Early Views of Pasadena

Historical Photos of Early Pasadena
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(ca. 1880)* - Panoramic view of Pasadena as seen from the San Gabriel Mountains on a clear day.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena is a part of the original Mexican land grant named Rancho del Rincon de San Pascual, so named because it was deeded on Easter Sunday to Eulalia Perez de Guillén Mariné of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. The Rancho comprised the lands of today's communities of Pasadena, Altadena and South Pasadena.*




(ca. 1880)* - View of Pasadena and it's surrounding areas, from Echo Mountain in the San Gabriel Mts.  


Historical Notes

Prior to the annexation of California in 1848, the last of the Mexican owners was Manuel Garfias who retained title to the property after statehood in 1850. Garfias sold sections of the property to the first Anglo settlers to come into the area: Dr. Benjamin Eaton, the father of Fred Eaton, Dr. S. Griffin, and Benjamin Wilson.

Much of the property was purchased by Benjamin Wilson who established his Lake Vineyard property in the vicinity. Wilson, known as Don Benito to the local Indians, was also owner of the Rancho Jurupa (Riverside, California) and mayor of Los Angeles. He is the grandfather of WWII General George S. Patton, Jr.*^

In 1864 Wilson took the first white man's expedition to a high peak of the San Gabriel Mountains that would be named Mount Wilson. He hoped to harvest timber there for the making of wine vats, but he found the wood inadequate. The Wilson Trail became a popular one or two-day hike to the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains by local residents for years to come.*




(ca. 1870)* - View from Bacon Hill. The Raymond Hotel was built atop Bacon Hill which lies between Pasadena and South Pasadena and was renamed Raymond Hill with the opening of the hotel in 1886.  


Historical Notes

In 1873, Benjamin Wilson and Dr. S. Griffin subdivided their land (with Griffin getting almost 2/3 of the property, but Wilson retaining some better land (east of current Fair Oaks Avenue), near his Lake Vineyard property). Griffin then sold 2,500 acres of his property to the "Indiana Colony," represented by Daniel M. Berry. In 1876, after the Colony had sold most of its allotted land and established what would become the City of Pasadena, Wilson began subdividing and developing his adjacent landholdings which would become the eastern side of the new settlement.*




(ca. 1874)^ - Panoramic view of the orange groves of the first Pasadena settlers, looking northwest.  Houses and stores are clustered around Colorado Street (later Boulevard) and Fair Oaks Avenue in the distance at right. Mountains are visible in the background.  


Historical Notes

In 1873, Dr. Daniel M. Berry of Indiana visited the area in search of a place that could offer better climate to his patients, most of whom suffered from respiratory ailments. Berry was an asthmatic and claimed that he had his best three nights sleep at Rancho San Pascual. To raise funds to bring the company of people to San Pascual, Berry formed the Southern California Orange and Citrus Growers Association for which he sold stock. The newcomers were able to purchase a large portion of the property along the Arroyo Seco and on January 31, 1874, they incorporated the Indiana Colony.

The Indiana Colony was a narrow strip of land between the Arroyo Seco and Fair Oaks Avenue. On the other side of the street was Benjamin Wilson's Lake Vineyard development. After more than a decade of parallel development on both sides, the two settlements merged into the City of Pasadena.*




First House

(1874)*^* – View showing the home of A. O. Bristol, located on the SW corner of Orange Grove and Lincoln Avenue. This was the first house completed in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

In January 1874, the new settlement was divided among the settlers and mapped. Generously sized parcels which were intended for the planting of orange groves were arranged on either side of the north-south axis of the colony, a street soon known as Orange Grove Boulevard.

Houses for the new residents began to be built on the parcels, the first of which was the A. O. Bristol home near the corner of Orange Grove and Lincoln Avenue, finished in March 1874. By the end of 1875, there were 40 houses set among orchards, groves and vineyards.*##*




(n.d.)*^* - Early view of the Bristol House, 1st house built in Pasadena.  This photo was clearly taken after its use as a house had passed.  






(1876)** - View of Pasadena from south Orange Grove Avenue with the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. Orange groves are seen throughout.  


Historical Notes

Seen in the photograph are a number of Pasadena landmarks, as follows: In the far left of the frame is a two story, white house - the H. J. Holmes House. To the right of the Holmes House is another white building - this is the W.T. Clapp House. To the right of the Clapp House is the First Methodist Church. To the right of the church, under a large oak tree, is the first school house of Pasadena. To the right of the school house is a large, ornately designed house - the Gilmore House. The right-most building in the photograph - a large white structure - is the First Presbyterian Church. In the foreground of the photograph is Henry G. Bennett's House - the 4th house in Pasadena. Running behind the Bennett house is a road - now Bellefontaine Street, and from the right of the photograph running north is what is now Orange Grove Blvd.

Note:  An enlargement of this photograph is framed and hangs in the Pasadena Museum of History Reading Room, labeled "Pasadena as it was in 1876." *^*





(ca. 1874)** – View of the 1st School in Pasadena, Orange Grove St. on Clapp property. Jennie Clapp was the first teacher.  


Historical Notes

Initially, with only two students, Jennie Clapp became the first teacher in town and utilized one of the rooms at her house located on Orange Grove Avenue, on the southwest corner of California Street. But soon enrollment shot up to 16 pupils and the room became too small.  The Colonists met and decided that a real schoolhouse must be built. Three hundred dollars was soon collected and in October, 1874, a plain, rough board building was built on Orange Grove Avenue, close to the Clapp home. This was Pasadena's first schoolhouse.^^^#






(ca. 1875)* - Exterior view of the First Church in Pasadena. First Presbyterian - built on California Street near Orange Grove.  


Historical Notes

On March 21, 1875, the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, the city's first church, was organized in a school house, also the city's first, on Orange Grove Avenue near California Street.  That same year the church would be built near the school house.^^^#




(ca. 1888)^*# - View looking northeast at the First Church in Pasadena (on he right).  The schoolhouse is seen on the left.  






(ca. 1893)* - A man identified as Nels Eckline poses near a fence, behind which are the first church (background right) and the first school (background left) in South Pasadena as they appeared circa 1893.  






(1876)* - Exterior view of Col. Banbury's ranch in Pasadena. This is the second house built on the colony.  


Historical Notes

Colonel J. Banbury built the second home in Pasadena on South Orange Grove Avenue.  It was a one and a half story plastered, eastern style house where the Tournament of Roses' Wrigley Mansion, one of the first houses in the Colony, now stands. For a while he was the "zanjero," or manager of the water supply.

Banbury's twin daughters, Jennie and Jessie, were the original two students who attended the Pasadena’s first school on Orange Grove.^^^#





(1876)^ - Panoramic view of early Pasadena looking northeast from the Arroyo Seco. Young orchards full of rows of underdeveloped trees dot the hilly landscape. Bushed and other scrub vegetation grow as well. No houses are immediately evident. The San Gabriel Mountains stand in the background.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena’s setting at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains and on the edge of the ravine called Arroyo Seco both promoted its growth and limited its development.  The mountains and the Arroyo imposed physical barriers to expansion, yet their dramatic beauty drew settlers and tourists alike.*



First Methodist Church

(1877)** – View showing the First Methodist Church located at Orange Grove and Palmetto.  This was the second church built in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

On January 7, 1877, a one-room Methodist Church was dedicated on Orange Grove and Palmetto by a congregation of twenty-four members. The facility had two hundred seats, a pump organ, a church bell and kerosene lamps. The pastor preached every other Sunday, sharing a circuit ministry with San Gabriel and Alhambra until 1882.

Pasadena began to develop on Colorado instead of Orange Grove. Better roads and street lights were needed for evening services, so the church was put on rollers and moved near a livery stable on Colorado and De Lacey.

The congregation’s next development was the purchase of land on the “hill” at the southeast corner of Colorado and Marengo. On March 20, 1887, a frame church with a 140-foot steeple and an adjacent eight-room parsonage were dedicated. ^





(1878)** – View showing the home of the Giddings Family, located at 1318 E. Colorado Street. From Left to Right, the people shown in the photograph are: Jennie H. Giddings, Lawson Giddings, Joshua Reed Giddings, Mac the dog, Lena S. Hart, Levi Giddings, Joe Giddings (in buggy), Mrs. Lucinda Hollingsworth, Mr. Lawson Hollingsworth. "Grandmother Hollingsworth is standing in front of her oak tree."  


Historical Notes

Joshua Reed Giddings of Iowa moved to Pasadena in 1874 as one of the original "old settlers." A street in Pasadena, Ashtabula Street, was named after his uncle (also named Joshua Reed Giddings), who was a famous abolitionist and U.S. House of Representatives member from 1838 to 1859 in Ohio (he lived in Ashtabula County, Ohio). Mr. Giddings was one of the founding members of the Pasadena Cemetery Association, along with a number of his family members.

A photocopy slip dated 1937 found in the file with the photograph includes an excerpt which reads: "One of the first purchasers in the Lake Vineyard Colony was J. R. Giddings. Mrs. Giddings was the daughter of L. D. Hollingsworth who settled here in 1876. The Giddings home was at 1318 E. Colorado Street. Mr. Chapin writes in 1930 - 'At the present Giddings home on east Colorado Street there is a famous mulberry tree that provides the coolest possible shade in summer, and with so broad a spread that many sizable gatherings have been held under its overhanging branches, which indeed fall like a spray to the very ground.' Thirty Years in Pasadena, by Lon F. Chapin" Reverse: "J. R. Giddings house 1878" **




First Hotel

(1870s)** – View showing the Lake Vineyard House; Pasadena's first hotel at Marengo Avenue near Pleasant Street; John Griswold, proprietor.  


Historical Notes

The Lake Vineyard House was built and run by John Griswold who sold it to Isaac Banta in 1880, and it became a private residence in 1884. Banta found that it was too far from "The Four Corners" (the center of town, Colorado and Fair Oaks), and built the Los Angeles House Hotel.**





(1883)^^# - View of Pasadena looking north from Raymond Hill.  






(ca. 1880)* - Scenic view of Pasadena, north on Oak from Colorado. View shows cultivated fields, orchards and homes in the area.  


Historical Notes

Prior to the 1890s, the mail was delivered to the Indiana Colony via Los Angeles. In an attempt to obtain their own post office, the Colony needed to change its name to something the Postmaster General considered appropriate. To this end the town fathers put three names up to a vote. The first was "Indianola," the second was "Granada," in keeping with the area's Spanish heritage. The third name was proposed by Dr. Thomas Elliott, who had contacted a missionary friend in Michigan who had worked with the Minnesota Chippewa Native Americans, although the Chippwa language had no ties to Southern California. He submitted four names for translation: "Crown of the Valley," "Key of the Valley," "Valley of the Valley," and "Hill of the Valley." All of the translations ended in "pa-sa-de-na," meaning "of the valley." Due to its euphonious nature, Pasadena was chosen, put to a vote, and accepted.*^





(1880)#* - Panoramic view of the 1880 Pasadena skyline, looking west. The photo is annotated with three locations: (left to right) First schoolhouse, Colorado Street (now Boulevard), and Fair Oaks Ave.  


Historical Notes

Fair Oaks is one of the major roads developed by the Indiana Colony dating back to 1874. It was apparently named for one of Pasadena’s earlier ranches, the Fair Oaks Ranch, named by the widow of General Albert Sidney Johnston for her Virginia home. The road led up from Raymond Hill and north to Washington Boulevard where it met the Painter Hotel. There being little reason to travel more northward, the road dwindled to a watery footpath and meandered through about three miles of scrub growth until a similar road picked up in the Altadena Community. At that time, the road was the divider between the Indiana Colony and Benjamin D. Wilson's Lake Vineyard settlement.*^

Colorado Street (now Boulevard) became Pasadena's first street to see commercial development.



Pasadena's 1st School (Central School)

(ca. 1880s)* - Group photo of the students attending the "First" school in Pasadena (Central School). The school building was the largest building in the area and visible from almost any part of Pasadena. It was located near the corner of Raymond and Green.  






(ca. 1880s)* - Closer view showing the first school in Pasadena and its students. The school was a handsome building for its day with separate classrooms for the different grades and of course a bell tower and bell.  






(ca. 1897)* - This building, at the corner of Raymond and Green, formerly Central School, served as Pasadena's City Hall from March 21,1887 to December 10, 1889.   




"The Four Corners" (Center of Old Pasadena, Colorado and Fair Oaks)

(1884)* - View of Colorado and Fair Oaks in Pasadena, looking northwest. Building on the left is the Ward Block building. City Drug Store is on the right.  


Historical Notes

The building on the left with the tower is the Ward Block, located on the southwest corner of Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue.  Behind it, on the northwest corner, was the Angeles House hotel (with veranda).  To the right, on the northeast corner, is the general store, originally built by L.D. Hollingsworth in 1876.  The landscaped foreground is part of Central Schoolhouse (Pasadena's first school) lot on the southeast corner.*




(ca. 1883)* - Colorado and Fair Oaks looking west. Ward Block is on the left, which includes the Pasadena Bank and the Grand Hotel. Several horse-drawn carriages are parked along the sides of the building. There is a Meat Market and a Livery Stable past Ward Block. Cultivated fields can be seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Ward family from Connecticut, Ben, Frank, Walter, and their father, Gen. Edwin Ward, built an imposing two-story building with a tower on the southwest corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks Avenue in 1883.  The building housed the Grand Hotel and the Wells Fargo Express office.  The Wards also founded Pasadena’s first newspaper, the Pasadena Chronicle, in 1883.*




(1884)^ - Horse- drawn carriage traffic around the Ward Block, at the dusty intersection of Colorado and Fair Oaks in Pasadena.  






(1885)* - View of the Hotel Pasadena located on the southwest corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks showing over a dozen people in front of the building with four horse-drawn wagons parked at the curb. There is also a group of people standing on the roof deck.  


Historical Notes

Verso reads: "1885 Hotel Pasadena", "Ward Block / Cor. Fair Oaks & Colorado St", "Picture Belongs to L.E. Jarvis", "This was the home of the First National Bank, the first bank in Pasadena", "Webster's Hotel", and "Pasadena Restaurant". "Visible in the photograph on the ground floor are shop signs for, from Left to Right: L.H. (?) Bixby General Merchandise; Pasadena Restaurant; Cigars and Tobacco, News Agency; Washburn & Watts Real Estate & Insurance; Harness Shop. A large sign above the windows of the second floor reads: "Webster's Hotel / Restaurant / E.G. Webster, Pro." 





(ca. 1880s)*^* – Early winter view of Colorado Street, now Colorado Boulevard, looking north. The San Gabriel Mountain range with snow and clouds is in the background.  






(1884)* - View is looking east at Colorado Street in Pasadena, in 1884. Orchard fields are on both sides of the dirt road. Buildings and homes can be seen past the orchard fields.  






(ca. 1880s)#* - Landscape view of Pasadena showing groves of trees and other crops in the foreground, and buildings and houses in the town.  






(1884)* - View of Pasadena looking north with orchards in the foreground.  






(1885)** - Panoramic view looking northeast from Valley and Pasadena Avenue.  






(1884)** - View of a young woman and school children in front of building on a rise of land in early Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

The story and a half gabled frame building with cupola was built in 1884 as a school on Columbia Hill between South Orange Grove and Grand. The building was given in 1885 to Sierra Madre College. The college failed after two years and became a private residence. After Pasadena was formally incorporated in 1886 this building was outside the city limits in South Pasadena.**





(1885)* - Exterior view of Munger & Griffith Hardware store located on 19 East Colorado, in Pasadena.  






Los Angeles House Hotel

(1885)* - View of the Los Angeles House Hotel located on the northwest corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks. A horse-drawn carriage is stopped at the hotel, and several guests are standing on the porch and balcony. Note a man standing at the top of the hotel next to the flag pole. A large sign reads, "Livery and Feed Stable."  


Historical Notes

The Los Angeles House Hotel opened July, 1883 by Isaac Banta on the northwest corner of Colorado & Fair Oaks Avenue on a 2 1/2 acre lot bought from Ezra Carr. This was Pasadena's first real hotel although Banta had run 2 small houses prior to this on South Marengo.**





(ca. 1886)** - View of the Los Angeles Hotel at its new location on the northwest corner of Colorado and DeLacy.  Photo depicts a three story hotel with a crowd of nineteen men, four women two small boys riding a donkey and a black and white dog lying in the gutter. Two horse-drawn carriages are on the lower left.  Notice sign -'Meals 25 cents'.  


Historical Notes

In 1886, the hotel was moved one block west from its original location to the corner of DeLacy Avenue and Colorado to make way for the First National Bank’s new brick building.*





(1891)* - Carriage of President Benjamin Harrison makes a stop at the Los Angeles House in Pasadena, in 1891.  




* * * * *




The Marion House

(ca. 1890)#* - View of a three-story boarding house or hotel with wraparound porch, on a road in Pasadena, California. A sign on the third story reads: "Meals 25 cts." A sign hanging from the front porch reads: "The Marion. Furnished Rooms."  



* * * * *




Pasadena's First Brick Block

(ca. 1885)** - View showing two men standing in front of the Brown & Blattenburg real estate office, 91 E. Colorado. It was part of first brick business block built by John W. Wood.  





(n.d.)** - View showing a man standing in the doorway of the brick building at 91 E. Colorado. Writing on side of building reads: Cuesta Rey - Havana Cigars.  



* * * * *





(1886)^ - View of the school property auction (5 acres) in front of Pasadena’s first school (Central School) near the corner of Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue. A large crowd of people standing behind a number of horse-and-buggies gather at bottom of the two-story schoolhouse, which sports a bell tower and clapboard veneer. In the foreground, two horses attached to still more buggies are tied to a hitching post, facing one another.  


Historical Notes

The historic schoolhouse auction took place on March 12, 1886. In total, 35 lots from the school property were sold for almost $45,000.  This set off a building boom on the south side of Colorado Street and on South Raymond Avenue.*




First National Bank

(ca. 1886)** -  View of the First National Bank located on the northwest corner of Colorado at Fair Oaks. Barney Williams Store is located on the northeast corner. On the left, it appears a horse is taking a break from pulling a trolley.  


Historical Notes

In 1886, First National Bank opened at the northwest corner of Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue, on the former site of the Los Angeles House Hotel. The building, designed by Harry Ridgway, was a three-story, brick building with a round two-story tower topped by a flagpole and it was the tallest building in downtown. It had Romanesque arches, Italianate window hoods, and Gothic dormers.*




(ca 1880s)** - Close-up view showing the front entrance to the First National Bank on the northwest corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks.  The Metcalfe Law Office is on the second floor.  





(ca. 1890s)^ - View of First National Bank on the northwest corner of Fair Oaks and Colorado Street. Electric trolley is seen on the left.  





Frost Block

(ca. 1887)** - Panoramic view of the Frost Block, located on East Colorado Street.  


Historical Notes

The Frost Block on East Colorado Street, built in 1885 and expanded in 1887, was home to a variety of utilitarian businesses such as the carriage shop pictured here. The 1885 Frost Block suffered severe damage in a powerful windstorm shortly after it was built, leading to the necessity of the 1887 expansion.**



Pasadena Presbyterian Church

(1886)* - Sketch showing the Presbyterian Church in Pasadena with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Methodists and Presbyterians claimed the largest congregations and so it was fitting that they had the biggest churches on Colorado. Before moving further east the Presbyterians first built a church on this site in 1876, which was replaced by a more impressive structure in 1886 (seen above)*




(1886)* - View of the Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, located on the northwest corner of Colorado Street and Garfield Avenue. Note the architectural design on the building, especially its beautifal tower.  


Historical Notes

By 1910, Pasadena would have more than 50 churches.




(ca. 1880s)* - Exterior view of the Pasadena Presbyterian Church showing its impressive circular stained-glass window. A trolley pulled by two horses is seen heading west on Colorado.  


Historical Notes

In 1891, a windstorm blew down the ornate and very tall church tower.*




(ca. 1900s)* - Pasadena Presbyterian Church with rebuilt tower after original was destroyed by a windstorm in 1891.  


Historical Notes

By 1914 a post office replaced the church seen above and encouraged the eastward expansion of the Pasadena shopping and business district.*


* * * * *




(1886)* - A 1886 map of Pasadena, when it was largely a town of orange groves. Drawings of various historical significant buildings surround the map.  


Historical Notes

In March 1886, Pasadena became the second incorporated municipality, after the city of Los Angeles, in Los Angeles County.*




Stetson Residence

(ca. 1886)* - Exterior view of the Stetson residence located at 170 N. Orange Grove Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The house was built for the Channing family of Boston circa 1886. Their daughter, Grace, married William Stetson, famous painter, and brought up his daughter by his first wife, Charlotte Perkins Stetson (later Gilman). The house is also known as the Channing (William Ellery) house.*




Carmelita House

(1886)*^* - View showing the Carmelita House with guests on lawn and on horseback posing for the camera.  


Historical Notes

Back of Photo reads: "1886 - Built by J.B. Springer; 1937 - now on corner of Maylin and S. Orange Grove; Built over". Also written by hand in ink on reverse is "Grace W. Hodge, 1266 N. Raymond Ave." Grace W. Hodge was the wife of Nathaniel Hodge and the daughter-in-law of Dr. Jacob Sylvester Hodge. (J.S. Hodge family identified in 1894 City Directory, including Nathaniel; Nathaniel and Grace located at 1266 N. Raymond Ave. in 1920 City Directory. Grace listed as widowed in 1930 City Directory.) Dr. Carr and Dr. Hodge possibly knew one another. Based on Mrs. Hodge's writing on the photograph, it is possible some of the people in the photograph are members of the Hodge family.*^*




(ca. 1886)*^* – Another view of the Carmelita House from a different angle showing several people standing on and around building including on balcony, porch, and stairway.  


Historical Notes

According to Pasadena PIO, in an article dated "August 20, 2009", the house was owned by Dr. Ezra S. Carr, who moved to Pasadena in 1880. On the back of the photograph, on the right side, it says "Residence of Carrs. Pasadena. This was built in Carmelita and now stands on S. Orange Grove." *^*



Sierra Madre Villa Hotel

(1876)* - View showing a man and child walking on a dirt path toward the Sierra Madre Villa Hotel, the pioneer summer resort of the San Gabriel River Valley.   


Historical Notes

The Sierra Madre Villa Hotel got its start in 1876 and is now remembered as southern California’s first famous resort. The hotel building was just above where the Eaton Canyon Golf Course is now and the Villa property stretched all the way down to approximately Foothill. #+




(ca. 1878)^## - View showing the Sierra Madre Villa Hotel (left) and the Victorian Cogswell/Rhoades House (right). Note the man standing in front of a fountain in the midst of an orange grove.  


Historical Notes

Artist William F. Cogswell was an east Pasadena pioneer and founded the world-renowned Sierra Madre Villa Hotel. He was also a noted portrait artist. The best known of his works is this 1864 portrait of President Abraham Lincoln that is part of the White House Collection.

In 1873 he purchased 473 acres of wild mesa land in what is now east Pasadena. In its natural state, this land was said to be covered with greasewood so thick a jack rabbit couldn't penetrate it. But, the mesa offered unimpeded views that likely captured the artist's eye and imagination. There was the waiting San Gabriel Valley below and an ocean view that took in Catalina Island and steamers making their way to San Pedro.

At the suggestion of friends, in 1876, Cogswell and his son-in-law William Porter Rhoades founded the Sierra Madre Villa Hotel on the site. He also built a beautiful Victorian home on the northern edge of the property.

For a brief time, the Villa was the premier winter resort west of the Mississippi. #+




(1884)* - View showing the two story Sierra Madre Villa Hotel and Victorian Cogswell/Rhoades House surrounded by vineyards and citrus groves all set against the Sierra Madre/San Gabriel Mountains.  


Historical Notes

The northern edge of Cogswell's property roughly bordered present day Fairpoint St. north of the Eaton Canyon Golf Course. The southern tip of his property extended to present day Foothill Blvd. and Sierra Madre Villa Ave. The jagged western edge of the property tracked the Eaton Wash. Cogswell's purchase also included rights to half the water flow over a waterfall located north of present day Pasadena Glen.

With the aid of 70 Chinese laborers, Cogswell's land was cleared and planted with citrus trees and grape vines. Water was transported from the water fall downhill by flume or clay pipe to irrigate the land. #+




(ca. 1890)^ – Close-up view of the Sierra Madre Villa Hotel in Pasadena.  The two-story villa is pictured beyond a clump of short orchard trees that stands in the foreground, with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  





(ca. 1890)^ – View showing the veranda of the Sierra Madre Villa Hotel with several guests just lounging around. A woman is seen looking out toward the view which includes orange groves in front of the hotel.  


Historical Notes

Villa visitors were treated to fine accommodations (running water in each room) in the middle of a beautiful ranch setting. The Villa maintained its own bee apiaries, stable of horses and small herd of cattle. Then there were the groves:

“There is probably no pleasure and health resort in either this country or abroad that will compare to the Villa in this respect. The hotel proper is literally surrounded with orchards. To particularize: there are upwards of 5,000 large orange trees…, upwards of 150 lemon trees, … and besides deciduous fruit trees, nut trees and a fine line of ornamental forest trees, shrubs, flowing plants, ect. Not only does the Villa grow all its own fruits, but also all the vegetables, small fruits, nuts, grapes, ect. with which the tables are freshly supplied three times a day.” (Rural Californian 1891) #+




(ca. 1890)^ – View showing orange groves in Pasadena as seen from Sierra Madre Villa Hotel with majestic San Gabriel Mountains in the background..  




Kinneloa – Abbot Kinney Residence

(ca. 1883)^.^ –  View showing Abbot Kinney’s Italianate residence at his 537-acre ranch, dubbed “Kinneloa”, east of Pasadena.  The wood-frame Italianate home with a full wrap-around porch, a center rooftop pergola, unusual circular vent holes below the eaves and just a small portion of the expansive and expensive gardens around the structure, is placed in a picturesque spot at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.  The views from the home were also remarkable spanning the entirety of the valley and coastal plain to the ocean.   


Historical Notes

In 1880, Abbot Kinney (tobacco fame and also developer of Venice of America) headed to the Sierra Madre Villa, a resort at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, only to find there were no vacancies.  He was offered a billiard table for the first night and then pitched a tent on the front lawn.  Enamored with the valley that, as were so many wealthy easterners, he stayed, quickly purchasing his ranch from a beekeeper (apiaries were popular during the era.)  By 1883, the name “Kinneloa,” said to be a combination of his surname and “loa,” the Hawaiian word for “mountain”, was being used for his ranch, which was lauded as a showpiece for its gardens, agriculture and the Kinney residence.

The above photograph of Kinney’s residence was taken by Thomas G. Norton, a Pasadena photographer who died in 1885.  So, we know that the date was in the first half of the decade, probably about the time that the name “Kinneloa” shows up in newspapers, circa 1883.^




Early Orange Packing House

(1886)*^* - View showing the Frank H. Heydenreich's Orange Packing House (First in Pasadena). A sign reads, 'No Chinese Employed.  


Historical Notes

Many field workers were Chinese, but they were not welcome in the central city.

Although the city was born in 1886, Pasadena as a community traces its origins to the 1875 founding of the San Gabriel Orange Grove Association, an agricultural cooperative carved out of Rancho San Pasqual. The colony of Indiana orange growers thrived, and its success fostered the growth of the settlement.




(n.d.)*^* - View showing workers crating oranges in a Pasadena packing plant.  



Raymond Hotel

(1886)#* - Panoramic view, looking north from South Pasadena, showing orange groves and residences.  The Raymond Hotel sits on top of Bacon Hill at right-center with the San Gabriel Mountains seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Raymond Hotel was the first major resort hotel of the San Gabriel Valley and was only opened from December to April. It was built by Mr. Walter Raymond of Raymond & Whitcomb Travel Agency of Boston, Mass. and sat atop Bacon Hill which lies between Pasadena and South Pasadena. Bacon Hill was renamed Raymond Hill with the opening of the hotel in 1886.*





(ca. 1886)* - A panoramic view facing the eastern facade of the Raymond Hotel. The surrounding land is still rural with scattered houses and small buildings close to a dirt road (Fair Oaks Ave) that passes over a bridge covering a small wash.  


Historical Notes

More than 250 workers -- many of them Chinese -- spent three years constructing Raymond's hotel. In order to create suitable terrain for the hotel's 55-acre grounds, workers removed 34 feet from the top of Bacon Hill, blasting it with more than 1,000 kegs of black powder. Once the hill was sufficiently flattened, work began on the hotel structure itself. Four stories tall and designed in the Second Empire architectural style, the building featured 200 guest rooms, 43 bathrooms, 40 water closets, and a 104-foot-tall tower. The project became so expensive that Raymond ran out of funds and was forced to take on his father, a retired railroad baron, as a business partner. *#*




(ca. 1886)* - View of the Raymond Hotel looking across the grounds at the western facade sans landscaping, located in South Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

On Nov. 17, 1886, an inaugural ball marked the hotel's opening. The Los Angeles Times called the event, attended by a throng of 1,500, "perhaps the most extensive social affair in the history of the county" and "the mark of an important era in the history of Southern California." *#*




(ca. 1886)*#*^ - A view of the Raymond Hotel in Pasadena showing the multi-story hotel with an encircling porch, Mansard roof, decorative cornice, brackets, interior and end-wall chimneys, dormer windows and a balcony.  


Historical Notes

In June 1886 the Valley Union described the nearly completed hotel as "the most imposing sight in Southern California, and, perhaps, the greatest undertaking ever carried through here."




(ca. 1886)* - View showing the Raymond Hotel with landscaping covering the embankment to the right of the stairs. Note the number of chimneys.  


Historical Notes

The Raymond immediately transformed Pasadena into a mecca for East Coast winter tourists.

Open annually from November to May, the hotel resembled an exclusive, hermetical community. While some adventurous guests took day trips to booming Los Angeles, dusty Pasadena, and other surrounding communities, most ensconced themselves on the resort grounds. An array of activities, from dances to concerts and from cards to billiards, kept guests entertained. *#*




(1890s)^*# – View showing the Raymond Hotel through the trees.  


Historical Notes

Although similar hotels opened across the region, including the nearby Hotel Green in Pasadena and the beachfront Hotel Arcadia in Santa Monica, the Raymond remained Southern California's leading resort hotel until Easter Sunday, 1895. *#*




(1895)** - An ember from one of the Raymond Hotel's 80 chimneys landed on the structure's wood shingle roof, starting a fire that destroyed the hotel on Easter Sunday, 1895.  


Historical Notes

On Easter Sunday 1895, a spark from a chimney set the roof on fire and the hotel and all its contents burned to the ground in 40 minutes. At the time there were 165 guests staying at the hotel, but most were at church, and as fortune would have it, no one was hurt though all their possessions were lost.

Walter Raymond was not to be disheartened by this loss since he had caught the Southern California fever. He immediately began promoting the area through publications and authors of publications who could attest to the virtues of the area. He attempted to augment the insurance money through a $250,000 bond issue, but there were too few people in the area with enough money to support it. Finally, a good friend and seasonal resident of the hotel, Mr. Richard T. Crane of Crane Plumbing, Chicago, agreed to a $300,000 mortgage which was applied to the building of a second hotel.*^



2nd Raymond Hotel

(ca. 1901)*^ - Postcard view of the second Raymond Hotel (with fewer chimneys) built in 1901, torn down 1934.  


Historical Notes

The second hotel opened on December 19, 1901 and was met with immediate success especially from those who had lost their winter residence for 6 years. The registry was filled with names of moguls from the East: Pullman, Schwab, Harriman, Swift, Armour, Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, and of course R. T. Crane who spent his remaining winters at the Raymond.*^




(ca. 1905)*#*^ - Young girls on donkeys wait in circular drive of the Raymond Hotel.  The Mission style three story building has a corner turret, portico and arcades. Palms and flowering bushes line the drive where horse-drawn buggies sit.   


Historical Notes

With 400 rooms, golf links, and formal gardens, the Raymond's second iteration was even grander than the first. At the entrance, a new floral display, augmented by 575 electric lights, announced in ten brightly colored letters that visitors had arrived at "THE RAYMOND." Guests then entered a tunnel -- which still exists today, though sealed, under Raymond Hill -- and ascended into the hotel via elevator. *#*




(ca. 1908)### - Panoramic view of the second Raymond Hotel and surrounding area.  





(ca. 1910)*#*^ - View showing the front entrance to the Raymond Hotel with snow in the foreground.  The Mission style three-story building has a portico, balconettes, arcade, striped awnings on windows, and a tile roof. Plants and flowering bushes decorate the main entrance.   





(1931)^#^^ – Postcard view of the Raymond Hotel showing circular driveway and landscaping.  


Historical Notes

The second Raymond Hotel had a larger foundation base, was more fireproof, and sported an architectural style more in keeping with the time. It had 400 rooms many with private baths, which was not a feature of the original. Fireplaces gave way to steam heating; the wood exterior was exchanged for concrete and stucco; the roof was tiled, not shingled, and electric lighting came with the plans. The plans also included an abundance of fire doors and extinguishers.*^




(1902)* - Exterior view of the Raymond Hotel located in Pasadena. View shows the stairs at the front of the hotel. Four tall pillars grace the entranceway.  


Historical Notes

The Raymond Hotel had its steady guests in spite of the fact that it also had competition from other hotels about Pasadena that were opened year round. There were the Hotel Green, a few blocks north on Raymond Avenue, the Vista Del Arroyo which overlooked the Arroyo Seco, and the Maryland Hotel on Colorado Boulevard.*^




(ca. 1902)^#^^ – View looking north toward the 2nd Raymond Hotel with the San Gabriel Mountains in the distant background.  


Historical Notes

The rebuilt hotel thrived over the succeeding decades, but whereas the original structure met its end in flames, the Great Depression spelled doom for the second. *#*


Click HERE to see more Early Views of the 2nd Raymond Hotel




Altadena's First House

(1882)* – View showing several people on the porch of the home of Capt. Frederick J. Woodbury. This was the first house built in Altadena.  


Historical Notes

In 1880, Capt. Frederick Woodbury, and his brother, John Woodbury of Marshalltown, Iowa, purchased 937 acres known as the Woodbury Ranch. John Woodbury established the Pasadena Improvement Company in 1887, with a plot plan of residential development referred to as the Woodbury Subdivision. They contacted Byron O. Clark, who established a nursery in the foothills in 1875, and had since moved away. He called his nursery "Altadena Nursery", a name he coined from the Spanish "alta" meaning "upper," and "dena" from Pasadena. Woodbury asked if he could use the name "Altadena" for his subdivision and Clark agreed.

The newly sprouted community of Altadena immediately began to attract millionaires from the East. In 1887 Andrew McNally, the printing magnate from Chicago, and his good friend Col. G. G. Green, had built mansions on what was to become Millionaire's Row; Mariposa Street near Santa Rosa Avenue. Newspaper moguls William Armiger Scripps and William Kellogg built homes side by side just east of Fair Oaks Avenue. A bit farther east, Zane Grey bought a home from Arthur Herbert Woodward, and added a second-floor study. The famous Benziger Publishing Company built a mansion on the corner of Santa Rosa Avenue (Christmas Tree Lane) and Mariposa. *^

Mariposa was taken from the Spanish name for a butterfly.



Greeen Residence

(ca. 1888)* - Exterior view of the home of Col. G. G. Green in Altadena. Green, the patent medicine millionaire--who was among the wealthy who moved to Altadena from all over the nation.  


Historical Notes

Colonel G. G. Green was a larger than life millionaire from New Jersey who made his immense fortune in patent medicines and remedies.  In 1888 the Green family headed to Altadena to summer in their newly completed house on the southwest corner of Mariposa Street and Santa Rosa Avenue. He built a lovely carriage house with a castle-like cobble stone tower to take care of his nine horses and garage his multiple carriages.  Green spared no expense in landscaping the property. Although the house was sold about 1910, the Greens returned to the area each summer staying at Green's spectacular Green Hotel in Pasadena (now called the Castle Green.) The house was razed in the 1960s to make way for the Altadena library.  However the carriage house remains. #^**



Abolitionist John Brown

(1880s)** - Bird's-eye view of abolitionist John Brown Boys' Ranch, with Little Round Top visible in background, located in Altadena.  


Historical Notes

Known primarily through the notoriety of their father, brothers Owen and Jason and brother-in-law Henry Thompson also played important roles in history. All three fought proslavery forces in Kansas during the 1850s, and Owen participated in the Harpers Ferry raid, along with Henry’s brothers, William and Dauphin.

John Brown and 21 followers overtook the U.S. Federal Arsenal and Rifle Works in the town of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, on October 16, 1859, in an attempt to steal weapons for a planned slave revolt.  Though the raid ended in disaster, Owen and four others managed to escape, and over the course of 36 days, made their way to safety in the North. Existing as a fugitive for nearly twenty years, Owen hid with family in Ohio during the Civil War, and worked for the Underground Railroad until Emancipation.

