Pasadena InSight

All Saints Church Master Plan


Three of the proposed new buildings are shown in the upper left corner of the model photo: the long, two-story West Building at the front along Euclid, the round Forum building toward the back, and the three-story East Building back behind the row of trees.

For a description of the project, variances required, etc. see the  City Staff Report

Various other documents and reports can be found on the City’s Commissions, Meetings and Public Notices site under Planning Commission including the architect’s plans and elevations which are grouped together in a huge file, so be forewarned, it will take a long while to load and may freeze your computer.

You can see some images from All Saints’ brochure on the church’s web site .

The Planning Commission denied approval of the Master Plan at their Dec. 10 meeting and has now required All Saints to complete a full Environmental Impact Report and return to them.



  1. Those buildings don’t look like they are a part of All Saints — you’ve got All Saints the religious institution. And then you have what looks like a medical or office complex next door. Those buildings face the City Hall, don’t they? They look out of place and dwarfed beside that stunning building. It doesn’t fit, but I can’t acquit!

    Looks like there is a lot of glass, couldn’t the architect have come up with a truly modern, new technolgoy and materials, for our sustainable city? That sucker will soak up the sun, that’s for sure!

    Comment by Nick — December 8, 2008 @ 7:52 am

  2. Thank you so much for alerting people to this proposal by All Saints Church to put a 205-foot monster glass & steel building right across from Pasadena’s Historic City Hall. What can they be thinking. Where was the publicity about this that invited citizens to comment. They should have announced their intentions to the whole community and given us a chance to shout back “NO WAY!” This might fly in Glendale but not Pasadena which has prided itself on its beautiful Civic Center.


    Comment by Christle Balvin — December 8, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  3. The City needs to be able to direct development in appropriate ways. It’s not about modern style versus any other style. It’s about the urban fabric and the hierarchy of spaces, public access (even just visually) to key sites and structures. It is right for the City to require a reinforcement of the meaning of an important civic place and to deny development that does not speak to the urban fabric or the community and that imports isolated corporate symbols instead. The City must keep its ability to moderate the central civic environment to everyone’s benefit, and not let those tools be discarded or nullified.

    This goes to the heart of public discourse in the United States that our heritage comes from, “The Commons”, descending from the Greek “Polis” where free public dialogue is key to a democratic process. Public urban space is thus given some higher rights than individual property rights where it is necessary to preserve the public good at some expense to the property rights, generally known as zoning regs and design guidelines. This issue is what urban dialogue is all about, and there’s not much dialogue between the Church and the community, or many of its parishioners, right now.

    Comment by John Q Public — December 8, 2008 @ 7:05 pm

  4. This is all eerily reminding me of what happened to my childhood church, Pasadena Presbyterian, then one of the wealthiest and most powerful churches in town.

    When the beautiful 1908 Sanctuary was damaged in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, the decision was made that the damage “necessitat[ed] its demolition”.

    True or not, the sanctuary was demolished and what we now know to be a hideous modern monstrosity (circa 1970’s) was raised on the corner of Colorado and Madison, to the blight of every single member of future generations stuck at that traffic light!

    This cannot happen again and while it is true that All Saints is not demolishing their historic buildings, the massive, expensive building(s) they propose building next to them (the glass-bunkered “Getty East”) are in line to be the next “Pasadena Presbyterian” thirty years from now.

    George Elley Hale modeled Pasadena on Athens. This philosophy gave us one of the most beautiful Civic Centers in the world, it takes your breath away every single time you set foot in it.

    This is a responsibility we are left by him, to live up to and to maintain.

    Comment by Virginia — December 12, 2008 @ 11:33 am

  5. Pasadena is a popular destination for ‘cultural tourism’ because of its attention to historic fabric and the coherence and sense of place that our predecessors built to create our unique urban environment. There is such controversy for this project not only because of the design, but because of the LOCATION for that design. Perhaps this same design may be appropriate at another site, but across the street from our iconic Beaux-Arts City Hall and next to equally distinguished Gothic Revival Church and Rectory is the issue.

