Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County,
California, United States. As of 2010 United States Census, the population of Pasadena
was 137,122, making it the 180th-largest city in the United States, down from 168th place
in 2009. Pasadena is the ninth-largest city in Los Angeles County. Pasadena was incorporated
on June 19, 1886, becoming the fourth city to be incorporated in Los Angeles County,
after Los Angeles, Anaheim and Santa Ana; the latter two moved to Orange County after
its separation from Los Angeles County in 1889. It is one of the primary cultural centers
of the San Gabriel Valley. The city is known for hosting the annual Rose
Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade. In addition, Pasadena is also home
to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology,
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Fuller Theological Seminary, Art Center College of Design, the
Pasadena Playhouse, the Norton Simon Museum of Art and the Pacific Asia Museum. History Demography
2010 The 2010 United States Census reported that
Pasadena had a population of 137,122. The population density was 5,928.8 people per
square mile. The racial makeup of Pasadena was 76,550 White, 14,650 African American,
827 Native American, 19,595 Asian, 134 Pacific Islander, 18,675 from other races, and 6,691
from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race numbered 46,174 persons. Non-Hispanic
Whites were 38.8% of the population, down from 70.4% in 1970.
The Census reported that 133,629 people lived in households, 2,472 lived in non-institutionalized
group quarters, and 1,021 were institutionalized. There were 55,270 households, out of which
14,459 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 22,285 were married couples living
together, 6,131 had a female householder with no husband present, 2,460 had a male householder
with no wife present. There were 3,016 unmarried partnerships. 18,838 households were made
up of individuals and 5,748 had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The
average household size was 2.42. There were 30,876 families; the average family size was
3.18. The age distribution of the population was
as follows: 26,507 people were under the age of 18, 12,609 people aged 18 to 24, 45,371
people aged 25 to 44, 34,073 people aged 45 to 64, and 18,562 people who were 65 years
of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.
There were 59,551 housing units at an average density of 2,574.8 per square mile, of which
24,863 were owner-occupied, and 30,407 were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy
rate was 2.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.6%. 64,306 people lived in owner-occupied
housing units and 69,323 people lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Pasadena had a median household income of
$68,310, with 12.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
Geography Pasadena is located at 34°9′22″N 118°7′55″W.
The elevation at City Hall is 864 feet above sea level. The greater Pasadena area is bounded
by the Raymond Fault line, the San Rafael Hills, and the San Gabriel Mountains. The
Arroyo Seco, a major geographic feature and home of the Rose Bowl, flows from headwaters
in Pasadena’s towering Angeles National Forest greenbelt in the San Gabriel Mountains.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.1 square miles,
over 99% of it land; 0.68% is water. Ten miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles,
Pasadena is bordered by 11 communities: Highland Park, Eagle Rock, South Pasadena, San Marino,
Temple City, San Gabriel, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, La Cañada Flintridge, and Altadena.
The communities of Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Garvanza are incorporated within the city
of Los Angeles and Altadena is an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County.
Tournament of Roses Parade Pasadena is home to the Tournament of Roses
Parade, held each year on January 1. The first parade was held in 1890 and was originally
sponsored by the Valley Hunt Club, a Pasadena social club. The motivation for having the
parade was, as member Professor Charles F. Holder said, “In New York, people are buried
in 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.” By 1895, the festivities had outgrown the
Valley Hunt Club, and the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the
parade. The Rose Parade, as it is familiarly known, traditionally features elaborate floats,
bands and equestrian units. According to the organizers, “Every inch of every float must
be covered with flowers, or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds, or bark.
On average a float requires about 100,000 flowers and greenery. Volunteer workers swarm
over the floats in the days after Christmas, their hands and clothes covered with glue
and petals.” The most perishable flowers are placed in small vials of water, which are
placed onto the float individually. Over the almost 3 hours of the parade, floats, and
participants travel over five miles and pass by over one million viewers who traditionally
camp out over New Year’s Eve to have the best view along the parade route.