By the time the Browns moved to Pasadena in the 1880s, their radical days were long behind them. Their identities, however, were known to many, and soon they became minor celebrities in the growing city. #*^*




(1880s)* - This is a remarkable photo of John Brown's sons--Jason, John Jr. and Owen (left to right)--at their cabin in the Altadena Hills.  


Historical Notes

Owen Brown was at Harper's Ferry in 1859 and was the last survivor of that historic raid.




(ca. 1887)* - Owen Brown, son of John Brown the abolitionist, and visitors at the Brown Brothers' Mesa Cabin, Altadena.  


Historical Notes

Owen Brown was the last surviving member of the raiding party at Harper's Ferry; he died of pneumonia January 8, 1889 in Pasadena at the age of 64. Reportedly 2,000 mourners, equaling the entire population of Pasadena, marched in the funeral procession up to Little Roundtop Hill..*^




(1886)#* - Pasadena celebrates Grand Army of the Republic Day, 1886. The parade honored Union veterans of the Civil War, as well as Owen and Jason Brown, sons of the radical abolitionist John Brown and residents of nearby Altadena.  



* * * * *




(1886)* - View of Colorado Street, looking west. People of Pasadena are celebrating advent of the 1st Railroad with a parade, September 30, 1886. On the right there is a Lumber yard and a Carpenter's shop. Large building in the distance (left side), is the Ward Block, which includes the Pasadena Bank and the Grand Hotel.  


Historical Notes

The mid-1880s saw the beginning of enormous growth and change for the young community. Pasadena acquired an identity as a resort town with the construction of several grand hotels and winter home of wealthy industrialists from the East and Midwest. Increasingly, vacationers decided to spend their retirement in Pasadena, while those sent to Southern California for health reasons were also attracted to the town. Railroad connections to Los Angeles and the east coast enabled these developments. Within Pasadena, Trolley cars linked sections of the expanding town with downtown, the railroad stations, and the hotels. In 1886, the city incorporated.*##*




(1887)** – Postcard view showing Colorado Street shortly after Pasadena was incorporated, July 19, 1886.  


Historical Notes

Back of postcard, bottom reads: "Pasadena, our original home office city, in the year of our founding, 1887."




(1887)* - View looking south on Fair Oaks from near Colorado showing several horse-drawn wagons parked alongside the dirt road. Several businesses can be seen on the right: a Market, Pasadena Carriage Works, a Clothing store and a Dry Goods store.  





(1887)** - Close-up panoramic view looking south on Fair Oaks Avenue from Colorado. Some of the buildings seen in the photo include Valley Feed Mill and Pasadena Carriage Works.   





Barney Williams Store

(ca. 1887)^ - View of the Barney Williams Store in Pasadena on the corner of Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue. A group of people stand on the porch of the two-story building while a horse-drawn carriage drives sits nearby. The building sports a clapboard veneer along with a balcony and a box window on its second floor. Several people attend a small horse in the background at right.  


Historical Notes

Built by Lawson T. Hollingsworth in 1882, the building was later purchased by  Romayne (Barney) Williams who named it Barney Williams Store and Hall. The store occupied the ground floor, and contained the first Post Office and had the first telephone connecting Pasadena and Los Angeles, as well as a hall. Later, the Parlor Theatre occupied the top floor.**




Wilson School

(1887)** - View of the Wilson School located on the southeast corner of Marengo Avenue and Walnut Street.  


Historical Notes

Benjamin D. Wilson School, located on the southeast corner of Marengo and Walnut facing the Marengo Avenue side, was named for prominent Pasadenan B.D. Wilson. It served as a school site from 1887 to 1924.**




(1903)** - View of a decorated Wilson High School during a visit by President T. Roosevelt on May 8, 1903.  


Historical Notes

This school, which housed high school students from 1892 to 1903, was one of many buildings decorated for President Theodore Roosevelt’s visit. **




(1918)** - View of Wilson School (cor. Marengo & Walnut) used as Red Cross Hospital for flu epidemic.   


Historical Notes

Illness from the 1918 flu pandemic, also known as the Spanish flu, came on quickly. Some people felt fine in the morning but died by nightfall. People who caught the Spanish Flu but did not die from it often died from complications caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia.

During the 1918 pandemic:
• Approximately 20% to 40% of the worldwide population became ill
• An estimated 50 million people died
• Nearly 675,000 people died in the United States

Unlike earlier pandemics and seasonal flu outbreaks, the 1918 pandemic flu saw high mortality rates among healthy adults. In fact, the illness and mortality rates were highest among adults 20 to 50 years old. The reasons for this remain unknown. #*^



Los Angeles and San Gabriel Railway Bridge

(ca. 1880s)* - View showing two groups of men building the railroad over the tressels. This area of the tracks is the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Railroad, crossing into Pasadena  


Historical Notes

The Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad was founded in 1883 by James F. Crank with the goal of bringing a rail line to Pasadena from downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad was sold and consolidated in 1887 into the California Central Railway. In 1889 this was consolidated into Southern California Railway Company. On Jan. 17, 1906 Southern California Railway was sold to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and called the Pasadena Subdivision.

The new rail line through the San Gabriel Valley was a boom to the valley's citrus, nuts and fruit growers, with a new way to get their goods to market.*^




(ca. 1885)*^ - View showing a Los Angeles and San Gabriel Railroad train on the bridge at Garvanza, the first trestle across the Arroyo Seco, approaching Highland Park from South Pasadena. The trestle, which was replaced later by the Santa Fe trestle, extends out from the forest, supporting a steam engine trailing two passenger cars behind it. Two men stand on the tracks at back, one with his hand on the last passenger car. Two more men stand to the side of the tracks in front of the engine.  


Historical Notes

With the goal of connecting all of the San Gabriel Valley, in November of 1886 the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad started building a line West from Mud Springs (what is now San Dimas). By January 1887 the rail had crossed the San Gabriel River in Azusa. In 1887 the line continued to Monrovia where a wooden structure rail station depot was built. This structure was replaced by the Santa Fe Depot which was built in 1926.*^




(1886)*^ - Map of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad showing the location of the Arroyo Seco Bridge.  


Historical Notes

With the May 20, 1887 sale of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad to the California Central Railway, (a subsidiary railroad of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) the two lines where connected together at Mud Springs, completing the rail line from Chicago to Los Angeles through the San Gabriel Valley.*^



Arroyo Seco Bridges

(1891)* - Panoramic view of two railroad bridges in Arroyo Seco, in Pasadena.


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco region can be considered by historical accounts as the birthplace of Pasadena. After the 1820s secularization of the Missions, the broad area to the east of the Arroyo was the Mexican land grant of Rancho San Pascual, present-day Pasadena, California. Manuel Garfias was the grantee of the Rancho and its longest early resident. His adobe house was on the east ridge of the Arroyo, in present-day South Pasadena.

With the 1874 establishment of the community of the Indiana Colony, the new residents built their homes along today's Orange Grove Boulevard, the major north-south avenue paralleling the Arroyo on the east. However, the deep and seasonally flooded Arroyo presented a barrier to easy travel and transportation between renamed Pasadena and Los Angeles. Stories of four and five hours just crossing the chasm, whether exaggerated or not, abounded in Pasadena history.*^




(ca. 1910)++# – View showing the outbound Santa Fe morning local in route from LA to Pasadena crossing the Arroyo Seco.  


Historical Notes

The Santa Fe line served the San Gabriel Valley until 1994, when the 1994 Northridge earthquake weakened the bridge in Arcadia. In the late 1990s construction of the Gold Line started and opened on July 26, 2003. Thus the old Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad right of way (ROW) is still in use today.*^


* * * * *




(1887)* - View of Pasadena, looking east from the Salt Lake Railroad Depot along a rural street (Colorado Street?). The C. Ehrenfeld Carpenter Shop is in the right foreground. Railroad tracks (bottom foreground) run across the street. An orchard is on one side of the street. The residence of Dr. and Jeanne (the author) C. Carr is visible beyond the trees at center. A wooden building in the foreground at right has signs on it reading "C. Ehrenfeld, carpenter shop", "C. Ehrenfeld, architect & builder".^  





(ca. 1888)* - Group photo was taken in the Arroyo Seco area. In the background is the California Southern R.R. (now the Santa Fe), locomotive #13, built in 1882.  





(ca. 1888)* - The Los Angeles Terminal Railway in Pasadena near Raymond Hotel in background.  


Historical Background

The Los Angeles Terminal Railway, earlier known as the Pasadena Railway, and unofficially as the Altadena Railway, was a small terminal railroad line that was constructed between Altadena and Pasadena, California in the late 1880s. It was a byproduct of a land boom period and a victim of the land bust that occurred soon thereafter. It opened officially on January 31, 1888.

The service was originally organized as the Pasadena Railway Company in 1887 by investors John Woodbury, James Swartout, and the two prominent and wealthy Altadenans, Andrew McNally and Col. G. G. Green (aka) George Gill Green, mutual friends from with McNally from Chicago and Green from Woodbury, New Jersey.*^

Andrew McNally was the co-founder of the famed map making company Rand McNally in Chicago and had retired to Altadena in 1887. Green had made his fortunes in patent medicines and elixirs with his company based in Woodbury, New Jersey and was invited by McNally to move to Altadena in the same year. McNally and Green were heavily invested in the small railway, and each had a siding for his own private car to be pulled up alongside their properties which stood on either side of Santa Rosa Avenue from each other.*^



Andrew McNally Residence

(1888)* - View showing several people in front of the Andrew McNally residence in Altadena. The Queen Anne mansion is almost hidden by the palms. Frederick Louis Roehrig designed the home.  


Historical Background

Andrew McNally was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, and immigrated to New York City in 1857. A printer by trade, he moved to Chicago in 1858 and got a job in a print shop owned by William Rand at a wage of $9 per week. Rand and McNally became business partners and incorporated Rand, McNally & Co. in 1868, becoming one of the largest and best-known map publishers in history. After Rand retired in 1899, McNally was president until his unexpected death from pneumonia in 1904 at his winter home in Altadena. For nearly 100 years the company was majority owned and headed by several generations of the McNally family. In 1997, the family divested its majority stake for a reported $500 million.*^



(1888)* - Exterior view of the Andrew McNally residence on Mariposa Street in Altadena, with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  


Historical Background

The McNally Queen Anne mansion was designed by architect Frederick Louis Roehrig and built in 1888. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.*^



(ca. 1888)* - View of a woman and two dogs on the path of the garden at the home of Andrew McNally, the well-known Chicago publisher. A partial view of the home may be seen past the arch of roses. Home is located on Mariposa Street and Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena.  


Historical Background

McNally paid Pasadena architect Frederick Roehrig $15,000 to design the Victorian house. Facing south, away from the street, the house offered vistas of the Los Angeles Basin, the Pacific Ocean, and Santa Catalina Island. The house has a three-story rotunda that allows a view to the San Gabriel Mountains to the north.  McNally also built a private rail spur from Altadena Junction to his property to store his private railroad car.*^



(ca. 1900)*^ - Postcard view showing the McNally Residence and gardens.  


Historical Background

The grounds were lavishly landscaped, with an aviary along Mariposa St. McNally's gardener also looked after the deodar cedars that grew along Santa Rosa Avenue. These trees became Christmas Tree Lane, which is also listed in the National Register.

In 1904, McNally caught pneumonia while in route to his Windemere Ranch in La Mirada (The ranch headquarters is also listed in the National Register). He died shortly afterward. The gardens and aviary were neglected and some of the birds escaped. The property was then subdivided.*^




(1899)*#*^ - View of Mt. Lowe from Monk's Hill on a cloudy day.  Note the orange groves and vineyards in the foreground. The Echo Mountain House can be seen in the San Gabriel Mountains (top-center). On closer look you can make out Christmas Tree Lane with deodar saplings in the middle of photo.  The McNally and Greene mansions are those buildings on either side. The dirt intersection in foreground is of Howard and Marengo.  



Christmas Tree Lane

(1915)^*^# – View looking north showing Altadena's Santa Rosa Avenue.  Five years after this photo was published, the Christmas tree lighting tradition began and the street became affectionately known as Christmas Tree Lane.  


Historical Background

In 1885, real estate magnate John P. Woodbury of the Woodbury Family, the founders of Altadena - planted 134 deodar trees (Cedrus deodara) as a grand mile-long driveway entrance to the mansion he would build. Woodbury's mansion was never built, but the trees thrived and the "driveway" became Santa Rosa Avenue. *++


(ca. 1928)* - Passengers in a car travel south on Santa Rosa Avenue, also known as Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena. The nickname was given to the street when the tradition of lighting the large deodar cedars with lights at Christmas time was started. Location: Santa Rosa Ave, both sides of street from Woodbury Rd to Altadena Dr, Altadena.  


Historical Background

In 1920, Altadena resident and department store owner Frederick C. Nash organized the first tree-lighting spectacle. In that first December when deodars were decorated with colorful lights with the goal of attracting shoppers to Nash's store, one of the most celebrated Los Angeles-area traditions was born. The Lane is recognized as the oldest large-scale outdoor Christmas display in the world, listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as the California State Landmark No. 990. *++



(ca. 1947)* – Christmas Tree Lane (Santa Rosa Avenue) in Altadena, looking north from Woodbury Road.  


Historical Background

Every Christmas season for more than 90 years, the majestic deodars on the "Mile of Christmas Trees" are strung with 10,000 lights.

Since 1956, the tradition has been kept alive by the Christmas Tree Lane Association (CTLA), a non-profit group of volunteers that has preserved the Lane without corporate sponsors or government funding, relying only on community support. CTLA members put up the lights between October and early December, then work on taking them down from February to April. In the spring and fall, volunteers rebuild the lines, replace faulty bulbs, and clear the brush growing under the deodars.

All this hard work culminates on the second Saturday in December, when the festive lighting ceremony brings out thousands of revelers from all around the area, as well as local choirs, marching bands, solo performers, and of course - Santa Claus! *++



(1960)* - Photo caption reads:  Take a ride to Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena and you'll see one of the most beautiful Christmas tree lanes in the country. Bordering Deodar cedars that measure close to 100 feet in height are decorated with hundreds of colored lights. The display stretches for a length of five blocks along Santa Rosa Avenue from Altadena Drive to Woodbury Road. The lane has attracted thousands of visitors. So popular is the spectacular display that police have made the avenue a one-way street during the holidays.  




First Methodist Church

(ca. 1888)* - View of Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking east from Marengo Ave. The church at right is First Methodist Church. The church at left is Pasadena Presbyterian Church, located on the northwest corner of Garfield Avenue and Colorado.  


Historical Background

The United Methodist Congregation purchased land on the “hill” at the southeast corner of Colorado and Marengo. On March 20, 1887, a frame church with a 140-foot steeple and an adjacent eight-room parsonage were dedicated.

The First Methodist Church was completed in 1888 and was also used as a kind of town hall. Susan B. Anthony and Dwight L. Moody spoke there, and the Siamese twins, Chang and Eng, displayed themselves there. Temperance, women’s suffrage and slavery were important issues at the time.*#^




(ca. 1901)* - Exterior view of First Methodist Episcopal Church at the southeast corner of Colorado Street and Marengo Avenue, in Pasadena; architect, John C. Austin. Portion of La Geralda Hotel shows at the left.  


Historical Background

After the first church building was damaged by a tornado, a large stone church was built and dedicated on December 15, 1901 on the same corner.

In 1923, the First Methodist Congregation completed its third church building located on Colorado Boulevard at Oakland Avenue where it resides today.*#^




Garfield School

(1888)* - Exterior view of Garfield School located in Pasadena. A horse-drawn carriage is parked in front of the school.  


Historical Background

Built in 1888, Garfield School was located on the northeast corner of California Street and Pasadena Ave.  It was first called the California Street School.**



Scoville Bridge

(1889)* - The Scoville Bridge traversed the stream of the Arroyo Seco but still required travelers to descend into the ravine and then climb the opposite bank after crossing.  


Historical Background

Pasadena was founded where it was exactly to take advantage of a reliable water supply, the Arroyo Seco ("Dry Gulch" in English). It was a reliable source of water in a rather dry environment.

However the Arroyo Seco was also a problem, it was deep in a steep sided canyon. This meant that Pasadena was physically isolated from its western neighbors. Travelers would have to make long detours passable crossing north or south of Pasadena.

This was finally changed by James Scoville who built his bridge in 1887. *




(ca. 1890)++# - View looking east showing the Scoville Dam, Scoville Bridge,  and City of Pasadena beyond. The dam and bridge are in the lower right corner.  


Historical Background

Arroyo Drive crosses right to left rising to the junction with what is now W. Holly Street at left. W. Holly continues east to its intersection with N. Grand St., which at the time was connected to S. Grand Street below Colorado, and west to the Linda Vista Bridge. The Green Hotel can be made out at rear right.  The place where the photo was taken was itself obliterated by the construction of the 134 Freeway.++#




(ca. 1905)++# - View of the Scoville Bridge, Dam and surrounding area.  Photograph by A.C. Vroman. The dam and bridge were built 1887-1903; Note:  S. Arroyo Blvd. is in the foreground.  


Historical Background

James Scoville had been the Vice President of the Elgin Watch Co., President of the Prairie State Bank, and a trustee of what would later be known as California Institute of Technology. He built a pleasure garden on the bluff above the Arroyo Seco which went down the slope of the canyon walls to the stream itself. There he built a small dam and pump house. The top of the dam served as the eastern abutment of a wooden bridge, the first to connect Pasadena to the western side of the Arroyo. *




(ca. 1905)++# – Closer view showing the Scoville Bridge, Dam and Pump House.  


Historical Background

Scoville commissioned the construction of a timber truss-leg bridge to improve hauling, and a dam to provide water for irrigating crops and generating power. The bridge was a reused train trestle, left unused by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. The trestle was placed upside-down across the stream bed, and set in a concrete foundation on either side.*




Colorado Street Bridge

(ca. 1913)*#* - A view of the Scoville Bridge next to the partially completed Colorado Street Bridge.  


Historical Background

Scoville Bridge was still in service when the much larger and grander Colorado Blvd. Bridge was built above it.




(1913)^ - View looking north at the Colorado St. Bridge under construction with the Scoville Bridge behind.  





(1914)^ - View looking up towards the newly completed Colorado Street Bridge. In the distance stands the Scoville Bridge shortly before a flood brought it down.  


Historical Background

Scoville's original bridge survived until the flood of 1914, when the trestle was carried all the way down the Arroyo Seco and into the Los Angeles River. ++#

Click HERE to see more early views of the Colorado Street Bridge.



Parker-Mayberry Bridge

(1919)* - The Parker-Mayberry Bridge, shortly after being completed with the Colorado Street Bridge right behind it. It replaced the Scoville Bridge which was destroyed by a flood in 1914.  


Historical Background

Six months after the opening of the Colorado Street Bridge, architect Myron Hunt was hired to design a new bridge to cross the stream below it. Commissioned by William Smith Mason of Chicago to give access to his property on the west side of the Arroyo, the new bridge was to be of reinforced concrete. The old Scoville Bridge and dam had been washed out in floods in early 1914, limiting Mason’s access to his property. The new bridge and dam, designed in conjunction with architectural engineers Edward Mayberry and Llewellyn Parker, spanned the stream directly beneath the piers of the big bridge, with graceful arches curving over its narrow roadway, only 18 feet wide on the eastern approach, but widening to 60 feet on the west. **




(ca. 1920)^ - View of the Parker-Mayberry Bridge built to replace the Scoville Bridge. The Colorado Street Bridge is seen at upper-right.  The structure at left rear is the pump house which contained the equipment necessary to pump water from the Scoville Dam up to the Orange Groves on the east side of the Arroyo.  


Historical Background

The new Parker-Mayberry Bridge was approximately 150 feet long with a single broad arch over the stream. Hunt’s design for the new bridge used classical details to harmonize with the main bridge above. The cost of about $50,000 was borne by Mr. Mason, who also later commissioned Hunt to design a house for him.**


* * * * *





(ca. 1889)^ - Panoramic view of Pasadena looking north from Raymond Hill. Sparse houses are separated by burgeoning agricultural fields. A house with a windmill-style weathervane stands at center and the San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the background.  





(ca. 1889)*^* – Panoramic view of Pasadena looking south from the Methodist Episcopal Church on corner of Colorado St. & Marengo Ave. Orange groves are seen in the southwest with the Raymond Hotel on the hill in the far distance.  A tree-lined dirt street and homes are in the foreground.  





(1889)#*- An elevated street view of Colorado facing east, taken from the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the corner of Colorado and Marengo. The street is residential, with houses set well back behind large lawns. "C.S. Frost & Sons Pasadena, Cal." is printed below the image. A typescript note attached to the top of the image reads "M.E. Church, corner of Colorado St. & Marengo Ave. looking east. 1889."   





(ca. 1890)^ - View of Pasadena looking north. The San Gabriel Mountains loom in the background over the closely-situated houses and buildings of the city whose crop rows are interspersed between them. The bell tower of the school at Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue is visible at center about halfway from the bottom of the frame A water tower and a larger building are visible on the horizon in the left distance along with the mountains across the entire background.  






Colorado Street

(1889)* - A brass band heads the funeral cortege of Owen Brown, third son of the famous abolitionist, John Brown. The photo was taken January 10, 1889, looking east from Raymond Avenue along Colorado Blvd. The hill is at Marengo Avenue and was sliced away when Colorado was leveled in later years. The City Meat Market is on the left.  





(ca. 1890)*#* - View of Colorado Boulevard, then named Colorado Street, looking east to Marengo Avenue. Horse-drawn wagons with displaying america flags appear to be in a parade (possibly 4th of July).  





(1890)*^* – View showing a horse-drawn streetcar on Colorado Street where Oakland now intersects.  




Old Town Pasadena

(ca. 1887)*^* - Memorial Day Parade looking east on Colorado Street at Fair Oaks.  The Carlton Hotel (built in 1886) is seen on the left.  San Gabriel Valley Bank is on the right.  





(1887)** – View looking east along Colorado Street from Fair Oaks Avenue showing horse-drawn wagons parked along the curb. The Carlton Hotel stands on the left.  


Historical Notes

Colorado Street was lined with shops and restaurants, and parking could at times be an issue. In the 1880s, parking was still a matter of finding a place to leave one's horse and carriage.




(ca. 1889)** - View of Fair Oaks Avenue looking south to Colorado. At center, a horse-drawn trolley moves toward the camera. In the background, a very congested Fair Oaks Avenue with scores of horse-drawn carriages on both sides of the street.  


Historical Notes

Residents would come here for shopping, community gatherings, or entertainment. Despite Pasadena's relatively small population, this densely compacted commercial district had the excitement and activity found in much larger cities. Colorado Street was frequently filled with horses, buggies, wagons, and pedestrians, along with horse-drawn streetcars in the late 1880s.




(ca. 1889)** - This photo displays the buildings located on North Fair Oaks Avenue near the intersection of Fair Oaks and Colorado Boulevard in the year 1889. View shows a horse and buggy, several men and women, and a dog on the unpaved road in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

The windows display the real estate company of McDonald, Wilson, Stewart & Co. at No. 11 N. Fair Oaks and the druggist J.H. Bellan & Co. at No 9. Although the western side of Fair Oaks maintains even addresses today, the decreasing numbers as one goes to the right suggest that this is the East side of the street. These buildings are also next to Barney Williams' Hall, one of the first buildings built at this intersection and Pasadena's center for entertainment at that time.**




(1890)* - Colorado Street (now Boulevard) near Fair Oaks Avenue in 1890. The large building at center-right is the Carlton Hotel.  


Historical Notes

Colorado Street was renamed "Boulevard" through Old Town Pasadena from Arroyo Parkway to Orange Grove Boulevard in 1958.*^





(1890)* - View of Colorado and Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena, in 1890. Many storefronts can be seen on both sides of the street. On the left, there is: San Gabriel Valley Bank, a Drugs store and a Boots and Shoe store. On the right, there is: Oneill & Johnson Real Estate Insurance, a candy factory, Phillips Land & Real Estate Loans, and also the Ward Block building which includes the First National Bank. A trolley runs down the middle of the street and shares the road with horse-drawn vehicles.





(ca. 1890)*^* - Photo showing a vibrant day on Colorado Street (later Boulevard) looking east from Fair Oaks. The San Gabriel Valley Bank is at right (S/E corner). A streetlight hangs over the middle of the intersection.  


Historical Notes

The San Gabriel Valley Bank, the building to the far right, was organized in February 1886 and moved to this location in 1887.*^*





(ca. 1890)** – View looking at the south side of Colorado Street just east of Fair Oaks showing a series of connected buildings, also referred to as the Fish Block, covering 24-28 E. Colorado.  Signs include: PASADENA STEAM LAUNDRY, HOLIDAY GOODS, and WOOD & BANBURY REAL ESTATE.  A horse-drawn carriage with passengers is parked in the foreground of the photo.  


Historical Notes

The Fish Block on 26 E. Colorado Street was the YMCA headquarters in 1890. Built by Mr. Milford Fish in 1887, it was the site of offices of two Iowans: Mr. Wood and Mr. Banbury (one of Pasadena's founders). **




Pasadena's First Theater

(1890s)** - Exterior view of the Williams Hall Parlor Theatre, Pasadena's first theatre. It was located on the Exchange Block at Colorado. On the left side of the building we're looking north up Fair Oaks Ave.  


Historical Notes

The Williams Hall Parlor Theatre was Pasadena's first theatre. It was located on the northeast corner of Colorado Blvd. and Fair Oaks Ave. in second floor space.**


* * * * *




(ca. 1892)** – Two men stand in the entryway of the Harris Shoe Store located on the north side of Colorado, near Raymond.  


Historical Notes

The Harris Shoe Store was located at 7 - 9 West Colorado. Proprietor, F. R. Harris, is standing on left, and clerk C. D. Sargent is standing right. **




(ca. 1888)^#^^ – South Pasadena Postcard showing Opera House Building and Post Office.  





(1889)*^* - Pasadena has ice for sale on July 4, 1889. Happy 4th of July!  Caption reads “First Ice Wagons in Pasadena”.  


Historical Notes

Founded in 1889 by J.C. Rust, the Independent Ice Company initially sold 'natural ice' shipped from Truckee.




(ca. 1890)** -  View showing the Independent Ice Company located on the northwest corner of Union and Raymond.  


Historical Notes

In the photo J.C. Rust is on the left and his younger brother, S.L. Rust, is on the right. 



Pasadena Grand Opera House

(1889)* - Exterior view of the Pasadena Grand Opera House. A sign reading 'Furniture' sits on the right side of the roof line.  


Historical Notes

The Grand Opera House was built in 1888 by the Grand Opera House Company and opened on February 13, 1889. The new opera company was formed a year earlier by E. C. Webster, Senator L. J. Rose, F. M. Ward, and Roscoe Thomas.

The building was done in Moorish architecture, a style popular of the times. Ornately decorated with bronze and guilt, the opera house offered beauty rarely seen before. The very best of carpenters, artisans, and mechanical specialists were brought in to spare no expense in providing Pasadena with a world class opera house. Seating capacity was 1500 of which 900 seats were on the main floor and 600 were in the balcony. The main floor seats were on tiers that raised 18 inches for each row affording all the best of views. The folding back chairs were not only cushioned but held hat and umbrella racks.

During 1890 the opera house steadily declined. Many thought it was because of being too far from the center of town. Others complained there was no heat causing uncomfortable situations for its patrons. Location, amenities, and plain old financial troubles caused the Opera House to be in a woeful condition by the end of 1890. The opera house was closed and bids were sought for its demolition and resale of the fixtures and furniture. By May of 1891 the Grand Opera House Company was bankrupt.^**^




(1891)* - View of the ornate facade of the Pasadena Grand Opera House with horses and carriages in front. A sign reading: "Mt. Lowe Railway Co." is seen on the right.  


Historical Notes

In mid-1891 Thaddeus Lowe successfully negotiated with Senator Rose and the Ward brothers for the purchase of the Grand Opera House at a greatly reduced bankruptcy price.  Quickly Lowe set out remodeling the Opera House to accommodate his various holdings. Engineer David Macpherson had offices up on the second floor and drafting rooms were set up for his mountain railway. Lowe had an office on the first floor and planned to sell tickets from it for his scenic railroad.




(1893)^.^ – View showing the façade of the Pasadena Grand Opera House.  


Historical Notes

Financial rough times came for Thaddeus Lowe. The scenic Mt Lowe railroad was taking much more money than expected and Lowe defaulted on the mortgage loan of his Orange Grove home and the Grand Opera House. The properties were foreclosed on and sold at auction.

In the coming years the property changed hands a number of times, later becoming the Auditorium with fine hotel and eating facilities. By 1926 the grand old building known as the Grand Opera House had been razed and was eventually used by Royal Laundry as their factory and facilities.^**^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway.




Thaddeus Lowe's Residence

(ca. 1890)*#*^ - View of Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe's home at 955 South Orange Grove in Pasadena.  The multi-story stone and clapboard house has a multi-gabled roof, a large porch, dormers, chimneys, and an observatory within a domed tower. Stone entrance pillars and a manicured gardens front the house.  




(ca. 1890)++^ – View of a woman on horseback on the grounds of Professor T.S.C. Lowe's Pasadena Estate with the Raymond Hotel seen in the distance.  




(ca. 1893)++# – View showing T.S.C. Lowe and party at Sphinx Rock in the San Gabriel Mountains.  


Historical Notes

Professor Lowe loved giving tours, especially for visiting magnates. At left center, with bushy sideburns is Marshall Field, founder of the famous Chicago department store. Professor Lowe is just behind and to Field’s left in a derby. The older woman with the [under the circumstances] elaborate hat is Mr. Field’s wife Nannie. To the left of Nannie is one of Lowe’s many daughters, Edna. The man standing to the right of center with white papers in his coat pocket is the governor of California, H.H. Markham (1890-1894). Markham is the only California governor to come from Pasadena; Mount Markham is named for him. Beside the governor is Andrew McNally, the map king; his ornate Altadena mansion still stands at the corner of East Mariposa St. and Santa Rosa Avenue. ++#

Thaddeus Lowe is best remembered for his Mount Lowe Railway which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 6, 1993. The mountain itself still bears his name. Lowe is a member of the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Hall of Fame. Lowe Army Heliport at Fort Rucker, Alabama is named in his honor.*^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway.



Painter Hotel (later La Pintoresca Hotel)

(1888)** - View of the Painter Hotel located on the north side of Washington Street between Fair Oaks and Raymond. Built by J. H. Painter on land that he owned.  


Historical Notes

The Painter Hotel opened Feb. 1888. It was the third large hotel enterprise in Pasadena. The hotel was the distinguishing landmark of North Pasadena and is historical because of other large enterprises connected with it.*





(ca. 1890)* - Exterior view of the Painter Hotel. A horse-drawn carriage and trolley can be seen in front of the hotel on Washington Street.  


Historical Notes

John Hunt Painter was a Quaker farmer living near Springdale, Iowa, who sent the firearms to abolitionist John Brown that were used during Brown's historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.  Painter was also an early settler of Pasadena where, in 1888, he erected the Painter Hotel (later La Pintoresca Hotel).*^




(ca. 1890)* - View showing the the Painter Hotel. A horse-drawn carriage is front of the hotel on Washington Street and two horse-drawn trolleys are seen in the foreground.  




(ca. 1890s)* - Exterior view of La Pintoresca Hotel (formerly Painter Hotel). Palm trees and an orchard can be seen on the grounds in front of the hotel. Note how the hotel has been enlarged (see previous photo).  


Historical Notes

After the death of John Painter, the hotel was renamed La Pintoresca (1892).*




(ca. 1895)^^ - View of the La Pintoresca Hotel, located on the northeast corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Washington Street. The hotel stands at about four-stories tall. It features a conic-capped tower (at right), a conic-shaped corner (center), many windows and an immaculate yard. Trees, palms and bushes populate the yard. The San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the distance.   


Historical Notes

"Pintoresca" is Spanish for the English word "picturesque".





(ca. 1895)++# – View looking north along Fair Oaks Avenue showing the La Pintoresca Hotel with the snow-covered San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  You can barely make out Echo Mt. and Alpine Division ascending from it at right.  





(1897)** - Close-up view of the La Pintoresca Hotel showing a row of palm trees in front of the hotel.  


Historical Notes

Over the years there were substantial additions to La Pintoresca Hotel, making it one of the largest hotels in Pasadena.





(ca. 1910)#* – Postcard view showing the La Pintoresca Hotel (formerly the Painter Hotel) on the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Washington Boulevard.  This view shows the front facing onto Fair Oaks Avenue, with palm trees at the sidewalk and foliage around the porch.  


Historical Notes

It was sold in 1905 and then destroyed by fire in 1912. Later, the City of Pasadena purchased the property and turned it into a park which it is today. *





Early Pasadena Parades

(1888)#* - A parade scene with spectators and American flags on Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. A drummer stands in uniform, and men in top hats are on a wagon draped with flags. The man at center holds a trumpet. Visible signs include "Telegraph Office" "Books and Stationery" "Musical Studio, J. Hart" (in upstairs window), "Furlong & Healy, Californian, Mexican and Japanese Curiosities."  Photo Date: November 12, 1888  


Historical Notes

Title and date devised based on accompanying note that read: "Raymond Avenue. Nov. 12, 1888." This could possibly be related to an election, but the scene is not identified beyond the accompanying note. "Jarvis' Gallery, 29 E. Colorado St., Pasadena, Cal...."--text printed on verso.





(1891)* - Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) parade in Pasadena, 1891.


Historical Notes

Memorial Day, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It marks the start of the unofficial summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day," which was first used in 1882.  Memorial Day did not become the more common name until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. *^





(ca. 1890s)* - A flag-carrying marching group on Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, circa the 1890s. View is toward the north. William H. Staats Co. is on the left.  





(1891)* - Carriage of President Benjamin Harrison makes a stop at the Los Angeles House in Pasadena, in 1891.





(1891)** - View of a group of young men in front of the Classical School for Boys, located at 59 S. Euclid Ave.  


Historical Notes

The Classical School for Boys opened in 1889 with a new building erected in 1891. Steven Cutter Clark, principal.**





Raymond Hotel

(1890s)^#^^ - View of the Raymond Hotel from its West Entrance.  Wagon-wheel marks can be seen on the dirt road.  





(ca. 1890)* - The Raymond Hotel sits atop a hill and offers a view of the snow-covered San Gabriel Mountains that are partially obscured by clouds. Railroad tracks run from the foreground into the distance.  


Historical Notes

The Raymond Hotel guests invariably arrived by train, the mainline Santa Fe which stopped at Raymond Station at the bottom of the hill. Many had private cars that would park on the side spur near the station. All guests were ferried by a horse-drawn bus to the hotel at the top of the hill.

Later, much to the dismay of many guests, the old station closed down in deference to a newer station built up the tracks closer to downtown Pasadena. Guests were then forced to take an auto bus the extra distance to the hotel.*^





(1890)* - Exterior view of the Raymond Station in South Pasadena. A locomotive with cars sits adjacent to the station, while a horse-drawn carriage and trolley stand ready to take passengers to the Raymond Hotel.  





(ca. 1890)* - View of the Raymond Hotel looking across the grounds at the western facade. Located in South Pasadena, it was the first major resort hotel of the San Gabriel Valley.  


Historical Notes

There was a nine-hole golf course on a 50-acre lot alongside the hotel, and though it was humble in comparison, it was one of the few good attractions in the area. Much of the landscaping was done by the suggestion of the Mr. Theodore Payne, a famous local horticulturist of the time. The hotel also had card rooms, writing rooms, a reception room, and in the basement was a pool and billiards parlor — with a secret bar.*^





(ca. 1890)* - Two women and a young man sit astride donkeys as they ride down the dirt road, accompanied by two men, that leads from the Raymond Hotel. The women sit side-saddle.  





(ca. 1890)* - View of the Raymond Hotel looking across the grounds at the western facade. A small building stands next to a path on the landscape grounds. Several horse-drawn carriages and stages are parked in front of the hotel. A portico runs around the building.  




(1890s)* - Long boxes of cut flowers lay on a horse-drawn cart with "The Raymond" printed on the side. The horse and driver have stopped at the entrance to the Raymond Hotel. Spectators watch the unloading from the shaded portico.  


Historical Notes

The hotel had a large nursery operation with 500 American Beauty rose plants, 4 acres of carnations and a reported 3,000 pansies.*^




(ca. 1890s)* - View of tally-ho in front of the Raymond Hotel in South Pasadena with Colonel Marshall C. Wentworth standing at right.





