Pasadena, California

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Pasadena, California
Location in the Los Angeles County and the State of California
Location in the Los Angeles County and the State of California
Coordinates: 34°09′22″N, 118°7′55″W
Country United States of America
State California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated March 1886
 - Mayor Bill Bogaard
 - City  23.2 sq mi (60.0 km²)
 - Land  23.1 sq mi (59.8 km²)
 - Water  0.1 sq mi (0.2 km²)
Population (2000)
 - City 133,936
 - Metro 17,545,623
 - Metro Density 2,343.4/sq mi (904.8/km²)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91101-91191
Area code(s) 626
Website: City website

Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 133,936 and the 160th largest city in the United States. The California Finance Department estimates the Pasadena population to be 146,166 in 2005. Pasadena is the main population and cultural center of the San Gabriel Valley. It is the 6th largest city in Los Angeles County and famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade.


[edit] Geography

Pasadena is located at 34°9′22″N, 118°7′55″W (34.156098, -118.131808)GR1. The elevation is 864 feet (263 meters) above sea level. The greater Pasadena area is bounded by the Raymond Fault line, the San Rafael Hills, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 60.0 km² (23.2 mi²). 59.8 km² (23.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.30%) is water.

Pasadena is located 10 miles (16 kilometers) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city is bordered by 10 communities—Highland Park, Glendale, South Pasadena, San Marino, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, La Cañada Flintridge, and Altadena. The communities of Eagle Rock and Garvanza are incorporated within the city of Los Angeles and Altadena is an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County.

Despite its location well within the Greater Los Angeles metropolis, Pasadena is a largely self-contained city with its own suburbs (Altadena, Arcadia, La Cañada Flintridge, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena) and a broad economic base, noted cultural, scientific, and educational institutions, and shopping and dining establishments that attract customers from the region.

[edit] Demographics

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 133,936 people, 51,844 households, and 29,862 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,238.7/km² (5,798.7/mi²). There were 54,132 housing units at an average density of 904.8/km² (2,343.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 53.36% White, 14.42% African American, 0.71% Native American, 10.00% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 16.01% from other races, and 5.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.40% of the population.

There were 51,844 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.4% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,012, and the median income for a family was $53,639. Males had a median income of $41,120 versus $36,435 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,186. About 11.6% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] History

Pasadena, 1876.
Pasadena, 1876.

The original inhabitants of Pasadena and surrounding areas was the Native American Hahamog-na tribe, a branch of the Tongva (part of the Shoshone language group). Pasadena is a part of the original Spanish 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.

Prior to the annexation of California in 1848, the last of the Spanish owners was Manuel Garfias who was allowed to retain title to the property after statehood in 1850. Garfias sold sections of the property to the first white settlers to come into the area, Dr. Benjamin Eaton, and Dr. S. Griffin. Much of the property was purchased by the honorable 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 went on to become the first Anglo mayor of Los Angeles. He is the grandfather of WWII General George S. Patton and would have Mount Wilson named for him.

In 1873 Wilson was visited by one Dr. Daniel M. Berry of Indiana who was looking for a place in the country 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 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 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. As a gesture of good will, Wilson added 2,000 acres (8 km²) of then useless highland property, part of which would become Altadena.

[edit] Naming Pasadena

Colorado Blvd., 1890.
Colorado Blvd., 1890.

The mail came to the Indiana Colony via Los Angeles so marked. In an attempt to obtain their own Post Office, the Colony needed to change the name to something the Postmaster General would consider more fitting. 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 was proposed by Dr. Thomas Elliott, who had contacted an Indian missionary friend in Michigan who had worked with the Minnesota Chippewa Indians. He submitted four names for translation: "Crown of the Valley," "Key of the Valley," "Valley of the Valley," and "Hill of the Valley." The names came back starting with "Weo-quan pa-sa-de-na," "Hat of the Valley." All the names ended in "pa-sa-de-na (of the valley)". The name was put to a vote, and due to its euphonious nature, it was accepted as Pasadena. Pasadena was incorporated, the second incorporated municipality of Southern California after Los Angeles, in March 1886. In 1892, John H. Burnett of Galveston, Texas had visited Pasadena and when returned to his home near Houston, Texas he plotted a town along two bayous and named it Pasadena, Texas after the California city for its lush vegetation.

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 1880's until the Great Depression, as great tourist hotels were developed in the city, Pasadena became a winter resort for wealthy Easterners. The first of the great hotels to be established in Pasadena was the Raymond (1886) atop Bacon Hill, renamed Raymond Hill after construction. The original Mansard Victorian 200 room facility burned down on Easter morning of 1895 and was not rebuilt until 1903. It was razed during the Great Depression to make way for residential development. The Maryland Hotel existed from the early 1900's and was demolished in 1934.

