Cultural, Scientific, Historic Events Celebrated in Leading Up to the City of Pasadena's 133rd Birthday

Published : Monday, June 24, 2019 | 10:34 AM

The Grand Resort Era, the building of the Rose Bowl, the Space Race and the birth of the historic preservation movement shaped Pasadena into the City of Roses we know today, as plans are finalized to celebrate its 133rd birthday on June 30.

Entertainment, sports, tourism and technology have proven to be the foundation of the City of Pasadena as we know it today and will be celebrated at the Western style birthday party at the Museum of History.

Pasadena’s History shows a city’s glorious timeline with advancements that enabled it to grow from an Indiana outpost to a world leader in technology and culture.

While many know the history of Pasadena as written in the books, there are highlights that directly impact the city’s people today. Sue Mossman of the Pasadena Heritage said there are several times in history that Pasadenans should note.

Indiana Colony settles Pasadena

Pasadena was given a Native American name by the farmers from Indiana who settled the colony in 1874. Thomas B. Elliott came to Pasadena to get as far away from his prior life as he could, as lore has it. The name Pasadena came to be used in 1987 and means “Crown among the hills” or “crown of the valley.”

The Grand Resort Era

One of the most important achievements was the establishment of the retail and tourism trades in Pasadena. The Grand Resort Era, the building of many resort hotels including the Raymond, Maryland, Green, and Vista del Arroyo, was a most important marker Mossman said.

Denny Dormody of Mountain View Cemetery said one of the most underrated achievers in Pasadena was Emma Bangs. “She created the first hotel and brought tourism to Pasadena,” he said. “She’s really someone to honor.”

Back before any Bed and Breakfast and before Air B and B, Bangs opened the very first hotel in Pasadena. She called it “Emma Bangs’ Boarding House” and it later changed its name to the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel. Her digs are remembered now on South Grand, the current location of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The First Rose Parade 

The Valley Hunt club started the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1890. The members of the club were originally from back east and the midwest who celebrated the mild weather. Over the years the festival grew, added marching bands and motorized floats.

Throop Polytechnic Becomes Caltech 

Throop Polytechnic, founded in 1891 became Caltech in 1920. The school attracted the likes of influential scientists such as chemist Arthur Amos Noyes and astronomer George Ellery Hale, inventor of the 60-inch Hale reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory.

American Arts and Crafts Movement’s West Coast center is Pasadena

From 1895 to 1918, the city showed its adherence to the Arts and Crafts residential architecture. It started with Shingle Style houses and incorporated a range of of architectural styles like Swiss Chalet, Prairie School, Anglo-Colonial Revival, English Tudor and Mission Revival.

Building of the Rose Bowl 

Designed by Myron Hunt in 1921, the Rose Bowl design was influenced by the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Conn., which hosted its first football game in seven years prior. The Rose Bowl was completed in 1922. The Rose Bowl is the 15-largest stadium in the world and is a national historic landmark.

Civic Center envisioned and Bennett Plan Adopted 

Pasadena’s 1925 Bennett plan was created by Edward H. Bennett. The architect believed Pasadena could be “The Athens of the West” and city residents were in favor of the plan voted in in 1923. The Bennett plan was significant in city planning and zoning and set positive examples in historic preservation.

The Founding of JPL in 1936 

The founding of JPL had an impact not only on Pasadena but also on the world and the country would start to look skyward and to the future of scientific exploration.

“LA’s space industry practically started in Pasadena, with the early days of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which was really just a bunch of guys lighting off homemade rockets in the Arroyo,”  said Lawren Markle, marketing co-chair, Innovate Pasadena. “Now, Pasadena scientists are landing nuclear-powered, autonomous rovers on Mars. I think that sets the tone for technology pursuits in Pasadena — it’s a place where people dream big.”

Route 66 comes through Pasadena 

Back on Earth 20 years later, trans-continental travel by car continued to pick up speed and Route 66, which connected the drivers from back east to the West Coast was wending its way through Pasadena.

Desegregation of Pasadena Schools

In 1970, US district court judge Manuel Real ordered Pasadena to desegregate. The city set an example for the country on a social and socioeconomic basis and former students said the experience growing up in a desegregated school system prepared them for the real world.

Yahoo!! Happy Birthday Pasadena! Will be held on Sunday, June 30 at The Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena. For more information call (626) 577-1660 or click here.

blog comments powered by Disqus