Monday, May 24, 2010

Titley Ave. -- RIP

The Day of Reckoning for Titley Avenue is here. Tonight, without any fanfare, Pasasdena City Council will hold a public hearing to change the name of Titley Avenue to Kinneloa Avenue.

We rarely give street names their due. That's understandable. Most are named for a developer's distant cousin, or letters of the alphabet, or any number of things not related to the community or place.

But, sometimes street names are repositories of local history; markers of people or places that are important parts of a community's story. That's the case with Titley Avenue. In fact, there's a whole lot of East Pasadena history all rolled into that little soon-to-be no more street sign.

Last Fall, I ran a post about Titleyville (also commonly called "Chihuahuita"). I also ran posts on J.F.T. Titley, who built a small town of low cost cottages as a "benefactor" to the poor and called the place "Titleyville," and the drama that ensued when Mr. Titley seemingly bilked the families who bought his homes.

The renaming is part of the extension of Kinneloa Avenue under the 210 freeway, which is a positive thing. But, I didn't want the moment to go by without at least some nod to Mr. Titley and Titleyville.


altadenahiker said...

Great story, well told. Links are defintely worth the visit.

Gina said...

Fascinating. I wonder if any of the original Titley homes remain?

Michael Coppess said...

Hiker: Thank you. I enjoyed telling the story and was glad to have an opportunity to refer back to the stories I ran last fall.

Gina: That's an interesting question. Let me see what I can find. If I can find any, it will make for an interesting follow up post.

AND, this afternoon at 4 pm there is going to be a ceremony opening the new Kinneloa avenue under the freeway.

Petrea said...

Thanks, Michael. I remember your original post. I hope you can find an answer to Gina's question, that would be interesting.

I knew about the ceremony but couldn't go. So maybe there's some fanfare after all.

Roberta Martinez wrote about Titleyville/Chihuahuita in her book, "Latinos in Pasadena."

Mister Earl said...

Is the renaming really a positive thing or is it some form of warped political correctness? I'm actually curious.

pasadenapio said...

Ownership of the Titley Avenue sign is being transferred to Robert Martinez for preservation purposes.

I was somewhat surprised that there was no public comment during the public hearing.

Michael Coppess said...

Ann - Interesting comment. Actually, I was not surprised at the no show for the hearing. We need to pay more attention to our history out here in East Pas. More on that in upcoming posts.

And Roberta dug up a lot of Titleyville information for her book, Latinos in Pasadena. She's a very worthy custodian for the sign.

Hi Mr. Earl - I like your suspicous mind, but the renaming made logical sense. After the 210 was built, Titley Ave. was reduced to a stub about 200 yards long. Kinneloa is many blocks long. When the streets were connected together, it made sense to keep the name of the longer street.

What's positive is the new tunnel under the 210 fwy. Here's why: The tunnel can now be used as part of a planned hike/bike trail along Eaton Wash, which is just to the west. Prior to the new tunnel, those using a trail would have had to take a long detour to get around the 210.

Petrea: I'm looking for the Titley homes and have my feelers out. Would be interesting to find one!

Mister Earl said...

Thanks. I read your blogs on Titley. Very interesting and sad in a comical way. Either a crook or something of an Ed Wood of real estate development.

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm glad Roberta gets the sign. It's either her or the Museum, and I believe she'll treasure it just as well.

Latino Heritage said...

I'm custodian for the sign; a bit like being the foster mom. Not quite sure what we will do with the sign. Only thing certain is that I, via Latino Heritage, will find a good spot for it where it can make sure the history of Titleyville/Chihuahuita is somehow connected to what ever manner the sign will be displayed.
As a bit of an aside, re: Titley homes.
There are a few homes still owned by folks who lived in the area in the first half of the 20th century. Most that I know who have family living there would refer to it as Chihuahuita. I don't know how many homes, if any, were built in the early days of Titleyville.
Another aspect to explore in the history of the area is the mobile home park that used to be in that general area.

Petrea said...

It would be interesting to know which homes are original. I wonder if it would be worth doing a Latino Heritage tour of the area, perhaps as a fundraiser? Are there enough traces left?

Samantha Cardenas said...

I know this is years later but I never knew of Titleyville until I requested my grandmother's birth certificate. It lists her place of birth as Titleyville, Lamanda Park. She was born in 1925, and both of her parents were from Mexico. Nice to learn a piece of history!

Steve Privett said...

And if anyone is interested now almost 7 years after the original post, there are at least a half a dozen houses in the area of Foothill and Santa Paula that were built before 1930. Some are on Santa Paula and others on Mataro St. Additionally, a building in the Space Bank Complex was built in 1925.