Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mystery History -- Solved


I stumped everybody this week.

In the 1958 photo above, three women (l-r Pat Colburn, Vi Berry and Ernestine Steele) wear sheets fashioned into dresses to draw attention to the proposed widening of Washington Street.

The proposal was for Washington to be widened by taking 14 feet off only one side -- their side -- of the street.

So they packed themselves and their signs into the car at left and headed to Pasadena City Hall to protest the project.

They lost the battle and the project moved forward.

Here's a photo of the work in progress, with a parade of protesting property owners, led by Stanley Steele, who refused to give up their fight:


They demanded a recall of four members of the Board of City Directors (now called the City Council).

That one didn't have enough support, either.

Washington Street was widened and "Street" was changed to "Boulevard."

And the rest is history.

Many thanks to Los Angeles Public Library for use of the photos.

6 comments:

Petrea said...

Great story, Ann.

And I have to say, what a bummer for them. Sounds like they lost their front yards and no one else had to give up anything. There must have been a reason to do it that way--it was easier, cheaper, more attractive? Still, it does sound unfair.

Cindy said...

Fascinating! I wonder why the woman's frock on the left says "I'm curves"?

Susan C said...

I love these women! It would be fun to know if any of them are still alive and living in Pasadena. I suppose they'd be in their 80s.

kevin at Time River Productions said...

Are you sure about that? I thought Altadena Hiker's comment about flossing was pretty compelling.

altadenahiker said...

Had a bite to it, didn't it Kevin. Of course, you could end up with three lower fronts, two top wolves, four wisdoms, and assorted molars and end up with no bite at all.

Petrea said...

Very incisive.