Early Views of Pasadena

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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




(1874)* - This is the first home built in 1874, at the corner of North Orange Grove and Lincoln Avenue.  




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





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





(1876)* - Exterior view of the Presbyterian Church on the northwest corner of Colorado Street and Garfield Avenue, in Pasadena, in 1876. Tower was blown down in the windstorm of 1888. A trolley pulled by horses is shown in the foreground.  





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





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




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





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


Historical Notes

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




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





(ca. 1880)* - Colorado and Fair Oaks looking west, in 1870. Ward Block is on the left, which includes the Pasadena Bank and the Grand Hotel. Several horse-drawn carriages are parked along the sides of the building. There is a Meat Market and a Livery Stable past Ward Block. Cultivated fields can be seen in the background.  




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




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





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





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




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





(1885)* - Exterior view of Los Angeles House in Pasadena, in 1885. View also shows a horse drawn carriage stopped at the hotel, and several guests standing on the porch and balcony. Note a man standing at the top of the hotel next to the flag pole. A large sign reads, "Livery and Feed Stable."





(ca. 1885)^ - Auction of a Pasadena school building on the corner of Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue.  A large crowd of people standing behind a number of horse-and-buggies gather at bottom of the two-story schoolhouse, which sports a bell tower and clapboard veneer. Two horses attached to still more buggies are tied to a hitching post in the foreground, facing one another. A building in the background is under construction, fronted by scaffolding.  





(1885)* - Exterior view of the Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, in 1885. Note the architectural design on the building.  





(1886)* - An 1886 map of Pasadena, when it was largely a town of orange groves. Numbers superimposed on the map indicate approximate locations of events concerning the 1952 Rose Parade. Drawings of various buildings surround the map.  Click on map to enlarge.  





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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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



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




(ca. 1886)* - View of the Raymond Hotel circa 1886. Landscaping covers the embankment to the right of the stairs.  


Historical Notes

The Raymond Hotel was opened in 1886 but burned down in 1895. It was replaced by a second Raymond Hotel in 1903.*



(ca. 1899)^ - Panoramic view of Pasadena looking north from Raymond Hill. Sparse houses are separated by burgeoning agricultural fields. A house with a windmill-style weathervane stands at center and the San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the background.  




(1886)#* - View of downtown Pasadena. Inscribed on photograph: "J.A.R." with Jno. Brown's sons, Sep. 1886, Pasadena, Cal." The photograph shows crowds of pedestrians, both male and female, walking in the same direction, away from the camera. The street is filled with horse-drawn vehicles carrying passengers. On the left-hand side, a shop sign reads "City Meat Market". Along the right-hand side of the road are several buildings. The road appears to disappear over a hill in the background, near what appears to be an unfinished tower on a building or perhaps a church.   


Historical Notes

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




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





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





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


Historical Notes

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




(1887)* - View of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad, crossing into Pasadena in 1887. The train is stopped on the bridge, and there are two men standing at the front of the locomotive, six other men are sitting/standing alongside the car at the end, and two men are standing at the back of the train.  




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





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





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


Historical Background

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

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

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



(1888)* - Exterior view of the Andrew McNally residence on Mariposa Street in Altadena, with the view of the mountains behind. This Queen Anne mansion was designed by architect Frederick Louis Roehrig.  





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


Historical Notes

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

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





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


Historical Notes

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

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




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




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




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




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






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






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






(1890)* - Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena near Fair Oaks Avenue in 1890. The Carlton is seen.  






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






(ca. 1888-1893)*^* - This photo shows a vibrant day on Colorado Boulevard sometime between 1888 and 1893. Looking east from the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue, a precise date cannot be found due to a lack of detailed records.  


Historical Notes

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





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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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

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

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



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




(1890)* - Exterior view of the Raymond Station in South Pasadena, in 1890. A locomotive with cars, stand ready, outside the station. A horse-drawn vehicle is parked alongside of the station.  




(ca. 1890)* - Exterior view of La Pintoresca Hotel in Pasadena. A horse-drawn trolley can be seen on the tracks in front of the hotel.  


Historical Notes

Originally known as the Painter Hotel which opened in 1888, it was the third large hotel enterprise in Pasadena. It was built on the N.E. corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Washington Street, which is now a City Park. It was the distinguishing landmark of North Pasadena, and is historical because of other large enterprises connected with it. After the death of John Painter the name was changed to La Pintoresca. The hotel was later destroyed by fire, December 31, 1912. *




(ca. 1890)* - Exterior view of La Pintoresca Hotel in Pasadena. Palm trees and an orchard can be seen on the grounds in front of the hotel.  






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






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





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





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




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





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





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




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




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





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





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




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




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


Historical Notes

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



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





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





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





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





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




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




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


Historical Notes

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



(ca. 1915)**# - The Echo Mountain incline railway after Pacific Electric purchased it. Catalina Island can be seen in the distance.  


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



(ca. 1900)#* - Panoramic view of Echo Mt. and Mt. Lowe from Pasadena with snow on the mountains and houses and orange groves visible in the foreground.  



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





(ca. 1893)* - Early building of the Pasadena Public Library, built in Richardsonian Romanesque style stone. It was demolished except for the entry, which remains in Memorial Park, formerly Library Park. Architect was Hamilton Ridgway.  




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




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




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




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




(1895)* - Exterior view of Universalist Church on the southeast corner of Raymond and Chestnut Streets, in Pasadena.




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




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


Historical Notes

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



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




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


Historical Notes

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

Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club were former residents of the American East and Midwest. They wished to showcase their new California home's mild winter weather. At a club meeting, Professor Charles F. Holder announced, "In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."
So the club organized horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches, and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the professor decided to suggest the name "Tournament of Roses."

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




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




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


Historical Notes

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




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




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


Historical Notes

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



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




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




(1900)* - Abraham Lincoln Elementary School was built at its present location (Lincoln Avenue and West Peoria Street) in 1895. The original building was a large two-story structure facing Lincoln Avenue; a small building for the kindergarten was in the rear. The Board purchased a house and lot adjoining the school site in November 1901, and started the kindergarten class there in January of 1902.  




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


Historical Notes

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





(ca. 1900)* - Exterior view of the Green Hotel in Pasadena. The bridge that extends from the building crosses over Raymond Avenue. Pasadena trolley can be seen travelling on Raymond Avenue.





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




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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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




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




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





(1905)#* - The street car, numbered 201 and bearing a sign on top "Orange Grove Ave.", is at the center of the photograph, surrounded by pedestrians, horse-drawn vehicles and some automobiles. On the left-hand side, brick buildings, some with awnings and signs, are seen along the street. The sign on the white awning at left reads: "Grand Rapids Furniture House". Immediately behind the trolley, with a striped awning, is the National Bank building.  


Historical Notes

The printed caption above the image reads: "A Pacific Electric car on Colorado Street near Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena stops for passengers. The car was on the West Colorado Street-Orange Grove Avenue line.#*




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




(1907)* - Exterior view of the Classical Revival style building of South Pasadena High School, taken not long after the building was completed. This building, constructed in 1907, and two others added in 1912 stood until the 1950s, at which time they were demolished.




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





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





(Early 1900s)* - Exterior view of the Maryland Hotel in Pasadena. A canopy stretches from the entrance of the hotel to the street.  


Historical Notes

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



(Early 1900s)* - Exterior view of the Maryland Hotel showing the gardens along the walkway and a canopy that stretches from one building to the other.  


Historical Notes

The Maryland Hotel covered eight acres of lawn and flower gardens, and besides the main structure it had thirty bungalows, where one could live in quiet seclusion a few feet from the busy halls - yet remote and undisturbed - if he so desired. The Maryland Hotel was torn down shortly after August 20th, 1937. Architect, John Parkinson.*



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




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


Historical Notes

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

Built in 1903, it was home to both the Tournament of Roses and the Valley Hunt Club. The hotel was was supplemented by two later buildings, creating a complex of three structures.

