Thursday, May 3, 2018

LAT Spotlight: Sierra Madre is a Quaint Foothill Character

Mod: This "Hot Property" article ran in the Los Angeles Times on April 20, and I figured it was the proper time to repost it here. The paper covered a number of interesting feel good topics, and did it fairly well. There are a couple of inaccuracies, but what the heck. It is a good look, and a portrait of Sierra Madre in an agreeable place.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Sierra Madre is a quaint foothill character (Los Angeles Times link): Nestled in the scenic foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Sierra Madre retains much of the quaint character that made the town and its surrounding environs a popular tourist destination during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The area was first settled by the Tongva people, who established a village in Sierra Madre Canyon upon moving down from the high desert into the more temperate climes of the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles Basin more than 1,500 years ago.

By 1881, when Massachusetts transplant Nathaniel Carter purchased more than 1,000 acres at the mouth of the canyon (800 from famed California pioneer Lucky Baldwin and the rest cobbled together from Southern Pacific Railroad holdings and other private owners) the Tongva were long gone, scattered to the four winds by Spanish missionaries.

Carter, like so many Easterners who ventured west to California in the late 1800s, had settled in the San Gabriel Valley for the betterment of his respiratory health. Finding the climate to be infinitely more agreeable than that of his native Lowell, he made plans to create a utopian community to be called Nature's Sanitorium, and on 100 nearby acres he built his estate, which he dubbed Carterhia.


Although his naming skills left much to be desired, he had chosen an excellent site for a town, which became known as Sierra Madre. The wildly popular Mt. Wilson trail, which drew hikers from across Southern California in such numbers that the authorities were obliged to levy a toll for its upkeep, had its trailhead just north of the crossroads of Baldwin Avenue and Sierra Madre Boulevard.

By the time the Pacific Electric Railway established a line to ferry visitors from Los Angeles to Sierra Madre in 1906, it was well on its way to becoming a thriving boomtown, with such modern amenities as paved roads, electric lights and telephones following on the heels of the trolley within the year.

The go-go aughts were not, however, a glimpse of things to come. After that brief growth spurt, development in Sierra Madre slowed dramatically, which had the salutary effect of preserving the rustic character and charm of the village and canyon communities, save for some midcentury suburban infill near the freeway.


Because of its small-town vibe and well-preserved historic downtown and residential neighborhoods, Sierra Madre has become a popular home-buying destination for "creatives" of the marketing variety as well as of the artistic. Close to Pasadena, and freeway-close to Los Angeles, Sierra Madre offers laid-back village living with all the conveniences of the big city a short drive away.

Neighborhood highlights

Canyon country: The 1960s are alive and well in the eclectic Sierra Madre Canyon neighborhood, where residents enjoy rustic foothill living in homes that date to the city's earliest days.

Mayberry, USA: Sierra Madre's historic downtown is a charming, walkable area of cafes, restaurants and bars.

Home, sweet home: Sierra Madre's housing stock is a pleasant mixture of styles from a succession of eras ranging from the late 1800s to 21st century.

Neighborhood challenge

Price of entry: All of that rustic charm comes at a price, with most homes asking over $1 million, although prices can run as low as the $600,000s.

Expert insight

Mike Paris, a real estate agent who's lived and worked in the area since 1998, said Sierra Madre has maintained its authentic feel through the fierce loyalty of its residents — and that probably won't change anytime soon.

"We had a local election this week, and every City Council member elected has a history of scrutinizing big development and supporting strict zoning laws," Paris said.

The community offers a quirky mix of historic turn-of-the-century estates, 1920s bungalows and post-WWII midcentury builds. Paris said the architectural range is a boon to the neighborhood.

"Homes here range from around $500,000 to $1.7 million," Paris said. "It's not some cookie-cutter community where everyone is in the same income bracket."

Market snapshot

In the 91024 ZIP Code, based on seven sales, the median sales price for single-family homes in February was $825,000, down 8.3% year over year, according to CoreLogic.

Report card

The single public school within the Sierra Madre boundaries, Sierra Madre Elementary, scored 905 on the 2013 Academic Performance Index.

Highlights in the area include Foothills Middle, which scored 977, and Highland Oaks Elementary, which scored 964.

Mod: All reasonably good news for a Thursday, single public school and whatever else. I promise we'll try and mix things up later this weekend.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

81 comments:

  1. Yup, that's it, a nice bedroom community.

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    Replies
    1. There are other rooms, too.

