Its population was 137,122 at the 2010 census
and an estimated 141,029 in 2019,
making it the 41st largest city
and the ninth-largest city in Los Angeles County. Pasadena was incorporated on June 19, 1886, becoming one of the first cities to be incorporated in what is now Los Angeles County, following the city of Los Angeles
(April 4, 1850).
Indigenous Peoples and Spanish Colonial Era
The native people lived in thatched, dome-shape lodges and lived on a diet of acorn meal, seeds and herbs, venison, and other small animals as well as trading for ocean fish with the coastal Tongva. They made cooking vessels from steatite soapstone
from Catalina Island
. The oldest transportation route still in existence in Pasadena is the old Tongva foot trail, also known as the Gabrielino Trail
, that follows the west side of the Rose Bowl
and the Arroyo Seco
past the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
into the San Gabriel Mountains
. The trail has been in continuous use for thousands of years. An arm of the trail is also still in use in what is now known as Salvia Canyon
Mexican Rancho Era and early American Era
In 1873, Wilson was visited by Dr. Daniel M. Berry of Indiana who was looking for a place in the country that could offer a mild climate for his patients, most of whom suffered from respiratory ailments. Berry was an asthmatic and claimed that he had his best three night's sleep at Rancho San Pascual.
To keep the find a secret, Berry code-named the area "Muscat" after the grape that Wilson grew. To raise funds to bring the company of people to San Pascual, Berry formed the Southern California Orange and Citrus Growers Association and sold stock in it.
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
. As a gesture of good will, Wilson added 2,000 acres (8 km2
) of then-useless highland property, part of which would become Altadena
. Colonel Jabez Banbury
opened the first school on South Orange Grove Avenue. Banbury had twin daughters, named Jennie and Jessie. The two became the first students to attend Pasadena’s first school on Orange Grove.
At the time, 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 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.
Pasadena as a resort town (1886–1941)
The popularity of the region drew people from across the country, and Pasadena eventually became a stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
, which led to an explosion in growth. From the real estate boom of the 1880s until the Great Depression, as great tourist hotels were developed in the city, Pasadena became a winter resort for wealthy Easterners, spurring the development of new neighborhoods and business districts, and increased road and transit connections with Los Angeles, culminating with the opening of the Arroyo Seco Parkway
, California's first freeway. By 1940,
Pasadena had become the eighth-largest city in California and was widely considered a twin city
to Los Angeles.
Hotel Green, 1900
The first of the great hotels to be established in Pasadena was the Raymond (1886) atop Bacon Hill, renamed Raymond Hill after construction. Pasadena was served by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
at the Santa Fe Depot
in downtown when the Second District was opened in 1887.
The original Mansard Victorian 200-room facility burned down on Easter morning of 1895, was rebuilt in 1903, and razed during the Great Depression to make way for residential development. The Maryland Hotel existed from the early 1900s and was demolished in 1934.
The world-famous Mount Lowe Railway
and associated mountain hotels shut down four years later due to fire damage. Three hotel structures have survived, the Green Hotel (a co-op since 1926), the Vista Del Arroyo (now used as a Federal courthouse), and a residential tower of the Maryland at 80 North Euclid Avenue (a co-op since 1953).
Craftsman era (1890s–1930s) World War II and aftermath (1941–1969)
Downtown Pasadena in 1945
In the 1950s, Pasadena saw a steady influx of people from the Southern United States
, especially African-Americans
. Pasadena also began hosting a large immigrant community, particularly from China
, El Salvador
, and India
Pasadena since 1970
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts
, founded in 1884 in New York, opened its Pasadena campus in 1974. However, in 2001 the conservatory moved from Pasadena to Hollywood. Training actors
for the stage
in a two year program, the conservatory was the first school in the United States to offer professional education in the field of acting. Point Loma Nazarene University
was located in Pasadena for many years before relocating to San Diego County
, and retained the names Pasadena University and Pasadena College.
In 1969, the Pasadena Unified School District
was desegregated, though the issue would continue to be fought in court for a decade. A year later, the 210 Freeway
was built along a newly chosen route. The freeway's construction was controversial, as it caused the demolition of over a thousand homes, many historic, and many claimed that the route was designed to cut off the city's less wealthy neighborhoods.
became dangerous in some parts and deserted in others, and incidences of murder and arson skyrocketed. Old Pasadena faced destruction as plans for new high-rise
developments were drawn up, though they were mostly stopped by increasingly active preservation advocates. Pasadena suffered demographically as many residents decamped for the nearby suburbs or the Inland Empire
, causing an overall decrease in population.
Despite these setbacks, many local artists and hipsters
moved in to take advantage of low property values. Their legacy can be seen today in the Doo Dah Parade
which began in 1976.