(ca. 1890)* - The staff of the dining hall in the Raymond Hotel pose in their uniforms as they stand around the tables ready for the hotel's guests.  


Historical Notes

The dining room was the largest room in the house able to seat 400 people. Pasadena City, which boasted of being a “dry” town, had an ordinance disallowing the sales of alcohol — except to the hotel guests.*^




(ca. 1890)* - A group of people sit under a hanging light fixture in the luxurious and spacious lobby of the Raymond Hotel. The beamed ceiling is decorated with painted motifs. An elevator is directly behind the seated group and large staircases behind the elevator and on both sides lead to the upper floors. The reception desk is to the left of the front doors. The floor is carpeted and spittoons stand close to several chairs.  


Historical Notes

Part of the success of the Raymond was the transcontinental tours which came through the hotel. The tours were discontinued as the onslaught of newcomers repeatedly bothered the regular guests, who by now were a mainstay of the hotel.*^




(ca. 1890s)* - Mount Lowe - Tally Ho carriages parked in front of the Raymond Hotel, in Pasadena. Carriages take hotel guests to Mount Lowe and back.  


Historical Notes

This is the original hotel built by Mr. Walter Raymond of Raymond & Whitcomb Travel Agency of Boston. It burnt to the ground in 1895 and was replaced by a second Raymond Hotel in 1903.*



(ca. 1890)* - View looking northeast from the Raymond Hotel showing the landscape between the hotel and the San Gabriel Mountains.  




(ca. 1890)#* - View looking south from the Raymond Hotel toward Oneanta Park.  




(ca. 1890)#* - View looking north showing a long picnic table set with decorative centerpieces and tablecloths in a field in South Pasadena, with the Raymond Hotel visible in the distance.  


Historical Notes

The first Raymond Hotel was built in 1886 and burned down in 1895.  A second Raymond Hotel would be built.  It opened in 1901.




(ca. 1890)^## – View looking southwest from the Raymond Hotel.  





(ca. 1890s)* - View of orange groves looking west from the Raymond Hotel.  





(ca. 1890)* - View taken from the Raymond Hotel in Pasadena shows residential homes and cultivated land. Snow on the Sierra Madre's can be seen in the background.  





(1890)* - View of Pasadena residential area looking south from the M. E. Church. In the far distance can be seen the Raymond Hotel perched on Bacon Hill.  




Mt. Lowe

(ca. 1890)* - Postcard view showing Pasadena and Mount Lowe taken from the Raymond Hotel.





(ca. 1893)^^ - Panoramic view of Pasadena, looking northeast from the La Pintoresca Hotel.  Houses and trees are sparsely scattered across the landscape. Mt. Lowe and Echo Mountain are in the center of the range.  





(ca. 1890s)* - View of three streetcars full of travelers on their way to Altadena with continuing service to Mount Lowe, as indicated on the top car streetcar #45 on the left. Visiting Mount Lowe in the San Gabriel Mountains was a "must" for the local inhabitants as well as tourists. The journey started at Mountain Junction in Altadena, moved by electric car (such as shown here) to Rubio Pavilion, the bottom terminus of the Cable Incline Railway. This photograph was taken at Lake Avenue and Mariposa in Altadena.  



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway




South Pasadena

(ca. 1890)^#^^ – View showing eight men posing in front of the Santa Fe Railroad Station in South Pasadena.  





(ca. 1890)^#^^ – Panoramic view of South Pasadena showing houses and farms.  


Historical Notes

In February 1888, members of the southern portion of Pasadena attempted to gain more control over their own property and a vote for incorporation was made. In 1888, South Pasadena incorporated the southern portion of the Indiana Colony and land south and eastward to the Los Angeles border.*^




(ca. 1893)^#^^ – View of South Pasadena from the Monterey Hills.  The Raymond Hotel can be seen on top of Bacon Hill. In the background and beyond is the City of Pasadena and the San Grabriel Mountains.  


Historical Notes

On March 2, 1888, the city of South Pasadena was incorporated with a population slightly over 500 residents, becoming the sixth municipality in Los Angeles County. It was chartered with roughly the same area as the current South Pasadena, about 3.42 square miles.  With completion of the Pacific Electric Short Line, putting the entire city within easy walking distance of the “red car” stations, South Pasadena also became a one of the first suburbs of Los Angeles.

South Pasadena is associated with that of the Cawston Ostrich Farm and the Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain as they played vital roles in the history of the city.*^




(1895)^#^^ – View of South Pasadena from the Monterey Hills showing the rich farmland.  




(1895)^#^^ – View of South Pasadena from the Monterey Hills. In the distance can be seen the Rayomond Hotel, the City of Pasadena, and the majestic San Gabriel Mountains.  





(ca. 1895)* - A group of people picking California poppies growing naturally near north Lake Avenue in Altadena. The Mount Lowe Railroad electric car is parked nearby, and the poles lead north to the end of Lake Avenue and turn right.  


Historical Notes

Altadena has always been popular for its colorful poppy fields, and before the turn of the century it was even more popular, for the sailors on ships coming into coast harbors could see the "flaming" fields from far off, and often used them as navigation aids. There were always enough for folks to pick, too.*



(1895)* - View showing a group of people picking flowers in a poppy field about the spot where Lake Avenue now meets Woodbury Road.  




Mt. Lowe Railway

(1893)^ - The great Cable Incline (seen above) went from Rubio Pavilion (the bottom) to Echo Mountain (at the top). In this picture one of the black cable cars, named "Rubio" sits at the bottom with some passengers aboard and others waiting nearby. Also on the left is the electric car which brought customers to the station from Mountain Junction.  


Historical Notes

At the turn of the century (1893 - 1938) one of the most famous excursion in Southern California was the Mt. Lowe trip. Sightseers from all around the Los Angeles area took a Pasadena car to Altadena and Rubio Canyon. They then transferred to a cable car on the Incline Railway that went up a 62% grade to Echo Mountain. From there they would take a narrow-gauge trolley car winding its way up the rugged San Gabriel Mtns. and finally would arrive at Alpine Tavern on Mt. Lowe, a nearly 7 mile railway ride from the base of the mountain. The views of the valley floor and beyond were spectacular.*



(ca. 1915)**# - The Echo Mountain incline railway after Pacific Electric purchased it. Catalina Island can be seen in the distance. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Catalina.  


Historical Notes

After Pacific Electric (owned by Henry E. Huntington) purchased Mount Lowe Railway around 1902, the cars used on the Great Cable Incline were rebuilt to include a roof on the top deck. These cars, stripped to their floors, were last used to carry salvage in 1938, when the Mt. Lowe line was scrapped.**#




(ca. 1890s)* - View of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley from Echo Mountain.  


Historical Notes

Buildings at Echo Mountain, reached by the Mount Lowe Railway, included the Echo Mountain House, a 70-room hotel at an elevation of approximately 3500 ft., the 40-room Echo Chalet, the observatory, car barns, dormitories, repair facilities, and a casino/dance hall.*

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway.




(ca. 1890s)* - View of some of the hotel guest standing on the veranda and stairways at the front of Echo Mountain House.


Historical Notes

Completed in the fall of 1894, the Echo Mountain House was a marvel. The four-story Victorian building was marked by a tall, cylindrical tower and capped by a metal dome and a huge American flag. The bright white exterior was marked by a long row of windows on each floor. At the building’s entrance, two sweeping verandas looked off across the canyons and the valley. The interior of the hotel was extravagant, with detailed wood inlay, the finest floral-patterned carpet and handmade furniture throughout. There were seventy guest rooms, large areas for office space, a massive social hall and dining room, a souvenir shop, a Western Union office, a bowling alley, a billiard room, a barbershop and a shoeshine stand.^^




(1893)^ - Photograph of the first passengers of Professor S.C. Lowe's dramatic Mount Lowe Railway, July 4, 1893. There are a couple of dozen people in the rail car (number "9") which is headed toward the camera on the circular bridge. The trestle structure is visible below the rails. The hotel on the mountaintop is visible at left as is the rail approach to the hotel.  


Historical Notes

From the top of Echo Mtn, passengers could transfer to another trolley line, the Alpine Division, which would take them to the upper terminus at Crystal Springs and Ye Alpine Tavern, a 22-room Swiss Chalet hospice with a complement of amenities from tennis courts, to wading pools, to mule rides. This phase of tracks cut through the broad Las Flores Canyon which gave a tremendous panorama of the valley floor below. At one point a tall trestle was required to bridge a broad and deep chasm with a bridge so named High Bridge.*^



(1914)*^* - A 1914 Metz Roadster poses for a publicity picture on Circular Bridge. Echo Mountain is at far left.   The above photo was featured in the Pasadena Star (Sept. 10, 1914) where the headline read:  “Five thousand is the number of autos:  That many machines are owned in Pasadena and vicinity.”  


Historical Notes

The automobile must have been taken up on the back of an incline car, as there were no auto roads in the vicinity at the time. A fire road reaches this spot today.



(1930)* - Caption on the verso of the image reads, "Redondo High School students arrive at Mt. Lowe Tavern for a snow battle royal."  


Historical Notes

Ye Alpine Tavern was the end-of-the-line for the Mount Lowe Railway at the foot of Mount Lowe. It was renamed The Mount Lowe Tavern in 1925, and was burned down in September 1936.*^



Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mt. Lowe Railway





(1897)++# - Winter view looking northeast from Monk's Hill showing the San Gabriel Mountains covered with a blanket of snow.  You can just make out Mount Lowe Rwy. entering Rubio Cyn. and Alpine Division ascending from Echo Mountain. The dirt intersection in foreground is of Howard and Marengo.  


Historical Notes

On closer look you can make out Christmas Tree Lane with deodar saplings in the middle of photo.  The McNally and Greene mansions are those buildings on either side.




(ca. 1900)#* - Panoramic view showing the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains including Echo Mt., Mt. Lowe, and Mt. Wilson. Houses and orange groves are visible in the foreground.  




(1902)* - Caption reads, "'Ah, there!' Behold, three young ladies of fashion determinedly, though circumspectly, hiking up the Mt. Lowe trail in the year 1902. Mountaineering was quite the thing in those halcyon times, but if anyone had so much as mentioned hiking outfits with 'shorts' to these gals, they probably would have hidden their blushes in the shrubbery."







(1912)^*^# - Postcard view showing a mule train traveling along a trail that led to the top of Mt. Wilson.  


Historical Notes

Benjamin D. Wilson, born in 1811 in Tennessee, was a fur trapper by trade. He arrived in California in 1841, intending to continue to China. During the Mexican War he joined up with the Gringos, was captured, and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner. After the war he went into business in Los Angeles and was eventually elected mayor in 1851. In 1854 he bought a 128 acre ranch where San Marino now stands and lived there until his death in 1878.

Don Benito, as he was known to his many Spanish speaking friends, needed lumber for his fences and wine barrels. The mountain peak that loomed above Wilson's ranch held plentiful forests of sugar pine and cedar, so he had been told. The year was 1864. To get that timber, Wilson was to build the first modern trail up the peak that now bears his name. In the spring of 1864, Don Benito put his Mexican and Indian help to work improving an old Indian path up Little Santa Anita Canyon. Upon arriving at the top, Wilson found two cabin ruins already there, possibly built by horse thieves of an earlier time.

The timber on Wilson's peak, as the mountain became known after Don Benito built his trail, apparently didn't suit Benjamin Wilson. A few weeks later he abandoned the venture. But his trail remained, and for many years was the only pathway to the mountain top. #*#*




(ca. 1910)** - View showing the Model Grocery store and the La Mariposa Hotel located at Lake and Marcheta (later Webster) avenues in Altadena.  Railcar tracks can be seen embedded in the road's pavement.  


Historical Notes

La Mariposa is the first motel located between Lake and Marcheta (Webster) avenues in Altadena. It was built in the early 1900s and had six rooms. The Model Grocery, a branch of Pasadena's Model Grocery stores, opened its business for a few years catering to the cattle trade customers.


* * * * *




(ca. 1893)* - View of Pasadena’s second public library building, located on the southeast corner of Walnut Street at Raymond Avenue at what is now known as Memorial Park. A bicycle is seen parked by the curb in front of the library.  


Historical Notes

Opened on Sept. 9, 1890, the Richardsonian Romanesque style stone building was design my architect Hamilton Ridgway. *



(1900)* - Exterior view of the Pasadena Library in Pasadena, built in 1890. A horse-drawn buggy and several bicycles are parked along the curb.


Historical Notes

This was Pasadena's second library building. The first was located on the Central School grounds, south side of Colorado St. between Raymond St. and Santa Fe tracks, and opened Feb. 26, 1884. #^^^



(1908)#* - Rear view of the Pasadena Public Library showing landscape and a large pond in the foreground. It was situated in what is now known as Memorial Park, southeast corner of E. Walnut Street at N. Raymond Avenue.  


Historical Notes

Today, a green sandstone wall and a bench can be found at the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado.  They are made of stone from the 1890 building of the Pasadena Public Library.  A plaque bears the names of the 27 original colonists of Pasadena.*^



(ca. 1894)* - A group of people, many of whom have bicycles, stands beside a Los Angeles & Pasadena Railway Company parlor car at the Altadena station. The parlor car was designed exclusively for scenic excursions to Pasadena and Altadena.




(ca. 1894)** - View of Pasadena National Bank, located in the Masonic Temple building on the southeast corner of Raymond Avenue and Colorado Street.  


Historical Notes

When the Pasadena National Bank first opened its doors in 1886, local residents made $25,000 worth of deposits on the first day alone. The bank's original lacation was a room on Raymond Avenue, but in 1894 it moved to the Masonic Temple, shown here on the southeast corner of Raymond Avenue and Colorado Street. The bank's new offices had the most burglarproof vaults available, featuring 5-foot-thick walls laced with steel horseshoes.**



(1908)#* - Street view of the corner of Raymond and Colorado looking south toward the Green Hotel. The Pasadena National Bank stands on the southeast corner. A rider on a horse shares the street with horse-drawn carriages, a cyclist, and pedestrians.  


Historical Notes

Harry Ridgway designed the imposing Masonic Temple block at the southeast corner of Raymond and Colorado in Romanesque Revival style in 1894.  He was also the architect/designer for the First National Bank building, built in 1886 on the n/w corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks.*



(ca. 1897)** - View looking toward the northwest corner of Raymond and Colorado.  A streetcar shares the road with horse-drawn wagons.  



Wetherby & Kayser Shoes

(ca. 1894)* - View of Colorado Street, Pasadena, looking west from Raymond Avenue. Horse-drawn carriages fill the unpaved street. Sign on the right reads: "Wetherby & Kayser - FINE- SHOES"




(ca. 1894)* - Close-up view of Wetherby & Kayser Fine Shoes located at 55-57 East Colorado Street, just west of Raymond Ave. The sign on a congested telephone pole reads: "Telephone Office".  



Vroman's Bookstore

(1895)**- Front of Glasscock and Vroman's bookstore at 60 E. Colorado and W. J. Pierce and Co. jewelers. A. C. Vroman is at the far right.  




(1905)++# – Interior view of Vroman’s bookstore showing a Christmas card display. At left can be seen the books set up in display behind the windows fronting Colorado.  



Nash Bros. Grocery Store

(1895)** - Exterior view of the Nash Brother's Grocery Store located at 126 East Colorado. An ice cream parlor was located upstairs.  


Historical Notes

Nash Bros. Grocery store moved to 141 Colorado in 1900.**



(1890s)** – Interior view of Nash’s Grocery Store crowded with people during the holidays.  Note the Santa Claus decoration on top of case in center of photo.  



* * * * *




(1895)** - View showing a two-story brick building located at 95 N. Raymond with horse-drawn wagon parked near the curb.  Sign on window reads:  EMBALMING – UNERTAKING.   


Historical Notes

Back of photo reads:  “Great Grandpa Adams founder of the Adams & Turner later Turner & Stevens.  Grandma Wall lived on 2nd floor with my father.”


* * * * *



Universalist Church

(ca. 1890)* – View showing the Universalist Church located on the southeast corner of Raymond and Chestnut Streets.  


Historical Notes

Rapidly growing in size, the Unitarian Universal congregation decided to build a huge church building to accommodate future growth. By 1890 they reached almost 140 members and completed construction of a large church on the corner of Raymond and Chestnut. (The current church at Del Mar and Los Robles was built in 1923.)

Financing this new (1890) building was quite complicated, involving numerous other real estate transactions and loans. In the end, Amos Throop wound up paying over 2/3 of the cost. The Governor of California contributed $1000 which was a large sum in those days.^




(1895)* - Exterior view of Universalist Church at Raymond and Chestnut Streets, in Pasadena. The Romanesque-style church building had a hemispherical bronze dome supported by Roman columns. Note the palm trees surrounding the church.  


Historical Notes

While a newspaper claimed in 1890 that the church could accommodate 1000 people, a more accurate story is obtained from the Nazarene Church which eventually bought the building in 1922. They claim that as many as 1300 people could be crammed into the sanctuary with 700 seated and 600 standing. The 700 seats were not pews but were luxurious theater-style seats with arm-rests.

The book "Inventing the Dream, California Through the Progressive Era" mentions on p. 99: "Pasadena grew into a charming town of ten thousand by century's turn with a church for every thousand residents (including a massive Romanesque Universalist Church ...)". A local newspaper wrote: "Pasadena boasts many handsome buildings, but none of them surpass in architectural beauty the Universalist Church."

The church building was demolished by the new owners in the early 1960s to create a parking lot. ^


* * * * *




(1895)* - View of North Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena in 1895. It is a dirt road lined with many trees. Walnut Street is at the bottom of the hill.  





(ca. 1895)++# - View looking south on Marengo Avenue showing two horse-drawn carriages parked opposite each other.  





(1895)*^* - Photo shows a man standing in front of a carriage drawn by two horses. On the side of the carriage is printed: CITY MARKET, with other words blocked by the man's body (although part of "Breiner" can be made out, probably "Breiner & Crosby").  




(1891)*^* - Interior view of the City Meat Market, located at 83 East Colorado. The man on the far right is John Breiner, the proprietor. The City Meat Market is sometimes referred to as "Breiner Market."   




(1895)* - View of the first electric car over Arroyo Seco near the Cawston Ostrich Farm on March 7, 1895. Pasadena and Los Angeles Railway Co.


Historical Notes

By 1895 a railroad line had been established from Downtown Los Angeles with a grand wooden trestle that cut a straight line crossing from the west side to the east. Eventually this line would hook up with rail lines built from the east to create the cross-country course of the Santa Fe Railroad. For local commutes, an electric traction trolley was put in and operated by the Pacific Electric Railway, a Henry E. Huntington enterprise, which ran the "Red Cars" from the upper Arroyo and Pasadena through the San Gabriel Valley into Los Angeles and many points beyond. The lower Arroyo Seco was served by the Los Angeles Railway "Yellow Car" lines.*^




(ca. 1895)##** – View showing an electric streetcar on the bridge over Arroyo Seco at Garvanza.  


Historical Notes

Originally this line had four bridges. The most spectacular spanned the Arroyo Seco at Garvanza and was the highest bridge on the PE system. It was a single track structure, of combination steel and frame bent construction. Built in 1895, it was rebuilt in 1903 and strengthened in 1916. It was about 900 feet long. Two double track wooden trestles spanned the SP main line at Daly Street & Alhambra Avenue and the UP Pasadena Branch at Fair View near Columbia Street The lower Arroyo Seco was crossed by means of a concrete structure on Pasadena Ave. near Ave. 36; this was a paved viaduct for both vehicular and rail traffic.

Believe it or not, the chief tourist attraction on this line was the Cawston Ostrich Farm, on the east bank of the Arroyo Seco at Garvanza. In was American's first ostrich farm, having opened in 1886. The incubators, the dye houses and factories were widely publicized and the South Pasadena cars hauled thousands for 25 cents round trip (which included admission to the Farm). Just as long as ostrich feathers enjoyed a vogue as an essential part of milady's costume, so did this lucrative business help keep the South Pasadena Line in the black.##**




Tournament of Roses Parade

(1890)^^*# -  View showing the pavilion where races took place after the first Tournament of Roses Parade – January 1, 1890.  


Historical Notes

The Tournament of Roses began as an effort by Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club to promote the city’s charm and beautiful weather. Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club were former residents of the American East and Midwest and wanted to showcase their new California home's mild winter weather. At a club meeting, Professor Charles F. Holder announced, "In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."

So the club organized horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches, and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the professor decided to suggest the name "Tournament of Roses."

Over the next few founding years, marching bands and motorized floats were added.*^





(1893)* - Rose parades of early days were a far cry from the spectacular pageants of modern years. This photo shows the Tournament of Roses on New Year's Day 1893, three years after the Valley Hunt Club inaugurated the first pageant. This Rose Parade took place in the old Tournament Park on California Avenue directly across the street from where CalTech now stands. Note the derbies worn by some young railbirds!  


Historical Notes

Members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club first staged the parade in 1890. Since then the parade has been held in Pasadena every New Year's Day, except when January 1 falls on a Sunday.*^





(1893)*^* – Photo Description Reads: Tournament of Roses, given under the auspices of the Valley Hunt Club, January 2nd, 1893.  





(ca. 1894)* - A Rose Parade float with the words "1874 Crown of the Valley." The date refers to when the Pasadena settlement was first founded. 'Crown of the Valley' was Pasadena's nickname.  





(1896)* - View of the 1896 Rose Parade showing a filled-to-capacity carriage drawn my six horses.  The women are holding parasols.  





(1897)* - A large marching band with the members all dressed in white uniforms in the 1897 Rose Parade. The first marching band to appear in the Rose Parade was in 1891, with fewer than 20 members. This band has considerably more members. More than half carry flags toward the rear of the procession.  





(1897)* - A large horse-driven carriage decorated with flowers serves as an early Rose Parade float. 15 men ride inside, two of them hold banners. One banner reads, "Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce", the other has initials and the year 1897 printed on it. Men riding horses follow the carriage.  


Historical Notes

By 1895, the event was too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle, hence the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association was formed. By the 11th annual tournament (1900), the town lot on which the activities were held was renamed Tournament Park, a large open area directly adjacent to Pasadena's world-famous institution of higher learning, Caltech. Activities soon included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations, and an odd novelty race between a camel and an elephant (The elephant won the race.) Soon reviewing stands were built along the parade route and newspapers in Eastern Seaboard cities started to take notice of the event.*^





(1897)* - Prize-winning entry of 1897; a basket which appears to be drawn by a team of flying doves is actually propelled by a man hidden inside the basket.  






(1898)^x^ - Sunny skies and open land at the 1898 Rose Parade.  Spectators line the street to watch the parade, many of them sitting in their horse-drawn wagons.  






(ca. 1900)++# - Looking south from the northeast corner of Colorado and Los Robles at the Rose Parade.  Photo by George Leahy  





(1904)^^* – Autos in the Rose Parade. Pasadena City Hall can be seen in the background, located on the northeast corner of Fair Oaks and Union.  





(ca. 1908)* - A Rose Parade "float" in every sense of the word. This early parade float in an oblong shape, literally floats above the crowd. A flowered, diamond-shaped mesh is draped over it. Long ropes, that several men hold, dangle over the sides to keep it from floating away.  





(1910)* -  Postcard view of a 1910 Rose Parade float. It is a horse-driven carriage, decorated in green leaves and red geraniums, containing several members and officers of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce all wearing top hats.  


Historical Notes

This particular float was the winner of a First Prize. The verso of the card reads, "This is one of the wagons in New Year parade - the tournament was postponed till this Saturday on account of rain." *

There are two maxims about the Rose Parade that everyone in Pasadena knows: There’s never a parade on a Sunday, and it doesn’t rain on the parade. The first has always been true since the first time Jan. 1 fell on a Sunday in 1893 and the parade was moved to Jan. 2. The second—well, 10 rainy days in 125 years isn’t a bad batting average. +#



* * * * *





(ca. 1898)^ - Panoramic view of Pasadena looking northeast toward the Sierra Madre mountain range in winter. Mount Wilson is behind clouds across the background. Trees are dispersed among the buildings of the city at center.  


Historical Notes

The San Gabriel Mountains borrow their name from the nearby Spanish mission, but for decades they also bore a more poetic name: the Sierra Madre (Mother Mountains). Both names were handed down by the early Spanish missionaries and existed side-by-side until 1927, when the U.S. Board on Geographic Names acted on a petition from a Pomona College geographer and decided in favor of "San Gabriel Mountains." "Sierra Madre" has since passed out of common usage, although it still survives in numerous place names, from the City of Sierra Madre to the Gold Line's Sierra Madre Villa station, named after a tuberculosis sanitarium at the base of the mountains.*#*




California Cycleway (aka Pasadena Cycleway)

(1899)** - View showing the construction of the California Cycleway (aka Pasadena Cycleway) a visionary project to link Los Angeles with Pasadena, built by Horace M. Dobbins (seen in lower-right).  


Historical Notes

The inventor and promotor of the cycleway was Pasadena resident Horace Dobbins, who attracted ex-California governor Henry Harrison Markham to join him in the venture. Together, the two sought approval from the California state legislature, which was ultimately granted (after a first attempt was vetoed) in 1897. The California Cycleway Company bought a six-mile right-of-way from downtown Pasadena to Avenue 54 in Highland Park, Los Angeles.

Construction began in 1899, and about 1.3 miles of the elevated wooden bikeway were opened on January 1, 1900, starting near Pasadena's Hotel Green and ending near the Raymond Hotel.*^





(1900)** - View of the California Cycleway in Pasadena. A tolled elevated cycleway connecting Pasadena and South Pasadena along present day Edmondson Alley. View looking north from Raymond Hotel. Tracks in foreground are Santa Fe. Fair Oaks Ave. is on left side.  


Historical Notes

The majority of the California Cycleway route is now Edmondson Alley. A toll booth was located near the north end, in the present Central Park.*^



(ca. 1900)* - View of Bellevue Drive looking west at Raymond Avenue. The bridge in the foreground is a section of the Dobbins' Cycleway.  The building at right is the rear of the Pasadena Grand Opera House.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1889, the Pasadena Grand Opera House was bought by Thaddeus Lowe in 1891. Lowe is also known for his Mt. Lowe Railway and Echo Mountain Incline.



(ca. 1902)** - On back of photograph: "Horace M Dobbins in his Olsdmobile on Pasadena Cycleway - about 1902-04".  


Historical Notes

Oldsmobile model could not be verified, however, vehicle in photo closely resembles steam Locomobile from 1900-1904.**



(n.d.)* - View looking south from the Hotel Green showing the California Cycleway, with toll booth in center of photo.  


Historical Notes

Had the full route been completed, it would have continued past Highland Park, on through Montecito Heights, crossed the Los Angeles River, passed Elysian Park, and continued to the Plaza in Los Angeles.*^



(n.d.)*^ - Closer view of the California Cycleway and its toll booth. Note the elaborate design of the trusses supporting the above-ground cycleway.  


Historical Notes

The elevation of the roadway was 50 feet. The portion built was constructed almost entirely of Oregon pine and was wide enough for four cyclists to ride abreast, with provision for eventual doubling of the width. It was painted dark green and, at night, brightly lit with incandescent lights.*^



(ca. 1904)** - View looking north from top of the cycleway platform. Flags fly high above the ticket booth and a bicycle is seen parked in front. The Hotel Green is in the background.  


Historical Notes

The toll was 10 cents one-way, or 15 cents round trip.*^

Due to the end of the bicycle craze of the 1890s and the existing Pacific Electric Railway lines connecting Pasadena to Los Angeles, the cycleway never made a profit, and never extended beyond the Raymond Hotel into the Arroyo Seco. In the first decade of the 20th century, the structure was dismantled, and the wood sold for lumber, and the Pasadena Rapid Transit Company, a failed venture headed by Dobbins to construct a streetcar line, acquired the right-of-way. Later, the California Cycleway's right-of-way became part of the Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway).*^



Hotel Green

(ca. 1896)* - View looking north on Raymond Avenue showing the new Hotel Green in the distance with the original Santa Fe depot just to the right of the hotel.  


Historical Notes

HHotel Green was initially known as the Webster Hotel.  Mr. Webster became nearly bankrupt while trying to finish his lavish hotel in time for its opening. It opened its doors to the public in the 1880s and was only open a few months before he sold it to George Green.

George Gill Green acquired the unfinished building, doubled the size and completed the hotel in 1893. The newly expanded hotel, named the Hotel Green, opened for business in 1894. *




(ca. 1900)* - View looking north on Raymond Avenue at the Hotel Green complex, which comprised of both buildings on either side of Raymond Avenue and walkway over the street.  Horse-drawn wagons are seen parked in front of the hotel.  


Historical Notes

In 1898, Col. Green built an even more impressive Mediterranean style hotel on the opposite side of Raymond. The two buildings were connected by a bridge across Raymond. *




(ca. 1900)* - Postcard view of the Hotel Green showing a streetcar passing underneath the bridge over Raymond Avenue that connects the two hotel buildings.  


Historical Notes

The Green was one of the leading Pasadena hotels, along with the Raymond and the Huntington, during Pasadena's heyday as a winter resort for wealthy Easterners in the 1890s and 1900s.*





(1890)^ - A view of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad California Limited at the Hotel Green in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

In 1887, Edward Webster built a new Santa Fe Railroad station next to his hotel site, for easy food and lodging business with trains' arrival/departure passengers. Webster went bankrupt before finishing his hotel.*





(1890)* - Tally-Ho leaving the Hotel Green. The photograph identifies it as "Wiley & Greely's Tall-Ho."  


Historical Notes

The hotel was home to both the Tournament of Roses and the Valley Hunt Club. It was supplemented by two later buildings, creating a complex of three structures.*





(1901)^ – Panoramic view looking south showing the Hotel Green and its annex, “Central Annex”, from the corner of Green Street and Raymond Avenue.  


Historical Notes

Due to the hotel's success, Green began building an addition in 1897, and the "Central Annex" opened on January 16, 1899 to coincide with Green's birthday, and 1,000 guests came to celebrate the occasion. The hotel continued to grow in popularity with the new Central Annex. Its pedestrian bridge to the main hotel over Raymond Avenue became a popular viewing site for the Rose Parade, which ran along Raymond at the time.*





(1905)^ - View of Hotel Green and its new Central Annex (Castle Green) on the left.  


Historical Notes

The new building, to become known as "Castle Green," was on a full city block but was set back from the streets, which provided open space for large new gardens. They became Pasadena's only 'public' park at the time.*





(1908)^- Panoramic view showing the Hotel Greeen and its surrounding area.  


Historical Notes

In 1903 Green added a third annex, known as the Wooster Block. It incorporated an earlier building constructed in 1887, which had been part of the original site of the California Institute of Technology.  Green planned to add a fourth annex, before running short on money for construction.*





(ca. 1910)* - Exterior view of the Green Hotel looking from Central Park. View shows the towers of the building on the west side of Raymond Avenue, in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Hotel Green, designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frederick Roehrig, was published in the periodical The Western Architect in December 1905.




(ca. 1910)#^* - View of the Castle Green, part of the Green Hotel Complex. Two early model cars are parked by the curb as a band is seen playing on the front lawn.  


Historical Notes

Hotel Green acquired a reputation as a luxury hotel. The hotel hosted society events such as receptions for significant visitors and the Valley Hunt Club's annual ball. In addition, the hotel contributed to Pasadena's economy and population. Lodgers at the hotel were credited with spending large amounts of money at Pasadena businesses, and many tourists ultimately decided to live in Pasadena.*




(ca. 1910)* - View of the Hotel Green in Pasadena, in a lush garden setting. The portion of the building which extends to the right crossed over Raymond Avenue.  





(1910)^ – View showing a street lighting post on the corner of Raymond Avenue and Dayton Street, showing the Green Hotel in the background.  





(ca. 1919)^ - View of the Hotel Green and walkway that crossed over Raymond Avenue, connecting two buildings of the hotel. Two automobiles are parked on the street, and one has a sign saying "Snyder for Mayor."  


Historical Notes

Meredith P. Snyder was elected mayor of Los Angeles in 1919.




(1923)^ - Postcard view of Hotel Green and grounds.  


Historical Notes

Daniel M. Linnard bought the hotel from George Gill Green in 1914. The hotel's business declined after this point, as the rise of automobile travel took away its market of Santa Fe Railroad passengers at the adjacent train station. The original 1894 Hotel Green building on the east side of Raymond Avenue was sold in 1920. By 1924 the hotel was owned by a group of investors who divided the hotel complex into three parts. The Central Annex was subdivided into fifty residential apartments and renamed the Castle Green.*




(2015)* - View of Castle Green as it appears today.  


Historical Notes

The Castle Green is now a luxurious condominium complex, with 52 units privately owned. They are predominantly one bedroom units, carved out of what were once hotel rooms and suites for the very wealthy. They are filled with rare architectural detail and beautiful reminders of their Victorian past.

The Castle Green is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the State Historic Register, and the City of Pasadena’s list of Historic Places.*


* * * * *





(ca 1900)^.^ - PE no. 93, Pasadena. Some of the business seen include:  Pasadena Market, New York Kitchen, and Heiss Clothing.  Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection  





(ca. 1900)*^* – View of a what appears to be a bicycle parade on Colorado Street in front of the Carlton Hotel.  


Historical Notes

Colorado Street had become a more bustling locale by the time this photograph was taken, sometime around 1900. Many of the timber shacks lining the street in the 1880s photographs have been replaced by taller, more ornate buildings. Power lines and trolley tracks show Pasadena's progress as well. A bicycle parade attracted the curiosity of onlookers. Pasadena had nine bicycle shops by 1902, and the long line of parade participants on this day suggests that business was good.*^*




(ca. 1900)*^* – Close-up view showing four women in their riding attire participating in the bicycle parade as spectators look on.  





(ca. 1900)*^* – Close-up view showing a woman seated in an early three-wheel bicycle along the parade route.  





(1900)** – View showing a group of men standing by their bicycles in front of the Pasadena Electric Light & Power Building at 34 S. Raymond Avenue.  




Carlton Hotel

(ca. 1902)*^* - Close-up view of the Carlton Hotel on Colorado St.  The hotel is decorated with flags and banners.  


Historical Notes

The Carlton Hotel was a first-class establishment in the center of Pasadena’s growing downtown.  Known as the Exchange Block, and designed by Harry Ridgway, it opened in the summer of 1886 (the same year as the Raymond Hotel). The Carlton boasted the first passenger elevator in town, and at its front entrance was the first benchmark from which all official city grades or levels were measured.*



(1902)*^* – Close-up view of the Carlton Hotel located at 29 E Colorado Street.  


* * * * *




(ca. 1890)^ - Panoramic view of Pasadena looking northwest from the cupola of the Longfellow Octagon House on San Pascual Street, about where Cal Tech stands today.  In the foreground is an orchard of trees and further away stands a two-story house.  



Longfellow Octagon House

(ca. 1900)^.^– View showing a horse-drawn carriage surrounded by several people in front of the Longfellow Octagon House in its original location on San Pasqual Street in Pasadena. (Photo courtesy of Cultural Heritage Foundation of Southern California)  


Historical Notes

Gilbert Longfellow built his first octagonal house along the coast of Maine. Then in 1893, after moving to Pasadena, Longfellow built his second octagonal home on San Pasqual Street. After Longfellow died in 1912, his son Charles continued the family's farming business, purchasing additional land nearby (now part of the California Institute of Technology campus) where he established a small, but successful, citrus grove. In 1917, to make way for subdivision of the original farm, the house was moved to a city lot about a mile north of the farm on Allen Avenue.

While remaining in the same family, over the years the house fell into great disrepair. In 1973, facing demolition of the house where he had spent much of his life, Walter Hastings (Longfellow's grandson) sought assistance from the Cultural Heritage Foundation of Southern California's Heritage Square Museum to save his family's home. In exchange, he donated the house to the museum. The home was moved to its present location (Heritage Square Museum) in 1986. ^




(2009)^.^ – View showing the Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House after it was relocated to its current location at the Heritage Square Museum at 3800 Homer Street along the Arroyo Seco.  


Historical Notes

In 1917, when L.A./Pasadena sprawl reached San Pasqual Street, the Longfellow family moved its octagon house a mile north to Allen Avenue. In 1973, the Cultural Heritage Foundation of Southern California, which runs the Heritage Square Museum, struck a deal with Walter Hastings, Longfellow's grandson who lived in the house. The foundation would save his home from threatened demolition if he donated the octagon. When Hastings moved out in 1986, the organization relocated the Longfellow place to the Arroyo Seco.) ^



* * * * *




(1900)* - View of a tree-lined unpaved Marengo Avenue, Pasadena.  