Two hotel structures have survived, the Green Hotel and the Vista Del Arroyo.

[edit] Hotel Green

Hotel Green, 1900.
Hotel Green, 1900.

The Hotel Green started construction on South Raymond Avenue at Kansas Street in 1887 by Mr. King who was unable to finish it. Colonel George Gill Green, a wealthy patent medicine distributor from New Jersey, finished the six story edifice in 1888. In 1898 he finished construction on a second edifice on the other side of Raymond and connected the two buildings with a bridge and a tunnel. The patrons arrived by train at the adjacent station. In 1902 the hotel was extended to the P.G. Wooster building at the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Green Street. In 1924 the hotel became a private residence. The annex was razed to its first story and sold, today known as Stat's Floral Supply. In 1970 the two wings of the hotel were partitioned creating two separate buildings. The 1898 section remained the private residence now called the Castle Green. The 1902 portion was taken over by the government's HUD program for senior residents and mentally impaired, and is called the Green Hotel. In 1929 Kansas Street was widened and renamed Green Street.

[edit] Vista del Arroyo

The Vista Del Arroyo Hotel on Grand Avenue, commandeered by the Navy as a hospital during World War II, now houses the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Pasadena's role as a regional hub was cemented by other events, among them the Tournament of Roses Parade, which began in 1889, the opening of the Colorado Street Bridge (also known as "Suicide Bridge" from the Great Depression), the Arroyo Parkway, now Pasadena Freeway, opened as the first freeway in the country in 1940, and completion of the Los Angeles Metro Gold Line in 2003.

[edit] Culture

[edit] Performing arts

Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, CA.
Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, CA.

The Pasadena Symphony, founded in 1928, offers several concerts a year at the Pasadena Civic Center and the Pasadena Pops plays at nearby Descanso Gardens. The Civic Center also holds a few traveling Broadway shows each year. The Pasadena Playhouse 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 upstairs theater adjacent to the Pasadena Playhouse. Boston Court Performing Arts Complex, opened in 2003, is near Lake and Colorado. Its resident theatre company, the award-winning Theatre at Boston Court presents four productions a year. [1] Zebulon Projects 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, the 2005 summer season marking its third year.

The California Philharmonic [2] performs two series in Pasadena, Cal Phil at the Ambassador Auditorium from November through April, and Cal Phil Music Martinis & the Maestro in the Romanesque Room at the Green Hotel from January to May. They also perform Cal Phil Festival on the Green at nearby Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia from July to September, and from July to August Cal Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In conjunction with The Old Mill Foundation, they perform a summer chamber concert series Cal Phil at the Mill in San Marino.

[edit] Visual arts

A number of artists of national repute, such as Alson S. Clark, Marion Wachtel and Ernest A. Batchelder, made Pasadena their home in the early twentieth century. The formation of the Pasadena Arts Institute and the Pasadena Society of Artists heralded the city's emergence as a regional center for the visual arts.

The Norton Simon Museum contains over 2000 years of art from the Western world and Asia. The Pacific Asia Museum, with its tranquil garden in the center, features art from the many countries of Asia. The nearby Pasadena Museum of California Art hosts many temporary exhibits from Californian artists. The Gamble House, a National Historic Landmark, is a masterpiece of the Arts and Crafts Movement open for tours. The Huntington Library and its botanical garden are adjacent to Pasadena in the city of San Marino.

[edit] Literature

In 2002 David Ebershoff published the long novel, Pasadena. The novel won praise for its accurate recreation of Pasadena before World War II.

[edit] 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 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.

By 1976 KPPC had changed owners, station managers and its format and would reemerge on the radio dial as KROQ 106.7. Broadcasting from cramped studios on Los Robles Ave in central Pasadena it wasn’t long before KROQ would become one of the most influential radio stations in the United States. Soon after being purchased by Infinity Broadcasting in 1986 KROQ was moved part and parcel to new studios in nearby Burbank and eventually ending up in Los Angeles proper.

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 of the best shows from National Public Radio but maintains a fierce 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.

