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Running With History Mile 7

La Casita del Arroyo, 177 South Arroyo Boulevard

Running With History Mile 7 – La Casita del Arroyo, 177 South Arroyo Boulevard: “The Little House on the Arroyo” is a community meeting house built in 1932 as a public works project. Its construction was a joint venture between the Pasadena Garden Club, which supplied the funds and the architectural design by Myron Hunt (designer of the Rose Bowl who, along with his wife, was a member of the Garden Club) and the City of Pasadena, which supplied the materials and labor. Some of the building’s materials were sourced from its surroundings, including walls that incorporate boulders from the Arroyo, original roof shakes cut from fallen trees in the upper canyon, and lumber salvaged from the velodrome built inside the Rose Bowl for the 1932 Olympics.

La Casita was severely damaged by fire in 1985, and subsequently repaired and restored by the City of Pasadena. The Pasadena Garden Club designed and installed the Isabelle Greene/Yosh Befu garden that surrounds La Casita and was formally dedicated in 1988. The garden demonstrates the use of native and non-native Mediterranean plants, organized into a rainwater only section, a low water use garden and a moderate water use garden. In 2010, the Veva McKee Butterfly Sanctuary, named after a past President of both the Garden Club and La Casita Foundation, was re-designed and installed.

La Casita was designated as a Pasadena Landmark in 1976, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Arroyo Seco Parks and Recreation Historic District in 2008, which was the result of a nomination prepared by Pasadena Heritage. La Casita was maintained by the Pasadena Garden Club until 1994, when the La Casita Foundation was established as the steward of the building and gardens.

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