The Theo, New Six-Story Residential Facility, Rises Near Historic Pasadena House

Pasadena Now

October 24, 2017

Construction is now underway on a new 105-unit multifamily building at 289 North El Molino Avenue in Pasadena..

Dubbed as The Theo, the building is close to the Theodore Parker Lukens House, according to a report on the website multi-housing news (

The Lukens House is a Victorian style home that’s considered one of Pasadena’s oldest, A look at the National Register of Historic Places reveals that the house was included in March 1984.

The Sierra Club ( website states that the house’s first owner, Theodore Parker Lukens, was a prominent conservationist and real estate investor who was a charter member of the Sierra Club and a friend of naturalist John Muir. He was responsible for many of the club’s early activities in Southern California, and led California’s first attempts at reforestation in the 1890s.

Lukens was later given the moniker “Father of Forestry” and a lake and mountain in the state are named for him.

With this in mind, architectural design and planning firm KTGY is currently working with developer Summerhill Apartment Communities, Pasadena Heritage and the City of n.Pasadena’s Design Commission to make sure the six-story apartment building reflects its historic surroundings, the report added.

The building will be made up of 53 percent of the units as one-bedroom residential apartments, and 47 percent two-bedroom residences, with subterranean parking and much of the roof area set aside for amenity spaces, an article on the A as Architecture website ( said.

Scheduled for opening in August 2019, the facility, within walking distance of Old Pasadena, will feature a modern design intended to complement the Lukens House that was built in the 1880s, the report on the multi housing website said.

The project is adjacent to a small park and a 120-year-old cedar tree, natural and historic components that are figured into KTGY’s design, the report said. KTGY said the apartments will be set amongst courtyards and terraces with views of the San Gabriel Mountains. It will also include an observation room on the southeast corner directly facing the Lukens House.

The Theo will also have a pool and spa area, cabana terrace, lobby courtyard, outdoor kitchen and dining and dog-wash area, the report said. In addition, there will be terraces that step down from six to two levels, accommodating these programmed areas.

Speaking to MultiHousing News, KTGY’s Keith McCloskey said The Theo’s design was the result of a series of consultations with Pasadena Heritage and the City’s Design Commission. McCloskey is the Executive Director for Design of KTGY’s Los Angeles office.

“KTGY and (the project’s developer) Summerhill (Apartment Communities) brainstormed various design solutions that responded to both the city’s architectural past and the current zoning regulations that push for high-density infill solutions close to public transit,” McCloskey said. “The resultant six-story, mid-century-styled project captures the foundational elements of the style with simple floating planes, large expanses of glass, and an emphasis on horizontality.”