(Early 1900s)*^* - View of a tamale wagon driven by Abalenio Hernandez of 615 South Broadway, Pasadena. Broadway is now called Arroyo Parkway.  




(1900)* - View of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, built at its present location (Lincoln Avenue and West Peoria Street) in 1895.  


Historical Notes

The original building was a large two-story structure facing Lincoln Avenue; a small building for the kindergarten was in the rear. The Board purchased a house and lot adjoining the school site in November 1901, and started the kindergarten class there in January of 1902.*




(ca. 1900)* - Pacific Electric Railway Pasadena and Pacific car labelled "Santa Monica,” seen crossing a street.  


Historical Notes

In 1895 The Pasadena and Pacific Railway was created from a merger of the Pasadena and Los Angeles Railway and the Los Angeles Pacific Railway (to Santa Monica.) The Pasadena and Pacific Railway boosted Southern California tourism, living up to its motto "from the mountains to the sea." *^




(1902)* - This was the 1902 Tournament of Roses parade, with a butchers band marching down the Pasadena street. There was nothing spectacular about the parade then, and the spectators were few. This was also the first year of the Rose Bowl game.  




(ca. 1902)* - Exterior view of the Shakespeare Club, junction of Fair Oaks and Lincoln Avenues, in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

The Shakespeare Club of Pasadena was organized in 1888 and has the distinction of being the oldest women's club in Southern California. The Club's purpose has always centered around the cultural, educational and philanthropic interests of its members.*#



(1903)** – View showing policemen posing in front of City Hall at Union and Fair Oaks.  


Historical Notes

The Pasadena Police Department was founded in 1886.*^




(1903)* - View of John Muir High School, built in 1903 on the north side of east Walnut Street, between north Los Robles and Euclid Avenue.


Historical Notes

John Muir High School was Pasadena's second High School. Later it served as a Junior High School for many years, and then a school for special classes. The name had been changed to Benjamin Franklin. Later it was condemned for school purposes and the Recreation Department used it for years.*





(ca. 1930)#* – Panoramic view of John Muir Technical High School, 1835 Lincoln, Pasadena, with the student body sitting and standing in front of the building.  


Historical Notes

John Muir Technical High School first appears in a 1928 Pasadena directory at its Lincoln location. Prior to that it was John Muir Junior High School, and was located on Walnut. #*





(1905)* - Two flower-covered automobiles in the 1905 Rose Parade. This appears to be in front of the Raymond Hotel.  





(ca. 1905)* - View of Pasadena Park and City Hall in the back left of photo.  






(ca. 1905)^ – View of Raymond Avenue looking north as seen from the intersection of Raymond and Colorado. A streetcar is in the middle of the image while the Green Hotel is seen in the distance.  The beautiful San Gabriel Mountains stand in the far background.  





Colorado and Fair Oaks

(ca. 1905)^ – A Pacific Electric car on Colorado Street near Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena stops for passengers. The car was on the West Colorado Street-Orange Grove Avenue line.  






(1906)** - Looking toward the northeast corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks showing the First National Bank.  More bicycles are seen parked by the curb in front of the building than horse-drawn carriages.  A woman is boarding a stopped electric streetcar on the left.  






(ca. 1907)# – View looking east on Colorado Street at Fair Oaks Avenue. First National Bank is on the ground floor of the building on the NE corner (left).  






(1907 - 2020)* - Compositied image showing Colorado Blvd. looking east at Fair Oaks Ave. Photo by Mark Hersch  





Then and Now

(1907 v. 2020) - Colorado St. looking east at Fair Oaks in Pasadena.  Bottom photo is a composited image blending a 1907 view with one that’s more current. Composite image by Mark Hersch.  






(ca. 1907)^ - Looking east on Colorado at Fair Oaks.  Early model cars and bicycles are parked by the curb while a streetcar, horses, and pedestrians are seen on the road.  





Then and Now

(1907 v. 2022)* - Colorado Street looking east at Fair Oaks Avenue.   





Colorado and Broadway (Now Arroyo Parkway)

(ca. 1907)** - View of Pasadena National Bank Located at the corner of Colorado and Broadway (Now Arroyo Parkway).  A horse-drawn carriage passes by an electric streetcar, while an early model car is seen parked in front of the bank.  




South Pasadena High School

(1907)* - Exterior view of the Classical Revival style building of South Pasadena High School, taken not long after the building was completed.


Historical Notes

The City of South Pasadena established a solid reputation for its public schools, its first high school being no exception. Norman Foote Marsh, and his firm Marsh and Russell, designed this first High School building in 1906, and saw its completion by 04/1907. The City of South Pasadena, in its historic preservation context statement said of this education complex: "After several years of operating out of shared or rented facilities, a bond was passed in 1906 which authorized $65,000 for the construction of a new high school. However, construction was delayed when the San Francisco earthquake in 1906–along with the subsequent rebuilding efforts–inflated the cost of building materials. Voters were compelled to approve an additional $10,000 before construction could begin. Designed by the firm of Marsh & Russell, the three-story building was officially opened in April 1907. Additional buildings housing domestic science and manual training programs were added in 1912.^




(1908)^#^^ – Postcard view showing South Pasadena High School.  Two men are seen posing in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

This building, constructed in 1907, and two others added in 1912 stood until the 1950s, at which time they were demolished. *


* * * * *




(ca. 1907)* - Exterior view of Lake Ave. Methodist Church on the southeast corner of Colorado and Lake Avenue, in Pasadena.  




(ca. 1908)#* - A street view of Pasadena Automobile Stables, with a man seated in a parked automobile in front of the open shop doors. The vehicle has no top or sides, and only has one padded bench for seats.   




(ca. 1900)*^* – View looking north on Los Robles Avenue from the Maryland Hotel located on Colorado Boulevard with John Muir Jr. High School visible in the background in the upper left corner of the photo.  


Historical Notes

The large building seen in the upper left corner of the photo is John Muir Jr. High School, which later became Pasadena High School, located on Walnut St., between Euclid and Los Robles.*^*



(ca. 1903)*^* – View looking west from the Maryland Hotel.  


Historical Notes

The trellis in the lower left hand corner was later covered in vines. The church in the upper corner of the photo is believed to be the Pasadena Presbyterian Church.*^*




(ca. 1908)* - Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking east from the Hotel Maryland circa 1908. The street is lined with houses, and streetcar tracks run down the middle.  





(1910)* - View of Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking west from the Maryland Hotel. Streetcar tracks and overhead wires are seen. Note the ornate streetlight on the right. Click HERE to see more in Early LA Streetlights.  



Hotel Maryland

(1903)*^* – View showing the newly constructed Hotel Maryland located at 411 East Colorado with San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  A horse-drawn wagon is parked in front of the hotel.  


Historical Notes

The Hotel Maryland was designed by John Parkinson and opened in 1903. It was expanded over the years and hosted many famous people including Presidents.



(ca. 1903)*^* – View showing a tally-ho parked by the curb in front of the Maryland Hotel.  


Historical Notes

The Maryland Hotel was an all year hotel, different from seasonal hotels. The builder of the Maryland's first unit was Colin Stuart, who named the hotel "Maryland", after his home state.*




(1905)^*# – View showing the front of the Maryland Hotel where crowds of people await the Rose Parade.  





(ca. 1910)*^* -  Panoramic street view of the Hotel Maryland on East Colorado, between Euclid and Los Robles. There are several automobiles parked along the street, and an electric streetcar travels along the street on the right.   





(ca. 1913)*^* - Panoramic street view of the Hotel Maryland. Vines have overgrown the walls of the first two stories and stretch as far as the roof in places. Automobiles are parked on the street in front of the hotel, and cables run overhead for streetcars.  


Historical Notes

On April 18, 1914, the main building burned to the ground. It was redesigned by Myron Hunt and rebuilt the same year. A large open area to the north was lined with "bungalows" and some people lived there all the time.




(1927)++# - View looking north from the roof of the Pasadena Athletic Club on the corner of Los Robles and Green. The Maryland Hotel is seen across the street with its Annex (at left) which still stands at the northeast corner of Union and Euclid. At far left, City Hall is still being erected; note scaffolding. At center rear with distinctive dome is the Benjamin Franklin School on Walnut.  


Historical Notes

At one time the Maryland Hotel covered the entire area from Colorado Blvd. to Walnut Avenue, with Los Robles as its eastern border and Euclid as its western border. Union Street wasn't put through until later, so it was a solid long block full of rental bungalows all the way north.



(1927)*^* - Street view of the Hotel Maryland at 411 East Colorado. A doorman stands at the end of an awning on the sidewalk.  


Historical Notes

The Maryland Hotel covered eight acres of lawn and flower gardens, and besides the main structure it had thirty bungalows, where one could live in quiet seclusion a few feet from the busy halls - yet remote and undisturbed - if he so desired.*



(ca. 1930)* - Close-up view of front entry to the Maryland Hotel. A canopy stretches from the entrance of the hotel to the street.  




(1937)*^* - Street view looking east showing the Maryland Hotel at 411 East Colorado. Other businesses on this stretch of Colorado include Postal Telegraph, Sherwin Williams Paints & Wallpapers, and Sears Roebuck & Co.  




(1937)++# - View looking west on Colorado at Los Robles showing the Hotel Maryland.  Two men stand under an umbrella next to an open manhole in the middle of the street.  


Historical Notes

Most of the Hotel Maryland was torn down shortly after August 20th, 1937 but some of the hotel continued until 1948. The property was gradually sold off. The apartment house on Euclid, added in 1927, is all that remains today.



Maryland Apartments

(1924)*^* - Street view of the ivy-covered Maryland Apartments at 95 South Los Robles, with an automobile parked in front. On the right is a women's clothing shop called Flornina.  





(1918)*^* – Close-up view showing the front courtyard to the Maryland Apartments.  




Fair Oaks Market

(1909)*^* - View showing an early model car and two bicycles parked in front of Fair Oaks Market located at 139 North Fair Oaks. W. H. Stone, Jr. was the proprietor.  




William J. Dean Co. Grocery

(ca. 1910s)** – View showing the William J. Dean Co. Grocery Story  located on the north side of Colorado Street west of Fair Oaks Avenue.  



* * * * *




(1910)^ - View looking south toward the intersection of Fair Oaks Ave and Colorado Street. A trolley with a sign that reads: ALTADENA waits while another trolley with a sign that reads: NORTH SOUTH LOOP passes through the intersection. The sidewalks and streets are full with people, horse-drawn wagons, and a cyclist. To the right is a postal-telegraph office.  






(ca. 1910)*x* – Close-up view showing passengers waiting to board a streetcar on Colorado Street with early model cars seen parked along the curb.  The Carlton Hotel can be seen in the background.  






(ca. 1911)* – A couple are seen driving a 1906 Woods' Queen Victoria electric automobile down Colorado Boulevard.  The background is 54-60 E. Colorado Blvd.  


Historical Notes

The man in the car is Charles Gibbs Adams, a landscape architect and historian in Pasadena.  The woman at the steering tiller is identified only as “Mary”.





(1910)** - Small crowd gathers outside J. Herbert Hall Jewelers, located on 43 East Colorado. The officer is guarding a 60 3/4 karat diamond that is placed in the store window.  





Warner's Photoplay Theatre

(1914)*^* – View showing Warner's Photoplay Theater, located at 28 East Colorado Street with special showing of “Trixie Joins the Auto Club”, starring vaudeville star and new film actress Trixie Friganza, sponsored by the Automobile Club of Southern California.  


Historical Notes

Opened in August of 1914, Warner’s Photoplay Theater was one of the first motion picture theaters offering air-conditioning.  It was a welcome relief from Pasadena's hot August temps. *^*


* * * * *




(ca. 1910)^ – View of Fair Oaks Avenue looking north from Colorado Street. A streetcar featuring a sign that reads "Pasadena" makes its way down the avenue at center, while horse-drawn carriages are parked along with bicycles to either side, at the feet of high rise shop buildings. A carriage in the shape of a large shoe stands to the right, illegible advertising written on its side. Legible signs include: "Philadelphia Shoe Co.", "New York Dental Co.", "Money to Loan", "First National Bank", and "Parker Bros. Dentist".  




(ca. 1910)^ - View looking north up Fair Oaks Avenue at Colorado Boulevard (then named Colorado Street). On the northeast corner stands the First National Bank. A trolley and a horse-drawn wagon share the road. The sign on the trolley reads: OSTRICH FARM  


Historical Notes

The Cawston Ostrich Farm became a premier tourist attraction for many years. Its proximity to the trolley line that came through from downtown Los Angeles brought many tourists to visit the farm through the earlier part of the 20th century.*^



(ca. 1910)++# – View showing houses on Terrace Drive just below Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.   




(ca. 1915)++# - View of the south side of the 400 block of W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. The tops of three of houses seen in previous photo can be seen here.  Note the B.P.O.E. Lodge 672 built 1911 (still standing) at right. Click HERE for contemporary view.  



Cawston Ostrich Farm

(1910)* - View of the Cawston Ostrich Farm, South Pasadena, in 1910.  


Historical Notes

Cawston Ostrich Farm, located in South Pasadena, was opened in 1886 by Edwin Cawston. It was America's first ostrich farm and was located in the Arroyo Seco Valley just three miles north of downtown Los Angeles and occupied nine acres.*^



(ca. 1907)^#^^ – Postcard view showing two men feeding oranges to ostriches at Cawston Farm as spectators watch on.  


Historical Notes

In 1885 Edwin Cawston charted a ship to take fifty of some of the best obtainable ostriches in the world from South Africa to Galveston, Texas. From there, the ostriches endured a treacherous train journey to South Pasadena. Out of the original fifty, only eighteen survived. Cawston bounced back from the loss of over half of his stock and the Ostrich Farm eventually boasted over 100 ostriches from the original batch.*^



(1905)#* - Cawston Ostrich Farm, South Pasadena. Two ostriches are hooked up to a buggy with one man seated with a driving whip and one man standing at the rear.   




(1922)* - View of two children sitting in an ostrich drawn wagon while two women stand in the background, all posing for the camera.  


Historical Notes

Cawston Ostrich Farm guests were able to ride on the backs of ostriches and to be taken for ostrich drawn carriage rides. They also could buy ostrich feathered hats, boas, capes and fans at the Ostrich Farm store that was connected to the factory. The ostrich farm feather products were shipped and sold throughout the world.*^



(1912)* - View of the entrance to Cawston Ostrich Farm on August 4, 1912.  




(ca. 1920)^#^^ – View of the entrance to Cawston Ostrich Farm. Edwin Cawston, who initially established an ostrich breeding farm in Southern California in 1886, opened his famous farm in South Pasadena in 1896. A sign above the entry way references the farm's Los Angeles city store on South Broadway.  


Historical Notes

Most of the original brick structure of the factory and store remains today and is South Pasadena Cultural Landmark #18.*^



(ca. 1930s)^#^^ - Ostriches roam the Cawston Ostrich Farm grounds and examine an automobile while two men look on. The pyramids in the enclosure provide an exotic backdrop, reflecting the ostriches' native Africa.  




(ca. 1910)^ - Looking south on Fair Oaks Avenue from just north of Colorado Boulevard, circa 1910.  



City Hall

(ca. 1911)* - Exterior view of City Hall in Pasadena located on the northeast corner of Fair Oaks and Union. Note the architectural designs on the building. Horse-drawn buggy's are parked along the sidewalks.  


Historical Notes

In 1911 City Hall occupied a building at Union and Fair Oaks. Since then City Hall moved several times, and the building was lost, only to be replaced in 2003 by a quasi replica now known as the Container Store.*^



(1917)^^*# - HISTORIC HEADLINE FOR MARCH 26, 1917 - 'Display of flags now patriotic duty says city official: Situation is now declared to constitute prescribed "Special Occasion" (Pasadena Star News)  


* * * * *




(1911)*^# - Arriving in Style? A wagon trip from Pasadena to Glendale in 1911. The description on the reverse of this photo reads: "the girls had gone to a house party and it rained all the way home." *^^^  



Second Raymond Hotel

(1908)++# – View looking north from the Monterrey Hills showing the majestic San Gabriel Mountains with the Raymond Hotel seen at lower right.  


Historical Notes

The Original Raymond Hotel burned to the ground in 1895.

The second Raymond Hotel opened on December 19, 1901 and was met with immediate success especially from those who had lost their winter residence for 6 years. The registry was filled with names of moguls from the East: Pullman, Schwab, Harriman, Swift, Armour, Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, and of course R. T. Crane who spent his remaining winters at the Raymond.*^




(ca. 1918)^ - Aerial view showing the Hotel Raymond and surrounding area.  At the base of the hill is a gazebo and a tennis court. To the right of the hotel is a large open field; there are other open fields above the hotel as well. The upper right corner of the image shows the edge of a residential area.  


Historical Notes

Located atop Bacon Hill, renamed Raymond Hill, which lies between Pasadena and South Pasadena, the first Raymond Hotel burned down in 1895 and was replaced by a second (seen above) in 1903.*

Click HERE to see more on the 1st Hotel Raymond.



(ca. 1910s)* - View of the second Raymond Hotel looking across the grounds at the western facade, the main entrance to the hotel. In the background are the San Gabriel Mountains.  




(ca. 1910s)^## - View of two cars parked in front of the second Raymond Hotel. The architect was T. W. Parkes.  


Historical Notes

The Raymond was a landing-place for well-heeled visitors in the area until the Huntington Hotel, another luxury resort also located in Pasadena began receiving visitors in 1914.




(ca. 1928)#* – View showing a lot full of cars in front of the Raymond Hotel.  


Historical Notes

During the Great Depression, 1931, the Raymond Hotel starting seeing a major decline in the number of guests.  Mortgage payments became due and could not be met.  The bank foreclosed on the hotel and Walter Raymond lost the property. The owner of the Maryland Hotel, Daniel M. Linnard, sought to manage the property for a while, but in 1934, the year of Walter Raymond’s death, the hotel was torn down for commercial development.*^




Dirigible Flights at the Raymond Hotel

(1905)#* - View of Roy Knabenshue landing his dirigible on the Raymond Hotel grounds, surrounded by a large crowd of people.  


Historical Notes

A. Roy Knabenshue made outstanding contributions to aviation as an aeronaut making balloon flights. He was among the first to pilot a steerable balloon, one of the pilots of the first successful American dirigible, a builder and exhibitor of dirigibles of his own design, manager of the Wright Brothers’ Exhibition Team, and a leading builder of observation balloons during World War I.*^*^



(1913)#* - A view showing Roy Knabenshue flying his new multi-passenger dirigible with the Raymond Hotel in the background. There are people in the undercarriage which runs the length of the airship.  


Historical Notes

Roy Knabenshue was the first to make a dirigible balloon flight over the skyscrapers of New York back in 1905, one year after his original lighter-than- air powered flight at the St. Louis Exposition. After several years of barnstorming and a stretch as general manager for the Wright Brothers, he went west and built a 13-passenger airship in Pasadena for passenger flights.*^*^




(1913)** - Roy Knabenshue flying his 13-passenger dirigible over the Raymond Hotel. He offered aerial tours of the City of Pasadena.  



Click HERE to see more in Aviation in Early L.A.




Oneonta Park Junction (South Pasadena)

(ca. 1910)^ - View showing Oneonta Park and Pasadena on a clear day as seen from the hill to the south, Huntington Drive & Fair Oaks Avenue, South Pasadena.  Two sets of streetcar tracks merge behind the station (center) to form parallel tracks that lead into the distance.  The Raymond Hotel can be seen on a hill in the background with the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.  


Historical Notes

The Oneonta Park Tract came into being in 1902 when Henry Huntington changed the name of the existing Monrovia Junction to Oneonta, the name of his hometown in New York.  He described Oneonta Park as a model suburb with rail transportation to downtown Los Angeles as more than 750 Red Cars passed in a single day.

The name Oneonta was widely used in South Pasadena – Oneonta Military Academy, Oneonta School, Oneonta Congregational Church, Oneonta Club, and many others.  The Oneonta Tract encompassed several hundred acres in the area of Huntington Drive and Fremont Avenue, east to Fletcher Avenue and south to the Alhambra city limits. ^




(ca. 1915)* - Closer view showing the Spanish Revival style station; inside cupola is a switching station for the four-tracking system for the Pasadena Short Line of the Pacific Electric Railway Company. The Raymond Hotel is seen on a knoll at center-left with San Gabriel Mountains beyond.  


Historical Notes

The Oneonta Park Station was constructed in 1906 and had a small counter where tickets, daily newspapers and soft drinks could be purchased before boarding the Red Cars.  A tower located within the station housed an interlocking system which controlled all the switches at the Junction, including Southern Pacific Railway crossing at Huntington Drive and Marengo Avenue.  From the tower, the controller had a view in all directions.  The Oneonta Park Station was demolished when operations were discontinued in late 1951. ^

Click HERE to see more early views of Oneonta Park Junction (1937 +).


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(ca. 1918)^## – View looking north on Raymond Avenue at Colorado Boulevard showing a policeman standing on a box at the middle of the intersection.  Click HERE to see contemporary view.  




(ca. 1918)^## – View looking north on Raymond Avenue just north of Colorado Boulevard.  The Pasadena Furniture Company building can be seen in the distance.  Click HERE to see contemporary view.  





(1915)**- View of the Pasadena Furniture Company.  Picture taken from 1915 Tournament of Roses Program. According to the 1916 Pasadena City Directory, the Pasadena Furniture Company was at 83-91 Raymond Avenue.

Click HERE to see contemporary view.




Colorado Street Bridge

(1913)*#* - View showing the Colorado Street Bridge under construction. You can just make out another bridge in the background. It is the 1887-built Scoville Bridge.  


Historical Notes

Construction began in July 1912 and lasted 18 months, employing 40 to 100 workers on any given day. Built with 11,000 cubic yards of concrete -- made from gravel collected from the arroyo -- and 600 tons of steel reinforcement, the bridge cost a total of $235,000.*#*





(1913)++# - View looking west showing the Colorado Street Bridge under construction.  The old Scoville Bridge is seen at center-right.  





(ca. 1913)*#* - View showing a partially completed Colorado Street Bridge with the Scoville Bridge in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

The Scoville Bridge survived until the flood of 1914, when the trestle was carried all the way down the Arroyo Seco and into the Los Angeles River.





(1913)* - View looking west of the Colorado Street Bridge before it officially opened. Ornate 5-lamp streetlights line both sides of the bridge.  





(1913)++# - View of the Colorado Street Bridge, looking northwest. The trusted deck arch bridge appears to be in the late stage of its construction. At the left end of the bridge are construction machinery with the undeveloped part of the mountain blocking the road and the bridge from connecting. Nearby the bridge are several residential houses with a two-story house is clearly visible in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

With its majestic arches rising 150 feet above the deeply cut Arroyo Seco, the Colorado Street Bridge was proclaimed the highest concrete bridge in the world upon completion in 1913.  The bridge impressed travelers from the day it opened.  Until then, the crossing of the Arroyo Seco required horses and wagons to descend the steep eastern slope, cross a small bridge (Scoville Bridge) over the stream, and then climb the west bank through Eagle Rock Pass.**^





(ca. 1913)* - View of the Colorado Street Bridge shows people walking on the bridge and enjoying the surrounding scenery. A few automobiles can be seen travelling on the bridge.  


Historical Notes

The Colorado Street Bridge was designed and built by the Kansas City (MO)-based firm of J.A.L. Waddell. With a span of 1,486 feet and known for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, lights, and railings, the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.*





(ca. 1913)* - Another view of the Colorado Street Bridge shows several groups of people walking on the bridge. The original La Vista del Arroyo Hotel can be seen in the background to the right of the bridge.  


Historical Notes

The site's resort history dates to 1882, when Emma C. Bangs opened the original La Vista del Arroyo Hotel, a two-story, wood-frame building, and series of small cottages. In 1919, hotel tycoon Daniel M. Linnard, associated with such elegant Pasadena hotels as the Huntington and Green, purchased La Vista del Arroyo with the vision of developing the property into an opulent resort. Linnard commissioned the noted architectural firm of Marston & Van Pelt to design a large, two-story Spanish Colonial Revival hotel to replace the original structure. Once the popularity of the Vista had been established, select guests also built bungalows on the property.*^



(1913)* - Automobiles travel east on the Colorado Street Bridge, located over the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, captured not long after it was completed. Pedestrians are seen strolling along the path on the right.  


Historical Notes

Only two lanes wide, the bridge was considered inadequate as early as the 1930s. The bridge remained part of Route 66 until the 1940 completion of the Arroyo Seco Parkway.*#*





(1914)^*# - Panorama of the new Colorado Street Bridge across the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. This photo was published in the Dec. 14, 1914, Los Angeles Times.  






(1914)^ - View looking up towards the Colorado Street Bridge showing its reflection in the water below. The bridge’s graceful Beaux Arts arches first crossed the Arroyo Seco in 1913. In the distance stands the Scoville Bridge in its last year.  


Historical Notes

Rising 144 feet above the mostly dry ravine below, the bridge earned an unfortunate nickname — Suicide Bridge — after dozens of people leaped from the structure to their deaths during the Great Depression.^




(ca. 1914)^ - Close-up view of the Colorado Street Bridge looking up from its base with the Scoville Bridge behind it.  


Historical Notes

The Scoville Bridge survived until the flood of 1914, when the trestle was carried all the way down the Arroyo Seco and into the Los Angeles River.





(ca. 1915)*^* – Along the Colorado Street Bridge.   





(ca. 1920)* - View of the Colorado Street Bridge, also known as the Arroyo Seco Bridge, in Pasadena. The Colorado Street Bridge was designed and built in 1913.  





(1910s)*- What appears to be a landslide blocks a portion of the road leading to the Colorado Street Bridge. A group of people are seen standing by their car the right foreground. Missing in this photo is the Vista del Arroyo Hotel, which was built in 1920.  


Historical Notes

The Vista Del Arroyo Hotel's main building was constructed in two sections—the two-story north wing, in 1920, and the six-story bell tower with flanking wings, in 1930.





(ca. 1920)++# - Postcard view of the Colorado Street Bridge with snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  






(ca. 1920)** – Panoramic view looking east showing the Colorado Street Bridge on the right and the shorter Linda Vista Bridge on the left.  They both span the Arroyo Seco.  






(ca. 1920s)* - Aerial view of traffic congestion on the Colorado Street Bridge. Cars are backed up across the bridge, and further. The cars could quite possibly be heading to the first Rose Bowl game held on January 1, 1923.  





(1920s)* - An electric car crosses the Colorado Street Bridge. Courtesy of the Pasadena Museum of History.  


Historical Notes

The car seen above appears to be a 1920 Milburn Electric.

People liked them because in many ways early electric cars outperformed their gas competitors. Electric cars didn’t have the smell, noise, or vibration found in steam or gasoline cars. They were easier to operate, lacked a manual crank to start, and didn’t require the same difficult-to-change gear system as gas cars.

Electric cars became extremely popular in cities, especially with upper-class women who disliked the noisy and smelly attributes of gasoline-powered cars.
Like today, one of the challenges for early electric car owners was where to charge them.  By 1910 owners could install their own charging stations on their property, and an increasing number of car-repair shops popped up that allowed electric cars to charge overnight.

The production of electric cars peaked in 1912. And while at the turn of the century electric cars had made up a good proportion of the market, advances in gasoline-powered vehicles meant that electric cars owned a smaller and smaller market share as time went on.

When Henry Ford introduced the mass-produced and gas-powered Model T in 1908, it symbolized a death blow to the electric car. By 1912, a gasoline car cost only $650 while the average electric roadster sold for $1,750. In 1912 Charles Kettering also invented the first electric automobile starer. Effectively eliminating the hand crank, Kettering’s invention made the gas-powered auto even more attractive to the same drivers who had preferred electric cars.

By 1935, electric cars had all but disappeared from the road.*



Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Colorado Street Bridge

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Mt. Wilson Observatory

(1932)#* - Aerial view of Mount Wilson Observatory from the southeast located in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

The Mount Wilson Observatory is located on Mount Wilson, a 5,715-foot peak in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena. The observatory contains two historically important telescopes: the 60-inch Hale telescope built in 1908 and the 100-inch Hooker telescope, which was the largest telescope in the world from its completion in 1917 until the 200-inch Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory was built in 1948.*^



(ca. 1907)++# – View showing a man posing in front of the 60" Telescope Dome under construction.  


Historical Notes

The 60-inch Hale telescope was the largest telescope in the world when it was completed in 1908.*^



(1912)++# - Astronomer Wendell Hoge at eyepiece of 60-inch Hale Telescope at Mt. Wilson.  Note the fur coat and leggings.  


Historical Notes

One of the things that astronomers had to learn in those days was how to stay warm on cold nights [this shot was taken in December] working with a telescope. The instrument had to be the same temperature as the outside air, and the astronomer couldn't move very much.



(1915)#* - View of the 100 inch telescope dome under construction at the Mount Wilson Solar Observatory. Workman are seen posing on the structure.  


Historical Notes

Mount Wilson Solar Observatory was founded in 1904 by George Ellery Hale under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (the word "Solar" was dropped from the name in 1919 soon after the completion of the 100-inch telescope). In that year, Hale brought the Snow Solar Telescope from Yerkes Observatory in southern Wisconsin to the sunnier and steadier skies of Mount Wilson to continue his studies of the Sun. With a small cadre of Yerkes scientists and engineers accompanying him, Hale started what would become the world’s foremost astronomical research facility.^*^*



(1916)#* - View of the dome for the 100-inch Hooker Telescope shortly after its completion.  




(1916)++# - View showing the lower housing of the 100" Hooker Telescope loaded and ready for transportation to Mt. Wilson. The location is the Mt. Wilson Observatory Pasadena Offices, 813 Santa Barbara St., Pasadena; the Observatory still maintains its offices at this address. The view is to the north, Santa Barbara is behind the photographer, Lake Ave. is about 100' to the right.  




(1917)* - View showing the 100-inch Hooker Telescope glass being hauled up the one-way dirt toll road from Altadena to Mt. Wilson by truck on the Mt. Wilson Roadway.  


Historical Notes

In 1889, the Harvard Telescope was transported up the San Gabriel Mountains and installed at the top of Mt. Wilson. The problems associated with transporting this instrument up the old Wilson trail and the belief that larger telescopes would follow, created an interest in building the Mt. Wilson roadway.

As new, larger telescopes were designed for the Mt. Wilson Observatory, an automobile roadway became necessary to accommodate the trucks hauling parts up the mountain. In 1907 the trail was widened to ten feet with most of the work being done by hand with the use of Japanese laborers and mule-drawn scrapers. The road was widened to a full 12-foot roadway in 1917 to facilitate the transportation of parts for the 100-inch Hooker Telescope.*^



(1917)* - The 100-inch telescope being hauled up the one-way dirt toll road from Altadena to Mt. Wilson by truck. It was boxed in and draped with an American flag.  




(1917)#* - Arrival of the 100-inch telescope mirror at Mount Wilson Observatory. The mirror is covered with a white tarpaulin and is loaded in the back of a truck. The observatory dome is seen between trees, to the right of the truck.  




(1917)#* - View of the Hooker 100-inch telescope tube and mount, nearly complete, Mount Wilson Observatory.  


Historical Notes

The first optical interferometer ever used for astronomical research was used on the 100-inch telescope to measure the sizes of distant stars for the first time in 1919.^*^*



(1940)#* - The Hooker 100-inch reflecting telescope, side view with tube 40 degrees from horizontal. Edwin Hubble's chair, on an elevating platform, is visible at left.  


Historical Notes

Edwin Hubble used the 100-inch telescope to determine the distances and velocities of neighboring galaxies, demonstrating that they are separate "island universes" and not small nebulae contained within the Milky Way, as many astronomers had previously thought. #**



(1937)++# - Astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble stargazes through the Hooker telescope at California's Mount Wilson Observatory.  


Historical Notes

Edwin Powell Hubble (1889-1953) played a crucial role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy and is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century. Hubble is known for showing that the recessional velocity of a galaxy increases with its distance from the earth, implying the universe is expanding, known as "Hubble's law" although this relation had been discovered previously by Georges Lemaître, who published his work in a less visible journal.

Edwin Hubble is also known for providing substantial evidence that many objects then classified as "nebulae" were actually galaxies beyond the Milky Way.*^



(n.d.)#* - View of Mount Wilson's 100-inch Hooker Telescope dome in the early days.  


Historical Notes

The Hooker 100-inch telescope is named after John D. Hooker, who provided the funds for the giant mirror. It was the largest telescope in the world from 1917 to 1948 when the 200-inch telescope was built on Palomar Mountain 90 miles to the southeast.^*^*



(n.d.)++# - Contemporary winter view of Mt. Wilson looking east; dome of 100" Hooker Telescope is at left, 60" at right; taken from the 150' Solar Telescope.  




(2015)++# – View showing the 150-foot Solar Telescope at Mt. Wilson.  Photo by Roger Klemm  


Historical Notes

The horizontal Snow solar observatory was built on Mount Wilson in 1904. It was soon found that heat radiation was disrupting observations. Almost as soon as the Snow Observatory opened, plans were started for a 60-foot-tall tower that opened in 1908 followed by a 150-foot tower in 1912. The 60-foot tower is currently used to study helioseismology, while the 150-foot tower is active in UCLA's Solar Cycle Program.*^



(1931)++# - Albert Einstein at the top of the 150-foot Solar Telescope, Mount Wilson, with solar physicist Charles St. John (middle) and mathematician Walther Mayer (left).  





(1908)^^^^* - Panoramic view showing Pasadena and Los Angeles as seen from Mount Wilson (elevation of 5000’) showing some of the main streets and roads which exists today and an extensive view of outdoor electric lights. The brightest lights are in downtown Los Angeles, some 20 miles distant.  





(1918)#* - View from Mt. Wilson from approximately the same location as the 1908 photo. The intersection of Lake Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in the City of Pasadena in the foreground, with the Los Angeles Civic Center area in the middle of the photograph.  


Historical Notes

Over the years, the increasing light pollution due to the growth of greater Los Angeles has limited the ability of the observatory to engage in deep space astronomy, but it remains a productive center, with many new and old instruments in use for astronomical research.*^




(1988)^^^^* - View from Mt. Wilson from approximately the same location as previous photos.  This was a 15-second exposure showing the dramatic growth of outdoor lighting throughout the greater Los Angeles basin. Click HERE to see more in Early Streetlights.  


Historical Notes

In 1928, George Ellery Hale secured a grant of six million dollars from the International Education Board, a funding agency endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, for "the construction of an observatory, including a 200-inch reflecting telescope... and all other expenses incurred in making the observatory ready for use."  The 5,600-ft tall Palomar Mountain, located 100 miles south of Pasadena, was selected as the site of the new observatory.

Construction of the observatory facilities and dome started in 1936, but because of interruptions caused by World War II, the telescope was not completed until 1948 when it was dedicated. Due to slight distortions of images, corrections were made to the telescope throughout 1949. It became available for research in 1950.

Unlike the Mt. Wilson observatories, which are operated by the Carnegie Institution, the 200-inch is administered by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). #***




Mt. Wilson Toll Road

(1915)*^ - View showing the Mt. Wilson Toll House, located near the intersection of East Altadena Drive and Mendocino Lane with the Toll Road seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

The installation of the Harvard telescope in 1889, which brought its own problems of transporting the instrument up the old Wilson trail, caused an interest in a Mt. Wilson roadway.

In June 1889, Judge Benjamin Eaton gathered a group of prominent Pasadena businessmen to consider building a wagon road to Mt. Wilson. There were eighteen men who agreed to contribute capital and on July 12, 1889, they incorporated "The Pasadena and Mount Wilson Toll Road Company." However, the company failed before there was any progress on a roadway.

Within a couple of years five of the original investors reorganized and refinanced the project, but since the Harvard telescope had been removed, and interest in Mt. Wilson had tailed off, they thought it better to downsize the project from a twelve foot road to a four foot road. By June 1891, after only five months work, a usable ten mile trail was established.*^




(ca. 1917)* - Close-up view of the Mt. Wilson Toll House. Sign on left reads, "Private way to entrance to toll road to Mount Wilson."  


Historical Notes

In July, 1891 the new toll road was officially opened to the public and the toll fixed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at 25 cents for hikers and 50 cents for horseback. The new road was called the "New Mt. Wilson Trail", and it soon became more popular than the old Sierra Madre trail. Foot and pack animal traffic became so heavy that in June 1893 the trail was widened to six feet, making two way travel much easier.*^




(ca. 1920)++# - View showing the Mount Wilson Toll Road, Toll House and Service Station.  The Toll Road rises at rear.  