The Rose Parade is satirized by the popular Doo Dah Parade, an annual event that originated
in Old Pasadena in 1978, and soon gained national notoriety. Readers Digest named the Doo Dah
Parade “America’s Best Parade”, and was a recent feature in 50 Places You Must
Visit Before You Die!. It was formerly held around Thanksgiving, a month before the Rose
Parade, but the parade is now held in May. In 2011, after 33 years in Pasadena, the parade
moved to East Pasadena for the first time. It features unusual and absurd entrants such
as the BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, the Men of Leisure, and the Bastard Sons of
Lee Marvin. Proceeds from the parade’s pancake breakfast, t-shirts, and after-party are donated
to charity. Rose Bowl Game The Rose Bowl, a National Historic Landmark,
is host of the first and most famous college football postseason bowl game, the Tournament
of Roses Rose Bowl Game, every New Year’s Day. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association
was formed to take charge of the parade. In 1902, the association declared that a football
game would be added to the day’s events. The game, now known as the Rose Bowl, would become
the first New Year’s post-season college football game ever and has developed into a tradition
in many college arenas. Soon outgrowing its original facility, a new stadium was constructed
in the Arroyo Seco area. The new stadium hosted its first New Year’s Day football game in
1923 and was soon christened “The Rose Bowl.” Facilities Rose Bowl Stadium In addition to the annual New Year’s Day Rose
Bowl game and the BCS National Championship game every four years, the stadium is the
home field for the UCLA Bruins football team and has hosted five Super Bowls. Important
soccer matches include the 1984 Summer Olympics, the final game of the 1994 FIFA World Cup,
and the final game of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Rose Bowl stadium was the home ground for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League
Soccer from the team’s inception in 1996 until in 2003, it moved into the soccer-specific
Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The venue additionally hosted the 1998 MLS Cup.
Many concerts and other events have been held in the stadium, such as a U2 concert in 2009.
Aquatic center The Rose Bowl Aquatics Center is an aquatics
facility located adjacent to the Rose Bowl Stadium. The pool hosted the final practices
of the 2000 US Olympic swimming and diving team. In 2008, the facility held the U.S.
National Diving Championships. Tennis center
The Rose Bowl Tennis Center, operated by the city of Pasadena, is located due south of
the Rose Bowl stadium. Government
Federal, state, and county government Federally, Pasadena is located in California’s
27th congressional district and is represented by Democrat Judy Chu. Although Pasadena has
been liberal in state politics, in national politics, it was a stronghold for moderate
Republicans; it was represented in Congress by Republicans from 1945 to 2001. In the state
legislature, Pasadena is located in the 21st Senate District, represented by Democrat Carol
Liu, and in the 41st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Chris Holden. The Los Angeles
County Department of Health Services operates the Monrovia Health Center in Monrovia, serving
portions of Pasadena. Local government
According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of 2009, the city’s
various funds had $583.0 million in revenues, $518.1 million in expenditures, $954,199,439
in net assets, $732.3 million in total liabilities, and $118,261,490 in cash and investments.
Police services The Pasadena Police Department serves most
of the city of Pasadena. Unincorporated portions of the city are part of Los Angeles County
and are served by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Altadena Station in Altadena
serves nearby portions of Pasadena. Fire Department
The Pasadena Fire Department moved into its first formal and permanent station in 1889.
Before that they had been housed in a ramshackle structure and summoned by the church bell.
There were 24 firemen for two shifts. Today The Pasadena Fire Department consists of 185
full-time employees, 153 shift personnel, 32 administrative personnel, and eight modern
fire stations that serve an area in a radius of 60 miles.
Water and Power Department Pasadena Water and Power Department provides
services to an area 60 km2 and includes areas outside of the city proper including unincorporated
areas of southern Altadena, East Pasadena, Chapman Woods, and East San Gabriel.
Pasadena created the Pasadena Municipal Light and Power Department in 1906. On May 3, 1906,
a $125,000 bond was issued to pay for the construction of a power plant. This first
power plant was a wood frame and corrugated sheet iron structure which housed one 200-kW
Crocker-Wheeler generator driven by a Fleming-Corliss engine, one 200-pound pressure boiler, a condenser,
pumps, and other auxiliary equipment and only supplied power to the city’s street lights.
