Estate Jewelers of South Pasadena

Author Archive


Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 1)

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 1)

“It did not take me all these 50 years to decide on the best place to live. Southern California is best, and to me there is no place which can compare with Lamanda Park.” – Iva Engle, interviewed by the Pasadena Star-News, 1927 East of Old Town, west of Arcadia, somewhere along good old Route [...]

Dark Side of the ’70s: The Darth Vader Building

Dark Side of the ’70s: The Darth Vader Building

The Plaza Centre building at 150 E. Colorado Boulevard looks like “the future” as imagined by a 1970s dystopian sci-fi film. No wonder it’s been dubbed the “Darth Vader Building.” Conceived in 1975 and finished in 1979, it was the brainchild of the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency (PRA), Wolff-Sesnon Development Company, and actor Wayne Rogers, best known [...]

More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

Spotting these faded reminders of merchants past can be more fun than a scavenger hunt. Someone either had the foresight to preserve them or the lack of funds to remove them. Either way, they remain an enticement to the architectural detective. As in our May 2011 feature, we take a look at four more “ghost signs” [...]

Pasadena’s Vegetarian Colony

Pasadena’s Vegetarian Colony

  (Photo via Brigham Yen) “I am starting a Botanic Garden on the foothills of the Sierra Madre,” wrote Dr. Victor B. Hall in a letter to magazine The Peacemaker in 1902. Long before vegetarian restaurants seemingly dotted every corner, members of the “Victor University of Vitaphysics” purchased a 40-acre tract in the Linda Vista [...]

Ghost Theaters on Colorado Blvd. (Part 3)

Ghost Theaters on Colorado Blvd. (Part 3)

It’s been awhile since we last looked at Colorado Boulevard’s “ghost theaters”—marquees and other relics along the street; skeletal reminders of Pasadena’s once-glorious picture palaces. In part 3 of our ongoing series, we examine the stories behind three more of these vanished movie houses. Tower Theater (1930-1952) – 114 E. Colorado Blvd. A parking lot [...]

The Bordeaux That Nearly Was

The Bordeaux That Nearly Was

When we think of California wine today, we think of Napa, Sonoma and the Santa Ynez Valley, but from the 1850s until the 1880s, the San Gabriel Valley was by far the largest wine-producing region in the state. Rows of grapes once stretched for thousands of acres in what is now Pasadena, South Pasadena, San [...]

Artifacts of the Playhouse District

Artifacts of the Playhouse District

Old Town may have been Pasadena’s original town center, but for many decades the Playhouse District has been its cultural and artistic nexus. It’s also home to a staggering number of architecturally significant buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since the district has been in the news lately, [...]

Pasadena: Part of Upton Sinclair’s ‘EPIC’ Battleground (Part 2 of 2)

Pasadena: Part of Upton Sinclair’s ‘EPIC’ Battleground (Part 2 of 2)

When author Upton Sinclair swept the California gubernatorial primaries in August 1934, he achieved a phenomenal feat. Until then, Democrats in California had been a marginal presence, but Sinclair’s End Poverty in California (EPIC) campaign “brought a Democratic party into existence,” as Baltimore Sun reporter Carey McWilliams recalled in 1982, and was ”the acorn from which evolved [...]

Pasadena: Part of Upton Sinclair’s ‘EPIC’ Battleground (Part 1 of 2)

Pasadena: Part of Upton Sinclair’s ‘EPIC’ Battleground (Part 1 of 2)

Early in October 1934, the California Real Estate Association was holding its annual convention at the Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara. “California Straight Ahead” was the theme of the three-day event, whose honorary guests included Harry H. Culver, founder of Culver City, Nevada governor Morley Griswold, and California governor Frank Merriam. The 1934 convention was [...]

Where Floats Once Mixed With Electric Guitars

Where Floats Once Mixed With Electric Guitars

Since 1964, the drab warehouse at 835 S. Raymond Avenue has served as one of several float-decorating venues for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. From 1969-70, it also rang with the guitars of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and other bands. Though neither aesthetically nor acoustically impressive, in one year the Rose Palace presented a [...]

Gooden Open House Saturday, January 11

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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