Historical Notes

The Mount Wilson Toll Road ascended Mount Wilson via a vehicular passable road from the base of the foothills in Altadena. It was accessible from Pasadena via Santa Anita Avenue (nowadays the north-south portion of Altadena Drive) which drove right to the front porch of the toll house.*^

When the Toll Road closed in 1936, the first 1/2 mile was sold off as residential lots and the entrance to the road moved to its present location on Pinecrest Drive.



(ca. 1915)++# - View showing a 1915 Maxwell about to make an ascent on Mt. Wilson Toll Road with the Toll House at rear.  Note the man holding the watch, presumably to time round trip.  


Historical Notes

The Maxwell was a brand of automobiles manufactured in the United States from about 1904 to 1925. By 1914 the company sold 60,000 cars. They became known for their speed from some racing contests.  The present-day successor to the Maxwell Company is Chrysler Group.*^



ca. 1915)++# - A view of the Maxwell during its ascent on the Toll Road.  




(1923)*^ – View of an “autocar” full of passengers on the Mount Wilson Toll Road in the San Gabriel Mountains.  


Historical Notes

By the early 1930s a new high speed highway was being built from La Cañada via the Arroyo Seco. The new Angeles Crest Highway was paved and ready for travel into Red Box Canyon and onward to Mt. Wilson from the back side by 1935. The historic Mt. Wilson Toll Road closed to the public in March, 1936 and was turned over to the United States Forest Service.

Today, the Old Mt. Wilson Toll Road is still accessible to non-motorized traffic (hikers, bicyclists, and horses) by way of Eaton Canyon (either from the Nature Center entrance, or an access gate on Pinecrest Drive, just off Altadena Drive in Altadena). Segments of it have been closed at various times due to landslides. A 2005 landslide destroyed 50 yards of the road, but it has since been rebuilt and reopened.*^


* * * * *



Angeles Crest Highway

(n.d.)^.^ – View looking down at Angeles Crest Highway as it winds its way through the scenic Angeles National Forest.  


Historical Notes

Engineer J. B. Lippincott surveyed the highway for the Automobile Club of Southern California in 1919. This is the same Lippincott that surveyed the Los Angeles Aqueduct for William Mulholland.

When finished, the scenic byway would ascend up and wind its way through 66 miles of the Angeles National Forest, through chaparral, and montane forest habitats, along the highest and most scenic ridges of the San Gabriel mountain range.




(1934)*#* - The Angeles Crest Highway was meant to connect with the San Gabriel Canyon Road to create a scenic loop. The loop was eventually completed but was severed by a landslide in 1978.  


Historical Notes

The concept for "the most scenic and picturesque mountain road in the state" was developed in 1912, and the funding allocated beginning in 1919. The construction, piece by piece, started in 1929 and continued until 1956, with the exception of the years 1941 through 1946 during WWII. *




(1931)#++ - Postcard view showing the Slide Canyon Bridge just after its construction. It would take another 15 years to complete the entire 66 miles of the Angeles Crest Highway.  


Historical Notes

Where nature failed to provide a way, workers created one, blasting roadcuts into granite and erecting bridges over drainages. Some cuts are as deep as 240 feet.




(1934)* - The Angeles Crest Highway includes several scenic turnouts as it climbs the Arroyo Seco drainage toward Red Box.  





(1934)*#* – View showing the Angeles Crest Highway between Colby Canyon and Red Box. Photo courtesy of the Automobile Club of Southern Calfiornia Archives.  





(n.d.)^ - Convicts were an essential part of the Angeles Crest Highway construction workforce, but private contractors performed heavy lifting, too.  





(1949)*#* – View showing the construction work on two highway tunnels, measuring 680 and 470 feet in length, in the San Gabriel Mountains high country, a short distance east of Cedar Springs.  


Historical Notes

In the high country near Islip Saddle, the highway tunnels twice through the mountainside. It achieves its highest elevation, 7,901 feet, at Dawson Saddle.



(1959)^ – Snow on Angeles Crest Highway. The road crosses a remote backcountry once accessible only by a trip of several days on foot or horseback.  


Historical Notes

The highway forever changed the Angeles National Forest. Almost immediately after the first segment opened, automotive visitors flooded trail resorts like Switzer’s or forested hideaways like Chilao previously accessible only by foot or horseback. In the 18 months between July 1932 and Dec. 1933, nearly 2.5 million people visited the Angeles National Forest – more than all visitors to California’s national parks combined. As construction extended the road toward Big Pines (which it finally reached in 1956), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) campgrounds drew even more visitors deep into the San Gabriels’ remote backcountry.

Today, a motorist can traverse 66 miles of some of the most difficult terrain in the U.S. in under two hours, through country that once provoked complaints from no less a mountaineer than John Muir. “In the mountains of San Gabriel,” Muir wrote, “Mother Nature is most ruggedly, thornily savage.”*


* * * * *



Gamble House

(ca. 1909)^ - View showing the residence for D. B. Gamble under construction.  


Historical Notes

The Gamble House was designed in 1908 by architects Greene & Greene. It was commissioned by David and Mary Gamble, of Cincinnati, Ohio, as a winter residence.

David Berry Gamble, a second generation member of the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, had retired from active work in 1895, and with his wife, Mary Huggins Gamble, began to spend winters in Pasadena, residing in the area’s resort hotels. By 1907, the couple had decided to build a permanent home in Pasadena. In June of that year, they bought a lot on the short, private street, Westmoreland Place, passing up the more fashionable address, South Orange Grove, known at that time as “Millionaires’ Row.”^




(ca. 1909)^ - View showing the recently completed Gamble House, located at 4 Westmoreland Place, near the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Outdoor space was as important as the interior spaces. Exterior porches are found off three of the second-floor bedrooms and were used for sleeping or entertaining. The main terrace is privately beyond the rear facade of the residence. It has patterned brick paving with planting areas, a large curvilinear pond, and garden walls made with distinctive clinker bricks and boulders. Paths made with large water-worn stones from the nearby Arroyo Seco are reminiscent of running brooks crossing the lawns. The overall landscape design and constructed garden elements are integrated with the architectural proportion and detailing. The triple front door and transom feature a Japanese black pine motif in plated (more than one layer) leaded art glass, highlighting the Asian influence that runs throughout the house. *^



(1947)^## – View showing the large arts and crafts style Gamble House with rock terrace and pathway.  


Historical Notes

David and Mary Gamble lived in the house until their deaths in 1923 and 1929, respectively. Cecil Huggins Gamble and his wife Louise Gibbs Gamble began living in the house after Julia’s death in 1944, and briefly considered selling it. They soon changed their minds, however, when prospective buyers spoke of painting the interior teak and mahogany woodwork white! The Gambles realized the artistic importance of the house and it remained in the Gamble family until 1966, when it was deeded to the city of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the University of Southern California School of Architecture. ^



(n.d.)#* – Interior view of the Gamble, David and Mary, residence [Gamble House].  Architects Charles and Henry Greene  


Historical Notes

The Gamble House was built using multiple kinds of wood; the teak, maple, oak, Port Orford cedar, and mahogany surfaces are placed in sequences to bring out contrasts of color, tone, and grain.

The woods, the low and horizontal room shapes, and the natural light that filters through the art glass exterior windows coexist with a relatively traditional plan, in which most rooms are regularly shaped and organized around a central hall. Although the house is not as spatially adventurous as the contemporary works of Frank Lloyd Wright or even of the earlier New England "Shingle Style," its mood is casual and its symmetries tend to be localized. *^




(2018)^.^ - View showing the Gamble House as it appears today.  Location: 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena  


Historical Notes

In 1966, the Gamble family turned the house over to the city of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the University of Southern California School of Architecture. The Gamble House was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.^




(2021)* - Tha Gamble House -  4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena. Photo by Celina Paternostro  


Historical Notes

In 1985, the Gamble House played Dr. Emmett Brown’s home in Back to the Future. Today, the Gamble House serves as a house museum with tours offered most days; and two senior-year students of the USC School of Architecture are chosen to live in the home each year.

The house was included in a list of all-time top 10 houses in Los Angeles in a Los Angeles Times survey of experts in December 2008.^


* * * * *



Merritt Mansion

(ca. 1916)^ – Street view of the large H.C. Merritt residence in Pasadena. The three-story mansion sits on top of a hill on a large estate located at 99 Terrace Drive and bounded on the north by Olcott Place and on the west by South Orange Grove Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The Hulett C. Merritt mansion, also called the "Villa Merritt Ollivier" was featured in the opening scenes of The Millionaire, a popular TV series of the 1950s. Merritt's fortune was made largely in the railway and steel industries.

The Merritt mansion was built on four acres for $1,100,000 in 1905-1908. This area was referred to locally as "Millionaires' Row" (per the City of Pasadena's Architectural and Historical Survey of 1997, which states: "The Hulett C. Merritt House is significant as the residence of one of Pasadena's most celebrated millionaires and foremost residents of South Orange Grove Blvd.").*^



(ca. 1915)^## - Interior view of the Merritt mansion showing the family room with piano and standing candelabra in the background. Floor rugs are spread out over the hardwood floors. Note the beautiful wood panels and exposed ceiling beams.  




(1920s)^## - View of a woman (possibly Mrs. Merritt) with umbrella in hand entering a late model car in front of the Merritt mansion.  


Historical Notes

In 1956, after Hulett's death, the property was purchased by Herbert W. Armstrong from Hulett's four surviving grandchildren because it was adjacent to Ambassador College. Villa Merritt Ollivier was renamed "Ambassador Hall" and the college subsequently obtained permission to close Terrace Drive. Thereafter, the residence and street address for the former Villa Merritt Ollivier was redesignated as 100 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena.

In the 1960s Ambassador College built two modern classroom buildings flanking Ambassador Hall. A formal Italian sunken garden, with a plaza in the center, joined the three buildings and the garden into an academic center.

In 1997, the college closed. After many years of vacancy, the mansion and former classrooms are now part of an event venue called the Ambassador Mansions & Gardens.*^


* * * * *




(1913)++# - Postcard view depicting Pasadena's "new" Post Office located on the northwest corner of E. Colorado Boulevard and Garfield Avenue.  The Post Office was built in 1913 and designed by architect, Oscar Wenderoth.  


Historical Notes

The Post Office Building is still standing today.




(1917)* - Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena looking east from the Post Office.  




(1918)^^* - The Adolphus Busch Estate float won first prize, class F, commercial float category in the Jan. 1, 1918 Rose Parade. First prize was a $50 silver trophy and blue banner.  




Huntington Hotel

(ca. 1910s)* - Postcard view of the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, and the San Gabriel Valley behind it.


Historical Notes

The above view is that of the original hotel on the site, built in 1906 by General Wentworth, a Civil War veteran, and designed by Charles Frederick Whittlesey in Spanish Mission Revival-style. It opened in February 1907 as the Hotel Wentworth, but closed its doors after its first season.  It was purchased by Henry E. Huntington in 1911 and reopened in 1914 as The Huntington Hotel after redesign by the architect Myron Hunt. The hotel remained under Huntington's management until 1918.*^





(1913)#* - An aerial view of the front of the Huntington Hotel, at the corner of Oak Knoll and Wentworth, taken from a dirigible. In the foreground there are a few houses surrounded by extensive orchards, and the San Gabriel Mountains are in the background.  





(ca. 1917)**# - Exterior view of the rear of the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, showing the newly landscaped gardens.  


Historical Notes

The Huntington Hotel, a Mission style resort hotel "where the sunshine spends the winter", was designed by architects Myron Hunt and Charles Whittlesey and built from 1906 to 1916. The hotel is situated on 23 acres at the base of the San Gabriel Mountain foothills with 380 guestrooms, suites, and cottages.*




(ca. 1920)* - Exterior view of the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. Guests are playing on the famous obstacle golf course in front of the hotel.


Historical Notes

California's first outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool was added in 1926, when the hotel, formerly a winter resort, began opening year-round. The hotel was later owned by Stephen W. Royce, who sold it to the Sheraton Corporation in 1954. It was subsequently renamed The Huntington Sheraton.*^




(n.d.)* - Exterior view of the ivy-covered Huntington Hotel, located at 1401 S. Oak Knoll Avenue at Wentworth Avenue, in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

The Huntington Hotel became the Huntington Sheraton in the 1950s; it was restored to its turn-of-the-century grandeur by Ritz-Carlton in 1991, after languishing for several years due to earthquake damage.*





(ca. 1920)* - Aerial view of the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. View also shows the hotel's immense oval shaped lawn and the many roads in front of the building.  


Historical Notes

The hotel closed in 1985 after the main building ceased to meet new earthquake codes, which had been changed due to the disastrous 1985 Mexico City earthquake. It sat vacant until it was demolished in 1989, though the bungalows remained in operation as a hotel.*^





(1930)++# – View showing the Hotel Huntington sign with cars passing at rear on Oak Knoll.  




(1948)##^^ - View from the lobby of the Huntington Hotel.  Photo by Julius Shulman  




(1949)++# - Dreaming of winter. The Huntington Hotel parking lot during the Great Snowstorm of January 1949.  


Historical Notes

From Jan. 9 through 12, 1949, snow fell in Pasadena, Los Angeles and Southern California.  In a Jan. 10, 1999, Los Angeles Times article, columnist Cecilia Rasmussen wrote:

“On Jan. 10, 1949, in the middle of the worst housing shortage in Los Angeles history, more than half an inch of snow covered the Civic Center. The San Fernando Valley was pelted with the unfamiliar white stuff for three days, accumulating almost a foot. The Rose Bowl was transformed into “a dishpan full of milk,” by one account. An Alhambra hardware store put up a sign that said, “Snow Plows for Rent–Hurry!” A snowman appeared in Eagle Rock, wearing a sombrero, and the city of Reno, Nev., sent L.A. a snow shovel.

In a semitropical climate where January sometimes feels like June, palm-lined boulevards were transformed into winter wonderlands. Altadena residents turned their evergreen-lined Christmas Tree Lane on snow-swaddled Santa Rosa Avenue into a miniature ski run, and golfers swapped nine irons for snow skis…" ^^*





(1989)* - View of Pasadena's Huntington Hotel shortly before its demolition. It shared the same architect as the Ambassador Hotel: Myron Hunt.  Photo by Mike Mullen  


Historical Notes

A new building, almost exactly replicating the original, opened in March 1991 as the 383-room Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel. It was renamed The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa in April 1998. In 2006 the hotel underwent renovations, changed hands, and re-opened in 2007 managed by Langham Hotels International.*^




Huntington Mansion

(1909)* - View showing the Henry E. Huntington mansion under construction, April 13, 1909. The note on the photograph reads, "Reinforced concrete residence in course of construction for Mr. H. E. Huntington at Los Robles, in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, the Garden Spot of California."  


Historical Notes

In 1905, railroad and real estate magnate Henry Huntington commissioned an engineer E.S.Code to translate his own simple sketch of what he wanted into a buildable design. By 1908, when he asked the distinguished Los Angeles architect Myron Hunt to take the project forward, he was already being influenced by the taste of his uncle’s widow, Arabella Huntington, whom he would marry in 1913. Retaining many of the features of the original plans, Hunt’s design subtly raised the game, removing Code’s neo-Palladian mannerisms, and restricting exterior classical ornament to the main compositions of the north and south fronts. To these he added a small porte cochere for the main entry, and the large peristylar loggia on the east, which to this day remains the building’s most distinguished architectural feature.^



(ca. 1915)* - View from a lower level of the Henry E. Huntington mansion, built on a rise overlooking the gardens and grounds of the estate.  



Historical Notes

As a landowner and businessman, Henry Edwards Huntington, (1850–1927), played a major role in the growth of southern California. Huntington was born in 1850, in Oneonta, New York, and was the nephew and heir of Collis P. Huntington, (1821–1900), one of the famous "Big Four" railroad tycoons of 19th century California history. In 1892, Huntington relocated to San Francisco with his first wife, Mary Alice Prentice, and their four children. He divorced Mary Alice Prentice in 1906, and in 1913, married his uncle's widow, Arabella Huntington, (1851–1924), relocating from the financial and political center of northern California, San Francisco, to the state's newer southern major metropolis, Los Angeles. He purchased a property of more than 500 acres that was then known as the "San Marino Ranch", and went on to purchase other large tracts of land in the Pasadena and Los Angeles areas of Los Angeles County for urban and suburban development.*^



(n.d.)** - View looking north showing the Huntington Mansion with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  


Historical Notes

As president of the Pacific Electric Railway Company, the regional streetcar/public transit system for the Los Angeles metropolitan area and southern California and also of the Los Angeles Railway Company, (later the Southern California Railway), Huntington spearheaded urban and regional transportation efforts to link together far-flung communities, supporting growth of those communities as well as promoting commerce, recreation, and tourism. He was one of the founders of the City of San Marino, incorporated in 1913.*^



(ca. 1911)* – View showing the home of Henry E. Huntington, with gardens.  Mr. Huntington donated his home and collections to the people of the State of California for use as the Huntington Library and Art Gallery and the Huntington Botanical Gardens.  


Historical Notes

The Huntington Mansion originally came in at 55,000 square feet.  The south façade and terrace reflects Italian and Spanish Renaissance traditions of country house architecture, and the north façade is more in the French tradition.  As a whole, the house is a classic exercise in the emerging Mediterranean style of early-20th-century Californian architecture.^



(1913)* – View showing the Japanese Garden after the completion of landscape at the Huntington estate.  


Historical Notes

Henry Huntington's superintendent, William Hertrich, was instrumental in developing the various plant collections that comprise the foundation of the Botanical Gardens. Together, they molded the working ranch into a botanical collection of rare and exotic plants. They searched local nurseries and visited other plant collectors in the area to find mature and unique specimens. Mr. Huntington imported plants from many parts of the world to experiment with their cultivation in Southern California.^



(n.d.)* – Close-up view of the Japanese Gardens of the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. The Botanical Gardens are a part of the trust left by Mr. Huntington to the people of California.  


Historical Notes

The garden was completed in 1912 and opened to the public in 1928. It features the drum or moon bridge, a large bell, the authentic ceremonial teahouse Seifu-an (the Arbor of Pure Breeze), a fully furnished Japanese house, koi-filled ponds, the Zen Garden, and the bonsai collections with hundreds of trees.*^



(1916)* - Lily pond on the Huntington estate, with a view of the residence up on the hill in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Lily Ponds were heated at the time to maintain the giant-leafed Amazon water lily during the relatively cool Southern California winters. Huntington and Hertrich also worked together on the Palm, Desert, and Japanese gardens and planned the North Vista and the landscaping around the mansion.

Today, forty gardeners, a curatorial staff of seven, and more than 100 volunteers maintain the botanical collections.^



(ca. 1930)* - View of the Huntington Art Gallery, formerly the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Huntington.  





(1935)^^# - View shows Grace McCarthy (photographer) standing before the ivy-covered Huntington Art Gallery building in San Marino.  


Historical Notes

The Huntington Art Gallery, originally Henry and Arabella’s home, was designed by Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey. It was constructed from 1909 to 1911 and comprises 55,000 square feet. A 2008 renovation and adaptive reuse was led by Earl Corp. and Architectural Resources Group.




(1937)* - Loggia at the eastern end of the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino.  




Huntington Library and Art Gallery

(n.d.) – Postcard view showing the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. The Huntington Mansion is seen on the left and the Library Building is to the right.  


Historical Notes

Huntington's interest in art was influenced in large part by his second wife, Arabella Huntington, (1851–1924), and with art experts to guide him, he benefited from a post-World War I European market that was "ready to sell almost anything". Before his death in 1927, Huntington amassed "far and away the greatest group of 18th-century British portraits ever assembled by any one man". In accordance with Huntington's will, the collection, then worth $50 million, was opened to the public in 1928.*^




(1920s)* - Aerial view looking north showing the Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino.  


Historical Notes

In addition to the library, the institution houses an extensive art collection with a focus in 18th and 19th-century European art and 17th to mid-20th-century American art. The property also includes approximately 120 acres of specialized botanical landscaped gardens, most notably the "Japanese Garden", the "Desert Garden", and the "Chinese Garden" (Liu Fang Yuan).*^




(1924)* – Close-up aerial view of the Huntington Library and Art Gallery. The large new Library Building (upper-right) was constructed in 1920. Note the tall flag pole at center-left.  





(1920s)* - View showing a very large flag pole in the center of a wide road leading up to the Huntington Library.  




(n.d.)* - Main entrance to Huntington Library from Huntington Drive. The residence is seen on the hill in the distance. A palm-lined drive amid the lush gardens on the grounds.  




(1924)^## - Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, 1151 Oxford Avenue; shows formal Neo-Classical style building, columns between paned windows, and statuary.  


Historical Notes

The building was constructed in 1920, at which time the Library was transferred from New York to San Marino. It is now being used extensively by scholars and is also serving the public through exhibitions of rare books and manuscripts from the collections.



(1923)^## - Closer view looking northeast of the neo-Classical Style Huntington Library Building with statues in front.  


Historical Notes

The Library building was designed in 1920, by the southern California architect Myron Hunt in the Mediterranean Revival style. Hunt's previous commissions for Mr. and Mrs. Huntington included the Huntington's residence in San Marino in 1909, and the Huntington Hotel in 1914.*^



(1923)^## - Close-up view of one of the two main entrances to the Huntington Library fronted by two imposing life-size statues.  


Historical Notes

Today, the library contains a substantial collection of rare books and manuscripts, concentrated in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science. Spanning from the 11th century to the present, the library's holdings contain 7 million items, over 400,000 rare books, and over a million photographs, prints, and other ephemera. Highlights include one of 11 vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible known to exist, the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer ca. 1410, and letters and manuscripts by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. It is the only library in the world with the first two quartos of Hamlet; it holds the manuscript of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, Isaac Newton's personal copy of his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica with annotations in Newton's own hand. The first seven drafts of Henry David Thoreau's Walden, John James Audubon's Birds of America, and first editions and manuscripts from authors such as Charles Bukowski, Jack London, Alexander Pope, William Blake, Mark Twain, and William Wordsworth.*^



(1937)* - General view of the exterior of the Library building. "Neptune" (stone) is the statue in the foreground; "Hercules and Telephus" (bronze) at the rear center; on the right in the rear is "Apollo Belvedere" (bronze).  


Historical Notes

The Huntington Library is one of the world’s great independent research libraries in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science, stretching from the 11th century to the present. Among the collections:

7 million manuscripts

430,000 rare books

275,000 reference books

875,000 prints and ephemera

774,000 photographs



(n.d.)* - View of the Library building after the south windows were closed . The four bronze statues at the two entrances to the building are life size and were cast in Italy for Francis I, King of France, early in the XVI century. They are from left to right: the Apollo Belvedere, the Diana of Versailles, Hercules and Telephus, and the Belvedere Mercury. There is also a large fountain in front of the building.  


Historical Notes

In the west wing of the Library building is installed the Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection, consisting of Renaissance paintings and French decorative art of the XVIII century. The Library contains original manuscripts and first and early editions of English and American literary and historical works, and incunabula (or books printed before 1501).*



(1937)* - Fountain on the terrace in front of the Huntington Library, originally from the Grimaldi Palace, Venice.  




(n.d.)* - View of the North Vista lawn and the statues on one side, at Huntington Library and Art Gallery.  




(n.d.)* - View of a pool of water reflecting the pillars and building along its edges, on the grounds of Huntington Library and Art Gallery.  


* * * * *



Colorado Boulevard

(ca. 1920)++# – View looking east on Colorado Boulevard from Raymond Avenue showing a uniformed officer directing traffic from the middle of the intersection.  




(1926)*^* – View looking east on Colorado from Raymond showing several people crossing the street with streetcar and autos waiting at the intersection. Note the overhead streetcar wire above the intersection.  




(1920)* - Cars on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena in 1920. First Trust & Savings Bank is on the right, at Raymond Avenue.




(1920)* - Another view of Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena in 1920. A streetcar carries a sign, "Woodbury Road."




(1920)* - Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking east on Colorado Blvd. from the Elks Club (on right) in 1920. View is from just east of Orange Grove Ave.  




(1920s)^*# - Looking east on Colorado Boulevard from Fair Oaks Avenue. Construction workers are digging up the street in front of Good Fellows Grill.  





Mother Goose Pantry

(1920s)+## - View showing Mother Goose Pantry, located at 1951 East Colorado Boulevard. This was a 'shoe-in' for best design in the 1920s.  


Historical Notes

In the 1920s, as the automobile was becoming the default way to get around the Southland, buildings and structures in the area became more unique, often resembling the merchandise or services they hawked.  These “hey-you-can’t miss-me!” buildings (referred to as Novelty or Programmatic Architecture) were made to pull automobile drivers right off the road.




(1927)** - The Mother Goose Pantry in an ad in the 1927 cookbook by the Woman's Auxiliary of the Pasadena Fire Department. Source: Pasadena Central Library  


Historical Notes

The restaurant served hearty meals from the whimsical shoe that attracted patrons driving along Route 66 from the east coast to Los Angeles. Diners would be seated on the ground floor and in a dining room upstairs.

Click HERE to see more examples of Programmatic Architecture.



Brookside Park

(ca. 1906)^## – Sheep graze among the oaks in an area near the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena.  The San Gabriel Mountains are seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

In 1912 the City of Pasadena purchased 30 acres of land known as Sheep Corral Springs for the development of a park in the Arroyo Seco. For many years sheep had grazed in that area.

While the park was being planned and constructed, it was known as Arroyo Springs Park.^




(1915)^## - View showing a wading pool and swimming pool with hill in the background in Brookside Park, located at Arroyo Terrace and N. Grand Avenue, Pasadena.  The pool area was known as the Brookside Plunge.  


Historical Notes

In 1914 Mrs. Everett Wellington Brooks, the wife of a local investment banker, donated $3,000 to build a municipal swimming pool on a portion of land within what was then known as Arroyo Springs Park. The park was then dedicated in her honor (hence "Brookside") and the plunge was added later that same year.^





(ca. 1920s)^^# - Postcard view showing the Arroyo Seco with swimming pool and wading pool in the foreground, Brookside Park.  





(1920)* - View of Pasadena's Brookside Park showing a stream of cars coming down the hill on the right, a parking lot mid-photo, and a large grassy area, possibly an equestrian field, on the left. Several people can be seen riding horses, possibly playing in a polo match, and more horses are visible in penned-in sections between the cars on the parking lot. Homes are nestled in the hills along the background.





(ca. 1925)* - View of the baseball field at Brookside Park in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl, in the shape of a horseshoe, can be seen in the background.  The Brookside Plunge is seen in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

Originally built as a horseshoe, the Rose Bowl stadium was expanded several times over the years. The southern stands were completed in 1926, making the stadium a complete bowl. The above photo was taken prior to 1926.

Today, Brookside Park is Pasadena's largest park covering over 61 acres. It contains the world-famous Rose Bowl Stadium, Brookside Golf Course, and Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, as well as several regulation baseball fields, multi-purpose fields, picnic areas, tennis courts, badminton courts, handball courts, horseshoe courts, archery, casting and lawn bowling facilities, etc., making it Pasadena's largest fully maintained park facility. Brookside Park is located at 360 North Arroyo Boulevard in the city of Pasadena.*




Baseball at Brookside Park

(ca. 1930s)##++ – Postcard view showing Brookside Park with the Rose Bowl seen in background. Two baseball fields can be seen at center of photo.  


Historical Notes

From 1933 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1950, the Chicago White Sox held their spring training in Brookside Park.^





  (1938)# - Fans watch from bleachers at Brookside Park as the Chicago White Sox practice during Spring Training.





(1938)# - Chicago White Sox players line up in front of a movie camera for a newsreel that would be shown in theaters. (Brookside Park, Pasadena)




Brookside Plunge

(ca. 1938)*^* – View showing children at play at the Brookside Plunge in Brookside Park, Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

In 1914 Mrs. Everett Wellington Brooks, the wife of a local investment banker, donated $3,000 to build a municipal swimming pool on a portion of a park located in Arroyo Seco. The park was dedicated in her honor (hence "Brookside") and the plunge was added later that same year.^




(1938)* - Close-up view showing swimming pool and diving platform at the Brookside Plunge in Brookside Park.  


Historical Notes

There exists an uncomfortable racial history of the Brookside Plunge.  It was a different time in Pasadena and throughout the nation, and segregation was common.

Soon after the plunge was completed, city officials announced that it would be "set aside Wednesday afternoons and evenings for the use of the Negro population of Pasadena."

By 1930 use of the pool by people of color -- by now including residents of Hispanic and Asian descent -- was limited to one weekday from 2 to 5 p.m. The weekly event was dubbed "International Day." No white people were permitted to swim on that day. The pool was drained and cleaned at the end of each International Day and by the following morning there was fresh water in it.

After protracted litigation, the practice was ended in 1947 when the pool was opened to all swimmers in Pasadena, regardless of their race..*^*

In 1989 the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center opened on the site, funded with $4.5 million from the City of Pasadena and $2 million in private donations.




Devil's Gate


(1888)^#^ – Early view of Devil’s Gate showing the Arroyo Seco at its most narrow point. 


Historical Notes

The outcropping of rugged granite cliffs offered shade in the morning and late afternoon, make it a favorite community gathering spot. Local residents would pack lunches and have family picnics here.

The name Devil’s Gate was given because the profile of a devil’s face can be seen on a cliff at the right. In this photo a man is sitting on top of the devil’s horn.^#^




(ca. 1890)++# - Closer view showing a group of people in front of the downstream face of Devil's Gate. Note the ‘advertisements’ written on the rocks.  




(ca. 1890)++# - View of Devil's Gate from upstream side with the Devil on left.  






(ca. 1910s)*^ - The Devil's Gate at the Arroyo Seco River prior to 1920 damming. Note the "devil's profile" in the rock to the right.



Historical Notes

Above Devil's Gate, the rapids of the Arroyo Seco are so positioned so that the falls make a beating, laughing sound. In Tongva-Gabrieliño traditional narratives, this is attributed to a wager made between the river and the coyote spirit.*^




(Early 1900s)^ - View of a lone picnicker at Devil’s Gate. The rock face on the left was said to resemble a horned devil.  


Historical Notes

In the prehistoric past, Devil’s Gate was not a gate at all but a natural dam, formed where the stalwart granite of the San Rafael Hills merged with the bajada of the San Gabriel Mountains. For a time, this dam held back a natural lake fed by mountain streams. Then one day the dam burst. Spilling over the top, rushing water exploited weaknesses in the granite and punched a narrow gap through the rocks, unleashing a flood wave downstream. The gate—and its peculiarly shaped crag—was born. #^#^



(Early 1900s)++# - A man and a woman are seen on the rocks of Devil’s Gate.  




(1908)^*# - View of the Devil's Gate with more water flowing than previous photo. A dam would be built across this section of the Arroyo Seco Canyon in 1920.  


Historical Notes

Disastrous floods in 1914 and again in 1916 prompted Pasadena and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District to reverse the work of that ancient cataclysm. Between 1919 and 1920, the Los Angeles County Flood Control District erected an arched, concrete dam just upstream from the Devil’s Gate formation. #^#^




(1920)^#* - View of the Devil’s Gate Dam under construction, the first of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District's dams.  


Historical Notes

The Devil’s Gate Dam was built in 1920 as part of the Arroyo Seco flood control scheme designed to tame destructive rain-driven flooding as far south as downtown Los Angeles, whose river the Arroyo feeds. Though a dam now reaches across the gorge, the water still laughs as it flows through the sluice gates, and the Devil’s face ominously remains intact.^^^





(1920)++# - View of Devil’s Gate Dam shortly after it was completed.  


Historical Notes

Devil’s Gate Dame, completed in 1920, was the first of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District's dams.





(1921)* - A view of the road with 3 people on the edge of the bridge looking down at Devil's Gate Dam. On the left side of the picture is another road, and some water is collected in the area.  


Historical Notes

The bridge on the left is the original bridge over the site of the Devil's Gate Dam. As of 1987, there is no longer a reservoir. The site may be seen from Highway 210, north of the Arroyo Seco and south of Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Look up location of Devil's Gate.*




(ca. 1920s)* - A view from the air of the Devil's Gate Dam, probably in the 1920's. A few people are visible on top of the dam road, but there does not appear to be any water in the reservoir.   




(1922)* - A great many people are gathered to look over the road running across the Devil's Gate Dam. Behind the dam is large lake or reservoir.  


Historical Notes

Soon after the dam was built it filled with water.  The dam was designed for both flood control and water conservation.  It also served as the main road between La Canada and Pasadena for many years.





(ca. 1920s)^*# - Looking from the adjacent hillside we see the road, the dam and the reservoir behind the dam. Water is rushing down the spillway.  





(ca. 1920s)^*# - People are standing on top of the Devil's Gate Dam observing water coming down the spillway.  




(ca. 1920s)^*# - Water is rushing out of a second spilway in the bottom of the canyon. The Devil's Gate Dam is seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco watershed begins at Red Box Saddle in the Angeles National Forest near Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. As it enters the urbanized area of the watershed, the Arroyo Seco stream flows between La Cañada Flintridge on the west and Altadena on the east. Just below Devil's Gate Dam, the stream passes underneath the Foothill Freeway. At the north end of Brookside Golf Course the stream becomes channelized into a flood control channel and proceeds southward through the golf course.*^




(1935)^#* - An aerial view, taken December 18, 1935, shows water flowing into the Devil's Gate Dam basin from La Canada through Flynt Canyon Wash in the lower left.  The dense oak grove with the clearing in the middle is also clearly depicted.  




(2013)## - Google Maps view of Devil's Gate Dam showing the 210 Freeway in the foreground.  


* * * * *



Raymond Theatre

(1922)* - Exterior front of the Raymond Theatre, with cards parked in the street. Marquee reads: "Wallace Reid in The Love Special ; Ko'vert in Hanuya The Spirit of Evil ; Buster Keaton in Hard Luck".  


Historical Notes

There was a great deal of anticipation leading up to the opening of Jensen’s Raymond Theatre on April 5, 1921. But there was also a sense of amazement in the cost of the construction.  The Star News, on May 6, 1920, reported that the project was over budget, with a cost to date of $592,644. When it opened, all was forgotten, and the Pasadena Star-News exclaimed the Raymond to be “Last Word in Modern Thespian Temples". *^^*



* * * * *




(ca. 1920s)#* – View looking north on Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena towards Glenarm Street with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.  On the right is Somman’s California Cut Glass Mfg. Co. located at 1172-1186 S. Fair Oaks Avenue.  





(ca. 1920s)#* - Pacific Electric Railway tracks on a street in what appears to be South Pasadena. A sign on the center pole says "Hope St." which is a street in South Pasadena. A storefront says "Fagg-Dublin Co." which was a business in South Pasadena. A huge advertisement is on a wall that reads "Oneonta."  





Mission Street (South Pasadena)

(1922)#* - View of Mission Street in South Pasadena, showing a streetcar that says "South Pasadena" across the top, storefronts of businesses and automobiles parked on street. A wall on right says "Oneonta Hardware."  




(1922)#* - View of Mission Street in South Pasadena, showing streetcar tracks, storefronts of businesses and automobiles parked on street. A small sign on center pole says "Mission Street." Signs on buildings say "South Pasadena" "W.B. Stone Garage" "Sam Seelig Co." and automobile dealerships appear on either side of street.  




(1922)* - Exterior view of a bank, located at 824 Fair Oaks Boulevard on the northeast corner with Mission Street in South Pasadena. At the time this photograph was taken, First National Bank was located in the building, but Security First National Bank also occupied this building.


* * * * *




(1922)* - Panoramic view of Pasadena and surrounding areas, as seen from top of Echo Mountain. View also shows, Mount Lowe Observatory in the foreground. Catalina Island (over 60 miles away) can be seen in the far background. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Catalina.



Click HERE to see more Early Views of Echo Mountain, Mt. Lowe, and the Mt Lowe Observatory.




Tournament of Roses (Tournament Park)

(Early 1900s)*^* - View showing a couple of four-horse-drawn chariots racing in front of thousands of spectators at Tournament Park. Chariot racing was a feature of the Rose Parade in the early 1900s.  


Historical Notes

For many years the main attraction in Tournament Park (the predecessor of the current Rose Bowl stadium) was chariot races, although polo matches attracted equally large crowds.*





(Early 1900s)* - A furious chariot race at the Tournament of Roses at Tournament Park.  


Historical Notes

In 1902 football was substituted for chariot racing as the midwinter attraction. The first game was played between Michigan (49) and Stanford (0). The game was so lopsided that it didn't go over well with the fans and the Tournament organizers decided to revert back to the chariot races.*^





Rose Bowl


(1902)* - First Tournament East-West football game, January 1, 1902, Michigan vs. Stanford. Note the crowd of people standing in foreground, and to the right side of the football field. Horse-drawn carriages are lined along a fence beyond the crowds of people.  