W.C.L King Of the Dena

[edit] Education

The world-famous California Institute of Technology is in the southern-central area of Pasadena, with Pasadena City College located just to the northeast. Fuller Theological Seminary, one of the largest multidenominational seminaries in the world, sits just east of downtown Pasadena. The California School of Culinary Arts, is located on Green Street and Madison. The School offers the Famous Le Cordeon Bleu Accredidation and has 5 campuses around Pasadena. Pacific Oaks College is located next to Pasadena's National Historic Landmark — The Gamble House. The famous Art Center College of Design is in the San Rafael Hills overlooking the Rose Bowl, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (managed for NASA by Caltech) is primarily in nearby La Canada Flintridge, though its main gate and many of its buildings are in Pasadena.

The Pasadena Unified School District is in charge of the city's five high schools, three middle schools, and 24 elementary schools.[3] More and more students have been enrolling at prestigious and accredited colleges over the years, including Caltech, Occidental, USC, The Claremont Colleges, the UC, and Cal State systems of universities, as well as many out-of-state private and public institutions. Pasadena has the highest per-capita shift of school-age children from public into private educational settings in the United States.[citation needed]

46% of Pasadena's school-age children attend private schools.[citation needed]

Several private college preparatory schools are located in and around Pasadena, including:

[edit] Shopping

Old Town Pasadena is a popular shopping and dining area for locals and tourists. Paseo Colorado is a more upscale mall designed to be a modern urban village, with apartments above the mall. An exclusive shopping district is located in the South Lake Avenue neighborhood.

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 1967.

[edit] Sports

The Rose Bowl, a National Historic Landmark, is host of the oldest and most famous college football postseason bowl game every New Year's Day. It is the home field for the University of California, Los Angeles football team and has hosted five Super Bowls. Important soccer matches include the 1984 Summer Olympics, the men's final in the FIFA World Cup 1994, and the final in FIFA Women's World Cup 1999.

For some time, Los Angeles has been seeking another National Football League team to replace the Raiders, which played in Los Angeles from 1982-1994. In November, 2006, a voter initiative to encourage a deal between the Rose Bowl and the NFL failed at the polls, effectively ruling out a return of the NFL to Pasadena.

[edit] Miscellaneous

[edit] Tournament of Roses Parade

Spectators gather before the 2004 Rose Parade.
Spectators gather before the 2004 Rose Parade.

Pasadena is also home to the Tournament of Roses Parade, held each year on January 1 (unless that day is a Sunday, in which case the event is held on January 2). The first parade was held in 1890 and was originally sponsored by the Valley Hunt Club, a Pasadena social club. The impetus for holding the parade was, as stated by one of the members, Professor Charles F. Holder, "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 become larger than the Valley Hunt Club could manage, and the Tournament of Roses Association was then formed to take charge of the festival. In 1902, it was decided that a football game would be added to the day's events. The game, now known as the Rose Bowl, would become the first post-season college football game ever. The first game was between Stanford University and the University of Michigan. After suffering a tremendous financial loss, the Tournament of Roses Association decided to hold Roman chariot races in lieu of football games. However, in 1916, football returned. When it became clear that the stands in Tournament Park were too small to facilitate the crowd, the Tournament's President, William Leishman, proposed that a stadium be built to house the game. The Rose Bowl was completed in 1923. The Rose Bowl has since been selling out to crowds since 1947. In 1998, the Rose Bowl celebrated its 52nd anniversary and became the longest running tradition of its kind.

The Rose Parade, as it is familiarly known, still features elaborate floats. According to the organizers, "Every inch of every float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. Volunteer workers swarm over the floats in the days after Christmas, their hands and clothes covered with glue and petals. The most delicate flowers are placed in individual vials of water, which are set into the float one by one." Over the two plus hours that the parade occurs, floats and participants travel over five miles of terrain and pass by over one million viewers who generally camp out over New Year's Eve to have prime viewing spots along the parade route.

The Rose Parade is satirized by the popular Doo Dah Parade, an annual November event in Pasadena.

[edit] South Orange Grove Boulevard

One of several exclusive residential districts in Pasadena, South Orange Grove Boulevard 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. Some of the more notable families include:

  • Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser beer. It was here that this wealthy easterner took full advantage of the area’s mild climate and established the first of a series of Busch Gardens. When Busch died at his Pasadena estate his wife generously offered the property to the City of Pasadena as a park, an offer the city inexplicably refused.
  • Anna Bissell McCay, daughter of carpet sweeper magnate Melville Bissell. This elegant four story Victorian anchors the south end of “Millionaires Row” just on the border of South Pasadena. Today the Bissell House lives on as a cozy Bed and Breakfast.
  • Thaddeus S. C. Lowe. His 24,000 square foot home originally sat on South Orange Grove. The mammoth main house rose to a sixth story solarium which became an observatory. This was more than a visible display of wealth as Lowe was generous patron of the astronomical sciences. He went on to establish the Mount Lowe Railway in the mountains above Pasadena into which he sank all his fortunes.
  • Henry Markham who lived adjacent to Busch and became the 18th Governor of the state of California (1891-1895).