    More and more, we as a city will need to come to terms with how we would like to look. As a community, we must resolve the current tension that exists between modernism and traditionalism. This is not to say they cannot co-exist, but we must have clearly articulated and specific strictures for design regarding “what goes where.” I do not believe anyone is advocating either modern design or traditional design should be abolished, but that each is judiciously applied.

    Comment by James — December 12, 2008 @ 11:45 am

  6. The All Saints master plan may well be the City of God, but the City Beautiful it is not.

    Comment by Bob Kneisel — December 14, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  7. All Saints made clear in open meetings yesterday, that they will not back down on their building plans.

    At the meeting, the church repeated its intention to add 50,000 square feet (All Saints is not building a new home, they are building a new mega mansion!) to their grounds which are right up against Pasadena’s historic Civic Center.

    They repeated their endorsement of “forward thinking” (i.e. Modern) architecture. What they church does not understand is that Pasadena (and all of L.A.) has “been there, done that” with the forward thinking architecture of the 1970’s, and does not want to make that mistake again!

    Again, I am thinking of Pasadena Presbyterian, a church in its day so similar to All Saints. Today, that building literally shut out the sun on Madison Ave. But one can look as well at the modern architecture of Pasadena mega-churches Lake Avenue or First Church of the Nazarene for visible examples of just how wrong Modern design can go!

    The site too, is “only” one of the most beautiful Civic Centers in the entire country (some would say World), a site envisioned by George Ellery Hale, who wanted a Civic Center modeled on no less than Athens.

    Perhaps this design is better (perhaps not) but even more disturbing yesterday, was their singling out of Claire Bogaard as their primary opponent in this issue. Ms. Bogaard has been a champion of some of our most precious architecture and the entire city is forever indebted to her good works!

    I am thinking of just one example: when Ms. Bogaard intervened in the sale of the Hale Solar Lab by Carnegie, to make sure the that the new buyer would respect and honor the historic value of the building. This was done without financial motives and was extremely important work for the history of our city, and for the legacy of George Ellery Hale.

    Hale’s legacy is central to this issue, as is the maintenance of the beauty of our Civic Center.

    Comment by Virginia — January 26, 2009 @ 9:16 am

  8. Just today – I learned that All Saints has announced that it will be reducing its staff and will be forced to let several of its employees go because of a shortage of operating funds for the Church. At the same time, the Church announces that it will continue with its plan to raise $45 million to build the new ‘Little Getty’ complex north of the historic Church and Rectory.

    Somehow – the Church seems to have forgotten its mission to help the poor and needy, especially in these trying times of economic meltdown. The Church leaders seem to be fixated on new and costly construction. And – it is clear to those in the construction world that the proposal for the new buildings on the All Saints property will be MUCH more expensive than $45 million. All Saints – what are you thinking?!

    Comment by Calvin — February 8, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

  9. My, my! All the Pasadenians are clucking and chattering about a contemporary structure in their midsts! Oh, no, not a structure that doesn’t conform with the same architecture that so monotonously suffocates the rest of Pasadena! Not something interesting and innovative, that actually SHOWS OFF the venerable old church because it (the addition) IS modern!
    Look, you’ve got tons of really bad faux Spanish and faux Arts & Crafts all over your city thanks to the silly “Gray Book” rules and restrictions. Sure, preserve that which is truly good and historic. But not everything needs to be same in order to have a cohesive look and feel!

    Comment by Shakes Head — June 17, 2010 @ 12:34 am

  10. Knowledgeable folks – engineers and architects and contractors – tell us that a complex such as the one All Saints is proposing will cost somewhere in the $100 million dollar range. Yet – Rector Bacon continues to speak of $45 million as the price tag.

    If the engineers and architects and contractors are right, and I believe that they are correct, it is time for Rector Bacon and his colleagues to do a thorough study of ALL of the costs – and to provide the All Saints community with real numbers and real facts.

    THAT is the Pasadena Way!

    Comment by Calvin — June 17, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

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