By Erica Swanson | Rivas & Associates
Pasadena, CA was founded in 1874 and became an incorporated city to Los Angeles County in 1886.
Like a fine aged wine, Pasadena is a mature city that keeps getting better with time. Pasadena has put constant efforts to preserve, yet update, it’s historic centers of commerce and has allowed for urban residential developments, therefore it’s becoming a more chic and trendy place to live.
The Rose Bowl, a National Historic Landmark, is host of the first, oldest, and most famous college football post-season game, the Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game. The game is every New Year’s Day, immediately following the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Pasadena is also well know for it’s historical estates that were built by some of the cities original wealthy residents. A few of these magnificient homes that still stand include the home of the Wrigley Gum founder, William Wrigley’s former home. The Gamble house, which was built by the architects Green and Greene was the home of David Gamble of the Procter & Gamble company. Built in 1930, The Cravens Estate is now headquarters for the American Red Cross.
In 2008 Pasadena hosted the first full marathon and with a growing number of registrants each year, thousands of people compete to run the 26 mile course through the various streets of the city.
Established in 1892 – the newly expanded Huntington Memorial Hospital is a non-profit 636 bed hospital and is home to the only trauma center in the region.
Pasadena is known for it’s recent improvements in mass transportation with the Metro Gold Line, a light rail that travels from the Union Station in Downtown LA. The Metro Gold line cuts through the central sections of Pasadena and ends at the sierra madre villa station. Plans are being made to extend the gold line futher east of Pasadena to ease the rush hour traffic on the 210 freeway for commuters heading to and from the city.
The Del Mar station has been converted from the old, historic Santa Fe train depot and is surrounding by many new construction apartments and condos, including the Archstone Apartments.
Culture and education
Many people come to Pasadena for private and public college and adult education including the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena City College, Art Center College of Design, and the fast growing California School of Culinary Arts.
Pasadena has two main urban centers, Old Town Pasadena and the South Lake Business district. Old Town is the oldest commercial center of Pasadena today is known as the cities hotspot for its retail clothing stores, upscale restaurants, and nightclubs.
With over 48,000 business executives employed in The South Lake Business District, it’s is predominantly a corporate environment, with a unique blend of shopping, dining shadowed by South Lakes tall modern buildings. Recent developments in the South Lake district also include new, high end condos, including the Prado on Green Street and Lake Avenue, and the Pasadena Collection Condos located on Cordova and Lake.
In addition to it’s urban centers, Pasadena has a high number of landmark districts within the residential suburbs of the city.
Located in Northeast Pasadena, the Bungalow Heaven Landmark District is a rare and mostly intact collection of over 800 homes built from 1900 through the 1930s and gets its name from the Craftsman style bungalows that predominate the neighborhood. Although the many fine residences of significant historic design include Spanish Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival, it’s the Craftsman bungalow that Pasadena is most well known for. Other historic landmark neighborhoods in Pasadena known for its well preserved Craftsman homes are the adjacent Garfield Heights and the upper scale Historic Highlands.
The majority of Pasadena’s most expensive homes are located in the neighborhoods known as Oak Knoll and San Rafael. The majority of the estates in the Oak Knoll neighborhood are historic homes built from the turn of the century through the 1930’s. Aside from large estates, also located in the Oak knoll neighborhood is The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa, which attracts not just out of town visitors, but locals residents that enjoy the hotels three restaurants, high end lounge, and its newly renovated resort spa. The San Rafael neighborhood is located in the far southwest section of Pasadena, with homes that start at the $1million price range.
Since Pasadena knows how to keep it fresh, without bulldozing the wonderful historic character of the city, it’s become a modern city, while maintaining the charm of a bygone time. Pasadena is a well planned city that offers modern, urban centers with endless entertainment and employment, charming and historic residential suburbs, and the San Gabriel mountains that serve as a beautiful backdrop and a retreat for those that want to explore the cities natural elements.
A richly cultured city, with a colorful past, targeted to serve community needs and enhance the quality of life, Pasadena is a California community at its best.
Take a tour of The Crown City in our video, “Pasadena, California”