Hotel Green, by Los Angeles-based architect Frederick Roehrig, was the first of the three buildings; it was published in the periodical The Western Architect in December 1905.

Castle Green was the second building in the complex and was originally known as the "Central Annex." By 1924 the hotel was owned by a group of investors who divided the hotel complex into three parts. The Central Annex was subdivided into fifty residential apartments and renamed the Castle Green. The Castle Green is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the State Historic Register, and the City of Pasadena's list of Historic Places.*^



(ca. 1910)* - The Hotel Green in Pasadena, in a lush garden setting. The Green was one of the leading Pasadena hotels, along with the Raymond and the Huntington, during Pasadena's heyday as a winter resort for wealthy Easterners in the 1890s and 1900s. The portion of the building which extends to the right crossed over Raymond Avenue.  




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




(ca. 1910)^ - The view looks north up Fair Oaks Avenue from Colorado Boulevard (then named Colorado Street.) A trolley and a horse-drawn wagon share the road. The sign on the trolley reads: OSTRICH FARM  


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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




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


Historical Notes

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




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





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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

In 1934 the hotel was torn down for residential development due to fallout from the Great Depression.*



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


Historical Notes

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



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






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







(ca. 1915)* - The Oneonta Park station of Pacific Electric Railway in South Pasadena, with Raymond Hill and its hotel in the background.  




(1913)*#* - The Colorado Street Bridge under construction in 1913.  


Historical Notes

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





(ca. 1913)* - Looking west from the Colorado Street Bridge, located over the Arroyo Seco. There are no cars or people on the bridge. The ornate 5-lamp streetlights are clearly seen perched on top of the bridge rails.  





(ca. 1913)^ - View of the Colorado Street Bridge, looking northwest. The trusted deck arch bridge appears to be in the late stage of its construction. At the left end of the bridge are construction machinery. An undeveloped part of the mountain (at left) blocks the road and the bridge from connecting. Midway across the bridge hangs two signs which reads: "Mercereau Bridge & Cons Co. Contractors", "Riverside cement used". Street lamps line the bridge. Nearby the bridge are several residential houses. A two-story house is clearly visible in the foreground. Also in the foreground is a road sign that reads "private grounds".  


Historical Notes

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





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


Historical Notes

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





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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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





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






(1920)^ - Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge as it appeared in 1920. The bridge’s graceful Beaux Arts arches first crossed the Arroyo Seco in 1913.  


Historical Notes

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




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





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




(ca. 1920s)*#* - An electric vehicle passes over the Colorado Street Bridge.  





(ca. 1931)* - View of the Colorado Street Bridge, looking southeast. The new additon to the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel, on the right, was built in 1931.  


Historical Notes

In 1926, the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel  and resort was sold the resort to H.O. Comstock. Comstock hired architect George H. Wiemeyer to redesign the hotel and added a grand six-story addition that consisted of a central bell tower and flanking wings set at an angle. The new Vista opened in 1931 with iridescent color, entertainment, and social gaiety. In 1936, Linnard repurchased the property and hired landscape architect Verner S. Anderson to improve the hotel's grounds by designing formal gardens and adding fountains, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.*^




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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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





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


Historical Notes

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

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

Within a couple of years five of the original investors reorganized and refinanced the project, but since the Harvard telescope had been removed, and interest in Mt. Wilson had tailed off, they thought it better to downsize the project from a twelve foot road to a four foot road. By June 1891, after only five months work, a usable ten mile trail was established. In July the new toll road was officially opened to the public and the toll fixed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at 25 cents for hikers and 50 cents for horseback. The new road was called the "New Mt. Wilson Trail", and it soon became more popular than the old Sierra Madre trail. Foot and pack animal traffic became so heavy that in June 1893 the trail was widened to six feet, making two way travel much easier.*^




(1917)* - The 100-inch telescope glass being hauled up the one-way dirt toll road from Altadena to Mt. Wilson by truck.  


Historical Notes

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



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




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




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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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



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


Historical Notes

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




(1918)#* - Panoramic night view of Pasadena as seen from Mt. Wilson.  


Historical Notes

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

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

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

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



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


Historical Notes

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

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



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




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


Historical Notes

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

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

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



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




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





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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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




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


Historical Notes

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





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


Historical Notes

The hotel closed in 1985 after the main building ceased to meet new earthquake codes, which had been changed due to the disastrous 1985 Mexico City earthquake. It sat vacant until it was demolished in 1988, though the bungalows remained in operation as a hotel.*^

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





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




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




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




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




(1920s)* - Side view of the Mother Goose Pantry, a restaurant in the shape of a Mother Goose shoe, that is located at 1951 East Colorado Boulevard in the city of Pasadena. Photo shows "Mother Goose" character greeting a large crowd of children. This is the solution to the Mother Goose rhyme: "There was an old woman, who lived in a shoe; she had so many children, she didn't know what to do. She gave them some broth, without any bread; she whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed." - apparently, now everyone can be fed.  




(1920)* - Early view of Pasadena's Brookside Park. It shows a stream of cars coming down the hill on the right, a parking lot mid-photo, and a large grassy area, possibly an equestrian field, on the left. Several people can be seen riding horses, possibly playing in a polo match, and more horses are visible in penned-in sections between the cars on the parking lot. Homes are nestled in the hills along the background.


Historical Notes

Brookside Park is Pasadena's largest park covering over 61 acres. It contains the world-famous Rose Bowl Stadium, Brookside Golf Course, and Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, as well as several regulation baseball fields, multi-purpose fields, picnic areas, tennis courts, badminton courts, handball courts, horseshoe courts, archery, casting and lawn bowling facilities, etc., making it Pasadena's largest fully maintained park facility. Brookside Park is located at 360 North Arroyo Boulevard in the city of Pasadena.*






(1888)^#^ – Early view of Devil’s Gate showing the Arroyo Seco at its most narrow point. 


Historical Notes

The outcropping of rugged granite cliffs offered shade in the morning and late afternoon, make it a favorite community gathering spot. Local residents would pack lunches and have family picnics here.

The name Devil’s Gate was given because the profile of a devil’s face can be seen on a cliff at the right. In this photo a man is sitting on top of the devil’s horn.^#^





(ca. 1910s)*^ - The Devil's Gate at the Arroyo Seco River prior to 1920 damming. Note the "devil's profile" in the rock to the right.



Historical Notes

The outcropping of rugged granite cliffs offered shade in the morning and late afternoon, make it a favorite community gathering spot. Local residents would pack lunches and have family picnics here.

The name Devil’s Gate was given because the profile of a devil’s face can be seen on a cliff at the right. In this photo a man is sitting on top of the devil’s horn.^#^



(1908)^*# - View of the Devil's Gate. A dam would be built across this section of the Arroyo Seco Canyon in 1920.  




(1920)^#* - View of the Devil’s Gate Dam under construction, the first of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District's dams.  


Historical Notes

The Devil’s Gate Dam was built in 1920 as part of the Arroyo Seco flood control scheme designed to tame destructive rain-driven flooding as far south as downtown Los Angeles, whose river the Arroyo feeds. Though a dam now reaches across the gorge, the water still laughs as it flows through the sluice gates, and the Devil’s face ominously remains intact.^^^





(1921)* - A view of the road with 3 people on the edge of the bridge looking down at Devil's Gate Dam. On the left side of the picture is another road, and some water is collected in the area.  