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    2. Left out highest UUT in the State, private schools a must especially for high school, crappy water, broken infrastructure, residents will be taxed to pay for pensions of city workers, unfriendly to business, over paid , unqualified police force, water restrictions and huge fines even though the parks and City Hall remain perfectly green and a group of people who take money from outside development interests to win elections so they can change the zoning laws.

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    3. Actually the UUT in Culver City is higher.

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    4. You left out ... next to ARCADIA. Eeewww. Sierra Madre needs to choose better neighbors.

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  2. In the 91024 ZIP Code, based on seven sales, the median sales price for single-family homes in February was $825,000, down 8.3% year over year, according to CoreLogic.

    and why is that?!

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    Replies
    1. Small sample. Only 7 houses were sold.

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  3. Let's just keep things the way they are. Small is good.

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    Replies
    1. All it takes is dedication and a willingness to participate in local politics.

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    2. It is amazing what a handful of smart and dedicated people can accomplish.

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    3. Actually, what is amazing is the fact that most of the voters are uninformed and don’t vote.

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    4. Politics is not for everyone. And judging by what most people have going on between their ears, that is probably a good thing.

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    5. 11:24 You are right but many still vote. That's the scary thing. In the most recent election someone said the voted for one candidate because he was a father?????

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    6. Andy won the pro-after shave vote.

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  4. Always trust a journalist and their sources. I've learned from this article the Tongva people were once desert dwellers. Could be that they are the lost tribe of Anasazi Cliff Dellers.

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    1. So Carterheria/One Carter was Tongva land? But that didn't slow anyone down when the land was scrapped?

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    2. Carterheria sounds like a digestive disorder.

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    3. SGV was pretty much desert until development

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    4. Actually it was citrus groves.

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  5. Looking at some of the old PR materials for Sierra Madre, there's a pitch for people to come here for the water. Fresh, mountain water.
    All gone now.

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  6. Good to see the author noticed our quaint downtown. It took a lot of work to save it.

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  7. Sierra Madre's first economic boom was as a community for sanitariums. It is too bad the City Council cannot see the benefit of allowing cannabis clinics. That would really help out the local eateries.

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  8. Just heard on KPCC that more people are leaving California than are moving here. Good news.

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    Replies
    1. The people paying the taxes are the ones who are sick and tired of the liberals ruining the state. The ones coming in are the illegals from the south and the Chinese by the boatload. When the high dollar tax payers leave, who will pick up the tab?

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    2. Problem is there will not be enough YOUS to pay for the pensions and freeloaders.

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    3. Seize 9:32's house, sell it, and spend the money on city employee dental insurance.

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    4. I am convinced that the cop pensions/salaries will bankrupt California. Criminals in blue.

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  9. SCAG and Hasan Ikhrata don't want to hear this!

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    Replies
    1. What? You don't believe that 150 new units in downtown Sierra Madre won't help stop global warming and get people to give up their cars?

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    2. Have you talked to the Green Committee about this?

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  10. AND it was water wars between Baldwin and Carter when the land grab was going on. Sierra Madre got squeezed out from access to Big Santa Anita and we are paying for it today.

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    Replies
    1. I’d say the Tongva paid a higher price at the hands of the kind and loving missionaries.

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    2. Well said 9:31

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  11. 8:09am. Sometimes it depends on which commission they have been elected.

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  12. 7:58am. Wait. You don't agree that City Hall should be "up dating" Kersting Court?

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    Replies
    1. Where's the permanent holiday tree? Who took it?

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    2. They hid it in the rose float barn.

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    3. I sure agree
      That rotted bell tower thingy was a bad design to begin with

      Eyesore

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    4. Some people think improving the city means larding over things like Kersting Court with boring kitsch. Most of them voted for Bencosme.

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  13. 8:52am. Sierra Madre had it's own water source, if it had just been taken care of and managed correctly.

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    1. It's a terrible loss.

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    2. 8:52 here: We still have our own water source, but it is not enough when there is no rain, no frozen reservoir (snow on the mts above us) AND too many users. If anything, there is never the right amount of water (too much, too little), we should all be offended by flushing toilets with drinking water and no one worries about water until the well runs dry. Early CalTech studies (1914) stated that Pasadena was over drafting their wells (farms and orchards, household uses) need to bring in piped water from elsewhere.

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  14. 8:23am. Yeah, good news higher taxes!
    The numbers haven't changed, "newborns and immigrants" make up the difference, just the price of housing is astronomical, most cannot afford or don't have comparable jobs to meet the soaring prices and tax.

