Construction of La Casita del Arroyo was begun in January 1933 with $3,500.00 in funds donated by the members of the Pasadena Garden Club. This little edifice, perched on the edge of the Arroyo is noteworthy for its supervising architect, original construction materials, beauty of its surroundings, usefulness, and blend of public and private support.
The commitment of the Pasadena Garden Club to the preservation and beautification of the Arroyo began years before the construction of La Casita. The first mention of it appears in Garden Club minutes on January 28, 1917, less than one year after the Club had formed. “Mr. Emil Misch, eminent landscape architect and park expert, was most felicitously introduced by Mr. Myron Hunt. Mr. Misch addressed the club on the subject of the Naturalistic Treatment of Landscape with special reference to Parks – and illustrated his talk with slides of park views from various sections of the country – concluding with familiar scenes from our own Arroyo. The discussion which followed indicated much gratification on the part of those present in Mr. Hunt’s announcement that Mr. Misch had been retained by the Committee of the Pasadena Civic Federation appointed on Arroyo Park planning, for a survey and suggestive plan for Arroyo improvements.”
At a regular meeting on March 27, 1920, the President of the Club, Judge Waldo, asked for the report of Mr. Armour, Chairman of the Committee appointed to consider the Club taking some active part in the work of reforestation [after forest fires] or in the beautifying of the the Arroyo Seco. Mr. Armour said they would “ask the Park Commissioners to set aside an acre of land in the Arroyo to be known as the Pasadena Garden Club Acre, and to plant this land in native shrubs and flowers in whatever manner would be agreeable to the club. This was met with much favorable comment…” At a meeting one month later, on April 24, it was reported that “the Commissioners were agreeable to the project, that Mr. Hamilton had suggested consulting Mr. Myron Hunt…Mr. Armour said that no adequate work could be accomplished, unless the club was willing to back it financially at least to the extent of $1500…He himself felt that the most suitable ground was south of the Colorado Street bridge. On May 29, Myron Hunt brought the membership up to date on plans for the Arroyo Seco. “The city of Pasadena has acquired all the land in the Arroyo south of the Colorado Street bridge, but with the stipulation that there be no automobile roads and that it be used for park purposes only; the city has control of most of the Arroyo north of the …bridge and has under consideration the acquiring of all remaining private holdings…municipal golf links are to be laid out along the Arroyo banks, and a great stadium built on the floor of the Arroyo north of the Linda Vista bridge suitable for the New Years Day games and large enough to accommodate the crowds.”

On to Part 2