Historical Notes

The bridge on the left is the original bridge over the site of the Devil's Gate Dam. As of 1987, there is no longer a reservoir. The site may be seen from Highway 210, north of the Arroyo Seco and south of Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Look up location of Devil's Gate.*




(ca. 1920s)* - A view from the air of the Devil's Gate Dam, probably in the 1920's. A few people are visible on top of the dam road, but there does not appear to be any water in the reservoir.   


Historical Notes

The Devil’s Gate Dam was built in 1920 as part of the Arroyo Seco flood control scheme designed to tame destructive rain-driven flooding as far south as downtown Los Angeles, whose river the Arroyo feeds. Though a dam now reaches across the gorge, the water still laughs as it flows through the sluice gates, and the Devil’s face ominously remains intact.^^^




(1922)* - A great many people are gathered to look over the road running across the Devil's Gate Dam. Behind the dam is large lake or reservoir.  


Historical Notes

Soon after the dam was built it filled with water.  The dam was designed for both flood control and water conservation.  It also served as the main road between La Canada and Pasadena for many years.





(ca. 1920s)^*# - Looking from the adjacent hillside we see the road, the dam and the reservoir behind the dam. Water is rushing down the spillway.  





(ca. 1920s)^*# - People are standing on top of the Devil's Gate Dam observing water coming down the spillway.  




(ca. 1920s)^*# - Water is rushing out of a second spilway in the bottom of the canyon. The Devil's Gate Dam is seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco watershed begins at Red Box Saddle in the Angeles National Forest near Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. As it enters the urbanized area of the watershed, the Arroyo Seco stream flows between La Cañada Flintridge on the west and Altadena on the east. Just below Devil's Gate Dam, the stream passes underneath the Foothill Freeway. At the north end of Brookside Golf Course the stream becomes channelized into a flood control channel and proceeds southward through the golf course.*^




(1935)^#* - An aerial view, taken December 18, 1935, shows water flowing into the Devil's Gate Dam basin from La Canada through Flynt Canyon Wash in the lower left.  The dense oak grove with the clearing in the middle is also clearly depicted.  




(2013)## - Google Maps view of Devil's Gate Dam showing the 210 Freeway in the foreground.  




(1922)* - Exterior front of the Raymond Theatre, with cards parked in the street. Marquee reads: "Wallace Reid in The Love Special ; Ko'vert in Hanuya The Spirit of Evil ; Buster Keaton in Hard Luck".  


Historical Notes

There was a great deal of anticipation leading up to the opening of Jensen’s Raymond Theatre on April 5, 1921. But there was also a sense of amazement in the cost of the construction.  The Star News, on May 6, 1920, reported that the project was over budget, with a cost to date of $592,644. When it opened, all was forgotten, and the Pasadena Star-News exclaimed the Raymond to be “Last Word in Modern Thespian Temples". *^^*




(1922)* - Exterior view of a bank, located at 824 Fair Oaks Boulevard on the northeast corner with Mission Street in South Pasadena. At the time this photograph was taken, First National Bank was located in the building, but Security First National Bank also occupied this building.




(1922)* - Panoramic view of Pasadena and surrounding areas, as seen from top of Echo Mountain. View also shows, Mount Lowe Observatory in the foreground.






(Early 1900s)*^* - View showing a couple of four-horse-drawn chariots racing in front of thousands of spectators at Tournament Park. Chariot racing was a feature of the Rose Parade in the early 1900s.  


Historical Notes

For many years the main attraction in Tournament Park (the predecessor of the current Rose Bowl stadium) was chariot races, although polo matches attracted equally large crowds.*






(Early 1900s)* - A furious chariot race at the Tournament of Roses at Tournament Park.  


Historical Notes

In 1902 football was substituted for chariot racing as the midwinter attraction. The first game was played between Michigan (49) and Stanford (0). The game was so lopsided that it didn't go over well with the fans and the Tournament organizers decided to revert back to the chariot races.*^






(1902)* - First Tournament East-West football game, January 1, 1902, Michigan vs. Stanford. Note the crowd of people standing in foreground, and to the right side of the football field. Horse-drawn carriages are lined along a fence beyond the crowds of people.  


Historical Notes

Originally titled the "Tournament East-West football game," the first Rose Bowl was played on January 1, 1902, starting the tradition of New Year's Day bowl games. The football game was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of the Rose Parade.

The inaugural game featured Fielding H. Yost's dominating 1901 Michigan team, representing the East, which crushed a previously 3-1-2 team from Stanford University, representing the West, by a score of 49–0 after Stanford quit in the third quarter. Michigan finished the season 11–0 and was crowned the national champion. Yost had been Stanford's coach the previous year. The game was so lopsided that for the next 13 years, the Tournament of Roses officials ran chariot races, ostrich races, and other various events instead of football.

On New Year's Day 1916 football returned to stay as The State College of Washington (now Washington State University) defeated Brown University in the first annual Rose Bowl with that explicit name.*^






(1922)*^* - The Pasadena Rose Bowl under construction in the Arroyo Seco dry riverbed. Construction began in 1921.  


Historical Notes

The Rose Bowl Game was played at Tournament Park until 1922. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the game's organizer, realized that the temporary stands were inadequate for a crowd of more than 40,000, and sought to build a better, permanent stadium.*^





(1922)*^* - Another view of construction work on the Rose Bowl.  


Historical Notes

The stadium was designed by architect Myron Hunt in 1921. His design was influenced by the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, which was built in 1914. The Arroyo Seco dry riverbed was selected as the location for the stadium.*^





(1922)* - After crowds out-grew Pasadena's Tournament Park, architect Myron Hunt drew up plans for the construction of the Rose Bowl stadium in 1920. On January 1, 1923, USC beat Penn State, 14-3, in the first Rose Bowl game.  


Historical Notes

The Rose Bowl was under construction for about a year (1921 to 1922). The design of the stadium was intended to accommodate as many patrons as possible, sitting close to the action. The first portion of the stadium was completed for less money than had been budgeted, and the seating capacity at the time was 57,000.




(1922)* - A closer view of the Rose Bowl under construction in 1922.  


Historical Notes

The Rose Bowl was completed in Octobeer 1922, just several months prior to the completion of the nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, May 1923.

The first game was a regular season contest on October 28, 1922 when Cal defeated USC 12–0. This was the only loss for USC and California finished the season undefeated. California declined the invitation to the 1923 Rose Bowl game and USC went in their place.*^





(1923)#* - Panoramic view of the 1923 Rose Bowl Game between Penn State University and the University of Southern California at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The stands are almost filled, with the exception of some of the higher areas on the far side of the stadium. Small groups of what appear to be military men are seated on chairs on the track surrounding the field. The game is in progress, with the two teams in the middle of a series near midfield. There are men positioned at several places along the near sideline with photographic cameras, and one man near midfield has a motion picture camera. There is a very tall flag pole on the far right with a large American flag. A large number of automobiles are parked on the far right, beyond the open part of the stadium, where there are also a couple hundred people watching the game over the stadium fence.  


Historical Notes

January 1, 1923 was the first time that the Rose Bowl Game was held at the Rose Bowl Stadium. The game featured Penn State University and the University of Southern California, with the score ending at USC 14 to  PSU 3. #*

The name of the stadium was alternatively "Tournament of Roses Stadium" or "Tournament of Roses Bowl", until being settled as "Rose Bowl" before the 1923 Rose Bowl game.*^

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of USC.




(1925)* - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl on New Years Day, January 1, 1925. The stadium is almost full, yet crowds of people are still walking in. The football score that day was: Notre Dame, 27 vs Stanford, 10.  


Historical Notes

Originally built as a horseshoe, the stadium was expanded several times over the years. The southern stands were completed in 1928, making the stadium a complete bowl. .*^




(ca. 1928)* - Aerial view of the Rose Bowl after the southern stands were constructed making it a complete bowl. Though the stadium appears to be filled to capacity, people are still trickling in, and row upon row of automobiles can be seen neatly parked in the lots. View also shows the residential homes surrounding the stadium, as well as the mountains in the background.


