Pasadena Architectural Legacy Walking Tours
Pasadena Heritage invites you and your holiday guests to take a walking tour featuring many of Pasadena’s architectural treasures! Special this year is the opportunity to participate in two different walking tours, each with a 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. start time! Our expert guides will show you how Pasadena developed from a simple Indiana farm colony to the wealthiest resort community in the United States during the 1920s. Below are the descriptions and meeting locations of each tour.
Old Pasadena Walking Tour
The Old Pasadena tour will begin at the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel located at 180 North Fair Oaks Avenue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old Pasadena Historic District is Pasadena’s original downtown. The tour explores the architectural detail of the historic district as well as the struggles and triumphs of preservation and restoration efforts of buildings such as Memorial Park, which was originally called Library Park and Raymond Theater, originally a vaudeville theater done in the Beaux Arts style. Also included in the tour is a look at the beautifully restored St. Andrews Catholic Church built in 1928-29. When legendary football coach Knute Rockne brought Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish to battle Stanford at the Rose Bowl in 1925, the team attended mass at the old site of this church originally located at the corner of Walnut and Fair Oaks.
From walking through Fair Oaks and Raymond Avenues, the city’s main north-south thoroughfares, to looking at several buildings along Colorado Boulevard, the city’s most important east-west artery, the discussion of architecture and history presented on this tour is sure to inspire tour goers. Additionally, a look at the service streets and alleys of Old Pasadena give the city some of the best evidences of its Victorian past. Today the historic district, comprised of mostly commercial streets and few residences, serves as an important model for downtown revitalization.
Pasadena Hillcrest Neighborhood Walking Tour
The Pasadena Hillcrest Neighborhood tour will depart from the Langham Hotel located at 1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue and allow tour goers to discover an established neighborhood of Pasadena. One of Pasadena’s most beautiful neighborhoods, the tour explores various architectural styles such as Mediterranean, Victorian and the neighborhood’s ubiquitous Craftsman inspired homes. The Oak Knoll subdivision was intended to rival the wealthy neighborhoods of Orange Grove and the “West Side” (San Rafael and Linda Vista), so many of the estate size lots were intended for custom home development. Showcased on the tour are numerous grand estate mansions along with Craftsman homes such as the Freeman House designed by architects Arthur and Alfred Heineman and the Blacker House designed by Charles and Henry Greene.
The area was originally utilized as a sheep ranch in the 1850s. Platted during 1886 with streets following the natural curves of the canyon rims, the neighborhood was the first subdivision in Pasadena that followed new planning principles of integrating suburbs into the natural environment, which was developed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed Central Park in New York City. The southern terminus of the neighborhood is the Langham Hotel, an iconic landmark hotel since 1907.