Expanding continued and more generating capacity was expanded and the city then offered power
to commercial customers in 1908, and bought out Southern California Edison’s Pasadena
operations in 1920. In 1928 the city contracted with the federal government to buy electricity
from Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam, which began delivering power in 1935.
During the Depression the power company extended its building programs to provide short term
jobs for citizens severely affected by the collapse of the economy. Customers were permitted
to work for the company for two-week periods to earn money for food, utility bills and
housing. Following many further improvements, two 50,000 kW generating units in a completely
new outdoor plant went on-line in 1955 and 1958. In June 1965, a 71 MW, 83 MVA reheat
unit with steam backup auxiliaries was put into service to cover the growing needs for
more power in the city. In 1911, the city began condemnation actions
against a number of small, local water companies. In 1912, the Water Department was created;
in 1913, it began actual operations. The city continued to acquire small, local water companies
for several decades afterwards, usually en toto, such as the Pasadena Lake Vineyard and
Land Company, and sometimes in part, such as Las Flores Water Company’s southern portions
and San Gabriel Valley Water Company’s operations in the southern reaches of Pasadena. In 1915,
the Water Department added a chlorine generation system to disinfect water taken from the Arroyo
Seco. In the late 1920s, Pasadena took the initiative to obtain water from the Colorado
River and lead the formation of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The
charter for the MWDSC was signed on November 6, 1928. In 1967, the Water Department and
the Light and Power department were consolidated into the “Pasadena Water and Power Department”.
It operates a number of wells, has a spreading ground for the capture of surface water from
the Arroyo Seco, and purchases surface water from MWDSC. Historically, water from the Arroyo
Seco and Eaton Canyon were collected and distributed directly to the service areas. Not long after
the city took over operations, 1915, chlorine was added to the Arroyo Seco water. In 1971
the John Behner Treatment Plant was constructed to give full surface water treatment to the
Arroyo Seco water. Eventually as regulatory limits were made stricter, PWP ceased all
direct surface water treatment. The use of spreading grounds to recharge ground water
on both the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon capture considerable volumes of water, a little over
2,000 acre feet per year. A number of wells on the west side of the
service area had become contaminated with volatile organic chemicals and perchlorate
and had to be shut down several years. A treatment plant was built to remove these chemicals
which began operation in July 2011. Transportation
Public transit Pasadena is the northern terminus of the Los
Angeles Metro Gold Line light rail, which originates at the Atlantic Station in East
Los Angeles. Opening in 2003, there are currently six Gold Line stations in Pasadena: Fillmore
Station, Del Mar Station in Old Pasadena, Memorial Park Station in Old Pasadena, Lake
Station in Downtown, Allen Station and Sierra Madre Villa Station. Construction began in
June 2010 to extend the Gold Line east through several additional foothill communities of
the San Gabriel Valley, including Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and Azusa.
Pasadena is also served by various bus services. The Pasadena Area Rapid Transit System exclusively
serves the city while Los Angeles metropolitan area bus services Foothill Transit, LADOT,
Metro Local, Metro Express, Metro Rapid also serve Pasadena.
Trains Pasadena was served by the Atchison, Topeka
and Santa Fe Railway at a Santa Fe Depot in downtown when the Second District was opened
in 1887. In 1925, the historical and traditionally styled station in Pasadena was opened. Originally,
the Second District was an invaluable line; it served manufacturing and agricultural businesses
throughout the entire San Gabriel Valley. Unfortunately, the longer trains had great
difficulty climbing the precipitous 2.2% grade at Arroyo Seco, between Pasadena and Los Angeles.
Additional locomotives were often necessary, causing a more costly and less efficient operation.
The still-used Third District opened in 1888, just a year after the Second District, and
rapidly took over most of longer freight trains more efficaciously.
The Second District and the Pasadena Depot became well known by the many transcontinental
passenger trains that it served. Historically, up to 26 passenger trains went through Pasadena
every day. To avoid the media in Los Angeles, many celebrities chose to use Pasadena as
their main train station, bringing to it an ambience and legacy of the glamour of old
Hollywood. Amtrak took over passenger rail operations
in 1971, serving Pasadena with trains such as the Southwest Chief, Las Vegas Limited,
and Desert Wind. On January 15, 1994, the final Southwest Chief train arrived in Pasadena.