Historical Notes

For many years, the Rose Bowl had the largest football stadium capacity in the U.S., and from 1972 to 1997, the maximum seating capacity was 104,594. Current official seating capacity is 92,542.

The Rose Bowl game grew to become the "granddaddy" of all bowl games, because of its stature as the oldest of all the bowl games. The Rose Bowl stadium is a National Historic Landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 27, 1987.*^





(1929)* - Mizell of Georgia Tech, at left with ball, is shown at the start of a 32-yard gallop in which he carried the ball to California's 36-yard line in the game at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. January 2, 1929. Georgia Tech's football squad were one-point victors over University of California in the Rose Bowl classic.





(1924)* - Aerial view of the second Raymond Hotel looking across the grounds at the western facade, the main entrance to the hotel. Extensive urban development can be seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

Located atop Bacon Hill, renamed Raymond Hill, which lies between Pasadena and South Pasadena, the first Raymond Hotel burned down in 1895 and was replaced by a second in 1903. The architect was T. W. Parkes. In 1934 the hotel was torn down for residential development due to fallout from the Great Depression.*



(1924)**- Rainy day view of the Standard Oil Station at 520 East Colorado and the multi-story Pasadena Furniture Company next door.  





(1925)**- Night view of the exterior of the Pasadena Furniture Company at 530 East Colorado.







(1926)**- A street view of the newly completed Singer Building at 520 East Colorado, next to the Pasadena Furniture Company building. Displays of sewing machines visible in the windows. Note the ornate streetlight on the corner.  





(ca. 1930)**- Pasadena's Sears, Roebuck and Company was located at 532 East Colorado Street. The building was previously occupied by the Pasadena Furniture Company. Sears bought the building after the Pasadena Furniture Company went out of business. The Singer Building is located to the right.






(1925)^ - View of the Pacific Southwest Trust and Savings Bank Building at 234 East Colorado Boulevard, at the corner of Marengo and Colorado.  




(ca. 1925)#^ - View of the Security First Bank on the southeast corner of Colorado Street and Lake Avenue. Note the trolley power lines and tracks crisscrossing the intersection.  




(ca. 1925)* - Exterior view of the central fire house in Pasadena. View shows groups of firemen standing next to their fire engines outside of the building.  




(1929)* - Group photo of Pasadena's motorcycle policemen.  




(1926)^ - A couple and their Hudson sedan arrive at the Santa Fe Station on Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. The sign on the building to the right reads: Kerckhoff-Cuzner Mill & Lumber Co.*^^  


Historical Notes

William Kerckhoff, a German-American, began his career in Los Angeles with the Jackson Lumber Company. Later he and Guy Cuzner owned the Kerckhoff-Cuzner Mill and Lumber Company. To transport lumber, the company was the first to use oil for fuel in an ocean going vessel.

In the 1890s, Kerchoff founded the San Gabriel Power Company. By the turn of the century, together with A.C. Balch, he owned half the stock of Henry E. Huntington Pacific Light & Power Company used to provide electricity to Pacific Electric, and he served as its President. In 1902, they purchased the San Joaquin Electric Company. They also founded Southern California Gas Corporation in 1910, and built a 120-mile pipeline from the San Joaquin Valley to Los Angeles.*^



(1927)** - Street view of the 200 block of East Colorado, centering on Pasadena National Bank and Citizens Bank at 249 East Colorado. Other businesses on the block include the Citizens Savings Bank, Daily Bread Shop, and Oriental Art Bazaar. Automobiles are parked along the street and wires run overhead for streetcars.  




(1927)* - Exterior view of I. Magnin store located in Pasadena. Note the architectural design on the pillars and front of the building. Placques outside of building reads, "Mullen & Bluitt..."




(1927)* - Exterior view of the Athletic Club located in Pasadena. Several storefronts can be seen on both sides of the building.  


Historical Notes

The Pasadena Athletic Club was located at 425 E. Green Street. The building was torn down in 1977 to make way for the Plaza Pasadena Mall.



(ca. 1927)* - Exterior view of the Pasadena Public Library, located at 285 E. Walnut Street in the Civic Center. View shows several automobiles parked along Walnut Street, where the front of the building is facing south on Garfield Avenue.  


Historical Notes

The library was designed by architects Myron Hunt and H. C. Chambers in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and was built between 1925-27.*



(1927)* - Postcard view of the interior of the Pasadena Public Library on Walnut Street, in Pasadena. Writing on postcard describes view as the "main hall of the Pasadena Public Library, which has remained essentially the same since its construction.  





(1927)**- Exterior view of the Star News Building located at 525 East Colorado at Oakland. The radio towers on top of the building belong to KPSN.






(ca. 1927)** - View of the Hewson Motor Company showroom at 297 West Colorado. Architect: Frederick Kenedy Jr.  


Historical Notes

The car at the curb with 1927 dealers' plates is most likely a 1927 Pierce-Arrow Model 80. In 1928 Studebaker took over Pierce-Arrow and in 1930 local Studebaker dealers Keller Brothers and Marcy Auto operated at this location. In 1935 is was called Earl Lundy Motor Company. Currenly (2014) it is Rusnak/Pasadena.**



(1928)** - Street view of the Colorado Theatre at 1003 East Colorado. The marquee reads "Charles "Buddy" Rogers in "Someone to love" with Mary Brian. Stage - F & M "Specialty Idea" - Celeste and Mexican Orchestra". Several adults and children stand outside the theater, near the ticket office. Adjacent businesses include the Albert Sheetz Mission Candies and Ice Cream and a Wurlitzer store.  


Historical Notes

Opened in 1925 as Bard's Egyptian, the 1709-seat theater was designed by Lewis A. Smith. Later it was Bard's Colorado and by 1931 Fox West Coast had acquired the house and it became the Fox Colorado.*##



(1931)* - Facade and marquee of the Colorado Theater, later the Academy Cinemas, located at 1003 E. Colorado Street. Parked cars are on the street.  


Historical Notes

The theater got a moderne makeover in the 1940s and was renamed the Academy. In the 1980s it got turned into a 6-plex and is now operated by Regency Theatres.*##



(1928)#* - Street view of the Florence Theatre (later State Theatre) at 770 East Colorado. The marquee reads "Sue Carol in "The Air Circus", and a sign below the marquee reads "Our screen talks and sings. Fox Movietone Talking News Weekly". Adjacent businesses include the Blue Goose Cafe and a soda shop.  


Historical Notes

Opened in 1918 as the Florence Theatre. This former Fox house closed and was later operated by Pussycat Theatres, in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It became an independent theatre, closing in 2000 and gutted afterward for a conversion to retail and office use.**^^



(Early 1900s)**^^ - Interior view of the Florence Theatre (later State Theatre) located at 770 East Colorado.  




(ca. 1928)* - This large building, located on the corner of Mission Street and Mound Avenue, houses the South Pasadena Council Chamber and City Clerk Treasurer, as well as South Pasadena Fire Department, Engine Company #81. The entrance to the City offices can be seen at the left of the building with an address of 1424 Mission Street; the fire department is located at the rear, at 817 Mound Ave.  




(ca. 1928)* - View of Colorado Street and Garfield Avenue in Pasadena, facing west. The original Italian Renaissance Post Office is visible in the forefront on the right; formerly the only Post Office in Pasadena, it is now a branch. The main building was designed by Oscar Wenderoth and was built in 1913. Citizens Savings Bank can be seen farther back on the right, and across the street from it the Pacific Southwest Bldg. is on the left. Several automobiles and pedestrians, as well as a dog, can be seen crossing the street.  


