Pasadena, California

Pasadena is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 133,936. Pasadena is the main population and cultural center of the San Gabriel Valley. It is the 8th largest city in Los Angeles County.

The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, CA
The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, CA


Pasadena is located at 34°9'22" North, 118°7'55" West (34.156098, -118.131808)Template:GR.

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

The Pasadena Area is determined by The Raymond Fault line, the San Rafael Hills, and the San Gabriel Mountains. It has six suburbs: Altadena, South Pasadena, East Pasadena (annexed to Pasadena proper), Sierra Madre, San Marino, and Arcadia. It is also debatable whether nearby La Canada-Flintridge and Alhambra are suburbs.

Pasadena is an oddity in that even though it is only 12 miles from central Los Angeles, it remains a self-sufficient metropolis.


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

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

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

The median income for a household in the city is $46,012, and the median income for a family is $53,639. Males have a median income of $41,120 versus $36,435 for females. The per capita income for the city is $28,186. 15.9% of the population and 11.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.3% of those under the age of 18 and 10.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


The original inhabitants of Pasadena and surrounding areas were the Hahamogna, a branch of the Tongva (part of the Shoshone language group). Pasadena, like many municipalities in California, began as part of land that belonged to a Spanish mission, in this case the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. The land passed from Spain to Mexico and eventually was deeded and passed to a number of different owners.

The city that became Pasadena was founded in 1873 by Thomas Elliott and a group of migrants from Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois looking for a warmer climate and cheap land. The name of the city is said to originate from a word in the language of the Chippewa Indians meaning "crown of the valley," though this explanation is disputed. Pasadena eventually became a key stop along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which led to an explosion in its growth.

Pasadena's role as a regional hub was cemented by numerous other events, among them the Tournament of Roses Parade, the construction and opening of Figueroa Street and the Pasadena Freeway and Harbor Freeway in the period from 1931 through the early 1960s, and the completion of the Los Angeles Metro Gold Line in 2003.

Performing Arts

The Pasadena Symphony, founded in 1928, offers several concerts a year at the Pasadena Civic Center. The Civic Center also holds a few travelling Broadway shows each year. The Pasadena Playhouse puts on six shows a season, with each show running for two or three months. The Furious Theatre Company ( is one of several small theatre companies in Pasadena. They currently use the upstairs theater adjacent to the Pasadena Playhouse.

Visual Arts

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

The Norton Simon Museum contains over 2000 years of art from the Western world and Asia. The Pacific Asia Museum, with its tranquil garden in the center, features art from the many countries of Asia. The nearby Pasadena Museum of California Art hosts many temporary exhibits from Californian artists. The Gamble House* is a masterpiece of the Arts and Crafts Movement and is open for tours at varying times. The Huntington Library is located in San Marino, but is on that city's border with Pasadena.


The well-known Caltech is located in the southern tip of Pasadena, with Pasadena City College being located further to the north. Fuller Theological Seminary is located just west of downtown Pasadena. The famous Art Center College of Design is on the hills overlooking the Rose Bowl, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located in nearby La Canada Flintridge.


Old Pasadena is a popular shopping area for locals and tourists. Paseo Colorado is a more upscale mall designed to be a modern urban village, with apartments above the mall itself.


The Rose Bowl* is home to the New Year's Day football game of the same name every year.

* National Historic Landmark

South Orange Grove Boulevard

One of two primary, exclusive residential districts in Pasadena, South Orange Grove Boulevard has been a home for the rich and famous since the early 20th century. Because of a number of landmark mansions, the street earned the name "Millionaire's Row." However, by the early 21st Century many of these homes had been replaced by spacious, pricey condominiums. Prominent among the historic residences is the Wrigley Mansion, former home of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., which now serves as headquarters for the world-renowned Tournament of Roses Parade. On the north end of the street lies the Gamble House, built by renowned Arts & Crafts movement architects Greene & Greene, but once home to David and Mary Gamble of Procter & Gamble fame. The annual Rose Parade on New Year's Day uses South Orange Grove Boulevard as a staging area for flower-covered floats, and it is where the parade begins. The Norton Simon Museum sits at the intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevard. The intersection of Fair Oaks Avenue and Colorado Boulevard is the beginning of Old Town Pasadena, which is considered a prime shopping and restaurant district. A companion exclusive shopping district is in the South Lake Avenue neighborhood.



Pasadena is full of flocks of wild parrots. The city's website identifies them as yellowhead amazon parrots, but according to the Parrot Project of Los Angeles (, the parrots fall into as many as five different groups. Theories and myths abound on how these parrots came to claim Pasadena and surrounding towns as their home. Some believe they were smuggled in; some believe they are descendants of a flock that escaped after a huge fire at a nursery on the east side of town in the early 1960s. There is a cycle of regular public outcry about the noise and the sheer oddity of the birds' presence, but most Pasadenans seem to have come to accept the birds as part of the city's life. They can be seen year-round, but are especially noticeable in the winter.

External links


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