If you have been around as long as we have, you might remember the phrase “You don’t know where you are going until you know where you have been.” - or - “Remembering the past helps create a purposeful future.”
Ok, so we may have made that second quote up, but it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Either way, we can’t think of a better example of this idea than how it relates to our very own Monrovia segment of Route 66.
Did you know that Route 66, also known as “The Mother Road,” originally travelled along East Huntington Drive, then veered northbound on South Shamrock Avenue, and then went west again on Foothill Boulevard?
Yep, this is a true fact! It wasn’t until the 1930’s that Route 66 was realigned to exclusively run along Huntington Drive. But that realignment left us with some great classic buildings associated with the former Monrovia Route 66 corridor. Two buildings in particular are the Old Monrovia Market at 525 South Shamrock Avenue and the Flying A Gasoline Station at 721 South Shamrock Avenue.
Our long time readers know we're a fan of quotes so to quote Ferris Buller “Life moves pretty fast…If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
|525 South Shamrock Avenue|
Fortunately, Monrovians love and value their history and the your planners do too! So knowing this, we had to be a little more creative as we tackled these buildings on Shamrock. The plan needed something more than just “a lot of Oil of Olay” to resuscitate, reinvigorate, and rejuvenate these gems. Why? Well because they are right smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Finding a balanced solution to encourage preservation, economic viability and neighborhood compatibility was imperative.
So what did we do? Well...working with all our partners, the preservation community, Commissioners, neighbors, property owners and the City Council, the ultimate proposal was something far greater than any wrinkle cream or face mask…a nifty new land use designation, with an apropos moniker, Planned Development – Area 66 (PD-66) fully geared toward bringing new life into these historic gems!
The PD-66 standards were adopted by the City Council in October 2019.
Anyway… PD-66 provides land use standards designed to embrace the past as well as provide a “road” (see what we did there?) to the future for these remnant Route 66 roadside commercial properties.
Wouldn’t you know that these land use standards worked better than any wrinkle cream. Soon after the standards were adopted, a really cool adaptive reuse project idea for the Old Monrovia Market was submitted that would preserve the history of this building and its relationship to the former Route 66 corridor. The project will preserve the classic exterior brick, reuse the existing commercial building for a Special Event Venue (Auto-themed) and add two loft apartments above the ground floor commercial space. Check out the progress below and stay tuned:
|525 South Shamrock Avenue Rendering|
|Concrete pillars to support the new second story|