Historical Notes

In early 2012, the post office building was renamed "First Lieutenant Oliver Goodall Post Office Building," in honor of an Altadena resident and Tuskegee Airman. Goodall lived in Altadena from 1961 until his death in November 2010.*



(1928)**- Elevated view of East Colorado looking east from South Marengo, from the fourth floor of Mather's Department Store. The street below is busy with traffic and lined with parked automobiles. The Los Angeles First National Trust & Savings Bank is immediately across the street. Businesses visible in the distance include the Model Grocery Co. and the Pasadena Furniture Company.   




(1928)**- Street view of the Constance Hotel at 940 East Colorado. The hotel is a multistory building decorated with red, white, and blue bunting. The retail space on the ground floor is occupied by the Pasadena Syndicate. There is a street lamp and a mailbox at the corner, and automobiles parked in front of the main entrance.   




(1928)** - View of the Bank of Italy at 160 East Colorado. Plaques on either side of the door identify this as the main office in Pasadena.   


Historical Notes

The Bank of Italy was founded in San Francisco, in 1904 by Amadeo Giannini. It grew by a branch banking strategy to become the Bank of America, the world's largest commercial bank with 493 branches in California and assets of $5 billion in 1945. It was also the first state-wide branch banking system.

The Bank of Italy merged with the smaller Bank of America, Los Angeles in the 1928. In 1930, Giannini changed the name "Bank of Italy" to "Bank of America." As Chairman of the new, larger Bank of America, Giannini expanded the bank throughout his tenure, which ended with his death in 1949.*^



(1928)*^* - View of First National Bank located at 301 East Colorado Boulevard with City Hall in the background. Six half columns/pilasters adorn the side of the building facing Colorado.  




(ca. 1927)* - Exterior view of Pasadena's City Hall at 100 North Garfield Avenue, in Pasadena. View shows the entrance, rotunda and walkway leading to the building. Date built: 1925-27.  


Historical Notes

In 1923, the people of Pasadena approved a bond measure issuing $3.5 million towards the development of a civic center. City Hall was to be the central element of this center. The San Francisco architecture firm of Bakewell and Brown designed City Hall, which has elements of both Mediterranean Revival Style and Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture.*^



(1928)* - Close-up view of the west facade showing the rotunda at Pasadena's City Hall, 100 North Garfield Avenue. Note the architectural designs on the rotunda. Architects: Bakewell and Brown.  




(1929)* - Excellent view of Pasadena's City Hall before it was surrounded by buildings. Note the architectural designs on the tower. Architects: Bakewell & Brown.  


Historical Notes

Pasadena City Hall was completed on December 27, 1927 at a cost of $1.3 million. It measures 361 feet by 242 feet, and rises 6 stories. There are over 235 rooms and passageways that cover over 170,000 square feet. The defining dome, located above the west entrance, is 26 feet tall and 54 feet in diameter. On July 28, 1980 the Civic Center District, including Pasadena City Hall, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.*^



(1930)* - Scenic view of Pasadena City Hall and its surrounding area, with mountains in the background. Building on left of photo (past the tall pine tree) is the Y.W.C.A., located on the southeast corner of Marengo Avenue and Holly Street. It is a 3 story, plain, boxy building with long horizontal windows. Date built: 1920-1922. Designed by Julian Morgan in Mediterranean style.  




(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of Pasadena City Hall. This is a photograph of a Chris Siemer painting created for a display by the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.  




(1929)**- The buildings on the north side of East Colorado Street give a sense of Pasadena's business district on the eve of the Depression. The storefront with the arches is the Pitzer and Warwick clothing store, boasting the slogan "For Lad and Dad." On the far right is Vroman's Bookstore. Pasadena's iconic city hall rises up in the background.  




(1929)* - Scenic night view of Pasadena and surrounding areas in the Valley, from Mount Wilson in 1929.  




(1929)* - Night view of the exterior of Ralphs Grocery Store in Pasadena, built in the 1920s.  


Historical Notes

Ralphs Grocery Company was founded in 1873 by George Albert Ralphs with the original store being located at Sixth and Spring Streets in Los Angeles. The company employed notable architects in designing its stores.

Click HERE to see an 1886 photo of George Ralphs standing in front of his original store in the Early LA Buildings (1800s) Section.



(1929)** - View of the Santa Fe Railroad Pasadena Station, with train and Green Hotel in background.   




(1929)**- Street view on South Raymond, looking north from about Green Street. Hotel El Rey, on the corner, is at 87 East Green Street. Numerous businesses are visible on the right, including as camp goods store, a tailor, and a bowling alley. The street is lined with parked automobiles.  




(1929)**- Street view of a bowling hall and billiard parlor at grand opening at 970 East Colorado. To one side is a cafe called the Recreation Grill, while the space on the other side is vacant.   




(1930)*- View of Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking east from Marengo Ave. in 1930. The Post Office is at left, and Jordan's Inc. Dry Goods at right.




(1930)* - Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena looking east from the Elks Club (near Orange Grove) in 1930.  




(1930)* - Colorado Blvd. at Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena in 1930. View is toward the west.




(1930)* - View of Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena in 1930, looking west from the Maryland Hotel.




(1930s)* - View of Fair Oaks Avenue looking north from Colorado Boulevard toward Union Street. An Owl Drug Store can be seen on the northwest corner.  





(1930)** - Street view of the Anderson Typewriter Company at 104 East Colorado. The display windows show various kinds of typewriters. A sign in the window announces that all makes of typewriters are available for rent. The space above is occupied by Crown City Jewelers. 






(1930)* - View of Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena in 1930. A residential area, it is lined with pepper trees.




(ca. 1930)* - Exterior view of Van de Kamp's Bakery in the corner of a small plaza, located in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Although the Van de Kamp’s company was based in Los Angeles, the Van de Kamp family was from Pasadena.  The company formed in 1915 by Theodore, Marian, and Henrietta Van de Kamp, along with Lawrence Frank.*^^*



(ca. 1940s)* - Almost the same view as the previous photo but 10 plus years later. There is now a new traffic signal on the corner and the overhead power lines have been removed.  


Historical Notes

Theodore J. Van de Kamp and brother-in-law Lawrence L. Frank were the owners and originators of the Van de Kamp Bakeries. Fondly known as the "Taj Mahal of all bakeries". Van de Kamp and Frank also founded both the Tam O'Shanter's (1922) and Lawry's The Prime Rib (1938) restaurants..*^



(1937)* - A Foster and Kleiser billboard advertising doughnuts sold at Van de Kamp's Bakeries. Photo by Herman J. Schultheis  


Historical Notes

The bakery was sold by the Van de Kamp family and acquired by General Baking Co. in 1956. The company was sold to private investors in 1979, and closed in bankruptcy in 1990. The Van de Kamp's brand is now owned by Ralphs supermarket chain and used for their line of private-label baked goods.*^



(1930)** - Street view of the Tanner Motor Livery at 144 West Colorado. The building has two stories, and a front door wide enough for Automobiles to drive through. Automobiles on display are visible through this door.  




(1936)** - Ten black and white taxis owned by Tanner Motor Livery at 144 West Colorado, parked at approximately 139 West Colorado. The automobiles are parked in front of Woods & Jones Printers, Campbell Seed Store, the Bronx Diner, and Nipedal Studio Designers.  




(1930s)**- View of the Arcade Building located on East Colorado Street between El Molino and Oak Knoll Avenues.  


