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Pasadena, California

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Land area: 23.1 square miles

Pasadena in California.

 

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Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is the home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena City College (PCC), Fuller Theological Seminary, Art Center College of Design, the Pasadena Playhouse, California School of Culinary Arts Pasadena, the Norton Simon Museum of Art and the Pacific Asia Museum. As of 2009, the estimated population of Pasadena is 143,667, making it the 168th-largest city in the United States. Pasadena is the seventh-largest city in Los Angeles County, and on June 19, 1886, became the fourth to be incorporated in Los Angeles County, after Anaheim (March 18 1876) and Santa Ana (June 1 1886), who were part of Los Angeles County until Orange County was formed in 1889. It was largely as a ploy to get rid of its saloons. It is one of the primary cultural centers of the San Gabriel Valley.

Culture

Performing arts

The Pasadena Symphony, founded in 1862, offers several concerts a year at the Pasadena Civic Center and the Pasadena Pops plays at the Rose Bowl. The Civic Center also holds a few traveling Broadway shows each year. The legendary Pasadena Playhouse, presently in reorganization, usually presents seven shows a season, each show running six to eight weeks. The Furious Theatre Company is one of several small theatre companies in Pasadena. They are currently housed in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre adjacent to the Pasadena Playhouse. Boston Court Performing Arts Center, opened in 2003, is near Lake and Colorado. Its resident theatre company, the award-winning The Theatre @ Boston Court presents four productions a year. Music at the Court presents numerous music concerts each year, ranging from classical to jazz. The Friends of the Levitt organization presents a free summer concert series in Memorial Park, with the 2008 summer season marking its sixth year.

Beckman Auditorium and other venues on the Caltech campus present a wide range of performing arts, lectures, films, classes and entertainment events, primarily during the academic year.

The California Philharmonic performs two series in Pasadena, Cal Phil at the Ambassador Auditorium from November through April, and Cal Phil Music Martinis & the Maestro in the Romanesque Room at the Green Hotel from January to May. They also perform Cal Phil Festival on the Green at nearby Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia from July to September, and from July to August Cal Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In conjunction with The Old Mill Foundation, they perform a summer chamber concert series Cal Phil at the Mill in San Marino.

For more than ten years, twice annually Pasadena's cultural institutions have opened their doors for free during ArtNight Pasadena, offering the public a rich sampling of quality art, artifacts and music within the city. This has evolved into the yearly PasadenART Weekend, a three day citywide event which, as of 2007, encompasses ArtNight, ArtWalk, ArtHeritage, ArtMarket, and ArtPerformance, a vibrant outdoor music event showcasing emerging and nationally recognized talent. Free concerts take place on multiple stages throughout Old Pasadena.

Ambassador Auditorium was built under the guidance of Herbert W. Armstrong as both a facility to be used by the Worldwide Church of God for religious services and as a concert hall for public performances celebrating the performing arts. In 2007, the native Pasadena band Ozma reunited and produced the album Pasadena in tribute to the city. The album photos and artwork were shot at the Colorado Street Bridge.

The 1960s song "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" parodies a popular Southern California image of Pasadena as home to a large population of aged eccentrics. In the song, Jan and Dean sing of an elderly lady who drives a powerful "Super Stock Dodge" muscle car and is "the terror of Colorado Boulevard." The Dead Kennedys payed a tribute to this archetypal song in the track "Buzzbomb From Pasadena" in the album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.

Visual arts

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

Museums and galleries

Pasadena is home to a number of art museums and public galleries, including the Norton Simon Museum, widely acknowledged as one of the finest art collections in the Western United States. The museum's collections include European paintings, sculpture, and tapestry; sculpture from Southern Asia; and an extensive sculpture garden. The museum also has the contemporary art collection of its predecessor, the Pasadena Museum of Art, which focused on modern and contemporary art before being taken over by Simon in the early 1970s.

Preserving and sharing the rich history and culture of Pasadena and its adjacent communities is the Pasadena Museum of History. Located on a campus of 2 acres (8,100 m2), it has gardens, a history center, the Finnish Folk Art Museum, the Curtin House, and the Fenyes Mansion, a 1906 Beaux Arts-style architectural residence and a Pasadena Cultural Heritage Landmark.

