After decades of trying to buy the building, the Pasadena City Council voted to use eminent domain to seize the Julia Morgan-designed YWCA at 78 N. Marengo, a project that has been "fenced up and abandoned for two decades," according to the Pasadena Star-News. The paper reports that owner Angela Chen-Sabella, characterized as the " daughter of a Hong Kong billionaire," purchased the home for $1.8 million in 1996, but has let it fall into disrepair. The city offered Chen-Sabella about $6.43 million for the building, but she wanted twice the amount, according to the paper. And it looks like it could she's going to fight the city in court--she's taken on a second attorney who specializes in eminent domain cases. Meanwhile, many ideas have been kicking around about what to do with the 1921 building, and last August, a Cal Poly student submitted a proposal to transform the site into the new headquarters for Pasadena Water and Power.
· Pasadena City Council votes to use eminent domain on historic abandoned YWCA building [Pasadena Star News]