Historical Notes

The Arcade Building was one of the many new developments growing up on East Colorado, far from the traditional core downtown. It employed a new design that accommodated shoppers and their automobiles; the driveways to the heavily advertised parking lot was dubbed "Luxury Lane." It was, as the Pasadena Star News reported, "another page in the city's development." The Arcade Building's design was inspired by a similar structure in Budapest. Opening in 1927, the building was home to 27 stores and offices, including a wax flower shop, a tearoom, a candy shop, a jewelry store, and "moth proofers de luxe." The businesses were advertised as among the finest in the world, and several retailers had international branches.** 



(1930s)* - Exterior view of the entry and court of the Pasadena Playhouse, designed by architect Elmer Grey in Spanish Colonial Revival style and built in 1924-1925.


Historical Notes

Founded in 1917 by Gilmor Brown, the Pasadena Playhouse was designed by architect Elmer Grey and the cornerstone laid May 31, 1924. In 1928 the College of Theatre Arts was incorporated with the Pasadena Playhouse Association as a non-profit institution. In 1937, the Playhouse received the honorary title 'State Theatre of California' from the California Legislature.^*

The Pasadena Playhouse has been designated as California Historical Landmark No. 887 (Click HERE to see more California Historical Landmarks in LA County).



(n.d.)^*^ - The historic Pasadena Playhouse theatre was built in 1925 in the heart of Pasadena. This sign is on Colorado Boulevard just north of the theatre.  




(1931)* - Close-up view of the Pasadena Theater box office and marquee located at 61 W. Colorado Blvd.  Early model cars are parked on the street. Double Feature: "Bachelor Father" with Marion Davies and "Birthday Party" with Mickey Mouse.  


Historical Notes

The theatre opened as Clune's Pasadena Theatre in 1911, a project of pioneer showman Billy Clune. His best known theatre was Clune's Broadway, still around as the Cameo Theatre.  Clune was also a film producer with his own studio, now a part of Raleigh Studios. 

Clune's Pasadena once had a rooftop sign with over 2,000 lamps. In addition to the theatre, the building had ground floor stores and a space housing the Pasadena Athletic Club.

The venue was later operated by Fox West Coast and known then as the Fox Pasadena. Fox closed the theater in 1953.*##



(1911)*## - Interior view of the Clune's Pasadena Theater opening night, March 1, 1911. Every seat in the house is filled with patron eager to experience Pasadena’s newest film and vaudeville theater.  


Historical Notes

The opening night show was all live acts including singer Lilly Dorn, a saxophone sextet, and storyteller Frank M. Clark.

The Clune's Pasadena Theater, located near Colorado Street and Delacey Avenue, later became the Fox Pasadena Theater and was in operation until the 1950s.*^^*



(ca. 1930)* - Panoramic View of the Colorado St. Bridge with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. This is a photograph of a Chris Siemer painting created for a display by the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.  




(ca. 1930)* - Scenic view of the Colorado Street Bridge showing the length of the bridge as it curves across the ravine. Part of the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel can be seen through the arches.  




(ca. 1931)* - View of the Colorado Street Bridge, looking southeast. The new additon to the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel is seen on the right.


Historical Notes

In 1926, the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel  and resort was sold the resort to H.O. Comstock. Comstock hired architect George H. Wiemeyer to redesign the hotel and added a grand six-story addition that consisted of a central bell tower and flanking wings set at an angle. The new Vista opened in 1931 with iridescent color, entertainment, and social gaiety. In 1936, Linnard repurchased the property and hired landscape architect Verner S. Anderson to improve the hotel's grounds by designing formal gardens and adding fountains, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.



(Early 1930s)* - Photo of horseback riders in the Arroyo Seco, overlooking the Colorado Street Bridge. The Vista Del Arroyo Hotel is on the right.  




(ca. 1937)* - This view of the Vista del Arroyo Hotel in Pasadena shot through the Colorado Street bridge captures a dirt path lined with Cypress trees leading through the lush arroyo.  


Historical Notes

Marston and Van Pelt designed the Vista del Arroyo Hotel in 1920 and in 1930 George Wiemeyer added the tower. Myron Hunt designed some of the bungalows. *



(ca. 1937)* - View of the Vista del Arroyo Hotel taken from the arroyo includes the pool area, some of the lower buildings not commonly seen, as well as a long walkway joining the pool to the hotel.  


Historical Notes

In 1943 the U.S. War Department acquired the hotel complex and converted it into the McCormack Army Hospital and offices for the U.S. Army. In 1949, the hospital was deactivated and the old hotel, under the care of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), housed a variety of Federal agencies from 1951 to 1974.

In 1981 the Vista del Arroyo was placed in the National Register of Historic Places and GSA began design work to restore the building as the southern seat of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1995, the building was renamed to honor Judge Richard H. Chambers, whose concept it was to bring a Federal courthouse to Pasadena.*^



(ca. 1932)* - Exterior view of South Pasadena Middle School, formerly known as a junior high. The attractive campus, located on the corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Oak Street (both are slightly visible in the foreground), includes a number of Italian style buildings. The San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the background.  


Historical Notes

In 1924, bonds were passed to make money available to purchase the site for a junior high school. The town then waited for the population to grow which would necessitate construction.  In 1927, $555,000 was budgeted for erection and equipping of the junior high school.

In mid-January, 1928 the ground was broken for the Junior high and on September 10, 1928 the school officially opened.^#



(ca. 1932)* - Closer view of the South Pasadena Middle School campus, ca. 1932.  




(1934)* - A Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce float in the 1934 Tournament of Roses Parade. The street is wet.  




(1937)* - Rose Bowl football is the classic of all "bowl" games. Here is how grid fans from all corners of--from New York to Seattle to Miami to Los Angeles--appear from above when this annual Pasadena classic is staged. This Kopec Air photo, taken from the Goodyear airship Volunteer, piloted by Art T. Sewell, shows the capacity crowd which witnessed Washington's demise when they met Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Panthers 21 - Washingtion Huskies 0. Photo dated: January 2, 1937.




(1938)* - Crowds watch an Altadena float that features a castle and Santa Claus with his reindeer at the Rose Parade held January 1, 1938. This float won first place in its city size category. Some businesses that can be seen on the north side of Colorado Boulevard between Hudson and Lake include: Pasadena Luggage Shop and, behind the light pole on the far right, Cake Box Products (839 East Colorado Boulevard).  




(1938)* - A streetcar competes with automobile traffic and litter after the Rose Parade held January 1, 1938. The Banners across the street are connected to the streetcar lines, and although one banner is for Robin Hood, the central one is for Alabama, one of the two state teams playing in the Rose Bowl later that day. The Thrifty Drug Store visible on the far left was located at 355 East Colorado Boulevard.  




(1937)* - The intersection of Colorado Blvd. and Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena on October 3, 1937. View is toward the east.  




(ca. 1937)* - Looking northeast towards the post office in Pasadena, located at 281 E Colorado Boulevard. Two sets of streetcar tracks are visible on the boulevard.  




(1938)* - Exterior view of the Pasadena Star News newspaper office and radio station on Colorado Blvd. and Oakland Ave. Radio towers are visible on the roof of the four-story building.  




(1938)*^^ - Pedestrians stroll down the sidewalk in front of the Pasadena First National Bank building, on the northeast corner of Colorado and Raymond. The city has done an excellent job preserving parts of Old Pasadena: the view today is remarkably similar (link).  





(ca. 1912)* - Exterior view of Throop Hall at the California Institute of Technology.


Historical Notes

Caltech began as a vocational school founded in Pasadena in 1891 by local businessman and politician Amos G. Throop. The school was known successively as Throop University, Throop Polytechnic Institute (and Manual Training School), and Throop College of Technology, before acquiring its current name in 1920. The vocational school was disbanded and the preparatory program was split off to form an independent Polytechnic School in 1907.*^



(ca. 1930)* - Graduation ceremonies held at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena. Graduating students are sitting in the front (middle), surrounded by family and friends.  