Historical Notes

Originally titled the "Tournament East-West football game," the first Rose Bowl was played on January 1, 1902, starting the tradition of New Year's Day bowl games. The football game was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of the Rose Parade.

The inaugural game featured Fielding H. Yost's dominating 1901 Michigan team, representing the East, which crushed a previously 3-1-2 team from Stanford University, representing the West, by a score of 49–0 after Stanford quit in the third quarter. Michigan finished the season 11–0 and was crowned the national champion. Yost had been Stanford's coach the previous year. The game was so lopsided that for the next 13 years, the Tournament of Roses officials ran chariot races, ostrich races, and other various events instead of football.

On New Year's Day 1916 football returned to stay as The State College of Washington (now Washington State University) defeated Brown University in the first annual Rose Bowl with that explicit name.*^





(1922)^^*# – View showing the early stages of construction of the Rose Bowl. The numbered structures are the tunnels, which were completed first.  


Historical Notes

In 1920, City officials declared the football facilities at Tournament Park unsafe for the growing New Year’s Day crowds. Ten-year $100 box seats were sold to raise funds for construction of a new facility. ##^





(1922)*^* - The Pasadena Rose Bowl under construction in the Arroyo Seco dry riverbed. Construction began in 1921.  


Historical Notes

The Rose Bowl Game was played at Tournament Park until 1922. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the game's organizer, realized that the temporary stands were inadequate for a crowd of more than 40,000, and sought to build a better, permanent stadium.

The stadium was designed by architect Myron Hunt in 1921. His design was influenced by the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, which was built in 1914. The Arroyo Seco dry riverbed was selected as the location for the stadium.*^





(1922)^^*# – View showing the Rose Bowl seats being assembled in the early stages of the stadium’s construction.  





(1922)++# - View looking west towards the San Rafael Hills showing horse-drawn wagons removing rocks and dirt as the Rose Bowl takes shape.  





(1922)*^* - Another view showing the construction work on the Rose Bowl.  





(1922)* - View showing the Myron Hunt designed Rose Bowl taking on the shape of a horseshoe.  


Historical Notes

The Rose Bowl was under construction for about a year (1921 to 1922). The design of the stadium was intended to accommodate as many patrons as possible, sitting close to the action. The first portion of the stadium was completed for less money than had been budgeted, and the seating capacity at the time was 57,000.




(1922)* - A closer view of the Rose Bowl under construction in 1922.  


Historical Notes

The Rose Bowl was completed in Octobeer 1922, just several months prior to the completion of the nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, May 1923.

The first game was a regular season contest on October 28, 1922 when Cal defeated USC 12–0. This was the only loss for USC and California finished the season undefeated. California declined the invitation to the 1923 Rose Bowl game and USC went in their place.*^





(1923)#* - Panoramic view of the 1923 Rose Bowl Game between Penn State University and the University of Southern California at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The stands are almost filled, with the exception of some of the higher areas on the far side of the stadium. Small groups of what appear to be military men are seated on chairs on the track surrounding the field. The game is in progress, with the two teams in the middle of a series near midfield. There are men positioned at several places along the near sideline with photographic cameras, and one man near midfield has a motion picture camera. There is a very tall flag pole on the far right with a large American flag. A large number of automobiles are parked on the far right, beyond the open part of the stadium, where there are also a couple hundred people watching the game over the stadium fence.  


Historical Notes

January 1, 1923 was the first time that the Rose Bowl Game was held at the Rose Bowl Stadium. The game featured Penn State University and the University of Southern California. Start of play was delayed more than an hour when Penn’s team was stuck in traffic. USC would go on to defeat Penn State 14 to 3. ##^

The name of the stadium was alternatively "Tournament of Roses Stadium" or "Tournament of Roses Bowl", until being settled as "Rose Bowl" before the 1923 Rose Bowl game.*^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.




(1925)* - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl on New Years Day, January 1, 1925. The stadium is almost full, yet crowds of people are still walking in. The football score that day was: Notre Dame, 27 vs Stanford, 10.  


Historical Notes

Originally built as a horseshoe, the stadium was expanded several times over the years. The southern stands were completed in 1926, making the stadium a complete bowl. .*^




(1926)^ - Aerial view looking north showing the 1926 Rose Bowl game.  


Historical Notes

The 1926 Rose Bowl Game is commonly referred to as "the game that changed the south." The game featured the Alabama Crimson Tide, making their first bowl appearance, and the Washington Huskies.

Alabama was victorious 20–19, as they scored all twenty points in the third quarter. With the victory, the Crimson Tide was awarded its first National Championship.

The game made its radio broadcast debut, with Charles Paddock, a sports writer and former Olympian track star, at the microphone. Alabama’s coach, Wallace Wade, was later inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame (1990).*^




(ca. 1928)* - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl after the southern stands were constructed making it a complete bowl. Though the stadium appears to be filled to capacity, people are still trickling in, and row upon row of automobiles can be seen neatly parked in the lots. View also shows the residential homes surrounding the stadium, as well as the mountains in the background.


Historical Notes

For many years, the Rose Bowl had the largest football stadium capacity in the U.S., and from 1972 to 1997, the maximum seating capacity was 104,594. Current official seating capacity is 92,542.

The Rose Bowl game grew to become the "granddaddy" of all bowl games, because of its stature as the oldest of all the bowl games. The Rose Bowl stadium is a National Historic Landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 27, 1987.*^





(1929)* - Mizell of Georgia Tech, at left with ball, is shown at the start of a 32-yard gallop in which he carried the ball to California's 36-yard line in the game at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. January 2, 1929. Georgia Tech's football squad were one-point victors over University of California in the Rose Bowl classic.




(ca. 1924)*^* - A view of the Pasadena High School commencement ceremony at the Rose Bowl. A large crowd of spectators fills about half of the stadium. There are freestanding white bleachers on the far side which are occupied by the students, and a band is on the field in front of them.     


Historical Notes

Today, the stadium still hosts commencement ceremonies for John Muir High School and Pasadena High School. It also hosts the annual football homecoming game, called the Turkey Tussle, between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School, in mid-November.*^

Click HERE to see more Early Views of the Rose Bowl (1930s & 1940s).



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(1923)++# – Postcard view showing the City of Glendale’s prize winning peacock float at the 1923 Tournament of Roses Parade, with Meyer’s Department Store in the background.  





(ca. 1923)* - View looking north on Marengo Avenue in Pasadena. The building on the left with the flag is the American Legion Post No. 13, located at 131 N. Marengo Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The American Legion is an organization of U.S. war veterans formed in Paris on March 15–17, 1919, by delegates from all units of the American Expeditionary Forces. Their main mission is to sponsor programs that improve veterans communities, such as scholarships, veterans help programs (i.e. ending veterans homelessness), and youth sports. They also promote national security, patriotism, and devotion to veterans.*^




(ca. 1926)* - Close-up view of the entrance to the American Legion Post No. 13 on Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, showing iron work over the windows and dedication carved into stone over the entrance.  


Historical Notes

The Pasadena Post No. 13 was organized July 22, 1919. Architects Marston and Van Pelt designed the building, which was built in 1925.*




(1924)* - Aerial view of the second Raymond Hotel looking across the grounds at the western facade, the main entrance to the hotel. Extensive urban development can be seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

Located atop Bacon Hill, renamed Raymond Hill, which lies between Pasadena and South Pasadena, the first Raymond Hotel burned down in 1895 and was replaced by a second in 1903. The architect was T. W. Parkes. In 1934 the hotel was torn down for residential development due to fallout from the Great Depression.*



(1925)++# - View looking east from the rooftop of building at the northwest corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.  The large building in the distance is the Pacific Southwest Trust and Savings Bank Building.  




(1925)^ - View of the Pacific Southwest Trust and Savings Bank Building at 234 East Colorado Boulevard, at the corner of Marengo and Colorado.  




Pasadena Furniture Company Building (later Sears)

(1924)**- Rainy day view of the Standard Oil Station at 520 East Colorado and the multi-story Pasadena Furniture Company next door.  





(1925)**- Night view of the exterior of the Pasadena Furniture Company at 530 East Colorado.








(1926)**- A street view of the newly completed Singer Building at 520 East Colorado, next to the Pasadena Furniture Company building. Displays of sewing machines visible in the windows. Note the ornate streetlight on the corner.  




(ca. 1930)** – View showing Pasadena's Sears, Roebuck and Company building, previously Pasadena Furniture Co Building. The Singer Building is seen to the right. Click HERE for contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena's Sears, Roebuck and Company was located at 532 East Colorado Street.  Sears sold nearly everything one could want--from linoleum to sofas, trousers to electric refrigerators, washing machines to roofing materials, and building supplies to automobile accessories. The building was previously occupied by the Pasadena Furniture Company. Sears bought the building after the Pasadena Furniture Company went out of business.


* * * * *




(1925)** – People line the streets as the American Legion band marches by at the Tournament of Roses Parade.  Note the spectators on the roof at right.  





(1925)*^* – View showing what appears to be the last float in the Rose Parade with hundreds of people all around.  





(1925)^ – Throngs of people are filing down the street after the Tournament of Roses Parade. The Union Pacific Station's banner reading: "Union Pacific System, The Way East" can be seen in the right background.  




(ca. 1925)* - Exterior view of the central fire house in Pasadena. View shows groups of firemen standing next to their fire engines outside of the building.  




(1929)* - Group photo of Pasadena's motorcycle policemen.  




(1926)^ - A couple and their Hudson sedan arrive at the Santa Fe Station on Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. The sign on the building to the right reads: Kerckhoff-Cuzner Mill & Lumber Co.*^^  


Historical Notes

William Kerckhoff, a German-American, began his career in Los Angeles with the Jackson Lumber Company. Later he and Guy Cuzner owned the Kerckhoff-Cuzner Mill and Lumber Company. To transport lumber, the company was the first to use oil for fuel in an ocean going vessel.

In the 1890s, Kerchoff founded the San Gabriel Power Company. By the turn of the century, together with A.C. Balch, he owned half the stock of Henry E. Huntington Pacific Light & Power Company used to provide electricity to Pacific Electric, and he served as its President. In 1902, they purchased the San Joaquin Electric Company. They also founded Southern California Gas Corporation in 1910, and built a 120-mile pipeline from the San Joaquin Valley to Los Angeles.*^



(1926)*^* - Church of the Nazarene at 1565 East Washington, at the corner of Washington and Breese. Someone seems to have tried to conceal the presence of the power lines in the fore- and background. Today, the building is occupied by the The Armenian Church of the Nazarene. Click HERE to see a current view (2016).  


Historical Notes

The Armenian Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena was founded in 1986. The church is one of a handful of other Armenian Nazarene churches in the Los Angeles area, including the original one in Glendale.



(1926)#* - Street view of the Dodsworth Building at 1 South Fair Oaks, at the southwest corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks. The businesses in the building include United Cigars and Columbia Outfitting Co. Numerous overhead wires for streetcars are seen in front.  


Historical Notes

United Cigar Stores was the largest chain of cigar stores in the United States. Though initially specializing in cigars, it eventually sold many other items, such as Mickey Mouse watches and shoe trees. The chain was founded in 1901 and represented the interests of the Consolidated Tobacco Company, the tobacco trust that controlled the American Tobacco Company and others. In September 1903 a settlement was reached with the chain's competitors and all competition ended. By 1926 the chain had close to 3000 retail stores.*^




(1926)#* - View of crowds filling the street at Colorado and Fair Oaks Ave., Rose Parade, Jan. 1, 1926.  





(1927)** - Street view of the 200 block of East Colorado, centering on Pasadena National Bank and Citizens Bank at 249 East Colorado. Other businesses on the block include the Citizens Savings Bank, Daily Bread Shop, and Oriental Art Bazaar. Automobiles are parked along the street and wires run overhead for streetcars.  




(1926)^^*# - View showing three cars parked in front of The Model Grocery store located on Colorado near Fair Oaks Avenue. HISTORIC HEADLINE FROM June 23, 1926: Model Grocery to close for picnic: Employees and families to pass day at beach tomorrow.  


Historical Notes

The Model Grocery was one of Pasadena’s best-known names in the local market business.  The company got its start at a store located at 21-25 North Fair Oaks Avenue.  By the 1920s it had more than 250 employees, as well as its own bakery, line of household equipment, a candy department, a post office, and other customer amenities.+^+



(1927)* - Exterior view of I. Magnin store located in Pasadena. Note the architectural design on the pillars and front of the building. Placques outside of building reads, "Mullen & Bluitt..."



Don Lee Cadillac

(1927)++# - View looking at the building located on northwest corner of Green and El Molino, home of Don Lee Cadillac & LaSalle. The Pasadena Playhouse is located futher north on El Molino, on the right by the palm trees.  


Historical Notes

Don Lee was the west coast's most successful Cadillac dealer. He held the franchises for California and Nevada Cadillac dealerships, fostered Los Angeles radio, and was a leading pioneer of television on the West Coast. He was also famous for his Don Lee Mutual Broadcasting Studio and Mt. Lee Tower in Hollywood.



(ca. 1927)^.^ - View looking at the NW corner of Green Street and El Molino Avenue showing the Don Lee Cadillac & LaSalle dealership.  


Historical Notes

The building today is occupied by Jacob Maarse Florists.  Click HERE to see contemporary view.


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Pasadena Star-News Building

(1925)* – View showing the recently completed Star-News Building located on the northeast corner of E. Colorado Blvd and N. Oakland Ave. There is a base of polished Original Raymond Granite with deep sills at the window openings. Architect: Joseph J. Blick. General contractors: W.A. Taylor & Sons.  


Historical Notes

The Pasadena Star-News building was designed by Joseph Blick in 1924 in a Beaux-Arts style and completed in 1925.

First published in 1884, the Pasadena Star-News moved into the building in 1925 and stayed until the 1990s. The building is now home to Technique at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and 24 Hour Fitness. Editors in the historical Star-News Building included Ed Essertier, Charles Cherniss, Bill Winter, Larry Wilson, and Frank Girardot. Publishers after Bernard J. Ridder included Bill Applebee. ^




(1927)*^* – View looking north on Oakland Avenue toward E. Colorado where the 4-story Star-News Building is seen on the NE corner. Note the ornate streetlights.  


Historical Notes

The building has also played a role in the history of radio in Southern California, once hosting a pair of radio towers that broadcast Star-News programming under the call sign KPSN. The first radio broadcast of the Rose Parade aired on KPSN in 1926, and famed underground FM station KPPC also used the towers to transmit their signal from their studios in the basement of the adjacent Pasadena Presbyterian Church. ^





(1973)*# - Don Phillips operates a Linotype machine in the basement of the Pasadena Star-News Building at 525 E. Colorado Blvd.


Historical Notes

For decades just about every newspaper, magazine, publishing house and printing firm in the western world used Linotype machines, invented in 1884 by German watchmaker Ottmar Mergenthaler.

Every time an operator touched a key on the typewriter-style keyboard, a matrix with the corresponding indented letter would drop into an assembler. When the matrices for an entire line were assembled, the line was automatically justified and molten metal cast "slugs" would be organized line by line into columns and pages for the purposes of printing. This could be done at a rate of 1,000 words per hour or 14 lines per minute.

Thomas Edison called the Linotype machine the eighth wonder of the world because it revolutionized the printing industry.

Prior to Linotype there was moveable type, invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1436, that created a sea change in western civilization.

Even as late as the 1930s moveable type was still in use at some newspapers where type was still being set by hand, one painstaking letter and punctuation mark at a time. These newspapers were limited to a maximum of eight pages -- the number of pages that could be typeset at a snail's pace in a day's time.

By 2000 printing technology changed again, switching from mechanical hardware to digital software.*




(2011)#* – A group of people walk by the Star-News Building.  The Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Technique Restaurant, 24 Hour Fitness, and medical offices occupy the building. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

Ridder Newspapers bought the Star-News in 1956 and Bernard J. Ridder took over as publisher. Ridder merged with Knight to form Knight Ridder in 1974. The paper was sold off in 1989 to a company owned by William Dean Singleton; the Thomson Corporation bought majority control of the paper a year later. Thomson sold the Star-News to Singleton's MediaNews Group in 1996, which went on to become part of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.*^

The newspaper also publishes the Rose Magazine which provide coverage of the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.




(ca. 2018)** - Dusk view of the Star-News Building all lit up.  


Historical Notes

The 4-story Beaux-Arts style building has a Penthouse. It also two levels below grade.




(2019)^.^ – View showing the Pasadena Star-News Building as it appears today at 525 E. Colorado Blvd.  Photo courtesy of Ken Duncan.  


Historical Notes

The Star-News Building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


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Pasadena Athletic Club

(1927)* - Exterior view of the Athletic Club located in Pasadena. Several storefronts can be seen on both sides of the building.  


Historical Notes

The Pasadena Athletic Club was located at 425 E. Green Street. The building was torn down in 1977 to make way for the Plaza Pasadena Mall.


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Pasadena Public Library

(ca. 1927)* - Exterior view of the Pasadena Public Library, located at 285 E. Walnut Street in the Civic Center. View shows several automobiles parked along Walnut Street, where the front of the building is facing south on Garfield Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The library was designed by architects Myron Hunt and H. C. Chambers in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and was built between 1925-27.*

Construction began May 19, 1925 . This is why the year 1925 is carved in Roman numerals over the front entrance of the building after "Public Library of the City of Pasadena." The Central Library was dedicated on Lincoln's birthday (February 12), 1927, and was the first building completed of the new Civic Center Plan. #^^^




(1927)* - Postcard view of the interior of the Pasadena Public Library. Writing on postcard describes view as the "main hall of the Pasadena Public Library, which has remained essentially the same since its construction".  


Historical Notes

In the original plans for Central Library, Myron Hunt designed a four-level bookstack area, which could someday be finished to accommodate a growing collection. When this building was originally opened in 1927, only two levels were completed, the main level (with an immense open space above where more bookstacks could one day go) and one below at the basement level.

By the 1980’s, the Library’s collection had grown to the point where it was necessary to complete Myron Hunt's visionary plan for a larger capacity bookstack. #^^^




(1930)#* - Street view of the Pasadena Public Library at 285 East Walnut, taken from the parking lot across the street. Automobiles line both the street and the parking lot.   


Historical Notes

The Library, as well as the entire Civic Center, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over the years, Central Library has been the location for some major motion pictures. #^^^


* * * * *




(ca. 1927)** - View of the Hewson Motor Company showroom at 297 West Colorado. Architect: Frederick Kenedy Jr.  


Historical Notes

The car at the curb with 1927 dealers' plates is most likely a 1927 Pierce-Arrow Model 80. In 1928 Studebaker took over Pierce-Arrow and in 1930 local Studebaker dealers Keller Brothers and Marcy Auto operated at this location. In 1935 is was called Earl Lundy Motor Company. Currenly (2014) it is Rusnak/Pasadena.**



(1927)#* - View looking east on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.  The Security Pacific Bank can be seen on the right.  




(ca. 1928)++# - Photo of Santa Fe passenger train inbound to LA crossing Colorado Blvd., between Raymond and Broadway [Arroyo Pkwy.].  The view is to the east with the Security Pacific Bank building on the right behind the train.  





(ca. 1928)++# – View looking west showing the Rose Parade processing down Colorado Boulevard; the cross-street is Catalina. Note onlookers perched on cornice of Bard's [later Colorado and Academy] Theater.  





(1927)*^* - View showing De Luxe Gasoline which was located at 1010 E. Colorado at Catalina on the southwest corner. Charles E. Fagan owned the service station. Featured in the background is the Colorado Theatre, now the Academy Theatre, and the Wurlitzer Rudolf Company, which specialized in musical instruments.  





(1928)** - Street view of the Colorado Theatre at 1003 East Colorado. The marquee reads "Charles "Buddy" Rogers in "Someone to love" with Mary Brian. Stage - F & M "Specialty Idea" - Celeste and Mexican Orchestra". Several adults and children stand outside the theater, near the ticket office. Adjacent businesses include the Albert Sheetz Mission Candies and Ice Cream and a Wurlitzer store.  


Historical Notes

Opened in 1925 as Bard's Egyptian, the 1709-seat theater was designed by Lewis A. Smith. Later it was Bard's Colorado and by 1931 Fox West Coast had acquired the house and it became the Fox Colorado.*##



(1931)* - Facade and marquee of the Colorado Theater, later the Academy Cinemas, located at 1003 E. Colorado Street. Parked cars are on the street.  


Historical Notes

The theater got a moderne makeover in the 1940s and was renamed the Academy. In the 1980s it got turned into a 6-plex and is now operated by Regency Theatres.*##



(1928)#* - Street view of the Florence Theatre (later State Theatre) at 770 East Colorado. The marquee reads "Sue Carol in "The Air Circus", and a sign below the marquee reads "Our screen talks and sings. Fox Movietone Talking News Weekly". Adjacent businesses include the Blue Goose Cafe and a soda shop.  


Historical Notes

Opened in 1918 as the Florence Theatre. This former Fox house closed and was later operated by Pussycat Theatres, in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It became an independent theatre, closing in 2000 and gutted afterward for a conversion to retail and office use.**^^



(Early 1900s)**^^ - Interior view of the Florence Theatre (later State Theatre) located at 770 East Colorado.  




(ca. 1928)* - This large building, located on the corner of Mission Street and Mound Avenue, houses the South Pasadena Council Chamber and City Clerk Treasurer, as well as South Pasadena Fire Department, Engine Company #81. The entrance to the City offices can be seen at the left of the building with an address of 1424 Mission Street; the fire department is located at the rear, at 817 Mound Ave.  




(ca. 1928)* - View of Colorado Street and Garfield Avenue in Pasadena, facing west. The original Italian Renaissance Post Office is visible in the forefront on the right; formerly the only Post Office in Pasadena, it is now a branch. The main building was designed by Oscar Wenderoth and was built in 1913. Citizens Savings Bank can be seen farther back on the right, and across the street from it the Pacific Southwest Bldg. is on the left. Several automobiles and pedestrians, as well as a dog, can be seen crossing the street.  





(1928)^ – View looking north on Lake Avenue at the Santa Fe right-of-way.  Today, this section of Lake Avenue crosses over the 210 Freeway.  Click HERE for contemporary view.  





(1928)** - View showing three men in suits and one police officer standing by a new traffic signal installation in Old Town Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

The above photo was taken for the Pasadena Water and Power Department (then called the Power Department), most likely to record the installation of new traffic signals.**



(1928)**- Elevated view of East Colorado looking east from South Marengo, from the fourth floor of Mather's Department Store. The street below is busy with traffic and lined with parked automobiles. The Los Angeles First National Trust & Savings Bank is immediately across the street. Businesses visible in the distance include the Model Grocery Co. and the Pasadena Furniture Company.   




(1928)^ - Photograph of the newly opened Oak Knoll Branch of the Los Angeles First National Trust and Savings Bank located on the southeast corner of East Colorado Street and Lake Avenue. Click HERE for contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

"What Common Cents Did: Formal dedication of Oak Knoll branch of Los Angeles First National Trust & Savings Bank at Colorado and Lake, Pasadena, was held Thursday." -- Examiner clipping attached to verso, date January 8, 1928.^



(1928)**- Street view of the Constance Hotel at 940 East Colorado. The hotel is a multistory building decorated with red, white, and blue bunting. The retail space on the ground floor is occupied by the Pasadena Syndicate. There is a street lamp and a mailbox at the corner, and automobiles parked in front of the main entrance.   




(1928)** - View of the Bank of Italy at 160 East Colorado. Plaques on either side of the door identify this as the main office in Pasadena.   


Historical Notes

The Bank of Italy was founded in San Francisco, in 1904 by Amadeo Giannini. It grew by a branch banking strategy to become the Bank of America, the world's largest commercial bank with 493 branches in California and assets of $5 billion in 1945. It was also the first state-wide branch banking system.

The Bank of Italy merged with the smaller Bank of America, Los Angeles in the 1928. In 1930, Giannini changed the name "Bank of Italy" to "Bank of America." As Chairman of the new, larger Bank of America, Giannini expanded the bank throughout his tenure, which ended with his death in 1949.*^



(1928)#* - Elevated view of West Colorado looking East from the Orth Storage Building (about Pasadena Avenue). Colorado is lined with businesses, including Wood & Jones Printers, Hotel Franklin, and Tanner Motor Livery. There is construction on the street in the foreground, with numerous cars parked and in motion farther on. The recently completed (December 27, 1927) City Hall building can be seen in the background.  




(1928)*^* - View of First National Bank located at 301 East Colorado Boulevard with City Hall in the background. Six half columns/pilasters adorn the side of the building facing Colorado.  




Pasadena City Hall

(1927)* - Rendering showing Pasadena City Hall as it appeared shortly after it opened. Painting by Chris Siemer  


Historical Notes

In 1923, the people of Pasadena approved a bond measure issuing $3.5 million towards the development of a civic center. City Hall was to be the central element of this center. The San Francisco architecture firm of Bakewell and Brown designed City Hall, which has elements of both Mediterranean Revival Style and Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture.^





(1930)* – View showing Pasadena's City Hall before it was surrounded by buildings. Note the architectural designs on the tower. Date built: 1925-27. Architects: Bakewell & Brown. Photo dated: January 17, 1929.  


Historical Notes

Completed on December 27, 1927, the massive circular structure rises perpendicularly for six stories. The fifth story is 41 feet high and pierced with four huge round arches and four smaller ones. The next story, set back a little, is 30 feet high and is also pierced with arches. Above it rises the dome 26 feet high and 54 feet across. On top of the dome is the lantern, a column-supported cupola 41 feet high, surmounted by an urn and ball. The highest point is 206 feet above the ground.*





(ca 1930)* - Not a parking space to be had in front of City Hall.  


Historical Notes

For the final design, the San Francisco architectural firm of Bakewell and Brown turned to the style of 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, who had studied and admired the Roman architect Vitruvius, as did the California mission-building padres. Palladio represented the simple, serene, classical style of the early Renaissance, in contrast to the Gothic style of medieval times and the rococo style of the later Renaissance.

Three famous European domed structures show Palladio’s influence: the church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, the Hotel des Invalides in Paris and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Without being a direct imitation, Pasadena City Hall is related to them all.*





(1928)* - Close-up view of the west facade showing the rotunda at Pasadena's City Hall, 100 North Garfield Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The massive circular tower structure rises perpendicularly for six stories. The fifth story is 41 feet high and pierced with four huge, round arches and four smaller ones. The next story, set back a little, is 30 feet high and is also pierced with arches. Above rises the dome, 26 feet high and 54 feet across. On top of the dome is the lantern, a column-supported cupola 41 feet high, surmounted by an urn and ball. The highest point is 206 feet above the ground.*





(1930s)* - Overall view of the courtyard at Pasadena City Hall. Note the architectural designs on the two towers and the building. Architects: Bakewell & Brown.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena City Hall has long been a favorite shooting location for filmmakers. The courtyard was used in the 1995 movie "A Walk in the Clouds" to portray a Napa Valley town square. It has also been used as an embassy in the "Mission: Impossible" television series, and a villa in Charlie Chaplin's Oscar-nominated 1940 film "The Great Dictator."^





(2020)^.^ - Pasadena City Hall courtyard. Photo courtesy Sonia Morin  


Historical Notes

The courtyard has a strong Spanish Colonial atmosphere. The focal point is the cast stone Baroque fountain. 22.5 feet tall with a basin 25 feet in diameter. Paths of crushed granite define the flower beds and cloistered arches paved with red Padre tile surround the courtyard. California live oak trees provide shade for the azaleas, hydrangeas, rhododendron and beds of annuals that are planted on a rotational basis.*





(1930)* - Scenic view of Pasadena City Hall and its surrounding area, with mountains in the background. Building on left of photo (past the tall pine tree) is the Y.W.C.A., located on the southeast corner of Marengo Avenue and Holly Street. It is a 3 story, plain, boxy building with long horizontal windows. Date built: 1920-1922. Designed by Julian Morgan in Mediterranean style.  


Historical Notes

The way had been prepared in 1923, when the people of Pasadena passed a bond issue of $3.5 million to establish a civic center. The Chicago firm of Bennett, Parsons and Frost was commissioned to draw up a civic center plan. The planners established Garfield Avenue as an axis, on which City Hall was to be the central element, with the Pasadena Public Library to the north and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to the south. Also included in the original design were the Pasadena Police Department, Pasadena Municipal Court, YMCA, YWCA, Southern California Gas Company and United States Post Office. Over the years the new police building and county court house have been added. The YMCA building is now Centennial Place, a single-room-occupancy residential complex, and the Southern California Gas Company building now serves as the city's Permit Center. The YWCA building is unoccupied because of seismic and other issues.^





(ca. 1936)^ - The Pasadena City Hall seen along with other buildings on the Civic Center. Photo by Dick Whittington  






(1937)* - Exterior view of Pasadena City Hall at 100 North Garfield Avenue, in Pasadena. Note the architectural designs on the rotunda and building.  






(ca. 1938)^ - A corner view of the Pasadena City Hall with the mountains in the background. Photo by Dick Whittington  






(ca. 1948)#* – Postcard view showing the Pasadena City Hall building and lawn as seen from across Garfield Street.  






(1940s)#* - Postcard view of Pasadena City Hall as seen looking down East Holly Street, with automobiles parked at the curb.  


Historical Notes

City Hall is an internationally recognized star of stage and screen, appearing in Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” in 1940, and many, many films, television shows, and wedding albums since.





(ca.1928)^ – Nightime view showing the large, lightly-colored City Hall building with a dome at the top of its center tower. A statue stands over the large doorway. The bright interior lights shine through the windows to the trees of the yard in the foreground.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena City Hall served as the city hall of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, in the television show "Parks and Recreation." The dome is visible through the window of the main characters' apartment building in the television show The Big Bang Theory.^





(2019)^.^ - Looking up toward the top of Pasadena City Hall.  Photo courtesy of Howard Gray  


Historical Notes

On July 28, 1980 the Civic Center District, including Pasadena City Hall, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.





(ca. 2019)** - The beautiful front entrance to Pasadena City Hall.  


Historical Notes

The building recently underwent a massive rehabilitation project, including a sophisticated base isolation seismic retrofit. City Hall will now continue to be the centerpiece of Pasadena’s Civic Center, one of the most complete manifestations of City Beautiful architecture and urban planning in the United States.*





(ca. 2019)** - Front view of Pasadena City Hall as it appears today, 100 N. Garfield Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The City Hall has long been a favorite shooting location for filmmakers. The courtyard was used in the 1995 movie "A Walk in the Clouds" to portray a Napa Valley town square. The building is in also featured in the 2005 film “Rumor Has It” directed by Rob Reiner. It has also been used as an embassy in the "Mission: Impossible" television series, and a villa in Charlie Chaplin's Oscar-nominated 1940 film "The Great Dictator." The building also served as the city hall of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, in the television show Parks and Recreation. The dome is visible through the window of the main characters' apartment building in the television show The Big Bang Theory, set in Pasadena. The building featured in the last episode of Jericho; it was used as the City Hall of Cheyenne, Wyoming.^





(ca. 2019)** – Looking out the front entrance of Pasadena City Hall.  Photo Courtesy of Architectural Resources Group (ARG)  


List of Awards

In a poll conducted in 2004 by Pasadena Heritage, a local, non-profit preservation organization, Pasadena City Hall was identified by both visitors and residents alike at their “…favorite historic building in Pasadena.”                                                                                                      




Civic Center District

(1929)**- The buildings on the north side of East Colorado Street give a sense of Pasadena's business district on the eve of the Depression. The storefront with the arches is the Pitzer and Warwick clothing store, boasting the slogan "For Lad and Dad." On the far right is Vroman's Bookstore. The building with the column on the left is First National Bank located at 301 East Colorado Boulevard. Pasadena's iconic city hall rises up in the background.  




(1931)*^* - Street view of the Pasadena Hall of Justice at 142 North Broadway. The building is large and multistory, and has a parking lot in which numerous automobiles are parked.   



Pasadena Civic Auditorium

(1931)** – View showing men standing around a steam shovel during the ground breaking of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  City Hall can be seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

In February, 1932, during the lowest ebb of the Great Depression, the new Pasadena Civic Auditorium was dedicated "to the citizens of Pasadena, whose efforts and sacrifices have made the erection of this beautiful and useful building possible." In the decades since its dedication, the Civic has hosted millions of patrons from several generations of Southern Californians. ##*



(1930s)** – View showing the Pasadena Civic Auditorium surrounded by a well-manicured lawn and palm trees, located at 300 E. Green Street.  


Historical Notes

The Civic Auditorium has been the center of Pasadena's Cultural life by hosting thousands of community events such as Rose Queen Ceremonies, graduations, benefit concerts, speeches by famous personalities, and countless programs for children. The live radio broadcasts of the big band dances from the Civic in the 1940s helped to spread the fame of Pasadena across the United States. ##*



(ca. 1932)^## - View showing the Exhibition Hall of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Building.  


Historical Notes

The hall was originally constructed in 1931 as part of the civic center and the original Civic Auditorium and was used as an exhibit hall and ballroom.




(1940s)#* – Postcard view showing the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, facing on Green Street, with palm trees planted near entrance.  





(1948)#* – Wide angle view of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Green Street in Pasadena. Palm trees are planted around the building, and a covered walkway leads to the steps. Click HERE to see contemporary view  


List of Awards

The hall became the Pasadena Ice Skating Center in 1976 until the center moved to a new location in the Convention Center courtyard in 2011. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. #^^*                                       


* * * * *




(1932)### – Map showing Pasadena and surrounding area.  Some of the highlights include (L to R): Cawston Ostrich Farm, Colorado Street Bridge, Hotel Vista Del Arroyo, Brookside Park, Mt. Lowe, Christmas Tree Lane, Pasadena City Hall, Hotel Raymond, Pasadena Playhouse, Hotel Huntington, Huntington Library, Cal Tech University and Mt. Wilson Observatory. Source:  Library of Congress.   





(1929)* - Scenic night view of Pasadena and surrounding areas in the Valley, from Mount Wilson in 1929.  





(1929)* - Night view of the exterior of Ralphs Grocery Store in Pasadena, built in the 1920s.  


List of Awards

Ralphs Grocery Company was founded in 1873 by George Albert Ralphs with the original store being located at Sixth and Spring Streets in Los Angeles. The company employed notable architects in designing its stores.

Click HERE to see an 1886 photo of George Ralphs standing in front of his original store in the Early LA Buildings (1800s) Section.”                                                                                                      




(1929)** - View of the Santa Fe Railroad Pasadena Station, with train stopped in front. The Hotel Green is in the background (upper-left).  





(1920s)* - View of Santa Fe Chief observation car at Pasadena depot.  





(1929)#* - Street view of East Green at the corner of Green and Lake looking northeast. Chapman's Fancy Ice Creams is on the corner, with shops above and beside it, and the Hotel Constance is in the background. Cars are parked along the street.  





(1928)#* - Close-up view of Chapman's Ice Cream Store at 60 South Lake the northeast corner of Lake and Green. The shops above the ice cream parlor are the Spanish Shops Incorporated Importers.   




(1929)*^* – Balloons support an advertisement for "1929 Century Hupmobile 6's-and-8's now showing" above West Colorado. At ground level, there are Lincoln and Chrysler automobile dealerships.   





(1929)*^ – View showing a 1929 Hupmobile Series M De Luxe Century 4-Door Sedan.  


Historical Notes

The Hupmobile was an automobile built from 1909 through 1940 by the Hupp Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan. Its first car, the Model 20, was introduced to the public at the Detroit Auto Show in February 1909. The company initially produced 500 vehicles.

Robert Hupp, a former employee of Oldsmobile and Ford, founded the company with his brother Louis in 1908. Production began in 1909. In 1910, production increased by more than 5000. Hupp Motor Company continued to grow after its founder left. A new plant was purchased in 1924 as Hupp competed strongly against Ford and Chevrolet. DuBois Young became company president in 1924 moving up from vice-president of manufacturing. By 1928 sales had reached over 65,000 units

Sales and production began to fall even before the onset of the depression in 1930.  By 1940, the company became defunct.*^




(1929)^*** - Colorado Boulevard, just a few years after Route 66 was commissioned. View is from the hill looking East toward what is now Old Town. This may be taken right in front of where the Norton Simon Museum is today.  


Historical Notes

Historic U.S. Route 66 ran through Pasadena until it was decommissioned in 1964. The historic highway entered Pasadena from the east on Colorado Boulevard and then jogged south on Arroyo Parkway before becoming part of the Pasadena Freeway (SR 110).*^




(1929)**- Street view on South Raymond, looking north from about Green Street. Hotel El Rey, on the corner, is at 87 East Green Street. Numerous businesses are visible on the right, including as camp goods store, a tailor, and a bowling alley. The street is lined with parked automobiles.  