ATSF sold the line between Los Angeles and San Bernardino via Pasadena. The LACMTA Gold
Line still uses the same right-of-way as the Santa Fe did. The old depot is still visible
at the Del Mar station. Electrified Light Rail was the preferred alternative to Metrolink
or similar style service because the city of Pasadena did not like or want diesel locomotives
traversing through city. Plus, light rail has the aesthetic image and appeal of a modern,
transit oriented ‘progressive’ city, which Pasadena has embraced as evidenced by [re]development
in and around the former Santa Fe station as well as Old Town. The construction of the
Gold Line also allowed the closure of the former railroad crossing along Colorado Blvd
which meant that motorists and the Rose Parade would no longer be hindered by trains.
Airports Bob Hope Airport in nearby Burbank serves
as the regional airport for Pasadena. The airport is owned and operated by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena
Airport Authority. The airport is under the control of the governments of the three cities
for which it is named. Most destinations from Bob Hope Airport are within the United States,
so Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles and LA/Ontario International Airport
in Ontario are also important airports less than an hour from Pasadena. Long Beach Airport
in Long Beach, California, is about an hour’s drive away. John Wayne Airport in Orange County,
California, is slightly more than an hour’s drive away from Pasadena.
Freeways and highways Four freeways run through Pasadena, and Pasadena
is a control city for all of them. The most important is the Foothill Freeway which enters
the northwestern portion of the city from La Cañada Flintridge. The Foothill Freeway
initially runs due south, passing the Rose Bowl before its junction with the Ventura
Freeway. At this interchange, the Foothill Freeway shifts its alignment and direction,
becoming an east-west freeway, exiting the city on its eastern boundary before entering
Arcadia. The Foothill Freeway connects Pasadena with San Fernando and San Bernardino. The Ventura Freeway starts at the junction
of the Foothill Freeway at the edge of downtown Pasadena and travels westward. This freeway
is the main connector to Bob Hope Airport and the San Fernando Valley.
A spur of the controversial Long Beach Freeway is also located in Pasadena. The Long Beach
Freeway was intended to connect Long Beach to Pasadena but a gap, known as the South
Pasadena Gap, between Alhambra and Pasadena has not been completed due to legal battles
primarily involving the city of South Pasadena. The spur starts at the junction of the Ventura
Freeway and Foothill Freeway and travels south along the eastern edge of Old Pasadena with
two exits for Colorado Boulevard and Del Mar Boulevard before ending at an at-grade intersection
with California Boulevard. Currently, Caltrans is researching the possibility of using advanced
tunneling technologies to build the Long Beach Freeway underground to overcome objections,
but that effort itself has engendered strong opposition. The current proposal would create
twin tunnels that are 4.5 miles long, the longest in the United States. The Arroyo Seco Parkway was the first freeway
in California, connecting Los Angeles with Pasadena alongside the Arroyo Seco and is
the primary access to Downtown Los Angeles. The freeway enters the southern part of the
city from South Pasadena. Only one exit is actually inside city limits, the southbound
exit connecting to State Street with access to Fair Oaks Avenue. At Glenarm Street, the
freeway ends and the four-lane Arroyo Parkway continues northward to Old Pasadena.
Three state highways enter the city of Pasadena. Arroyo Parkway, maintained by the city of
Pasadena, runs from the termination of the Pasadena Freeway at Glenarm Street to Colorado
Boulevard in Old Town Pasadena. While Arroyo Parkway continues north two more blocks, SR
110 ends at Holly Street. Rosemead Boulevard is a state highway on the
eastern edge of Pasadena and unincorporated Pasadena from Huntington Drive to Foothill
Boulevard. An obscure portion of the Angeles Crest Highway
in the San Gabriel Mountains cuts through Pasadena near the Angeles Crest Ranger Station.
This 2-mile stretch of highway in the Angeles National Forest is north of La Cañada Flintridge
and west of Mount Wilson and is approximately 3,000 feet in elevation.
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.
The intersection of Fair Oaks Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Old Pasadena is the zero-zero,
east-west, north-south postal division of Pasadena.
