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Does Pasadena Prefer Preservation to Public Art?

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Pasadena's art lovers are complaining that the city frequently snubs public art projects in favor of preservation, and that most recently they've missed out on almost $1 million from the Rose Bowl renovation project. Developers have to allot 1% of construction costs to public art, but in the case of a historic site the money can go to either public art or preservation. With the Rose Bowl, the city went for option B. The arts crowd says it's not the first time they've been passed over. The 1% went to preservation both for an earlier Rose Bowl renovation and for the huge renovation of Pasadena's city hall in 2007. In 2009 they suffered through what they call Sculpturegate, in which the city council rejected an Arts and Culture Commission proposal for a $1.2 million sculpture installation for the Pasadena Civic Auditorium that would have been funded through development fees. According to the LAT, "Historical preservationists had been among those who argued, successfully, that the works -– an array of light tubes and a sculpture of giant hats -– would detract from the auditorium’s historic look."
· Rose Bowl score: Historic preservation, $1 million; public art, $0 [LAT]

Rose Bowl

1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena, CA 91103