(1929)**- Street view of a bowling hall and billiard parlor at grand opening at 970 East Colorado. To one side is a cafe called the Recreation Grill, while the space on the other side is vacant.   




(1930)*^* - Adolph Thore stands in front of Dad's and Ernie's Gas Station, which was located at 2830 E. Colorado at Daisy. He and Ernie Pare, the garage mechanic, were the owners and operators. They provided fuel from Gilmore Gas.  




(1929)^ – View showing a MacMillan Oil truck at a 'Super Service' Station located at 411 South Fair Oaks Avenue.  


Historical Notes

Super service stations were important elaborations of the original filling stations. Introduced in Los Angeles prior to World War I, super service stations combined operations that had been handled separately. Before that time, a motorist went one place for gas and oil, and other places for lubrication and cleaning, for repairs, or for tires and other accessories. Combining these activities was convenient for consumers and opened up new marketing possibilities for those interested in taking advantage of the boom in automobiles. The earliest known super service station—Service Town—was built in 1914, three miles from downtown Los Angeles. Several of these stations were constructed in southern California in the early 1920s and soon spread across the country. +**

Click HERE to see more Views of Early Gas Stations.



(1929)*^* - View of East Colorado facing east from midway between Fair Oaks and Raymond. Shows 64 East Colorado, Owl Drug Company, which was Sun Drug Company in 1925. Other businesses shown include the Florsheim Shoe Store, the Flag Studio, and Bernet & Co. clothing store. The street is lined with parked automobiles and busy with moving automobiles and streetcars.  




(1929)#* - Street view of United Cigar at 2 East Colorado, on the southeast corner of Fair Oaks and Colorado. Above the cigar store is Dr. Ralph Mitchell Dentists. Other businesses pictured include the Goodfellows Grill and Steven Hardware. The large sign above the building reads: “6% - United States Building and Loan Association”  


Historical Notes

With an untimely opening soon after the stock market crash in 1929, the building’s main tenant, the United States Building and Loan Association, was soon history. The building exists today but without the spires that used to extend above the third story windows. #*#



(1930)*^* – Street view of the businesses from 13 to 31 East Colorado. The businesses shown are the C.O. Arnold Jewelers and the Shoe Market which has signs announcing a close-out sale. All the shops beyond that are vacant.  




(1930)*- View of Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking east from Marengo Ave. in 1930. The Post Office is at left, and Jordan's Inc. Dry Goods at right.




(1930)* - Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking east from the Elks Club (near Orange Grove) in 1930.  




(1930)* - Colorado Blvd. at Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena in 1930. View is toward the west.




(1930)* - View of Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena in 1930, looking west from the Maryland Hotel.




(1930s)* - View of Fair Oaks Avenue looking north from Colorado Boulevard toward Union Street. An Owl Drug Store can be seen on the northwest corner.  





(1930)** - Street view of the Anderson Typewriter Company at 104 East Colorado. The display windows show various kinds of typewriters. A sign in the window announces that all makes of typewriters are available for rent. The space above is occupied by Crown City Jewelers. 







(1928)*^*-- View looking south on Raymond from Colorado. The large sign on southeast corner building (old Masonic Temple Block, built in 1898) reads:  “Metropolitan Clothes Shop Days are Numbered – WE’RE THRU!”   Sign on southwest corner reads:  “OPEN FOR BUSINESS”.  The tower in the distance, on the east side of Raymond, is the addition to the original Hotel Green structure.  





(1908)#*- View looking south on Raymond from Colorado toward the Green Hotel.   (1928)*^*-- View looking south on Raymond from Colorado toward the Green Hotel.


Historical Notes

Harry Ridgway designed the imposing Masonic Temple block at the southeast corner of Raymond and Colorado in Romanesque Revival style in 1894.  He was also the architect/designer for the First National Bank building, built in 1886 on the n/w corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks. *



Then (1932)

(1932)*^* – View looking at the northwest corner of Raymond Ave and East Colorado Boulevard showing Fred Bernet Men’s Wear.  



Now (2015)

(2015)## – View looking at the northwest corner of Raymond Ave and East Colorado Boulevard.  




(1930)*^* – Street view of Hidley's Bicycle House at 785 East Colorado Blvd (N/W corner of Colorado and Hudson). The store has large display windows showing off bicycles, bicycle equipment, scooters, and racquets. Signs in the window announce deals and promotions for the Christmas season, and several note that "Yes, we buy bicycles."  


Historical Notes

The above corner site is currently occupied by a Target Store.



(1930)* - View of Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena in 1930. A residential area, it is lined with pepper trees.




Van de Kamp's Bakery

(ca. 1930)* - View showing Van de Kamp's Bakery located on the SE corner of East Colorado Blvd and Bonnie Ave.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1927, the Pasadena bakery was located on the southeast corner of East Colorado Boulevard and Bonnie Avenue (1696 E Colorado Boulevard). A prominent windmill atop the store was attached to a white L-shaped structure with stepped Dutch pediments. It’s very likely it was a project of New York architect J. Edwin Hopkins who designed Van de Kamp’s factory and headquarters in Glassell Park in 1930 – the two buildings had much in common. It’s a pity this little plaza resembling an old Dutch farmhouse was demolished in 1974 and later replaced by a generic Chick-fil-A branch. Click HERE for contemporary view.




(ca. 1940s)* - Van de Kamp's Bakery located at 1696 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Almost the same view as the previous photo but 10 plus years later. There is now a new traffic signal on the corner and the overhead power lines have been removed.  


Historical Notes

Although the Van de Kamp’s company was based in Los Angeles, the Van de Kamp family was from Pasadena.  The company formed in 1915 by Theodore, Marian, and Henrietta Van de Kamp, along with Lawrence Frank.

Theodore J. Van de Kamp and brother-in-law Lawrence L. Frank were the owners and originators of the Van de Kamp Bakeries. Fondly known as the "Taj Mahal of all bakeries". Van de Kamp and Frank also founded both the Tam O'Shanter's (1922) and Lawry's The Prime Rib (1938) restaurants..*^




(1937)* - A Foster and Kleiser billboard advertising doughnuts sold at Van de Kamp's Bakeries. Photo by Herman J. Schultheis  


Historical Notes

The bakery was sold by the Van de Kamp family and acquired by General Baking Co. in 1956. The company was sold to private investors in 1979, and closed in bankruptcy in 1990. The Van de Kamp's brand is now owned by Ralphs supermarket chain and used for their line of private-label baked goods.*^


* * * * *




(1930)** - Street view of the Tanner Motor Livery at 144 West Colorado. The building has two stories, and a front door wide enough for Automobiles to drive through. Automobiles on display are visible through this door.  




(1936)** - Ten black and white taxis owned by Tanner Motor Livery at 144 West Colorado, parked at approximately 139 West Colorado. The automobiles are parked in front of Woods & Jones Printers, Campbell Seed Store, the Bronx Diner, and Nipedal Studio Designers.  


Historical Notes

Today, the 144 West Colorado building is occupied (from L to R) by Urban Outfitters, The Body Shop, and Su le Table.



(1932)#* - Street view of the Pyroil Service Station at 1070 East Walnut. An automobile with a spare wheel cover advertising for Pyroil is being refueled at one of the three pumps in front of the building. Signs and banners advertise for "Pyroil the wonder gas".  


Historical Notes

The Pyroil brand is a trademarked name for a line of automotive chemicals offered today by the Ashland Oil Company. But in 1932, it was also a brand of gasoline that was being heavily promoted. Click HERE to see more Early Gas Stations.

The roadster looks like a 29 Chrysler Series 75.

1070 E. Walnut in Pasadena is still there and today is an automobile repair shop. #^#



(1933)#* - Street view of the Famous Department Store at 268 East Colorado. The large windows show displays of men's and women's clothing. A metal fire escape is attached to the two upper levels.   


Historical Notes

Prior to ‘The Famous Department Store’ there was Jordan’s Department Store, located in the same building at 268 East Colorado. #*




(1934)*^*- View of the south side of Colorado Street, Broadway to Marengo.  Broadway is now called Arroyo Parkway.  



Arcade Building

(1930s)**- View of the Arcade Building located on East Colorado Street between El Molino and Oak Knoll Avenues.  


Historical Notes

The Arcade Building was one of the many new developments growing up on East Colorado, far from the traditional core downtown. It employed a new design that accommodated shoppers and their automobiles; the driveways to the heavily advertised parking lot was dubbed "Luxury Lane." It was, as the Pasadena Star News reported, "another page in the city's development." The Arcade Building's design was inspired by a similar structure in Budapest. Opening in 1927, the building was home to 27 stores and offices, including a wax flower shop, a tearoom, a candy shop, a jewelry store, and "moth proofers de luxe." The businesses were advertised as among the finest in the world, and several retailers had international branches.** 



Arcade Building -Then and Now

(1930s vs. 2018)^.^ - View showing the Arcade Building located at 696 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena  



First Church of Christ, Scientist

(1909)^## – Side view of the First Church of Christ, Scientist Pasadena with Classical Revival style stone-brick, marble columns and dome.   


Historical Notes

The First Church of Christ, Scientist Pasadena was built beginning in 1909. The Classical Revival church building was designed by architects Marston & Van Pelt. At the time of its construction it was the largest building in Pasadena. It was designed to be completely fireproof and was topped by one of the earliest examples of a reinforced concrete dome. ##+




(ca. 1939)* - Partial view of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at 80 Oakland Avenue in Pasadena. A Standard Stations, Inc. gas station is visible at middle right.  


Historical Notes

The building recently underwent an 18-month restoration and seismic upgrade and is a contributing building in the Pasadena Playhouse Historic District.

Click HERE for contemporary view.




(2020)^.^ - The old Classical Revival First Church of Christ Scientist located at 80 S. Oakland Ave in Pasadena.  



Pasadena Playhouse

(1920s)* - Architectural rendering of the Pasadena Playhouse with courtyard and fountain surrounded by buildings on 3 sides. Label reads: Pasadena Community Theatre  


Historical Notes

Founded in 1917 by Gilmor Brown, the Pasadena Playhouse was designed by architect Elmer Grey and the cornerstone laid May 31, 1924. In 1928 the College of Theatre Arts was incorporated with the Pasadena Playhouse Association as a non-profit institution.*




(1930s)* - Exterior view of the entry and court of the Pasadena Playhouse, located at 39 S. El Molino Avenue. It was designed by architect Elmer Grey in Spanish Colonial Revival style and built in 1924-1925.  


Historical Notes

A school of theatre arts was established in the late 1920s that became an accredited college by 1937, eventually training such notable talents as Raymond Burr, Victor Mature, Ernest Borgnine, Eleanor Parker, Charles Bronson, Mako, Jamie Farr, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Sally Struthers and others.*




(1930s)^ – A woman in costume poses by car in front of the Pasadena Playhouse.  





(1925)* - The auditorium of the Playhouse, looking over the seats at the side wall where two balcony box seats can be seen. On the extreme left is the balcony itself, and on the extreme right the stage curtain.  






(1925)* - Vintage image of the original Spanish galleon-adorned stage curtain being painted.  (Photo courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse Archives)  






(1930)^ - Interior view of the Pasadena Playhouse Auditorium.  Back then it was known as the Pasadena Community Theatre.  






(ca. 1937)* – View showing the entrance and courtyard of the Pasadena Playhouse, as seen from S. El Molino Avenue, with flags hanging from palm trees.  


Historical Notes

The Playhouse was recognized by the Legislature as the State Theatre of California in 1937 after the laudable achievement of having performed the entire Shakespeare canon on a single stage for the first time in the United States.




(1939)* - Pasadena Playhouse as seen from the across the street. Large palm trees almost dwarf the theater.  


Historical Notes

The Pasadena Playhouse drew the attention of the nation, bringing Southern California world premieres by authors such as Eugene O'Neill, William Saroyan, Noël Coward, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams, as well as many English language premieres of significant Continental dramas.*




(1944)*- Postcard view showing the front entrance and courtyard of the Pasadena Playouse.  


Historical Notes

The Pasadena Playhouse was designated California Historical Landmark No. 887 (Click HERE to see more California Historical Landmarks in LA County).




(1940s)^ – Postcard view showing the Pasadena Playhouse fronted by a line of mature palm trees.  


Historical Notes

A Spanish Colonial Revival building with Mission elements, the Playhouse is centered around a courtyard enclosed on three sides. Paved in flagstone and surrounded by arcades, the central courtyard is raised above street level. The composition of the building is asymmetrical and informal, almost residential in scale. The stucco walls are textured and irregular to resemble adobe and masonry construction.




(ca. 1951)^ – View looking west over parking lot and S. El Molino Ave showing the Pasadena Playhouse. (Photo courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse Archives)  


Historical Notes

The adjacent six-story concrete school Fannie E. Morrison Annex building was designed by J. Cyril Bennett in 1936 to house the School of Theatre Arts, an accredited college.




(1982)^ – View showing dedication of the Pasadena Playhouse (Playhouse Alley) with Ruth Buzzi seen on ladder.  (Photo courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse Archives)  





(1987)* – Front view of the Pasadena Playhouse with trimmed palm trees near the curb. Sign in front of the playhouse reads: Pasadena Playhouse - Subscribe NOW. LA Times caption reads:  Hoping to attract a new Playhouse audience, developer David Houk, who controls the theater under an agreement with the City of Pasadena, hired producers Susan Dietz and Steve Rothman, both of whom have established records. Photo Dated: May 1, 1987.  


Historical Notes

Due to changes in Actors' Equity Association laws, and the opening of drama departments in many schools and universities across the country, the School of Theatre Arts shut down in 1969. Later that year, after the death of founding director Gilmor Brown, the theatre itself went bankrupt. After six years, the city bought the building in 1975 and later transferred it to real estate developer David Houk. After 17 years of lying dormant, he relaunched the theatre in 1986 as a place to develop shows that would tour other California venues.  While the Pasadena Playhouse reopened for use as a community theatre, the acting school remained closed. Over the next twenty years, the theatre staged classic drama, new musicals and plays, and integrated itself as an educational facility, slowly regaining a prominent place in the national theatre scene to become a major operation of over 8 million dollars a year by 2008.*




(2014)^ - Pasadena Playhouse after renovation, including new seats and carpets. Photo by Watchara Phomicinda  


Historical Notes

In Sept. 2014, the historic theatre received a makeover with new carpet and seats as it geared up to look good for its 100th birthday in 2017.



Then and Now

(1925 vs. 2017)* - Pasadena Playhouse (originally Pasadena Community Playhouse) celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2017.  


Historical Notes

Opened in 1925 as the Pasadena Community Playhouse.  The Playhouse quickly became a hub of the theatre community west of the Mississippi River.




(2019)^ - The Pasadena Playhouse, built in 1925, shares mission-style architecture with many other Pasadena buildings from that decade.  





The historic Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Avenue in the heart of Pasadena. The above sign is on Colorado Boulevard just north of the theatre.  



* * * * *



Clune's Pasadena Theater (later Fox Pasadena Theater)

(1931)* - Close-up view of the Pasadena Theater box office and marquee located at 61 W. Colorado Blvd.  Early model cars are parked on the street. Double Feature: "Bachelor Father" with Marion Davies and "Birthday Party" with Mickey Mouse.  


Historical Notes

The theatre opened as Clune's Pasadena Theatre in 1911, a project of pioneer showman Billy Clune. His best known theatre was Clune's Broadway, still around as the Cameo Theatre.  Clune was also a film producer with his own studio, now a part of Raleigh Studios. 

Clune's Pasadena once had a rooftop sign with over 2,000 lamps. In addition to the theatre, the building had ground floor stores and a space housing the Pasadena Athletic Club.

The venue was later operated by Fox West Coast and known then as the Fox Pasadena. Fox closed the theater in 1953.*##



(1911)*## - Interior view of the Clune's Pasadena Theater opening night, March 1, 1911. Every seat in the house is filled with patron eager to experience Pasadena’s newest film and vaudeville theater.  


Historical Notes

The opening night show was all live acts including singer Lilly Dorn, a saxophone sextet, and storyteller Frank M. Clark.

The Clune's Pasadena Theater, located near Colorado Street and Delacey Avenue, later became the Fox Pasadena Theater and was in operation until the 1950s.*^^*


* * * * *


Colorado Street Bridge

(ca. 1930)* - Panoramic View of the Colorado St. Bridge with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. This is a photograph of a Chris Siemer painting created for a display by the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.  




(ca. 1930)* - Scenic view of the Colorado Street Bridge showing the length of the bridge as it curves across the ravine. Part of the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel can be seen through the arches.  





(1946)#* – Postcard view showing trees and foliage in the Arroyo Seco canyon, and the Colorado Street Bridge spanning across it.  





(1930)^x^ – Night view showing the Colorado Street Bridge illuminated by 1000-watt floodlights.  





(ca. 1930)^ – Night view showing the Colorado Street Bridge and the Hotel Vista del Arroyo, both lit up during the holidays.  




Vista Del Arroyo Hotel

(ca. 1931)* - View of the Colorado Street Bridge, looking southeast with the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel to the right.  


Historical Notes

Originally built as a hotel during the late stages of Pasadena's great resort hotel age, The Vista Del Arroyo Hotel's main building was constructed in two sections—the two-story north wing, in 1920, and the six-story bell tower with flanking wings, in 1930.*^




(ca. 1931)* - View of the Colorado Street Bridge, looking southeast. The new additon to the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel is seen on the right.


Historical Notes

In 1926, the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel  and resort was sold to H.O. Comstock. Comstock hired architect George H. Wiemeyer to redesign the hotel and added a grand six-story addition that consisted of a central bell tower and flanking wings set at an angle. The new Vista opened in 1931 with iridescent color, entertainment, and social gaiety. In 1936, Linnard repurchased the property and hired landscape architect Verner S. Anderson to improve the hotel's grounds by designing formal gardens and adding fountains, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.



(Early 1930s)* - Photo of horseback riders in the Arroyo Seco, overlooking the Colorado Street Bridge. The Vista Del Arroyo Hotel is on the right.  




(ca. 1937)* - This view of the Vista del Arroyo Hotel in Pasadena shot through the Colorado Street bridge captures a dirt path lined with Cypress trees leading through the lush arroyo.  


Historical Notes

Marston and Van Pelt designed the Vista del Arroyo Hotel in 1920 and in 1930 George Wiemeyer added the tower. Myron Hunt designed some of the bungalows. *



(ca. 1937)* - View of the Vista del Arroyo Hotel taken from the arroyo includes the pool area, some of the lower buildings not commonly seen, as well as a long walkway joining the pool to the hotel.  




(ca. 1940)^ – View looking across the swimming pool area of the Hotel Vista del Arroyo where it appears a fashion show is taking place.  The Colorado Street Bridge is seen in the background.  





(ca. 1940)++* – Postcard view showing the Colorado Street Bridge and the Vista del Arroyo Hotel.  





(1940)^++ – Postcard view showing the Colorado Street Bridge and Vista del Arroyo Hotel with palm trees in the foreground.  





(ca. 1943)#* – Postcard view showing the Vista del Arroyo Hotel as seen from the Colorado Street Bridge.  The hotel was converted to a hospital in 1943, near the time of this photo.  


Historical Notes

In 1943 the U.S. War Department acquired the hotel complex and converted it into the McCormack Army Hospital and offices for the U.S. Army. In 1949, the hospital was deactivated and the old hotel, under the care of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), housed a variety of Federal agencies from 1951 to 1974.

In 1981 the Vista del Arroyo was placed in the National Register of Historic Places and GSA began design work to restore the building as the southern seat of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1995, the building was renamed to honor Judge Richard H. Chambers, whose concept it was to bring a Federal courthouse to Pasadena.*^


Click HERE to see more early views of the Colorado Street Bridge.


* * * * *


South Pasadena Middle School

(ca. 1932)* - Exterior view of South Pasadena Middle School, formerly known as a junior high. The attractive campus, located on the corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Oak Street (both are slightly visible in the foreground), includes a number of Italian style buildings. The San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the background.  


Historical Notes

In 1924, bonds were passed to make money available to purchase the site for a junior high school. The town then waited for the population to grow which would necessitate construction.  In 1927, $555,000 was budgeted for erection and equipping of the junior high school.

In mid-January, 1928 the ground was broken for the Junior high and on September 10, 1928 the school officially opened.^#



(ca. 1932)* - Closer view of the South Pasadena Middle School campus with clock tower at right.  





(ca. 1945)^.^ – Students board the PE Red Car at Fair Oaks above Oneonta Junction.  The South Pasadena Junior High clock tower can be seen in the background.  




Oneonta Park Junction (South Pasadena)

(1937)+++ - Panoramic view looking north showing Pacific Electric streetcars gathered at the Oneonta control tower at Huntington Drive and Fair Oaks Avenue. A second story control tower was being built during this 1937 scene.  The clock tower of South Pasadena Middle School at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Oak Street can be seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Oneonta Park Station was constructed in 1906 and had a small counter where tickets, daily newspapers and soft drinks could be purchased before boarding the Red Cars.  A tower located within the station housed an interlocking system which controlled all the switches at the Junction, including Southern Pacific Railway crossing at Huntington Drive and Marengo Avenue.  From the tower, the controller had a view in all directions.  The Oneonta Park Station was demolished when operations were discontinued in late 1951. ^




(1951)##^^– View showing one of the last Pacific Electric streetcars at Oneonta Park Junction. The station would be demolished in late 1951 when the PE Red Car operations discontinued.  


Historical Notes

The largest electric railway system in the world at that time, the Pacific Electric Railway and the Big Red Cars reached the end of the line when virtually all operations ceased by late 1951, ending nearly 50 years of service to more than 50 cities.  Closing the chapter on the Pacific Electric Railway, most of the nearly 1,300 miles of rail along with the trolley wire were removed throughout 1952.^

Click HERE to see more early views of Oneonta Park Junction (1910 +).




Don't Rain on My Parade!

(1934)^^* – Tournament Roses queen Treva Scott, top of float with umbrella, and her court during a rainstorm.  


Historical Notes

It has rained ten times on the Rose Parade, but the parade has never been canceled due to weather.  Those rainy years were 1895, 1899, 1906, 1910, 1916, 1922, 1934, 1937, 1955, and 2006.




(1934)* - A Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce float in the 1934 Tournament of Roses Parade. The street is wet.  




Rose Bowl (1930s and 1940s)

(1930s)#* -  Postcard view looking north showing the Rose Bowl stadium in the Arroyo Seco canyon area. The cities of Pasadena and Altadena are in the distance, with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. Sign visible over scoreboard reads, "Rodeo Wild West Circus here Sat. Oct. 15th, 2.00."  


Historical Notes

The southern stands were completed in 1928.




(1937)* - Rose Bowl football is the classic of all "bowl" games. Here is how grid fans from all corners of--from New York to Seattle to Miami to Los Angeles--appear from above when this annual Pasadena classic is staged. This Kopec Air photo, taken from the Goodyear airship Volunteer, piloted by Art T. Sewell, shows the capacity crowd which witnessed Washington's demise when they met Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Panthers 21 - Washingtion Huskies 0. Photo dated: January 2, 1937.




(ca. 1939)#* - Aerial view, looking south, of the Rose Bowl in the Arroyo Seco canyon area of Pasadena showing the stadium and parking lot filled to capacity.  The Arroyo Seco storm channel is seen at right.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Storm Channel was built during the late 1930s.



(1949)^*# – Aerial view looking down toward the Rose Bowl as fans arrive and parking lots fill up.  




(1949)^*# – Closer view showing a full house at the Rose Bowl and parking lot packed with cars as far as the eye can see.  





(ca. 1940s)#* - View of the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, showing the empty bleachers with seating for 90,000.  


Historical Notes

By 1950 the Rose Bowl Stadium saw its fourth expansion when its capacity increased to 100,983. The Rose Bowl Game became the first bowl game to have 100,000 spectators in attendance.*^ 




(1950 +)^ – Rose Bowl capacity 100,000.  



* * * * *





(1937)*^* – View showing the Pasadena Junior College’s Tournament Band marching in the 1937 Tournament of Roses Parade.  





(1938)* - Crowds watch an Altadena float that features a castle and Santa Claus with his reindeer at the Rose Parade held January 1, 1938. This float won first place in its city size category. Some businesses that can be seen on the north side of Colorado Boulevard between Hudson and Lake include: Pasadena Luggage Shop and, behind the light pole on the far right, Cake Box Products (839 East Colorado Boulevard).  




(1938)* - A streetcar competes with automobile traffic and litter after the Rose Parade held January 1, 1938. The Banners across the street are connected to the streetcar lines, and although one banner is for Robin Hood, the central one is for Alabama, one of the two state teams playing in the Rose Bowl later that day. The Thrifty Drug Store visible on the far left was located at 355 East Colorado Boulevard.  






(1938)**# – View showing two streetcars heading in opposite directions at the intersection of Colorado and Lake.  A used car lot can be seen on the southwest corner.  






(1936)#* - Street view of the building at 341-345 East Colorado. Some of the businesses in this space are the Colorado Inn Cafe, Whitfords Florists, and a jewelers. Two women stand outside of the cafe and a man stands in the doorway of the florist. Two automobiles are parked on the street in front of the buildings.  




(1936)** – View of an auto on a trailer truck in front of A. R. Ahrens Ford Sales and Service on W. Colorado Street.  


Historical Notes

A. R. Ahrens Ford Sales and Service was located at 285 W. Colorado, near the Old Town area in Pasadena. The auto on the trailer is a 1935 Ford V-8 Fordor sedan.**



(1937)* - The intersection of Colorado Blvd. and Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena on October 3, 1937. View is toward the east.  




(ca. 1937)* - Looking northeast towards the post office in Pasadena, located at 281 E Colorado Boulevard. Two sets of streetcar tracks are visible on the boulevard.  




(1939)#* - View looking toward the northwest corner of E. Colorado and Garfield Avenue showing a tall flagpole standing in front of the Post Office. Pedestrians are seen walking by the building with automobiles parked along the street.   


Historical Notes

In early 2012, the post office building was renamed "First Lieutenant Oliver Goodall Post Office Building," in honor of an Altadena resident and Tuskegee Airman. Goodall lived in Altadena from 1961 until his death in November 2010.

Goodall entered the service at Tuskegee in February 1943. In October 1944, he graduated as a multi-engine pilot and was assigned to the 477th Bomber Group at Godman Field, Kentucky, in January 1945, where he attained his First Pilots rating in six months. Goodall was among 60 African American U.S. Army Air Corps officers arrested for trying to peacefully integrate an all-white officers’ club, which came to be known as the Freeman Field Mutiny. The ‘mutiny’ was an important step toward full integration of all U.S. armed forces worldwide in June 1949, serving as a model for later Civil Rights efforts to integrate public facilities.*




(ca. 1936)#*– Postcard view of Colorado Street (now Colorado Boulevard), in Pasadena, showing buildings, storefronts and automobiles. A streetcar is coming onto the street from a cross street, at left. Some of the businesses seen are "The Belmont" "Central Hotel" "Owl Drug Co." a barber pole, market, and liquor store. A sign for "Route 66" is on pole at right. Flags and banners hang over the street - one says "Southern Methodist University."*  


Historical Notes

In the 1936 Rose Bowl, Stanford played Southern Methodist University and beat them 7 – 0.  The only Rose Bowl team from Texas in the game’s first 92 editions, SMU suffered its first loss of the season in front of the game’s first ever sellout crowd of 84,784 while Stanford avenged consecutive Rose Bowl losses the previous two years.




(ca. 1939)#* - Bird's-eye-view of Colorado Street (now Colorado Boulevard), in Pasadena, showing buildings, buses and automobiles. Some of the businesses seen are "Thrifty" "Sears, Roebuck and Co." "Pasadena Corset Shop."  The Pasadena Star-News Building, with the two radio towers on its roof, can be seen in the distance. In the foreground (lower-left) is the First National Bank building located at 301 East Colorado St.  


Historical Notes

Colorado Street was renamed "Boulevard" in 1958.




(1938)* - Exterior view of the Pasadena Star News newspaper office and radio station on Colorado Street and Oakland Ave. Radio towers are visible on the roof of the four-story building.  


Historical Notes

First published in 1884, the Pasadena Star-News moved into the building in 1925 and stayed until the 1990s. Click HERE to see more views of this beautiful Beaux-Arts style building which still stands today.




(1938)*^* – View showing the first library building on Dayton Street (originally located on the corner of Colorado and Raymond).  


Historical Notes

The building was originally built in 1884 at the corner of Colorado and Raymond. In 1886 the building was moved to Dayton Street.  The second floor was used for meetings of the Independent Order of Good Templars and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.*^*



(ca. 1938)* – View of a train passing by the Tower Theatre in Pasadena, located at 114 E. Colorado Blvd.  


Historical Notes

The Tower Theatre opened in 1930 and was designed by architect B.G. Horton, who also designed the Barney’s Beanery building across the street and the elegant MacArthur Building at 24 N. Marengo Avenue.

Next door was a tobacco shop and a pool hall—The Tower Palace, and beyond that, the Sante Fe railroad line, which used to rattle the theater like a Southern California temblor. #^^





(ca. 1952)**^^ - The Tower Theatre opened in 1930 and it closed 22 years later, in 1952.  A parking lot occupies the spot where the Tower Theater once stood—between railroad tracks and the Anderson Typewriter Company.





Historical Notes

Hardly a spectacular movie palace, the Tower Theatre nevertheless attracted the youth of Pasadena. “We used to go there on Saturday mornings for serials—Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, and Bob Steele,” recalled former Pasadena city councilman Chuck McKenney in a 2000 interview with the Pasadena Star-News. #^^


* * * * *



California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

(ca. 1912)* - Throop Hall first opened its doors to the public on February 5, 1910. Known then as Pasadena Hall, it was the first building on the new campus of Throop Polytechnic Institute.  


Historical Notes

Caltech began as a vocational school founded in Pasadena in 1891 by local businessman and politician Amos G. Throop. The school was known successively as Throop University, Throop Polytechnic Institute (and Manual Training School), and Throop College of Technology, before acquiring its current name in 1920. The vocational school was disbanded and the preparatory program was split off to form an independent Polytechnic School in 1907.

In 1910, Throop moved to its current site. Arther Fleming donated the land for the permanent campus site. Theodore Roosevelt delivered an address at Throop Institute on March 21, 1911, and he declared:

“I want to see institutions like Throop turn out perhaps ninety-nine of every hundred students as men who are to do given pieces of industrial work better than any one else can do them; I want to see those men do the kind of work that is now being done on the Panama Canal and on the great irrigation projects in the interior of this country—and the one-hundredth man I want to see with the kind of cultural scientific training that will make him and his fellows the matrix out of which you can occasionally develop a man like your great astronomer, George Ellery Hale.” *^




(1914)*^* - View looking north from Tournament Park showing a biplane soaring above Throop Hall.   





(1922)^.^ – Aerial view of the Caltech Campus showing Throop Hall, completed in 1910; Gates Chemical Lab. built in 1917; Bridge Physics Lab. and Culbertson Hall completed in 1922.  


Historical Notes

Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the college attracted influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910, and the college assumed its present name in 1921.*^




(ca. 1920s)^.^ – View showing Robert Millikan on the Caltech campus with Throop Hall in the background. He is pointing to the High-Voltage Lab (now Sloan).  


Historical Notes

Robert Millikan was the 1st President of California Institute of Technology and in office between 1920 and 1946.

In 1914 Millikan worked on the experimental verification of the equation introduced by Albert Einstein in 1905 to describe the photoelectric effect. He used this same research to obtain an accurate value of Planck’s constant. In 1921 Millikan left the University of Chicago to become director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. There he undertook a major study of the radiation that the physicist Victor Hess had detected coming from outer space. Millikan proved that this radiation is indeed of extraterrestrial origin, and he named it "cosmic rays." As chairman of the Executive Council of Caltech (the school's governing body at the time) from 1921 until his retirement in 1945, Millikan helped to turn the school into one of the leading research institutions in the United States.  He also served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1921 to 1953.

Robert Millikan was honored with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for the measurement of the elementary electric charge and for his work on the photoelectric effect.*




(ca. 1922)^.^ – An early model car is parked in front of the Hi Volts Lab (now Sloan Laboratory).  


Historical Notes

Since 1923, Caltech faculty and alumni have garnered 32 Nobel Prizes and five Crafoord Prizes.




(ca. 1930)* - Graduation ceremonies held at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena. Graduating students are sitting in the front (middle), surrounded by family and friends.  





(1930s)* - Exterior view of Throop Hall at the California Institute of Technology. Designed by Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, it was built in 1912.





(1930s)* - The large building on the right is the Optical Shop in which a 200-inch disc of pyrex glass was ground and polished preparatory to being installed in the Observatory on Palomar Mountain in San Diego County.  


Historical Notes

At a time when scientific research in the United States was still in its infancy, George Ellery Hale, a solar astronomer from the University of Chicago, founded the Mount Wilson Observatory in 1904. He joined Throop's board of trustees in 1907, and soon began developing it and the whole of Pasadena into a major scientific and cultural destination.*^




(1932)^*^ - Richard Tolman of Cal Tech stands next to Albert Einstein in 1932. Einstein came for a visit because he was interested in Cal Tech's work.  


Historical Notes

Albert Einstein arrived on the Caltech campus for the first time in 1931 to polish up his Theory of General Relativity, and he returned to Caltech subsequently as a visiting professor in 1932 and 1933.

Since 2000, the Einstein Papers Project has been located at Caltech. The project was established in 1986 to assemble, preserve, translate, and publish papers selected from the literary estate of Albert Einstein and from other collections.*^



Robinson Laboratory

(1939)* - Exterior view of the Astro-Physics Laboratory (aka Robinson Laboratory) at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1932, the awe-inspiring observatory was designed in an eclectic Californian Churrigueresque style, with nods to Art Deco, designed by famed architects Mayers Murray & Phillip. The laboratory, along with the rest of Caltech's exuberant campus, is one of the most exquisite and unique executions of Churrigueresque architecture in all of California. Famed astronomer Fritz Zwicky discovered the existence of Dark Matter while working in the basement of the Robinson Lab in 1933.




(ca. 2017)** - View showing the Lind + Robinson Laboratory at California Institute of Technology as it appears today.  


Historical Notes

The laboratory housed Caltech's astronomers and astrophysicists for nearly eighty years. Among countless achievements made here, Caltech co-founder and renowned astrophysicist George Ellery Hale led the construction of the 200-inch telescope on Mount Palomar.

In 2008, Caltech began transforming the building into the new Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, devoted to developing solutions to the world's complex environmental problems. The rehabilitation and restoration earned the project a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2012.*




(1945)^^* - Workers at the California Institute of Technology Optical Shop pose with the mirror of a  200-inch Palomar Observatory telescope  


Historical Notes

After the end of World War II, grinding work was resumed on the mirror. Work had been halted in 1942 when engineers, scientists and Caltech laboratories were assigned war-related work.

The mirror was transported to Palomar Observatory in 1947. The 200-inch telescope was dedicated in 1948.^^*




(1939)* - Exterior view of Arms Hall (left) and Mudd Hall (right), Geology studies, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena on May 5, 1939. They are located on the south side of the quad.


Historical Notes

In 1910, a bill was introduced in the California Legislature calling for the establishment of a publicly funded "California Institute of Technology," with an initial budget of a million dollars, ten times the budget of Throop at the time. The board of trustees offered to turn Throop over to the state, but the presidents of Stanford University and the University of California successfully lobbied to defeat the bill, which allowed Throop to develop as the only scientific research-oriented education institute in southern California, public or private, until the onset of the World War II necessitated the broader development of research-based science education.

The promise of Throop attracted physical chemist Arthur Amos Noyes from MIT to develop the institution and assist in establishing it as a center for science and technology.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of High Tension Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. View shows the architectural designs over the entrance and on the building. View of entrance and facade. Architect: Goodhue and Associates. Date built: c. 1925.  


Historical Notes

In the 1950s–1970s, Caltech was the home of Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman, whose work was central to the establishment of the Standard Model of particle physics. Feynman was also widely known outside the physics community as an exceptional teacher and colorful, unconventional character.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Kerckhoff Biological Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology  


Historical Notes

In addition to managing JPL, Caltech also operates the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, the Owens Valley Radio Observatory in Bishop, California, the Submillimeter Observatory and W. M. Keck Observatory at the Mauna Kea Observatory, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory at Livingston, Louisiana and Richland, Washington, and Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory in Corona del Mar, California.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of Dabney Hall of the Humanities at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Caltech opened its doors to female undergraduates during the presidency of Harold Brown in 1970, and they made up 14% of the entering class. The fraction of female undergraduates has been increasing since then. In fall 2008, the freshman class was 42% female, a record for Caltech's undergraduate enrollment.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Biological Sciences building and Arcade Pavilion at the California Institute of Technology. View also shows the architectural designs above the entrance and around the windows of the building. West entrance of simplified Beaux Arts style laboratory building executed in poured concrete. Architect: Goodhue and Associates. Date built: ca. 1929.  