Culture Performing arts
The Pasadena Symphony, founded in 1862, offers several concerts a year at the Ambassador
Auditorium and the Pasadena Pops plays at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic
Garden. The Civic Center also holds a few traveling Broadway shows each year. The legendary
Pasadena Playhouse, presently in reorganization, usually presents seven shows a season, each
show running six to eight weeks. The Furious Theatre Company is one of several small theatre
companies in Pasadena. They are currently housed in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre adjacent
to the Pasadena Playhouse. Boston Court Performing Arts Center, opened in 2003, is near Lake
and Colorado. Its resident theatre company, the award-winning The Theatre @ Boston Court,
presents four productions a year. Music at the Court presents numerous music concerts
each year, ranging from classical to jazz. The Friends of the Levitt organization presents
a free summer concert series in Memorial Park, with the 2008 summer season marking its sixth
year. Beckman Auditorium and other venues on the
Caltech campus present a wide range of performing arts, lectures, films, classes and entertainment
events, primarily during the academic year. For more than ten years, twice annually Pasadena’s
cultural institutions have opened their doors for free during ArtNight Pasadena, offering
the public a rich sampling of quality art, artifacts and music within the city. This
has evolved into the yearly PasadenART Weekend, a three-day citywide event which, as of 2007,
encompasses ArtNight, ArtWalk, ArtHeritage, ArtMarket, and ArtPerformance, a vibrant outdoor
music event showcasing emerging and nationally recognized talent. Free concerts take place
on multiple stages throughout Old Pasadena. Ambassador Auditorium was built under the
guidance of Herbert W. Armstrong as both a facility to be used by the Worldwide Church
of God for religious services and as a concert hall for public performances celebrating the
performing arts. In 2007, the native Pasadena band Ozma reunited and produced the album
Pasadena in tribute to the city. The album photos and artwork were shot at the Colorado
Street Bridge. The 1960s song “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena”
parodies a popular Southern California image of Pasadena as home to a large population
of aged eccentrics. In the song, Jan and Dean sing of an elderly lady who drives a powerful
“Super Stock Dodge” muscle car and is “the terror of Colorado Boulevard.” The Dead Kennedys
paid a tribute to this archetypal song in the track “Buzzbomb From Pasadena” in the
album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death. Pasadena was also the location of the 2012
film Project X. Visual arts
A number of artists of national repute, such as Guy Rose, Alson S. Clark, Marion Wachtel
and Ernest A. Batchelder, of the Arts and Crafts Movement, made Pasadena their home
in the early twentieth century. The formation of the California Art Club, Pasadena Arts
Institute and the Pasadena Society of Artists heralded the city’s emergence as a regional
center for the visual arts. Museums and galleries
Pasadena is home to a number of art museums and public galleries, including the Norton
Simon Museum. The museum’s collections include European paintings, sculpture, and tapestry;
sculpture from Southern Asia; and an extensive sculpture garden. The museum also has the
contemporary art collection of its predecessor, the Pasadena Museum of Art, which focused
on modern and contemporary art before being taken over by Simon in the early 1970s.
Preserving and sharing the rich history and culture of Pasadena and its adjacent communities
is the Pasadena Museum of History. Located on a campus of 2 acres, it has gardens, a
history center, the Finnish Folk Art Museum, the Curtin House, and the Fenyes Mansion,
a 1906 Beaux Arts-style architectural residence and a Pasadena Cultural Heritage Landmark.
The Pacific Asia Museum, with a garden courtyard in its center, features art from the many
countries and cultures of Asia. The nearby Pasadena Museum of California Art hosts changing
exhibitions of work by historical and contemporary California artists. The Armory Center for
the Arts has an extensive exhibition program as well as serving as a center for art education
for all ages. Art Center College of Design offers exhibitions at its Williamson Gallery,
as well as frequent displays of student work. Pasadena City College has an art gallery that
shows work of professionals as part of their annual artist-in-residence program, as well
as exhibiting work by students and faculty. The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens,
with painting and sculpture galleries, is adjacent to Pasadena in the city of San Marino.
The innovative Kidspace Children’s Museum is located in Brookside Park.
