Angels located across the street. When I moved into the area in 1996, the above property had been recently purchased and was then considered Highland Park. The owner restored the cottages receiving a 1998 Highland Park Heritage Trust award for his efforts. Now the property seems to be within Pasadena’s jurisdiction having recently won their “adjacents” Golden Trowel gardening award. Edges are blurry around here.

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