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  15. I mstakenly posted this in yesterday’s comments:

    So Trump now admits Stormy Daniels was paid off. And he suddenly volunteers that he repaid Cohen via “a monthly retainer....”

    What a convenient term for what may turn out to be payments structured to fall below the $10,000 threshold that must be reported.

    Wasn’t it structured payments that landed former House Speaker Dennis Hastert in the slammer?

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    Replies
    1. Who gives a rat’s arse? Stay on topic or get a soap box in Kersting Court.

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    2. Maybe you can get Stormy to spank him.

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    3. Who cares? Oh, people who are law abiding patriots who love the US and support the Constitution.

      Sorry, to talk about things that don’t apply to you 10:21.

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    4. Stay on topic or is that too much for liberal minds to handle?

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    5. Report on NBC says Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phone was tapped by the Feds. Trump was on at least one of the calls taped.

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    6. There seems to be plenty of space and plenty of other comment threads here here for comments on idyllic Mayberry. You should use them.

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    7. You assume I’m liberal.

      Thank you then for confirming that not cheating with porn stars, not paying porn stars hush money, not lying about it, not engaging in money laundering or illegally structured transactions, not violating numerous laws, not colluding with Russians, and actually upholding the law and Constituion are liberal values and not conservative or republican. Thank you for having the courage to admit that.

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    8. Don't care what you are, take it somewhere else...

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    9. Ahem. The rule here is you can talk about anything you want. There is no topic control here. You can even ask people to leave. And they, in turn, are free to laugh at you.

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    10. In that case, Bwahahaha 12:42.

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  16. 9:57am. How much did former House Speaker Dennis Hastert pay for his whore?

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    1. Wow. I hope that’s not what you’re calling a minor Hastert (allegedly) molested.

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    2. Who’s he

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  17. Wow, for a few weeks after the election it seemed everyone was happy. I worried about an invasion of body snatchers. Glad to see the good ol’ Sierra Madre cranks are back in force.

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    1. Happiness is overrated.

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    2. Who are the cranks and what issues Do you not want them to raise?

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  18. 11:18pm. And that's why Carter One will move forward after the Water Moratorium is over in two years, the town has to pay the employee's and their retirement.

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    1. The water moratorium is not what stopped development at One Carter. They already have all the water meter hook-ups.
      For a brief but impactful period, the bank that owned it took a lot of actions - wrecking the land, putting in all the infrastructure.

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    2. Water is not why there is no construction at One Carter. The reason is the owner wants mansion sized houses built on small lots. The owner is suing the city for $32,000,000. It's been in the court system for a few years.

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    3. 32 million? Why that number?

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  19. THE Body Snachers replaced a living breathing Christmas Tree with a Holiday "Fake" metal tree. Maybe the snachers will repair the metal Chanukah Menorah that someone bent while it was displayed in Kersting Court.
    Correction: while Sierra Madre still has Kersting Court.

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    Replies
    1. All Christmas trees are fake

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    2. Not true. Some are real pine trees.

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  20. 11:50am. That's right, it is the law suit against the city which is holding up the build.
    The land was wrecked years ago under Dorn Platt Developers, City Hall turned a blind eye.

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    1. One of the many disasters the 2002 city council blessed this city with. Right up there with interest only payments on millions of dollars in water bonds. Worst city council in Sierra Madre history. And now some of them want to move the library.

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  21. Question, since you reference test scores at Arcadia schools, can residents of Sierra Madre send their kids to Arcadia schools?

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    1. Yes, but Arcadia must take them and Pasadena must release the student. Even if the student does not or has not attended PUSD schools, PUSD get to hold the child hostage if they want. It's pretty hard to escape PUSD because they want the ADA.

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    2. PUSD is desparate to hold on to their students. They keep losing them in droves, and that is why they are on the brink of insolvency.

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    3. Sure if you think going to a high school with 4000 kids and some pretty crappy teachers is a good idea.

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    4. A lot of those PUSD kids are going to top schools without the preferences granted to snowflake private school kids of lesser caliber whose calibers' are tautologically enhanced by virtue of attending private schools.

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  22. Dumb trump caught lying...
    again.

    Poor fool trolls got swamp water to mop up

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  23. Who’s dumber ? Dump or Giuliani?

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    Replies
    1. Rudy gone bonkers. Used to hunt the mob now he’s on their payroll

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  24. Sierra Madre would be even better but it is next to Arcadia. That's too bad. Location location location.

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