Literature Red Hen Press, one of the largest independent
literary publishers on the west coast, is located in Pasadena. The press publishes over
twenty titles of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction each year as well as a biannual literary magazine
called The Los Angeles Review. In 2002 David Ebershoff published the novel
Pasadena. The novel won praise for its accurate recreation of Pasadena before World War II.
Bungalow Heaven Bungalow Heaven is a neighborhood of 800 small
craftsman homes built from 1900 to 1930. Many of these homes are still occupied. Much of
the area became a landmark district in 1989, and annual historic home tours have been conducted
since that designation. Bungalow Heaven’s borders are Washington Boulevard to the north,
Orange Grove Boulevard to the south, Mentor Avenue to the west, and Chester Avenue to
the east. The neighborhood is usually extended to Lake Avenue to the west and Hill Avenue
to the east. Famed architects Greene and Greene built several of their Japanese-inspired bungalows
in Pasadena, including the Gamble House; the style of the homes in Bungalow Heaven show
the effects of their success. Orange Grove Boulevard The Norton Simon Museum is at the intersection
of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards. This corner is the official start of the Rose Parade
route and the museum can be quite clearly seen every year during the parade television
broadcast. Orange Grove Boulevard is one of several exclusive
residential districts in Pasadena, and has been a home for the rich and famous since
the early 20th century. Because of the number of landmark mansions, the street earned the
name Millionaire’s Row, an appropriate sobriquet considering that the estates that once lined
this spacious boulevard and the surrounding neighborhood read like a Who’s Who of American
consumer products. Historical estates
The maker of Wrigley’s chewing gum, William Wrigley Jr.’s, substantial home was offered
to the city of Pasadena after Mrs. Wrigley’s death in 1958, under the condition that their
home would be the Rose Parade’s permanent headquarters. The stately Tournament House
stands today, and serves as the headquarters for the Tournament of Roses Parade. Adolphus
Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser beer, established the first of
a series of Busch Gardens in Pasadena. When Busch died at his Pasadena estate, his wife
generously offered the property to the City of Pasadena, an offer the city inexplicably
refused. Henry Markham, who lived adjacent to Busch, was the 18th Governor of the state
of California and wrote Pasadena: Its Early Years. The home of David Gamble, son of consumer
product maker James Gamble of Procter & Gamble, is located on the north end of Orange Grove
Boulevard. The Gamble House, an American Craftsman masterpiece,
was built in 1908, by architects Charles and Henry Greene, as an exemplification of their
ultimate bungalow. It is open to the public as both an architectural conservancy and museum. The Gamble House is a California Historical
Landmark and a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1966, it was deeded to the city of Pasadena in a mutual agreement with the University
of Southern California School of Architecture. Every year, two fifth-year USC architecture
students live in the house full-time. The students change yearly.
The home of Anna Bissell McCay, daughter of carpet sweeper magnate Melville Bissell, is
a four-story Victorian home, on the border of South Pasadena. Today the Bissell House
is a bed and breakfast. Thaddeus S. C. Lowe’s home of 24,000 square feet was on South Orange
Grove. The house included a sixth story solarium which he converted into an observatory. Lowe
was also a generous patron of the astronomical sciences. He started a water-gas company,
founded the Citizens Bank of Los Angeles, built numerous ice plants, and purchased a
Pasadena opera house. He also established the Mount Lowe Railway in the mountains above
Pasadena and eventually lost his fortune. The brilliant, but troubled, rocket scientist
John Whiteside Parsons sometimes shared his residence with other noteworthy people, including
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Parsons died in an explosion while testing
a new rocket fuel in his Pasadena home laboratory, in 1952.
Education The California Institute of Technology is
in the southern-central area of Pasadena. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is in Pasadena.
Caltech’s 31 Nobel Laureates have brought 32 Nobel Prizes home to Pasadena. In 2005,
Caltech dedicated an on-campus weather station honoring the late Nobel laureate geneticist
and meteorologist Ed Lewis. The Ed Lewis Memorial Weather Station generates weather information
for KNBC and thousands of other Web sites on school campuses in Pasadena and all over
the nation. Fuller Theological Seminary, one of the largest
multidenominational seminaries in the world, sits just east of downtown Pasadena.
The Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts is located at East Green Street and South
Madison Avenue. The school offers the Le Cordon Bleu accreditation and has two campuses in
Pasadena. Pacific Oaks College is located next to Pasadena’s
National Historic Landmark, the Gamble House. Art Center College of Design has two campuses
in Pasadena—a Hillside Campus in the San Rafael Hills overlooking the Rose Bowl and
South Campus at the southern edge of town. Art Center offers an array of visual and applied
art programs and ranks as one of the top five art schools in the United States and one of
the top 10 art schools worldwide. Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music,
founded in 1996, is a contemporary music school whose acclaimed faculty of experienced professionals
are active in the film, television and recording industries. The school is located between
Colorado and California Boulevards on South Fair Oaks Boulevard.
Pasadena City College is a highly rated community college founded in 1924 and located on Colorado
Boulevard, slightly northeast of Caltech. Until about 1970, the Rose Parade Queen’s
court was exclusively selected from its students. PCC alumni include Jackie Robinson, Jaime
Escalante, and Octavia E. Butler. The Pasadena Unified School District encompasses
76 square miles and includes Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre. There are 17 K-5 elementary
schools, five middle schools, and four high schools. There are also a number of private
and parochial schools in the city. University of the People, the world’s first
tuition-free online university which awards accredited degrees, is located on Lake Avenue.
Pasadena had a public library before it was incorporated as a city. The Pasadena Central
Library was designed by architect Myron Hunt and dedicated in 1927. The library has an
area of 110,000 square feet and was recently renovated without damaging any of its historic
integrity. It has been the scene of scholars in movies too numerous to mention. It is listed
on the National Register of Historic Places. Economy
According to the City’s 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers
in the city are: Other companies based in Pasadena include
Avery Dennison, Cogent Systems, Inter-Con Security, Jacobs Engineering Group, Green
Dot Corporation, Tetra Tech, Wesco Financial, OpenX, and Wetzel’s Pretzels. The Los Angeles-area
office of China Eastern Airlines is located in Pasadena.
Shopping and dining Old Town Pasadena spans 21 blocks downtown.
It boasts upscale retail shops and a wide variety of restaurants, nightclubs, outdoor
cafés, pubs, and comedy clubs. “One Colorado” features renovated historic architecture that
attracted the new retail stores and restaurants. This development filled vacant buildings and
was the impetus of the revitalization of Old Town on Colorado Boulevard. Paseo Colorado
is an upscale shopping mall designed to be a modern urban village. An open-air mall that
covers three city blocks, Paseo Colorado is anchored on the west end by upscale grocery
store Gelson’s, on the east end by Macy’s and Arclight Cinemas centers the middle portion
of the mall. Another shopping district is located in the South Lake Avenue neighborhood.
On Lake Avenue, an old Macy’s department store and furniture gallery is in a registered California
historical landmark. The building was originally designed and built as the fourth Bullock’s
department store in the mid-1950s. Rose Bowl Flea Market
The Rose Bowl Flea Market is a large swap meet that involves thousands of dealers and
tens of thousands of visitors in and around the grounds of the Rose Bowl. The merchandise
on display ranges from old world antiques to California pottery to vintage clothing.
The flea market has been held every second Sunday of the month, rain or shine, since
Pasadena has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Because of its position both higher and further
inland than Los Angeles, it experiences slightly colder winters and slightly hotter summers.
Winters are typically mild and wet, with heavy rains and January night temperature occasionally
dipping just below freezing. Spring is consistently warm and temperatures increase gradually culminating
in hot summers which last well into October. Fall is short and erratic; often cooler, rainy
days will be followed by hot, dry ones. The wettest year was 1983 with 48.47 inches
and the driest year was 1947 with 5.37 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 19.70 inches
in February 1980. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 7.70 inches on March 2, 1938. Pasadena
averages 21 inches of rain a year, about 6 inches more than nearby Los Angeles due to the rain
shadow effect created by the San Gabriel Mountains. Because of the slope on which the city is
built, sewer lines in the city’s northern section have been known to overflow significantly.
Situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, snow is known to fall occasionally in Pasadena.