In 2014, several arrests were made involving an embezzlement scheme which stole money from the UUP
. The amount is estimated to be $6.4 million.
Pasadena has a Mediterranean climate
), with typically hotter summers and slightly cooler winters than nearby coastal areas. Its location relative to the San Gabriel mountains allows the orographic lift to add several more inches of rainfall per year than nearby areas. During the first few months of the year, Pasadena experiences cool to warm highs, typically in the upper 60s (16–18 °C) to lower 70s (21–24 °C). Colder days are usually accompanied by heavier rain. By April, temperatures warm further, and rain tapers off significantly. By May and June, rain is typically sparse, but the infamous marine layer becomes more persistent. Locals have dubbed June "June Gloom" as it is the cloudiest month despite being the 3rd driest month. By July, the marine layer subsidies as inland areas cool due to an increased monsoon flow. Heatwaves from July through October can be oppressive and lengthy. In addition, it rarely rains during the summer and fall months, and only does when the remnants of hurricanes and tropical storms pass by. In fact, some days in both July and August have never recorded rainfall.
It is not impossible to go 6 months without measurable precipitation. The average highest temperature recorded each year is around 106 °F (41 °C). The hottest heatwaves of the year usually occur in mid to late September. By late October, temperatures drop off. By November, Pacific storms return to Pasadena, bringing increasingly heavy rain and cooler weather. Along with them, however, are the Santa Ana winds. The Santa Ana winds can produce heat, high winds, power outages, tree damage and an increased wildfire threat whenever they strike. By December, lows typically drop into the 40s (4–9 °C) with the occasional reading in the 30s (−1–4 °C). Highs remain around 68 °F (20 °C) with heatwaves pushing temperatures into the mid-80s (28–31 °C). A high temperature of at least 85 °F (29 °C) has been recorded on all 365 days of the year, with temperatures over 100 °F (38 °C) possible April through early November.
Pasadena averages 20.08 inches (510.0 mm) of rain a year, about 6 inches (150 mm) more than nearby Los Angeles due to the orographic
effect created by the San Gabriel Mountains
. The wettest “rain year” was from July 1940 to June 1941 with 46.32 inches (1,176.5 mm) and the driest from July 1960 to June 1961 with 7.18 inches (182.4 mm). Wet years are commonly associated with El Nino
warm surface water in the eastern Pacific and dry years with La Niña
cold water conditions. The most rainfall in one month was 19.70 inches (500.4 mm) in February 1980. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 7.70 inches (195.6 mm) on March 2, 1938.
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 (20.3 cm) fell at Pasadena’s city hall and more than 14 inches (35.6 cm) fell in the foothills above the city.
The most recent snowfall in Pasadena was 1 inch (2.5 cm) on February 21, 2019.
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.
The official NOAA weather station for the city is located just north-west of the townhall on the other side of Garfield Avenue.
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 (2,289.1/km2
). The racial makeup of Pasadena was 76,550 (55.8%) White
, 14,650 (10.7%) African American
, down from 19.0% in 1990, 827 (0.6%) Native American
, 19,595 (14.3%) Asian
, 134 (0.1%) Pacific Islander
, 18,675 (13.6%) from other races
, and 6,691 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race numbered 46,174 persons (33.7%). Non-Hispanic whites
were 38.8% of the population,
down from 70.4% in 1970.
The Census reported that 133,629 people (97.5% of the population) lived in households, 2,472 (1.8%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 1,021 (0.7%) were institutionalized.
There were 55,270 households, out of which 14,459 (26.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 22,285 (40.3%) were married couples
living together, 6,131 (11.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,460 (4.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 3,016 (5.5%) unmarried partnerships
. 18,838 households (34.1%) were made up of individuals, and 5,748 (10.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42. There were 30,876 families
(55.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.18.
The age distribution of the population was as follows: 26,507 people (19.3%) were under the age of 18, 12,609 people (9.2%) aged 18 to 24, 45,371 people (33.1%) aged 25 to 44, 34,073 people (24.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 18,562 people (13.5%) 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 (994.1/km2
), of which 24,863 (45.0%) were owner-occupied, and 30,407 (55.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.6%. 64,306 people (46.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 69,323 people (50.6%) lived in rental housing units
According to the 2010 United States Census, Pasadena had a median household income of $69,302, with 13.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line
During 2015–2019, Pasadena had a median household income of $83,068, with 14.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line. For people ages 25 and over, 88.3% had a high school degree or higher while 52.3% had a Bachelor's degree or higher.
