In 1906, developers laid out a new Pasadena tract called Prospect Park (forever in Brooklyn’s shadow) and hired young architect Sylvanus Marston to design clinker-brick portals to connote the entrance to the neighborhood’s main street. Ninety-three years later, Prospect Park Pistol (an understatement if there ever was one) and Pasadena Beautiful board member Emina Darakjy muscled enough donations out of the neighbors to get a set of matching portals built on the other end of Prospect, where it meets Lincoln. This newer end of the street is about three times wider than the more elderly entrance off of Orange Grove, and some of us neighbors were a little (okay, a lot) skeptical of the value of spending all that money on a couple of piles of rock and brick.
But now they’re completed, and they really are things of beauty, built by master masons in that hard-to-replicate Arts & Crafts style of the original. They are an asset to the neighborhood, to Lincoln Avenue and to the city.
Plus, they provide a place for the Explorer Scouts who protect our street during Rose Bowl events to lean against.
The ribbon-cutting for the new portals is Friday, November 13, around 4 p.m., just in case you’d like to see a ribbon being cut.
Here’s a link to an architectural walking tour of Prospect Park — now you can walk from portals to portals!