The heaviest snowfall in Pasadena history occurred on January 11, 1949; 8 inches fell
at Pasadena’s city hall and more than 14 inches fell in the foothills of the city. The most
recent snowfall in Pasadena was 1 inch on February 26, 2011.
On November 30 and December 1, 2011, Pasadena, along with surrounding communities, was struck
by a major windstorm caused by Santa Ana winds. The city suffered heavy damage with trees
toppled, buildings damaged and even the roof of a gas station torn off. Some dubbed the
event “Hurricane Rose”. Media
Civic Auditorium venue The Civic Auditorium is on Green Street. It
was designed to be the south cornerstone of Pasadena’s Civic Plaza. Every year, the popular
television competition, American Idol films their “Hollywood Week” show there. It was
also the venue for the Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant. The main auditorium is large enough
to have been home to the annual Emmy Awards ceremony for nearly 25 years, from 1977 to
Pasadena is the setting of many TV shows including Brothers & Sisters Disney Channel’s Dog with
a Blog, and The Big Bang Theory. Pasadena Community Access Corporation oversees four
television stations: The Arroyo Channel, KPAS, KLRN and PCC TV. Local television news for
Pasadena is produced through this station by the independently operated Crown City News.
ABC’s TV show Splash was filmed at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.
Radio Pasadena has been home to a number of notable
radio stations. In 1967 radio iconoclasts Tom and Raechel Donahue took over an aging
studio in the basement of the Pasadena Presbyterian Church and introduced Los Angeles to FM freeform
radio. Broadcasting under the KPPC-FM call sign at 106.7 FM it quickly became the voice
of the counterculture and provided the soundtrack to LA’s hippie era. Early on-air personalities
included Michael McKean, David Lander, Harry Shearer, and Dr. Demento. The staff was fired
en masse in 1971 and the station lost its distinctive personality. KPPC later went on
to become KROQ-FM and AM. Today the primary radio station in Pasadena
goes by the call sign KPCC located at 89.3 FM. Broadcasting from the Pasadena City College
campus, this public radio station carries many shows from National Public Radio but
maintains an independent streak, committing a large chunk of air time to presenting local
and state news. Accordingly, the station has received numerous awards for journalistic
excellence and continues to be an important part of the city’s heritage.
WilsonBlock100 Radio conducts audio interviews with local artists and covers events related
to the local music scene. Their name derives from Wilson ave. in Pasadena’s Bungalow Heaven
neighborhood district. Newspapers and magazines
Pasadena’s largest newspaper is the Pasadena Star-News, first published in 1884. The newspaper
also publishes the Rose Magazine. The Pasadena Journal a community weekly featuring the Black
voices of the San Gabriel Valley. The Pasadena Sun is a community weekly published by The
Los Angeles Times. The Pasadena Weekly has been published since 1986. Pasadena Magazine
is a magazine published by MMG Publishing with offices located on South Marengo Avenue.
It started publication in 2008. Notable people
See List of people from Pasadena, California Parrots
Pasadena has a large, non-indigenous population of naturalized parrots. According to the “Parrot
Project of Los Angeles”, the parrots are of at least five species. Some residents have
come to enjoy the birds as part of their unique city’s culture, while others consider them
to be loud pests. There are many theories explaining how the parrots came to inhabit
Pasadena. A widely accepted story is that they were part of the stock that were set
free for their survival from the large pet emporium at Simpson’s Garden Town on East
Colorado Boulevard, which burned down in 1959. International relations
Sister cities Pasadena has five SCs as noted by Sister Cities
International Järvenpää, Finland
Ludwigshafen, Germany pre-dates SCI Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Vanadzor, Armenia Xicheng District of Beijing, China
See also National Register of Historic Places listings
in Pasadena, California Notes
A The number of people counted statistically in demographics will sometimes exceed 100%
because some Hispanics and Latinos identify as both White and Hispanic. See Race and ethnicity
in the United States census. References Further reading
Winter, Robert. “Pasadena, 1900–1910: The Birth of Its Culture”. Southern California
Quarterly 91: 295–318. doi:10.2307/41172481. External links
Pasadena city website “Early Views of Pasadena”
Pasadena Museum of History