Historical Notes

Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering.

Caltech was ranked 1st internationally in 2011 and 2012 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Caltech was ranked as the best university in the world in two categories: Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences. It was also found to have the highest faculty citation rate in the world.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Carnegie Seismological Institution Laboratory in Pasadena on May 4, 1939.  


Historical Notes

In 2012, the Center for World University Rankings ranked Caltech fifth in the world and fourth nationally in its CWUR World University Rankings.*^


* * * * *



Pacific-Asia Museum

(1939)* - Exterior view of the Grace Nicholson Bazaar and Art Gallery, now the Pacific-Asia Museum. Photo is dated July 26, 1939. Mrs. Nicholson was a dealer in Oriental art and books, and this was her shop and home. Later it became the Pasadena Art Institute. This photo shows that she rented apartments, store space and assembly halls in this building.  


Historical Notes

Grace Nicholson, a noted collector and authority on American Indian and Asian Art and artifacts, supervised the design of her combination gallery and museum which was completed in 1929. It has been called an outstanding example of 1920s revival architecture and is unique for its use of Chinese ornamentation. Since then it has been designated as a California Historical Landmark, No. 988, located at 46 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena.

Click HERE to see more California Historical Landmarks in LA County.^*



(2008)*^ - View showing the Grace Nicholson Building, home of the USC Pacific Asia Museum, located at 46 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena. Click HERE to see another contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

In 1901, Grace Nicholson moved to California, and soon opened a small shop in Pasadena, selling Native American handicrafts such as baskets and weaving.  She hired crafters to teach traditional beadwork and other skills; she rented space to local artists. She traveled extensively in the rural western and Southwestern United States, worked with local dealers to build her collection, and corresponded with East Coast collectors to sell the objects.  She personally photographed and catalogued her holdings; she also built an extensive photographic record beyond the objects, especially of the Klamath River people, with whom she had frequent dealings.  

Nicholson acquired artifacts for sale, but also for major museums such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Field Museum in Chicago. She lectured about "the Indian" to churches and civic groups. In recognition of her expertise, Nicholson was elected to the American Anthropological Association in 1904. As a member of the "Anthropological Society," she joined a tour group that visited horticulturist Luther Burbank in 1905, in Santa Rosa, California. In 1909, she was awarded a silver medal at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle, for a display of baskets and other artifacts.

In 1924, she designed a new building for her collections, which (reflective of changing fashions) had begun to focus on Asian art.  The architectural firm of Marston, Van Pelt & Maybury worked with Nicholson to realize her vision. Her design, nicknamed the "Treasure House," borrowed elements from buildings she had seen in China.  The building was opened as an art gallery and shop in 1925, although the interior garden courtyard was not completed until 1929.*^




(2018)^.^ – Close-up front view of the USC Pacific-Asia Museum.  


Historical Notes

In 2013, University of Southern California partnered with the museum to form USC Pacific Asia Museum.

USC Pacific Asia Museum is the only university museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum’s mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.


* * * * *



War Memorial Building

(1939)* - Exterior view of War Memorial Building, located at 435 S. Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena. Photo dated: March 3, 1939.  


Historical Notes

The War Memorial Building, designed by Norman Foote Marsh, has served as a memorial to veterans and as a meeting place for South Pasadena's American Legion Post No. 140. In 1921, the cornerstone was laid and two years later General John J. Pershing planted a redwood tree on the grounds. The building is #2 on South Pasadena's Register of Cultural Heritage Landmarks.*


* * * * *


Millard House (aka "La Miniatura")

(1939)* - Exterior view of the Millard House, named "La Miniatura", located at 645 Prospect Crescent in Pasadena. It was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in a style resembling a Mayan temple, and set in a jungle-like landscape.  


Historical Notes

The Millard House was the first of Frank Lloyd Wright's four "textile block" houses — all built in Los Angeles County in 1923 and 1924. Wright took on the Millard House following his completion of the Hollyhock House in Hollywood and the Imperial Hotel in Japan.*^

It was commissioned by rare book dealer Alice Millard, for whom Wright had already designed a home in Chicago in 1906.




(2011)^.^ – View showing the Millard House as it appears today.  


Historical Notes

The 4,230 square foot home has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, two kitchens, and a studio guest house that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd Wright, a year after the original home was completed.

Built in 1923, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.


* * * * *




Rose Bowl

(1939)* - View of a football game, played in front of a packed stadium at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Photo dated: June 22, 1939.  





Arroyo Seco Parkway (later Pasadena Freeway)

(1934)^+^ - Map showing the proposed Arroyo Seco Freeway/Parkway from Pasadena, South Pasadena and Altadena to the Downtown section of Los Angeles.    


Historical Notes

Built during the Great Depression, construction of the Arroyo Seco Parkway put a lot of people to work.

At the time, it was considered an engineering marvel, reducing travel time between Los Angeles and Pasadena from 27 to 12 minutes.




(1936)*^* - View of the proposed Arroyo Seco Parkway location looking upstream from Avenue 26, toward Pasadena. The bridge in the center of the picture is the Cypress Avenue Bridge of the Union Pacific Railroad. The route of the proposed parkway follows along the left side of the wheel tracks in the foreground. The Sunshine Laundry Building can be seen next to the bridge.  


Historical Notes

Before the Parkway was built, cottonwoods filled the Arroyo Seco at Avenue 26. The first known survey for a permanent roadway through the Arroyo was made by T.D. Allen of Pasadena in 1895, and in 1897 two more proposals were made, one for a scenic parkway and the other for a commuter cycleway.*^




(1938)*^* - Looking northeasterly showing the construction of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, with the demolition of old Avenue 43 Bridge in progress. The Southwest Museum is on the hill in the background.  





(1940)*#* – View showing the Arroyo Seco Parkway shortly after its completion with the Southwest Museum in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway was the first freeway in California and the western United States, connecting Los Angeles with Pasadena alongside the Arroyo Seco seasonal river. It is notable not only for being the first, mostly opened in 1940, but for representing the transitional phase between early parkways and modern freeways. It conformed to modern standards when it was built, but is now regarded as a narrow, outdated roadway.*^




(1940)* - Caption reads, "First motorists to travel over the new link are pictured at the Avenue 53 bridge. The freeway is divided in the center by a small parkway. Each side has three wide lanes for traffic. The new part runs from Avenue 40 to Orange Grove drive. The Glenarm-Fair Oaks section has been open some time." Photograph dated: July 20, 1940. The Southwest Museum can be seen in the distance.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway was designed with two 11–12 foot lanes and one ten-foot shoulder in each direction, with the wider inside (passing) lanes paved in black asphalt concrete and the outside lanes paved in gray Portland cement concrete.*^




(1941)^ - The Arroyo Seco Parkway shortly after it was completed. View is looking south from Avenue 60. Note the exit on the right is virtually a perpendicular right turn without an off-ramp or transition.  


Historical Notes

At the time, it was considered an engineering marvel, reducing travel time between Los Angeles and Pasadena from 27 to 12 minutes.




(1942)^ - View of a 1941 Ford Woody, with the bumper-guard and dual spotlights options, waiting at the stop sign before proceeding unto the Arroyo Seco Parkway.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway design, state-of-the-art when built, included tight "right-in/right-out" access with a recommended exit speed of 5 miles per hour and stop signs on the entrance ramps; there are no acceleration or deceleration lanes.*^




(1949)* - View is of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, looking south from Bishops Road Bridge. The freeway is divided in the center by a small parkway. Each side has four wide lanes for traffic - though the southbound portion is not visible due to the parkway  


Historical Notes

Today, the Arroyo Seco Parkway remains the most direct route between downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena despite its flaws; the only reasonable freeway alternate (which trucks must use) is the Glendale Freeway to the west, which is itself not easily reached by trucks from downtown Los Angeles.

The state legislature designated the original section, north of the Figueroa Street Viaduct, as a "California Historic Parkway" (part of the State Scenic Highway System reserved for freeways built before 1945) in 1993. The American Society of Civil Engineers named it a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 1999, and it became a National Scenic Byway in 2002 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.*^




(1955)*^* – View looking north at the Arroyo Seco Parkway from the Avenue 60 Bridge.  


Historical Notes

When built in the 1930s the Arroyo Seco Parkway conformed to modern standards of the times (including a speed limit of 45 mph), but is now considered by many as too narrow and dangerous for the amount of vehicular traffic it serves on a daily basis.  The six-lane, six-mile long highway was designed for 27,000 automobiles a day.  These days, it carries more than 122,000 cars daily.**#




(1955)^ - View looking north at Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway) from College St. Bridge. In the distance can be seen the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains.  





(1948)* – Night view looking north on the 110 (Arroyo Seco Parkway) on a rainy day, with one car pulled over in the turnout.  





(1950s)* – View showing densely packed traffic travelling southbound on the Pasadena Freeway, from Park Row Drive overlooking the Freeway near Civic Center.  


Historical Notes

Between 1954 and 2010, Arroyo Seco Parkway was officially designated the Pasadena Freeway. In 2010, as part of plans to revitalize its scenic value and improve safety, Caltrans renamed the roadway back to its original name. All the bridges built during parkway construction remain, as do four older bridges that crossed the Arroyo Seco before the 1930s.*^


* * * * *



Pasadena First National Bank

(1938)++# - Pedestrians stroll down the sidewalk in front of the Pasadena First National Bank building, on the northeast corner of Colorado and Raymond. The city has done an excellent job preserving parts of Old Pasadena: the view today is remarkably similar.  





Then and Now

(1938)++# vs. (2015)## - Building on the northeast corner of Raymond Ave and Colorado Boulevard, now occupied by an AT&T store.  





(1941)* - View of 105 So. Fair Oaks Avenue at Green Street in Pasadena on December 24, 1941, site of a Market Basket grocery store.  


Historical Notes

The three story building with the "Go Farther" billboard, once housed the John Bull pub in the 70s & 80s.^*^#




(1946)*^* – View showing the Circle Café located at 953 East Colorado Boulevard, NE corner of Colorado and Mentor Ave.  Photo by J. Allen Hawkins.  Today, an H&R Block occupies the ground floor.  Click HERE for contemporary view.  





(1939)*^* - View of the Old Fire Station 1 at corner of Holly and Arroyo Parkway looking eastward toward city hall. Arroyo Parkway here used to be N. Broadway.  





(ca. 1940s)* - Pedestrians and cars on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena circa the 1940s. View is looking north toward City Hall on Garfield Avenue.  





(1949)++# – Pasadena City Hall in snow, January 1949.  





(1945)^#^# - View from above the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Oakland Avenue as seen from the Independent-Star News building.  The Broadway Pasadena is on the left and City Hall at top center.  





The Broadway Pasadena

(1945)^#^# – Close-up view of the Art Deco Broadway Pasadena on Colorado Boulevard.  


Historical Notes

The Broadway began branch expansion in earnest with a striking art-deco store on Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard. A similar store anchored the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in 1947. With the help of its architects, The Broadway developed a signature look for its suburban stores, which numbered in the thirties by 1979. #***




(ca. 1945)*^* - View showing the parking lot of The Broadway department store in Pasadena. In the background can be seen the Grace Nicholson Building (now the Pacific Asia Museum) located on N. Los Robles.  




Bullock's Pasadena

(1947)##^^ – Postcard view showing the newly completed Bullock's Department Store in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1947, the Streamline Moderne Art Deco building was designed by noted Los Angeles architects Wurdeman & Becket, a partnership between Welton Becket and Walter Wurdemen. In addition to the building itself, the architects oversaw the design and installation of all aspects of the store's interior, from the wallpaper and display cases, to the unique mechanical conveyor system that delivered purchases directly to the parking lot.

The design and merchandising of store were unique and stood in contrast to many older department stores of the time. Bullock's Pasadena was among the first department stores in the country to be located outside of a downtown area and was intended to appeal to the emerging "carriage trade," or those shoppers arriving by automobiles. As such, the store was oriented toward an unheard of 6-acre parking lot located behind the structure.

The store's promoters touted it as the "store of tomorrow" and Arts and Architecture magazine described it as "one of the world's most modern buildings." In fact, the design was recipient of an AIA Merit Award in 1950. *^




(1960s)*^* - View showing the Bullock's Department Store located at 401 S. Lake Avenue in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

To attract the garden-loving populace of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, landscape architect Ruth Shellhorn worked with Wurdeman and Becket to create a lush landscape from which the massive building arose like an island. In a then-astonishing concession to the automobile, Bullock's Pasadena prefigured mid-century commercial development throughout Los Angeles by featuring a rear six-acre parking lot. The parking lot has since been developed into a new retail center by Johnson Favaro (2003).




(1967)++## – Closer view of Bullock’s Pasadena showing two early model cars parked in front.  The car on the left appears to be a 1964 Corvair.  


Historical Notes

The South Lake Avenue shopping district, in which Bullock's Pasadena was a major player, started to lose its luster in the late 1980s. While Pasadena's once-seedy Old Town district was reborn as a trendy shopping and entertainment district, once-proud South Lake Avenue lost much of its distinction.

On July 12, 1996, the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as No. 96000776. In May 2000, the city of Pasadena's Design Review Board granted approval for a redevelopment of the building as part of a new shopping area called "The Shops on Lake Avenue," a $33 million project, featuring specialty shops, 27,000 square feet of new restaurants and a new 300-space-parking garage, increasing parking capacity to nearly 1,200 spaces. Developed by Cleveland, Ohio-based Forest City Development California, Inc. and owned by Federated Department Stores, the project opened in the spring of 200. *^


* * * * *





(1940s)^x^ – View showing a Richfield Gas Station on S. Lake Ave in Pasadena. Sign on corner reads: “For Your Army and For Your Car – Richfield"  





(1949)**++ – View showing Union 76 Service Station located on the corner of San Pasqual Street and S. Lake Avenue in Pasadena. Bullock’s Department Store is seen in the background on the left.  The building was designed by architect Raymond Loewy.  Photo by Julius Shulman  



Click HERE to see more Early Views of Gas Stations




Guinn’s Coffee Shop and Drive-in

(1940s)^^+ – View showing Guinn’s Coffee Shop and Drive-in located at 2915 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Gwinn’s Drive-in was designed by Harold J. Bissner and Harold B. Zook.




(ca. 1947)**## – Gwinn’s Coffee Shop and Drive-in, 2915 E. Colorado Blvd. (U. S. 66) Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Guinn's Drive-in was demolished around 1992.


Click HERE to see more Early Drive-in Restaurants


* * * * *




(ca. 1948)#* – Panoramic view showing the Pasadena skyline in the city center.  The tall dome of Pasadena City Hall is seen at left.  





(1948)*^* – Aerial view showing gas collection towers located along Edmonson Alley, between Fair Oaks and Raymond, just north of Glenarm Street.   


Historical Notes

The larger of the two gas towers provided gas for the entire city of Pasadena.

There are words, numbers and symbols on the roof of the larger tank providing directions and information for pilots flying overhead.  The arrow reading "Grand Central" refers to the Burbank Airport.*^*




(1947)* - View south on Lake Ave. from Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. The building on the left corner is the Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles, next to it is a parking lot, and in the background, on the right, is Chapman's Famous Ice Cream shop. Several cars can be seen parked along the right side of the street.  





(1949)*** - Pacific Electric Railway cars 1243 and 1211 head eastbound on Colorado Boulevard at Oakland Avenue beneath banners for the 1949 Tournament of Roses Parade.  


Historical Notes

The Pacific Electric Railway route consisted of travelling on Colorado Boulevard to Lake Avenue, then south to merge onto Oak Knoll where it ran further south to Huntington Drive and then west, on its way to the PE building at 6th and Main Streets in Los Angeles.***




(1949)^*# – Climate change on the Pasadena line.  View showing the Oak Knoll Line at Old Mill Road in San Marino on January 11, 1949.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena via Oak Knoll was a line of the Pacific Electric Railway, running from 1906 until 1950, between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Pasadena, with additional service to Altadena during rush hour. The route was originally built in 1906 to reach the Wentworth Hotel (later Huntington Hotel) in Oak Knoll. It was the second to last PE line to be decommissioned in Pasadena, and was the last line to run along Colorado Boulevard.*^




(1950)* - A crowd of passengers wait to board the Pacific Electric Red Car No. 1148 at 6th and Main, going to Pasadena via Oak Knoll. A man carries a large package labeled "rush" and "fragile".  


Historical Notes

The Red Car trolley line to Pasadena made its last run in 1950. The caption for the Oct. 3, 1950 photo read: "Its days are numbered. After Sunday, no more P.E. Oak Knoll Red Cars will rumble from Sixth and Main (above) to Pasadena".*




(1950)*^^ - A Pacific Electric street car turns onto Colorado from Lake, on the last day of the line’s operation in Pasadena, October 7, 1950.  





(ca. 1950)++# – View looking east on Colorado Boulevard from just west of the Santa Fe crossing in Pasadena.  PE Interurban 1125 is inbound to LA by way of the Oak Knoll line but is held up by the Chief passing in front. Note also the Tower Theater at right.  Photo by Stan Kistler. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

The Chief was one of the named passenger trains of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Its route ran from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles. The Chief was inaugurated as an all-Pullman limited train to supplement the road's California Limited, with a surcharge of $10.00 for an end-to-end trip. The heavyweight began its first run from both ends of the line, simultaneously, on November 14, 1926, scheduled 63 hours each way between Chicago and Los Angeles, five hours faster than the California Limited.*^




(ca. 1950)++# - View looking north at the Colorado Boulevard Santa Fe crossing.  The all-Pullman Chief, outbound to Chicago, is at center.  Note the elevated flagman shanty, complete with warning bell, at center left. Photo by Donald Duke. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  


Historical Notes

The Chief became famous as a "rolling boudoir" for film stars and Hollywood executives. In 1954 the Chief reduced its schedule to equal its cousins, the Super Chief and El Capitan, and would ultimately drop the extra fare requirement as well.

The Chief would have been the "crown jewel" of most railroads' passenger fleets. But it did not survive the national decline in passenger demand and its last run was on May 15, 1968.*^





(1949)^ - View looking north on Lake Ave after a snow storm. Photo date: 1/10/49.  






(1949)* - Five women are waving and smiling, standing in the snow under a sign that reads, "Police Dept. and Emergency Hospital", in Pasadena. Photo is dated January 11, 1949.  





(1955)##^^ – Spectators brave the cold weather to watch the 1955 Rose Parade.  This appears to be the N/E corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks.  LA Times Photo  


Historical Notes

Low of 46 and a high of 57 that New Year's Day in 1955. That's cold for Southern California




(1950)*^* – View showing a marching band at the 1950 Rose Parade with Orth's Mayflower Warehouse and a camera boom for KTTV TV visible in the background. The 1949 Pasadena City Directory lists Orth Van and Storage at 238 W. Colorado Boulevard. It looks cold out there…  





(ca. 1950)^*# – View looking east on Colorado Boulevard from Los Robles Avenue during the holiday season.  The Star News radio tower at Oakland Avenue is on the left.  Sears and Wetherby Kayser can be seen on the right.  





(1950)^*# - Keeping the peace in Pasadena.  The police car is a 1950 Hudson.  





(ca. 1950)** – View looking south on Arroyo Parkway at Colorado with Pasadena First National Bank on the southwest corner. Tthe Santa Fe Railroad Station can be seen in the distance on the left side of Arroyo, and on the right the Pasadena Winter Garden can also be seen.  





(1958)+++ - Santa Fe and Route 66 in Pasadena. The eastbound Chief noses past midcentury traffic on Colorado Boulevard; Metro's Gold Line now burrows underneath.  




Howard Motor Company Building

(n.d.)*.* - View showing the 1927-built Howard Motor Company Building located at 1285 E. Colorado Blvd.  


Historical Notes

The Howard Motor Company built the showroom in 1927; it was one of several car dealerships built along Colorado Boulevard. The building has a Spanish Colonial Revival design with Churrigueresque ornamentation; its design includes a decorative frieze, chanfered corners, and an elliptical arched entrance topped by the dominant Churrigueresque element. The Bush-Morgan Motor Company moved into the building in 1938 and occupied it through the 1950s. *^

Most early Pasadena automobile dealers located their showrooms on Colorado Boulevard.  Two groupings developed: one on a two-block stretch of West Colorado Boulevard between Orange Grove Boulevard and downtown, and the other located in the then-geographic center of the city along East Colorado Boulevard between Lake and Hill Avenues.  Built in 1927, the Howard Motor Company Building was one of several auto-related buildings located along East Colorado Boulevard, and it was among the showiest.




(1956)^.^ – Postcard view showing the Noll Auto Co., Packard Dealership, located in the old Howard Motor Company Building.  


Historical Notes

The last "real" Packards went out in a blaze of glory at this dealership. By 1957 imported makes were sold here by Noll-Baldwin Motor Co., including Hillman, Sunbeam, Jaguar, Simca, Triumph and Volvo. In the early '70s it was Pasadena Mazda, followed by California Custom Coach (which made replica Auburn Speedsters), and, finally, Acura of Pasadena until 2005.

The building was also an Aaardvark’s Odd Ark clothing store in the 90s.




(2008)** – View showing a vacant Howard Motor Company Building, 1285 E. Colorado Blvd in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

With considerable growth in the automobile industry during the 1920s, competition among dealers was fierce.  It was not unusual for dealerships to move often, each time seeking a more elaborate or advantageous location.  When builders constructed the Howard Motor Company building in 1927, Churrigueresque was an apt choice.  The exterior of the building is richly ornamented. Corners are chamfered and topped with a broad ornamental frieze. Showroom windows and entry doors are recessed in a single elliptical arch, which spans the entire street facade.  The arch has a grooved mold that terminates in unusual scrolled imposts. ^

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 18, 1996.

Click HERE for contemporary street view.




(2008)** – Close-up detail view showing the Churrigueresque-style design above the entrance to the Howard Motor Company Building.  


Historical Notes

“Churrigueresque” is the ornate, sculpted, baroque architectural style of the Howard Motor Company Building.  Popularized in Spain during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Churrigueresque was revived during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, San Diego.  In the years between World War I and World War II, the country entered the age of the automobile, and this high-relief style worked particularly well in the expanding California automotive market where dealers competed fiercely for attention and for sales. ^


* * * * *



Pasadena Pioneers Bridge (aka Colorado Freeway Bridge)

(1951)**# -  This sketch shows the general relation of the existing and proposed Colorado Street bridges in Pasadena. This finished appearance is by Bridge Department artist Van Der Goes who retouched a photograph of a model of the bridge.  


Historical Notes

When the Foothill (210) Freeway was planned in the early 1950s, the California Department of Transportation made known its intention to demolish the Colorado Street Bridge. But after much public outcry and appeals from the City of Pasadena and other organizations, Caltrans allowed the bridge to stand and built their own bridge parallel to it. ^




(1951)**# – Conceptual design sketch showing the original Colorado Street Bridge with the newly proposed Colorado Freeway Bridge (later Pasadena Freeway Bridge).  


Historical Notes

Pasadena Pioneers Bridge is named for the party of settlers led by Dr. T.B. Elliot, a physician who held meetings in his Indianapolis home for people interested in moving to California and settling where the sun would shine year-round. After extensive fact-finding, the party of settlers came by train, then boat, then wagons to what became the Indiana Colony. ^




(1951)* - Construction of the Pasadena Pioneers Bridge, also known as the Colorado Freeway Bridge, is underway directly north of the Colorado Street Bridge, seen on the right. The majestic Vista Del Arroyo Hotel is visible in the background on the right. A portion of the photograph caption reads, "The mid-section of the new bridge will be 93 1/2 feet wide. Thirty-two thousand cubic yards of concrete will be poured into the bridge.  


Historical Notes

Ground was broken for Pioneers Bridge in 1951. By then, daily traffic on the Colorado Street Bridge was causing stress to that structure to the point where traffic was not allowed during peak hours. ^




(1953)^*# - A new bridge, now the Ventura Freeway, is built over the Arroyo Seco. The Colorado Street Bridge is on the right. This photo was published in the May 25, 1953, Los Angeles Times.  





(1953)* - Another view showing the almost completed new Pasadena Pioneers Bridge next to the Old Colorado Street Bridge.  


Historical Notes

The Colorado Freeway was first opened to traffic on June 25, 1954. The first segment ran from Orange Grove Blvd in Pasadena west to Avenue 64 in Eagle Rock. The westbound lanes of the Arroyo Seco Bridge were opened a little earlier on October 8, 1953. This first segment included four structures. The largest and most interesting structure was the Arroyo Seco Bridge. It was designed to compliment the 1913 Colorado Street Pioneer Bridges and still does so quite nicely to this day.^




(1953)* -    Hundreds of spectators viewed ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of one-half of the giant Colorado Freeway Bridge, also known as the Pasadena Pioneers Bridge, in Pasadena. Only the north half, consisting of three lanes, was opened because it is necessary to do additional work on the old Pasadena Colorado street "suicide" bridge so that the south of new structure which supersedes it could clear the old bridge. Photo dated: October 9, 1953.  


Historical Notes

A plaque placed on Orange Grove overlooking the Ventura Freeway reads, "Pasadena Pioneer Bridge erected by the California Commission and the Division of Highways of the Department of Public Works, named by resolution of the 1953 state legislature and dedicated to all Pasadena pioneers especially the twenty seven who founded this city near this spot on January 27, 1874 dedicated October 8, 1953 by the City of Pasadena and a committee of citizens grateful for our illustrious past and committed to a more glorious future."*


* * * * *




Colorado and Fair Oaks

(1954)* - View is looking east on Colorado Boulevard from Fair Oaks in Pasadena. J.J. Newberry's can be seen on the left side of the street. On the other side of the street is the still popular dive bar, Freddie's 35er.  





(1989)* - Gil's Grill, a small street corner carry-out restaurant located at Colorado and Fair Oaks Boulevards.  



* * * * *




Pasadena Winter Garden

(ca. 1940)^.^ - A car is parked in front of the Pasadena Winter Gardens, located at 171 S. Arroyo Parkway.  


Historical Notes

Built in 1940, Pasadena Winter Garden was located at 171 S. Arroyo Parkway, not far from Colorado Blvd., the main drag of Pasadena. It was the home of the Blade and Edge Figure Skating Club and is most renowned for being the original home of World and Olympic champion Peggy Fleming. ++




(1946)++# – View looking northwest showing SP Engine No. 1677 at what is now the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Cordova Street, Pasadena. After a short pause the engine and its train of freight cars will return to the main line junction in Alhambra. Note the Pasadena Winter Garden behind the engine.  





(1960s)++ – View looking south on Arroyo Parkway on a rainy day showing the Pasadena Winter Garden.  





(1960s)++ – Interior view showing the ice rink at the Pasadena Winter Garden.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena Winter Garden was home to the Pasadena Panthers, one of four teams in the California Ice Hockey League in the 1950s. The league contained four teams, who were vying for ice time in the three-rink Los Angeles basin.

The rink closed December 31, 1966 and the wonderful art deco exterior was all that remained when it was converted to a U. S. Post Office facility. However, the permafrost caused such serious discomfort to postal workers that the facility was closed. It sat vacant for some years and is now a Public Storage facility. ++


* * * * *




(ca. 1949)^++^ - A Santa Fe mail train crosses the Arroyo Seco (and Route 66) near South Pasadena behind engine no. 3444. Today the bridge carries Metro's Gold Line over the Pasadena Freeway.  





(1949)^++^ - Santa Fe no. 3770 with a westbound passenger train waits at the Santa Fe Train Station in Pasadena.  





(1961)#+# – View showing the Santa Fe Railway Station in Pasadena.  The man with the cap in the lower-right corner is the porter to help you with the luggage. The square symbol behind the two lights is the logo for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.  


Historical Notes

The Santa Fe Railway’s Mission Revival-style passenger station on Raymond Ave. in Pasadena opened in 1935.

In the heyday of train travel, this station was favored by celebrities who didn’t want to have to deal with the whole “Movie Star Arrives in Los Angeles” press circus, and preferred to quietly arrive in town and sneak back home. So they’d get out at the station before Union Station in downtown L.A. – and that was this one. #+#




(1980s)^^** – View showing an Amtrak train arriving in Pasadena from Chicago.  


Historical Notes

This scene has changed drastically with the arrival of Metro's Gold Line, but the depot survives as a restaurant surrounded by high-rise living.


* * * * *




(ca. 1970)** - Old Town Pasadena intersection of Colorado and Raymond. Crown City Loan & Jewelry is the most visible business along this stretch of Colorado Blvd.  





(1970s)** – Aerial view looking north showing the newly constructed freeway system of the 1970's. Landscaping to beautify the freeway had not yet been done. Saint Andrew's Church on Raymond Street can be seen in the upper right corner of the photo just south of the 210 freeway. A few blocks below on Raymond Street is the Hotel Green next to Central Park. West of Raymond Ave. is Fair Oaks Avenue. Bekins Storage Co. is on the lower right of the photo. The Rose Bowl stadium is near the upper left corner.  





(ca. 1986)* -  Scenic view of Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Banners hanging from light poles, read: "Pasadena Tournament of Roses," and bleachers are set up for the Rose Parade. The Pasadena City Hall appears on the left in front of the San Gabriel mountains, seen in the distance.   





(n.d.)#^ - The Pasadena City College Band marching in the Rose Parade in front of Norton Simon Museum.  




(1966)++# - Aerial view looking north up the Arroyo, featuring the Colorado Street Bridge, Pioneer Bridge and the Rose Bowl.  





(2010)*^ – Closer view of the Colorado Street Bridge next to the bridge for the Ventura Freeway, also known as the Pasadena Pioneer Bridge.  






(2007)+#+ - View showing the majestic Colorado Street Bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco. Photo by Bernard Tang  






(2018)^.^ - The Colorado Street Bridge lit up by streetlights at sunset.  






(2019)^.^ - The Colorado Street Bridge comes to life at night!   






(2018)^.^ – Contemporary view of the Rose Bowl.  






(1987)* - It looks empty here, but the Rose Bowl is anything but on New Year's Day, when 100,000-plus fans rock the stadium.  






(2014)#^^* – Aerial drone view of the beautiful Pasadena City Hall. Photo by Phil Coombes  


Historical Notes

On July 28, 1980 the Civic Center District, including Pasadena City Hall, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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References and Credits

* LA Public Library Image Archive

^ USC Digital Archive

^*California Historic Landmark Listing (Los Angeles)

**Pasadena Museum of History

^^UC Irvine - The White City by Miles Clement

*# The Shakespeare Club of Pasadena

^# South Pasadena Middle School Home Page

+# Examiner.com - Rose Parade no-nos: Sundays, rain, Supreme Court Justices 

#+ East of Allen blogspot: Sierra Madre Villa; William Cogswell, Famous Artist and East Pasadena Pioneer

#^ Sepia.com: Pasadena

#* Huntington Digital Library Archive

## Google Maps

++ Squareone.org: Pasadena Winter Garden

^*#Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Devil's Gate; Colorado St. Bridge; First Church; Oak Knoll PE Line; Raymond Hotel; Maryland Hotel

*#*KCET: When L.A.'s Most Famous Streets Were Dirt Roads; Scoville Bridge; Colorado Street Bridge; Rise of the Sierra Madre; L.A.'s First Freeways; The Raymond Hotel

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles: losangelespast.com

*^#CSUN Oviatt Library Digital Archives

^^*LA Times Framework: Palomar Telescope; 1918 Rose Parade; In 1949, the Snowman Socked LA

*^*Pasadena Digital History

***Pasadena Museum of History: Pacific Electric Railway Then and Now

**#Metro Transportation Library and Archive

++#Facebook: Paul Ayers

++^Professor Thaddeus Lowe- Mount Lowe Railway

+^+Pasadena: A Business History:  The Model Grocery

^++Pomona Library Image Archive

^+^Master Plan of Highways - County of Los Angeles

+*+The Frame - 89.3KPCC

++*Estately Blog: Colorado Street Bridge Postcard

*++Christmas Tree Lane Association

+++Facebook.com – Los Angeles Heritage Railroad Museum

#**Palomar Observatory - Caltech.edu

#^*Pinterest.com: Vintage Los Angeles

#*^Flu Pandemic of 1918: www.flu.gov

#^^Hometown Pasadena: Tower Theatre

^^#Pasadena PIO Blogspot

^^+Diner Hunter: Guinn's Coffee Shop and Drive-in

#^#Pyroil - The Wonder Gas: theoldmotor.com

#*#Pasadena Adventure: walknridela.com

^^^Atlasobscura.com: Devil's Gate

^*^Pinterest.com: Janet Fong

^.^Facebook: SoCal Historic Architecture

^#^LAghostpatrol.com: Devil's Gate

^##California State Library Image Archive

^#*ArroyoSeco.org: Devil's Gate

*#^First United Methodist Church of Pasadena

*##Los Angeles Movie Palaces: Fox Pasadena

+**Automobile in American Life and Society

+##Weird California: Los Angeles' Programmatic Architecture

#+#Facebook: Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels, by Martin Turnbull

##+Waymarking.com: First Church of Christ, Scientist Pasadena

+#+Flickr.com: Bernard Tang

##*The Pasadena Civic - History

##^History of the Rose Bowl

###Library of Congress: Raymond Hotel Parnoramic, ca.1908; Hotel Green Panoramic, ca.1908

#++Bridgehunter.com: Scoville Bridge; Colorado Bridge

**^Colorado Street Bridge nps.com

*^*^Earlyaviators.com: Roy Knabenshue

*#*^Denver Public Library Image Archive

^*^*Mtwilson.edu: Mount Wilson Observatory

*^^*Pasadena: A Busines History

^**^The Grand Opera House – by Jake Brouwer

^++^Facebook: Los Angeles Heritage Railroad Foundation

*^^^San Fernando Valley Historic Society/Facebook.com: Wagon Trip

^^^*UCSD Digital Collections

**^^Cinema Treasures: Florence - State Theatre; Tower Theatre

^^**Cruiselinehistory.com:  Pasadena Santa Fe Station – Gateway to Hollywood

***^Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze

^***Facebook.com: I Grew Up in San Gabriel Valley: Colorado Blvd.

^*^#Facebook.com - Bizarre Los Angeles

^^*#Facebook.com - Pasadena Digital History

*##*The Development of Pasadena and Washington Square: washingtonsquarepasadena.org

*#*#Downtown Pasadena's Early Architecture

**##Eating L.A. - Guinn's Coffee Shop and Drive-in

^#^#Flickr.com: army.arch

^#^^Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

#***Department Store Museum

#*^*Hometown Pasadena: Pasadena's Abolitionist Heritage

#^^*Pasadena Star News: Pasadena Civic Auditorium; Drone View of Pasadena City Hall; Pasadena Playhouse

##^*Los Angeles Daily News: Castle Green

#^^^The City of Pasadena - cityofpasadena.net: Central Library

#^**Eventbrite.com: Altadena Historical Society Tour of Col. G. G. Green's Carriage House

^^^#Archive.org: “Pasadena, California, historical and personal; a complete history of the organization of the Indiana colony, its establishment on the Rancho San Pascual and its evolution into the city of Pasadena.”

#*#*OldRadio.com; The Story of Mt. Wilson

#^#^Los Angeles Magazine: The Dammed Past of Devil's Gate

##^^Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson

##++Flickr.com: Boston Public Library

##**Electric Railway Historical Association; Pacific Electric

**++Getty Research Institute

++## Facebook:AmericarTheBeautiful

^^^^*Bureau of Street Lighting Image Archive

*^ Wikipedia: History of Pasadena; Tournament of Roses Parade; The Langham Huntington; Hotel Green; Rose Bowl Game; Pasadena City Hall; Old Town Pasadena; Los Angeles Terminal Railway; Richard H. Chambers United States Court of Appeals and the Vista del Arroyo Hotel and Bungalows; California Institute of Technology; Mt. Lowe Railway; Benjamin Wilson; Cawston Ostrich Farm; Pacific Electric Railway; Arroyo Seco - Devil's Gate; William G. Kerckhoff; Van de Kamp's Holland Dutch Bakeries; Bank of Italy; Mt. Wilson Toll Road; Mt. Wilson; Arroyo Seco Parkway; Merritt Mansion; Pasadena; Raymond Hotel; United Cigar Stores; Pasadena Star-News; Arroyo Seco; California Cycleway; Fair Oaks Avenue; South Pasadena; Andrew McNally; McNally Residence; Owen Brown (Abolitionist); Altadena; John Hunt Painter; American Legion; Pasadena via Oak Knoll PE Line; Hupmobile; Los Angeles and San Gabriel Railroad



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