The Pacific Asia Museum, with a garden courtyard in its center, features art from the many countries and cultures of Asia. The nearby Pasadena Museum of California Art hosts changing exhibitions of work by historical and contemporary California artists. The Armory Center for the Arts has an extensive exhibition program as well as serving as a center for art education for all ages. Art Center College of Design offers exhibitions at its Williamson Gallery, as well as frequent displays of student work. Pasadena City College has an art gallery that shows work of professionals as part of their annual artist-in-residence program, as well as exhibiting work by students and faculty.

The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, with painting and sculpture galleries, is adjacent to Pasadena in the city of San Marino. The innovative Kidspace Children's Museum is located in Brookside Park.

Literature

In 2002 David Ebershoff published the novel Pasadena. The novel won praise for its accurate recreation of Pasadena before World War II.[39]

Bungalow Heaven

Bungalow Heaven is a neighborhood of 800 small craftsman homes built from 1900 to 1930. Many of these homes are still occupied. Much of the area became a landmark district in 1989,[40] and annual historic home tours have been conducted since that designation. Bungalow Heaven's borders are Washington Boulevard to the north, Orange Grove Boulevard to the south, Mentor Avenue to the west, and Chester Avenue to the east. The neighborhood is usually extended to Lake Avenue to the west and Hill Avenue to the east.

Orange Grove Boulevard

The Norton Simon Museum is at the intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards. This corner is the official start of the Rose Parade route and the museum can be quite clearly seen every year during the parade television broadcast.

Orange Grove Boulevard is one of several exclusive residential districts in Pasadena, and has been a home for the rich and famous since the early 20th century. Because of the number of landmark mansions, the street earned the name Millionaire's Row, an appropriate sobriquet considering that the estates that once lined this spacious boulevard and the surrounding neighborhood read like a Who's Who of American consumer products.

Historical estates

The maker of Wrigley's chewing gum, William Wrigley Jr.'s, substantial home was offered to the city of Pasadena after Mrs. Wrigley's death in 1958, under the condition that their home would be the Rose Parade's permanent headquarters. The stately Tournament House stands today, and serves as the headquarters for the Tournament of Roses Parade. Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser beer, established the first of a series of Busch Gardens in Pasadena. When Busch died at his Pasadena estate, his wife generously offered the property to the City of Pasadena, an offer the city inexplicably refused. Henry Markham, who lived adjacent to Busch, was the 18th Governor of the state of California (1891–1895) and wrote Pasadena: Its Early Years. The home of David Gamble, son of consumer product maker James Gamble of Procter & Gamble, is located on the north end of Orange Grove Boulevard.

The Gamble House, an American Craftsman masterpiece, was built in 1908, by architects Charles and Henry Greene, as an exemplification of their ultimate bungalow. It is open to the public as both an architectural conservancy and museum.
The Gamble House, an American Craftsman Masterpiece.

The Gamble House is a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1966, it was deeded to the city of Pasadena in a mutual agreement with the University of Southern California School of Architecture. Every year, two fifth-year USC architecture students live in the house full-time. The students change yearly.

The home of Anna Bissell McCay, daughter of carpet sweeper magnate Melville Bissell is a four-story Victorian home, on the border of South Pasadena. Today the Bissell House is a bed and breakfast. Thaddeus S. C. Lowe's home of 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) was on South Orange Grove. The house included a sixth story solarium which he converted into an observatory. Lowe was also a generous patron of the astronomical sciences. He started a water-gas company, founded the Citizens Bank of Los Angeles, built numerous ice plants, and purchased a Pasadena opera house. He also established the Mount Lowe Railway in the mountains above Pasadena and eventually lost his fortune. The brilliant, but troubled, rocket scientist John Whiteside Parsons sometimes shared his residence with other noteworthy people, including L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Parsons died in an explosion while testing a new rocket fuel in his Pasadena home laboratory, in 1952.

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