Letter to the Editor: Mansions in the Crosshairs

By Jim Wigton, Special for the Pasadena Independent

The recent, local uproar regarding newly built, oversized homes and the resulting impact on vintage neighborhoods is not an issue limited to this city. Communities across the country are reacting, mostly negatively, to the proliferation of so-called “McMansions” for a very straightforward reason – they simply do not fit into the nearby areas.

That the problem seems to be growing in Monrovia is particularly disturbing, given that in order to construct a new home, one must be torn down. (Vacant land here is non-existent.) Because of the high density of pre-1940s houses within the town, that usually entails the demolition of a vintage home. This alteration of the urban landscape can have profound effects, from changing property values to limiting the creation of new businesses.

Monrovia is at a crossroads. It can choose to ignore the immediate crisis and assume a “business as usual” posture. As a consequence of that inaction, houses that do not qualify as “potential landmarks” will continue to be relegated to the not worthy pile, ignoring their role as contributors to a potential historic district and to the overall character of the community as a whole. Or Monrovia can make some difficult decisions to reconcile the issue of property rights versus preservation that is at the heart of the matter.

We have been given an inheritance – the architectural heritage of the community. We have the privilege of enjoying it while we are here and a responsibility to leave it better than how we found it after we have left. I sincerely hope we fulfill that obligation.

By Jim Wigton, President, Monrovia Historic Preservation Group

Featured image from Morguefile.com.

Source Beacon Media News