Pasadena Museum of History Launches Ambitious Exhibition Focused on Dynamic Four Decades of Pasadena's History, 1890 to 1930

"Starting Anew: Transforming Pasadena 1890 – 1930 opened this week

Published : Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 9:20 AM

Postcard, view of east Colorado Street, Pasadena, 1900s; PMH Collection.

“Starting Anew: Transforming Pasadena 1890 – 1930,” a new exhibition at Pasadena Museum of History, explores the city’s private and public sector development by examining themes such as: Why did people come to Pasadena? Why did they choose to stay? Where did they live and what did they see and do? What local, national, or international influences served as a catalyst for the city’s remarkable transformation?

The exhibition is on view November 13, 2019 – July 3, 2020 and is sponsored in part by the Paloheimo Trust.

The forty years between 1890 and 1930 were a dynamic time in Pasadena’s history.

The area changed rapidly from a small agricultural community to a renowned winter resort and bustling young city. Newcomers came for many reasons. They were taken by the region’s natural beauty and the opportunities associated with its growth and potential. It was an appealing place to launch a new venture, or in some cases, to start over.

The railroad provided convenient and affordable transportation to the appropriately nicknamed “Crown City.” Luxurious resort hotels sprung up and a town grew, providing opportunities for real estate investments and starting commercial and service businesses. Pasadena was changing significantly, fashioned by a rapidly burgeoning population and its hopes, dreams, and achievements.

Historic images, documents, artwork, clothing, and ephemera, many selected from the Museum’s collection – along with research compiled over decades by scholars, PMH staff, and volunteers – illustrate the scope of these vibrant decades in Pasadena’s history. The exhibition also features the legacy of Museum benefactors Eva and Aldalbert Fenyes. After arriving in Pasadena as newlyweds in 1896, this sophisticated couple quickly embraced the City as their new home. They purchased real estate, developed businesses, and contributed to the cultural and artistic development of Pasadena. Their 1906 Beaux Arts mansion is an important component of the exhibit storyline, providing visitors with a glimpse into what life was like on Pasadena’s landmark Millionaire’s Row in the early 1900s.

The Exhibition will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 12 to 5 pm unless otherwise noted on the Museum’s website calendar. Admission is $9 General; $8 Seniors; Free for Students with i.d., PMH Members, & children under 12.

Mansion tours are offered at 12:15 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Admission (which includes docent-led Mansion tour and entrance to the exhibition) is $17 General; Free for PMH Members and Children under 12. Advance reservations are requested.

For information about arranging curator tours for groups of 10 to 20 people, please contact Brad Macneil at 626.577.1660, ext. 16 or

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