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Even More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

Even More Ghost Signs of Pasadena

In Pasadena, faded signs serve as emblems of the past. You see them on buildings, sidewalks, and rooftops—the enigmatic reminders of a time gone by. They may consist of a disembodied sentence fragment, a single word, or even a few mysterious letters. Standing in dissonant contrast to their surroundings, they add to the quirk and character of [...]

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 3)

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 3)

“We wish to do the tourist who reads this book a good turn, having his comfort and enjoyment at heart; therefore we advise him to stop at Lamanda Park and make his headquarters for a day, or a week, or a fortnight, in this delightful spot.” - Over the Range to the Golden Gate: A Complete Tourist’s [...]

Caught in a Zoot Suit Riot

Caught in a Zoot Suit Riot

June 10, 1943. An overcast and unseasonably cold evening in Pasadena. The time: World War II. The place: a street corner at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Raymond Avenue. It was the middle of the Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles, and on this particular night, two African-American teenagers with a fondness for flamboyant clothing [...]

Vintage Car Show for Dreamkeepers

Vintage Car Show for Dreamkeepers

It’s time to channel your inner Steve McQueen. This Saturday, Thorson Motors in East Pasadena will present its Second Annual Classic Car Show, featuring drool-worthy vintage hot rods from the 1930s to the present, all lovingly restored. The show is being produced by Great Autos of Yesteryear, with food provided by Pasadena’s Stonefire Grill. This is no ordinary [...]

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 2)

Digging Up Secrets in Lamanda Park (Part 2)

“The Lamanda Park of my time doesn’t exist any longer. The stage is still there, but the players and scenery long gone, so to speak.” – Jody Lorin, 78 Lamanda Park may not be a familiar name to many. Today it’s an ill-defined part of East Pasadena, bisected by Route 66 and hemmed in to [...]

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 [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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