Not all of the vast homes along Orange Grove belonged to the eastern titans of industry. As was typical of the early 20th century, many of the wealthy were doctors, politicians and retired military officers, with the odd Right Reverend sprinkled in. Some of the other notable personalities who lived in this area include notorious occultist Aleister Crowley and brilliant, but troubled, rocket scientist John Whiteside Parsons. In fact Parsons died in an explosion while working in his home laboratory just off of Orange Grove Boulevard in 1952.

Today most of the old estates are gone, replaced by 1960’s era apartments and condominiums. Though far less regal than the vast homes they replaced, these apartment units maintain verdant and meticulously trimmed grounds that still exude a sense of wealth and command high property values.

Other noteworthy sites along the boulevard include:

  • The Norton Simon Museum, at the intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards. This corner marks the official start of the Rose Parade route and so the museum can be seen, quite clearly, every year during the parade broadcast.
  • Ambassador College campus and Ambassador Auditorium, located between Green Street and Del Mar Boulevard. The grounds of this former Worldwide Church of God liberal arts college are distinctive for their lush gardens, fountains and spacious lawns. The oldest buildings are listed as historical landmarks and display the wide variety of mansions once common in the area. They are the perfect backdrop to highlight the starkly bright, honeycomb facades of the “sixties modern” buildings that make up the campus.
  • The staging area for the Tournament of Roses Parade. In the wee hours before dawn, floats of every size and shape can be seen stretching the length of the boulevard as their volunteer crews rush to put the finishing touches on them.

[edit] Parrots

Pasadena has a population of naturalized parrots. The city's website identifies one, a Red-crowned amazon parrot, but according to the [4] Parrot Project of Los Angeles, the parrots fall into as many as five different groups. There is a cycle of regular public outcry about the noise and the sheer oddity of the birds' presence, but most Pasadenans seem to have come to accept the birds as part of the city's life. They can be seen year-round, but are especially noticeable in the winter. The birds are definitely gregarious, and the amount of disturbance their chatter creates is definitely related to the time of day they may choose to chatter.

Theories and myths abound on how these parrots came to claim Pasadena and surrounding towns as their home. A heavily accepted story by longtime residents of the area is that they were part of the stock at Simpson's Nursery on East Colorado Blvd. in the Lamanda Park area. The nursery was burned down in 1959, and the parrots were thereby released to forage in the lush Pasadena area. It is also possible that some parrots moved northward from their normal range in central and northern Mexico as human habitation in the Pasadena area created artificial habitat in which the parrots could survive. Among their favorite foods are the berry kernels of the cedar trees that grow in great abundance around Pasadena.

[edit] Parking

Pasadena is notorious for parking ticket citations and has a very strict parking code. It does not allow overnight parking between 2am-6am on city streets, unless you pay for an overnight permit. The local police department previously allowed for exemptions, but they no longer do so.

Pasadena severely restricts parking in Transit Oriented Districts (TODs), such as the Pasadena Playhouse District. Pasadena's Zoning Code 17.50.340 stipulates that new developments in TODs will be built with a maximum of 1.25 parking spaces for units 650 square feet or less and 1.75 spaces for units over 650 square feet. On-street parking permits for second cars "for overnight parking shall not be allowed" (section d). Permits for city lots cost $60 per month.

[edit] City Hall construction

The City Hall building is currently under renovation to be seismically retrofitted. It was closed in July 2004 due to safety concerns and construction began in March 2005. The retrofit is expected to be completed in Summer 2007.[5]

[edit] Pasadena Civic Auditorium

Located on spacious tree-lined Green Street this building was designed to be the southern anchor of Pasadena’s grand civic plaza. The elegant Central Library lies three blocks due north with City Hall tower in between. The intended visual effect is somewhat lost today as the open air mall Paseo Colorado was built along the north side of Green St. obscuring one’s view of the auditorium’s sister buildings.

The main auditorium is large and plush. In fact it was home to the Annual Emmy Awards ceremony for nearly 25 years, from 1977 to 2001.[6]

[edit] Jessye Norman Day

After a performance at Blair High School, the Mayor officially declared September 22 Jessye Norman Day.

[edit] Sister Cities

Pasadena has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

[edit] Notable Pasadenans

See also: Category:People from Pasadena, California.

[edit] External links