Historical Notes

In 1910, Throop moved to its current site. Arther Fleming donated the land for the permanent campus site. Theodore Roosevelt delivered an address at Throop Institute on March 21, 1911, and he declared:  

“I want to see institutions like Throop turn out perhaps ninety-nine of every hundred students as men who are to do given pieces of industrial work better than any one else can do them; I want to see those men do the kind of work that is now being done on the Panama Canal and on the great irrigation projects in the interior of this country—and the one-hundredth man I want to see with the kind of cultural scientific training that will make him and his fellows the matrix out of which you can occasionally develop a man like your great astronomer, George Ellery Hale.” *^



(1930s)* - Exterior view of Throop Hall at the California Institute of Technology. Designed by Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, it was built in 1912.


Historical Notes

Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the college attracted influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910, and the college assumed its present name in 1921.*^



(1930s)* - The large building on the right is the Optical Shop in which a 200-inch disc of pyrex glass was ground and polished preparatory to being installed in the Observatory on Palomar Mountain in San Diego County.  


Historical Notes

At a time when scientific research in the United States was still in its infancy, George Ellery Hale, a solar astronomer from the University of Chicago, founded the Mount Wilson Observatory in 1904. He joined Throop's board of trustees in 1907, and soon began developing it and the whole of Pasadena into a major scientific and cultural destination.*^



(1932)^*^ - Richard Tolman of Cal Tech stands next to Albert Einstein in 1932. Einstein came for a visit because he was interested in Cal Tech's work.  


Historical Notes

Albert Einstein arrived on the Caltech campus for the first time in 1931 to polish up his Theory of General Relativity, and he returned to Caltech subsequently as a visiting professor in 1932 and 1933.

Since 2000, the Einstein Papers Project has been located at Caltech. The project was established in 1986 to assemble, preserve, translate, and publish papers selected from the literary estate of Albert Einstein and from other collections.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Astro-Physics Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Since 1923, Caltech faculty and alumni have garnered 32 Nobel Prizes and five Crafoord Prizes.*^



(1945)^^* - Workers at the California Institute of Technology Optical Shop pose with the mirror of a  200-inch Palomar Observatory telescope  


Historical Notes

After the end of World War II, grinding work was resumed on the mirror. Work had been halted in 1942 when engineers, scientists and Caltech laboratories were assigned war-related work.

The mirror was transported to Palomar Observatory in 1947. The 200-inch telescope was dedicated in 1948.^^*



(1939)* - Exterior view of Arms Hall (left) and Mudd Hall (right), Geology studies, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena on May 5, 1939. They are located on the south side of the quad.


Historical Notes

In 1910, a bill was introduced in the California Legislature calling for the establishment of a publicly funded "California Institute of Technology," with an initial budget of a million dollars, ten times the budget of Throop at the time. The board of trustees offered to turn Throop over to the state, but the presidents of Stanford University and the University of California successfully lobbied to defeat the bill, which allowed Throop to develop as the only scientific research-oriented education institute in southern California, public or private, until the onset of the World War II necessitated the broader development of research-based science education.

The promise of Throop attracted physical chemist Arthur Amos Noyes from MIT to develop the institution and assist in establishing it as a center for science and technology.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of High Tension Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. View shows the architectural designs over the entrance and on the building. View of entrance and facade. Architect: Goodhue and Associates. Date built: c. 1925.  


Historical Notes

In the 1950s–1970s, Caltech was the home of Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman, whose work was central to the establishment of the Standard Model of particle physics. Feynman was also widely known outside the physics community as an exceptional teacher and colorful, unconventional character.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Kerckhoff Biological Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology  


Historical Notes

In addition to managing JPL, Caltech also operates the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, the Owens Valley Radio Observatory in Bishop, California, the Submillimeter Observatory and W. M. Keck Observatory at the Mauna Kea Observatory, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory at Livingston, Louisiana and Richland, Washington, and Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory in Corona del Mar, California.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of Dabney Hall of the Humanities at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.  


Historical Notes

Caltech opened its doors to female undergraduates during the presidency of Harold Brown in 1970, and they made up 14% of the entering class. The fraction of female undergraduates has been increasing since then. In fall 2008, the freshman class was 42% female, a record for Caltech's undergraduate enrollment.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Biological Sciences building and Arcade Pavilion at the California Institute of Technology. View also shows the architectural designs above the entrance and around the windows of the building. West entrance of simplified Beaux Arts style laboratory building executed in poured concrete. Architect: Goodhue and Associates. Date built: ca. 1929.  


Historical Notes

Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering.

Caltech was ranked 1st internationally in 2011 and 2012 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Caltech was ranked as the best university in the world in two categories: Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences. It was also found to have the highest faculty citation rate in the world.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Carnegie Seismological Institution Laboratory in Pasadena on May 4, 1939.  


Historical Notes

In 2012, the Center for World University Rankings ranked Caltech fifth in the world and fourth nationally in its CWUR World University Rankings.*^



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Grace Nicholson Bazaar and Art Gallery, now the Pacific-Asia Museum. Photo is dated July 26, 1939. Mrs. Nicholson was a dealer in Oriental art and books, and this was her shop and home. Later it became the Pasadena Art Institute. This photo shows that she rented apartments, store space and assembly halls in this building.  


Historical Notes

Grace Nicholson, a noted collector and authority on American Indian and Asian Art and artifacts, supervised the design of her combination gallery and museum which was completed in 1929. It has been called an outstanding example of 1920s revival architecture and is unique for its use of Chinese ornamentation. Since then it has been designated as a California Historical Landmark, No. 988, located at 46 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena.

Click HERE to see more California Historical Landmarks in LA County.^*




(1939)* - Exterior view of War Memorial Building, located at 435 S. Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena. Photo dated: March 3, 1939.  


Historical Notes

The War Memorial Building, designed by Norman Foote Marsh, has served as a memorial to veterans and as a meeting place for South Pasadena's American Legion Post No. 140. In 1921, the cornerstone was laid and two years later General John J. Pershing planted a redwood tree on the grounds. The building is #2 on South Pasadena's Register of Cultural Heritage Landmarks.*



(1939)* - Exterior view of the Millard House, named "La Miniatura". It was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in a style resembling a Mayan temple, and set in a jungle-like landscape. The home was built in 1923. The view is from the gulch on May 17, 1939.  




(1939)* - View of a football game, played in front of a packed stadium at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Photo dated: June 22, 1939.  




(1940)* - Caption reads, "First motorists to travel over the new link are pictured at the Avenue 53 bridge. The freeway is divided in the center by a small parkway. Each side has three wide lanes for traffic. The new part runs from Avenue 40 to Orange Grove drive. The Glenarm-Fair Oaks section has been open some time." Photograph dated: July 20, 1940. The Southwest Museum can be seen in the background.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway was the first freeway in California and the western United States. It connects Los Angeles with Pasadena alongside the Arroyo Seco seasonal river. It is notable not only for being the first, mostly opened in 1940, but for representing the transitional phase between early parkways and modern freeways. It conformed to modern standards when it was built, but is now regarded as a narrow, outdated roadway.

The highway was designed with two 11–12 foot lanes and one ten-foot shoulder in each direction, with the wider inside (passing) lanes paved in black asphalt concrete and the outside lanes paved in gray Portland cement concrete.*^



(1941)^ - The Arroyo Seco Parkway shortly after it was completed. View is looking south from Avenue 60. Note the exit on the right is virtually a perpendicular right turn without an off-ramp or transition.  


Historical Notes

Before the Parkway was built, cottonwoods filled the Arroyo Seco at Avenue 26. The first known survey for a permanent roadway through the Arroyo was made by T.D. Allen of Pasadena in 1895, and in 1897 two more proposals were made, one for a scenic parkway and the other for a commuter cycleway.*^



(1942)^ - View of a 1941 Ford Woody, with the bumper-guard and dual spotlights options, waiting at the stop sign before proceeding unto the Arroyo Seco Parkway.  