According to the City's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,
the top employers in the city are:
Other companies based in Pasadena include Avery Dennison
, Cogent Systems
, Inter-Con Security
, Goldstar Events
, 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
One Colorado Market Place, one of the largest development projects in Old Pasadena
Old Town Pasadena
spans 21 blocks downtown. It boasts 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 (recently closed), on the east end by Macy's (also closed) and Arclight Cinemas centers the middle portion of the mall. Another shopping district is located in the South Lake Avenue
neighborhood. On Lake Avenue, a 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 (the last freestanding store they constructed).
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 since 1967.
Arts and culture
Tournament of Roses Parade
Theme float "2010: A Cut Above the Rest" rolling down Colorado Boulevard during the parade
Pasadena is home to the Tournament of Roses Parade, held each year on January 1 (or on January 2, if the 1st falls on a Sunday). 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 (8 km)
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 January. 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. This was the first post-season college football game to be played on New Year's Day and is known as, "The Grandaddy of Them All"; many other football stadiums followed suit. After two decades, the game outgrew its original facility, and a new stadium was constructed in the Arroyo Seco area. The new stadium hosted its first New Year's Day football game in 1923. It was soon christened "The Rose Bowl", as was the game itself
The legendary Pasadena Playhouse
, the State Theater of California, is a member supported theater company that celebrated their centennial season in 2018. The theater puts on five shows a year. In 1937, the Pasadena Playhouse established a record as the only theatre in the United States to have staged the entire Shakespearean canon.
Today, the Playhouse is known for their innovative productions.
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.
The Ambassador Auditorium
, center, along with other former Ambassador College buildings, in December 2008
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 (8,100 m2
), 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
(recently closed) 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.
Red Hen Press
, one of the largest independent literary publishers on the US 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 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.
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 (1891–1895) 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
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 (2,200 m2
) 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.
Main entrance to the Rose Bowl Stadium
Rose Bowl Stadium
The Rose Bowl Aquatics Center
sits next 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.
The Rose Bowl Tennis
Center, operated by the city of Pasadena, is located due south of the Rose Bowl Stadium.
The city charter specifies a city council/manager form of government. In addition to city manager, the city council appoints the city attorney and prosecutor, and the city clerk. The city manager oversees 13 departments including Water and Power and Human Services. The city has municipal operating companies including the Rose Bowl Operating Company and the Pasadena Community Access Corporation. The city is one of three city members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which is a joint powers agency that owns Hollywood Burbank Airport
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.
Architect Robert A. M. Stern
chose a bold design for the new Pasadena, California Police Department Building, which opened in 1990
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.
As of 2016, the Pasadena Fire Department is an ISO
Class 1 department, consisting of 181 full-time employees (161 shift personnel, 20 administrative personnel) and eight modern fire stations that serve an area in a radius of 60 miles (97 km).
The Department is dispatched by the Verdugo Fire Communications Center and is one of the three agencies that oversees its operations.
Water and Power Department
Water and Light Fountain at the historic Glenarm Power Plant
. Designed by Harold H. Lewis in 1938.
Pasadena Water and Power Department (PWP) provides services to an area 60 km2
(23 sq mi) and includes areas outside of the city proper including unincorporated areas of southern Altadena, East Pasadena, Chapman Woods, and East San Gabriel. PWP has operated the Glenarm Power Plant
for over 110 years.
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 (from the Electro Beaching Gas Company of New York) 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
(MWDSC or "Met").
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" (or PWP).
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 (2,500,000 m3
) 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.
Federal and state representation
Aerial view of Caltech
in Pasadena, California
The California Institute of Technology
(Caltech) is in the southern-central area of Pasadena. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(managed for NASA by Caltech) is in Pasadena.
As of 2017, Caltech's 37 Nobel Laureates
have brought 38 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. In 2018, it announced plans to move to Pomona by the summer of 2021. However, in 2019, it announced the campus would remain in Pasadena.
The Le Cordon Bleu
College of Culinary Arts (formerly known as the California School 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.
The former campus of Ambassador College is now Maranatha High School and Harvest Rock Church.
Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music
, founded in 1996, is a contemporary music school whose staff 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 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.
The Pasadena Unified School District
encompasses 76 square miles (200 km2
) and includes Pasadena, Altadena
and Sierra Madre. There are 17 K-5 elementary schools, one K-8 school, five middle schools, two 6-12 (secondary) schools, and two high schools.
There are also a number of private and parochial schools in the city.
Private elementary schools located in Pasadena include Judson International School
, Walden, Mayfield Junior School, Chandler School
, Polytechnic School
, Westridge School
, St. Andrew's Catholic Church
, St. Phillip the Apostle School, and Sequoyah School
. Private high schools include Mayfield Senior School
, Judson International School, Polytechnic School
, Westridge School
, La Salle High School
, and Maranatha High School
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 (10,000 m2
) and was recently renovated without damaging any of its historic integrity.
