PASADENA, Texas - The City of Pasadena wants to demolish the city’s most iconic building and is suing the building’s owner to get that done.
The former First Pasadena State Bank building has been neglected for decades. Towering at the corner of Southmore Ave and Pasadena Boulevard, it stands as a reminder of years past.
Built in 1962, the former First Pasadena State Bank building was a point of pride for this city.
“This building means a lot to Pasadena,” said Mayor Jeff Wagner. “This building was going to be the first of many, many skyscrapers. It just didn’t happen that way.”
After being sold time and time again, it went into foreclosure in 1990. Since then, it's sat empty, its windows are now shattered and its bricks are crumbling.
“Neglected for 30 years,” Mayor Wagner said. “Neglected is the word we have to use. I would love to keep this building. We just can’t.”
In June, the City filed a lawsuit against the current owner, listed as Pasadena Southmore LP and the lien holder, Green Bank. This came after they didn’t comply with an earlier order to demolish the building.
The Fire Marshall, David Brannon, says it’s just plain dangerous inside.
“Asbestos is falling in the building,” Brannon said. “We have kids and so forth get inside this building, and they just think it’s a playground. But when they do, they get the particulate materials on themselves and so forth, and they cross contaminate their families...take it outside, and we are concerned about that.”
Brannon says there’s standing water in the bottom floor and mold throughout. He also says the steel beams aren’t safe anymore.
What was once a 12-story icon has become a 12-story eyesore.
“It just makes it look ugly,” said Monica Torres, a Pasadena native. “It looks like, really ghetto and stuff. No lights...no nothing.”
However, Torres wants the building to be fixed, not torn down.
“I know it can be done. It can be fixed. There are a lot of old buildings that have been refurbished," she said.
“The building has to come down,” Mayor Wagner said. “It’s definitely unsafe for all the citizens of Pasadena.”
The mayor says he’d like the building demolished by the first of next year with hopes of putting something big in its place, although, he doesn’t know what that would be at this time.