Historical Notes

The Arroyo Seco Parkway design, state-of-the-art when built, included tight "right-in/right-out" access with a recommended exit speed of 5 miles per hour and stop signs on the entrance ramps; there are no acceleration or deceleration lanes.*^



(1949)* - View is of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, looking south from Bishops Road Bridge. The freeway is divided in the center by a small parkway. Each side has four wide lanes for traffic - though the southbound portion is not visible due to the parkway.  


Historical Notes

Today, the Arroyo Seco Parkway remains the most direct route between downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena despite its flaws; the only reasonable freeway alternate (which trucks must use) is the Glendale Freeway to the west, which is itself not easily reached by trucks from downtown Los Angeles.

The state legislature designated the original section, north of the Figueroa Street Viaduct, as a "California Historic Parkway" (part of the State Scenic Highway System reserved for freeways built before 1945) in 1993. The American Society of Civil Engineers named it a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 1999, and it became a National Scenic Byway in 2002 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.*^



(1955)^ - View looking north of Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway) from College St. bridge. In the distance can be seen the San Gabriel Mountains.  


Historical Notes

Between 1954 and 2010, it was officially designated the Pasadena Freeway. In 2010, as part of plans to revitalize its scenic value and improve safety, Caltrans renamed the roadway back to its original name. All the bridges built during parkway construction remain, as do four older bridges that crossed the Arroyo Seco before the 1930s.*^



(ca. 1940s)* - Pedestrians and cars on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena circa the 1940s. View is looking north toward City Hall on Garfield Avenue.  





(1941)* - View of 105 So. Fair Oaks Avenue at Green Street in Pasadena on December 24, 1941, site of a Market Basket grocery store.  





(1942)* - View shows two groups of men building the railroad over the tressels. This area of the tracks is the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Railroad, crossing into Pasadena  





(1947)* - View south on Lake Ave. from Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. The building on the left corner is the Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles, next to it is a parking lot, and in the background, on the right, is Chapman's Famous Ice Cream shop. Several cars can be seen parked along the right side of the street.  




(1949)*** - Pacific Electric Railway cars 1243 and 1211 head eastbound on Colorado Boulevard at Oakland Avenue beneath banners for the 1949 Tournament of Roses Parade.  


Historical Notes

The Pacific Electric Railway route consisted of travelling on Colorado Boulevard to Lake Avenue, then south to merge onto Oak Knoll where it ran further south to Huntington Drive and then west, on its way to the PE building at 6th and Main Streets in Los Angeles.***



(1950)* - A crowd of passengers wait to board the Pacific Electric Red Car No. 1148 at 6th and Main, going to Pasadena via Oak Knoll. A man carries a large package labeled "rush" and "fragile".  


Historical Notes

The Red Car trolley line to Pasadena made its last run in 1950. The caption for the Oct. 3, 1950 photo read: "Its days are numbered. After Sunday, no more P.E. Oak Knoll Red Cars will rumble from Sixth and Main (above) to Pasadena".*



(1950)*^^ - A Pacific Electric street car turns onto Colorado from Lake, on the last day of the line’s operation in Pasadena, October 7, 1950.  




(1951)* - Construction of the Pasadena Pioneers Bridge, also known as the Colorado Freeway Bridge, is underway directly north of the Colorado Street Bridge, seen on the right. The majestic Vista del Arroyo Hotel is visible in the background on the right. A portion of the photograph caption reads, "The mid-section of the new bridge will be 93 1/2 feet wide. Thirty-two thousand cubic yards of concrete will be poured into the bridge.  


Historical Notes

The Old Colorado Street Bridge was designed and built in 1913 by the Kansas City (MO)-based firm of J.A.L. Waddell. With a span of 1,486 feet and known for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, lights, and railings, the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.*



(1953)^*# - A new bridge, now the Ventura Freeway, is built over the Arroyo Seco. The Colorado Street Bridge is on the right. This photo was published in the May 25, 1953, Los Angeles Times.  




(1953)* - Another view showing the almost completed new Pasadena Pioneer Bridge next to the Old Colorado Street Bridge.  


Historical Notes

A plaque placed on Orange Grove overlooking the Ventura Freeway reads, "Pasadena Pioneer Bridge erected by the California Commission and the Division of Highways of the Department of Public Works, named by resolution of the 1953 state legislature and dedicated to all Pasadena pioneers especially the twenty seven who founded this city near this spot on January 27, 1874 dedicated October 8, 1953 by the City of Pasadena and a committee of citizens grateful for our illustrious past and committed to a more glorious future."*



(1954)* - View is looking east on Colorado Boulevard from Fair Oaks in Pasadena. J.J. Newberry's can be seen on the left side of the street. On the other side of the street is the still popular dive bar, Freddie's 35er.  




(1989)* - Gil's Grill, a small street corner carry-out restaurant located at Colorado and Fair Oaks Boulevards.  




(n.d.)#^ - The Pasadena City College Band marching in the Rose Parade in front of Norton Simon Museum.  






(1987)* - It looks empty here, but the Rose Bowl is anything but on New Year's Day, when 100,000-plus fans rock the stadium.  





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References and Credits

* LA Public Library Image Archive

^ USC Digital Archive

^*California Historic Landmark Listing (Los Angeles)

**Pasadena Museum of History

^^UC Irvine - The White City by Miles Clement

*# The Shakespeare Club of Pasadena

^# South Pasadena Middle School Home Page

#^ Sepia.com: Pasadena

#* Huntington Digital Library Archive

## Google Maps

^*#Noirish Los Angeles - forum.skyscraperpage.com; Devil's Gate; Colorado St. Bridge

*#*KCET: When L.A.'s Most Famous Streets Were Dirt Roads; Scoville Bridge; Colorado Street Bridge; Rise of the Sierra Madre

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles: losangelespast.com

*^#CSUN Oviatt Library Digital Archives

^^*LA Times Framework: Palomar Telescope; 1918 Rose Parade

*^*Pasadena Digital History

***Pasadena Museum of History: Pacific Electric Railway Then and Now

**#Metro Transportation Library and Archive

#**Palomar Observatory - Caltech.edu

^^#Pasadena PIO Blogspot

^^^Atlasobscura.com: Devil's Gate

^*^Pinterest.com: Janet Fong

^#^LAghostpatrol.com: Devil's Gate

^##California State Library Image Archive

^#*ArroyoSeco.org: Devil's Gate

*#^First United Methodist Church of Pasadena

*##Los Angeles Movie Palaces: Fox Pasadena

**^Colorado Street Bridge nps.com

*^*^Earlyaviators.com: Roy Knabenshue

^*^*Mtwilson.edu: Mount Wilson Observatory

*^^*Pasadena: A Busines History

^**^The Grand Opera House – by Jake Brouwer

*^^^San Fernando Valley Historic Society/Facebook.com: Wagon Trip

**^^Cinema Treasures: Florence - State Theatre

***^Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze

*^ Wikipedia: History of Pasadena; Tournament of Roses Parade; The Langham Huntington; Hotel Green; Rose Bowl Game; Pasadena City Hall; Old Town Pasadena; Los Angeles Terminal Railway; Richard H. Chambers United States Court of Appeals and the Vista del Arroyo Hotel and Bungalows; California Institute of Technology; Mt. Lowe Railway; Benjamin Wilson; Cawston Ostrich Farm; Pacific Electric Railway; Arroyo Seco - Devil's Gate; William G. Kerckhoff; Van de Kamp's Holland Dutch Bakeries; Bank of Italy; Mt. Wilson Toll Road; Mt. Wilson; Arroyo Seco Parkway; Merritt Mansion



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