Movies like Matilda
, Legally Blonde
and Red Dragon
utilized the Pasadena Central Library for both its architecture and interior while filming.
The library is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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 20 years, from 1977 to 1997.
Pasadena Community Access Corporation
oversees four television channels: The Arroyo Channel (Channel 32), KPAS (Channel 3), KLRN (Channel 95) and PCC TV (Channel 96). Local television news for Pasadena is produced through this station by the independently operated Crown City News
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 became KROQ-FM
, which is owned by Entercom.
Today the primary radio station in Pasadena goes by the call sign KPCC
located at 89.3 FM. Broadcasting from the Mohn Broadcast Center on South Raymond Avenue (and no longer on 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 daily newspaper also publishes the Rose Magazine
. The Pasadena Journal
a community weekly featuring the Black voices of the San Gabriel Valley since 1989. The Pasadena Now
is a community news website covering stories in the community since 2004. The Pasadena Weekly
, an alternative weekly, has been published since 1984. Pasadena Magazine
is a magazine published by MMG Publishing with offices located on South Marengo Avenue. It started publication in 2008.
L Line Memorial Park Station
Pasadena is served by the Los Angeles Metro L Line light rail
, which originates at the Atlantic Station
in East Los Angeles. Opening in 2003 as the Gold Line,
there are currently six L 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. It began revenue service on March 5, 2016.
Pasadena was served by the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad
, which in 1906 became 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. But longer trains had great difficulty climbing the precipitous 2.2% grade at Arroyo Seco
, between Pasadena and Los Angeles, requiring the costly addition of extra locomotives. The still-used Third District opened in 1888, just a year after the Second District, and rapidly took over most of the longer freight trains.
The Second District and the Pasadena Depot became well known; 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 it an association with old Hollywood.
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 (known as the "second division"). (Now the Southwest Chief
operates over the transcon
via Fullerton.) The LACMTA L Line still uses the same right-of-way
(although different tracks) as the Santa Fe. 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 the city.
The construction of the Gold Line also allowed the closure of the former railroad crossing along Colorado Boulevard which meant that motorists and the Rose Parade would no longer be hindered by trains.
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 (I-210)
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
(westbound) and San Bernardino
A spur of the controversial Long Beach Freeway (SR 710 in Pasadena)
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. Efforts to complete the Long Beach Freeway were met with strong opposition, including the possibility of using advanced tunneling technologies to overcome objections.
The gap will no longer be constructed, with the $780 million earmarked for constructing the gap now allocated towards local infrastructure improvements.
Pasadena is currently exploring options on the future of the spur.
Colorado Street Bridge seen from the Arroyo Seco below
The Arroyo Seco Parkway (SR 110)
, also known as the Pasadena Freeway, 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 (SR 110), 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.
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)
The intersection of Fair Oaks Avenue
and Colorado Boulevard in Old Pasadena is the zero-zero, east-west, north-south postal division of Pasadena.
Pasadena has a large, non-indigenous population of naturalized parrots
. According to the "Parrot Project of Los Angeles",
the parrots are of at least six species.
Some residents have come to enjoy the birds as part of the city's unique 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.
Pasadena has six sister cities as noted by Sister Cities International (SCI):
The following are Friendship Cities: Kasukabe, Japan (1993) and Paju, Gyeonggi, South Korea (2009)
Courtyard of Pasadena City Hall
Colorado Boulevard in 1890, then named Colorado Street. Looking east to Marengo Avenue. Horse-drawn wagons displaying America flags, maybe a July 4 parade.
1890 Horse-drawn streetcar on Colorado Street and Oakland in Pasadena
1913 view looking north at the Colorado Street Bridge under construction and the Scoville Bridge behind.
1914 Colorado Street Bridge just completed, and the Scoville Bridge, that a flood washed away later.
Pasadena City College
Throop Hall at Caltech 1912
Raymond Hotel 1901-1934.
California Cycleway and Hotel Green 1904
1894 Los Angeles & Pasadena Railway Company parlor car. The parlor car was designed exclusively for scenic excursions to Pasadena and Altadena and the Balloon Route.
1908 Raymond and Fair Oaks Pasadena, with the Street Car Rail on both streets, with Pasadena National Bank building.
Pasadena Schools float in 1922 Rose Bowl Parade
Pasadena High School
Caltech entrance at 1200 E California Blvd. On the left is East Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics and on the right is the Alfred Sloan Laboratory of Mathematics and Physics.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory entrance
Pasadena Civic Auditorium
Norton Simon Museum
Rose Parade float with white coat volunteer
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Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Pasadena
Last edited on 13 June 2021, at 06:17
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