City of Pasadena Company History Timeline

(44 Jobs)

The northeast corner of San Gabriel Mission, consisting of the 14,000 acres known as Rancho el Rincon de San Pascual, had previously been gifted in 1826 by the padres to Doña Eulalia Pérez de Guillen, noted for her advanced age as well as her devoted service to the mission.


In 1852, two years after California was admitted as a state to the Union, Garfias built an adobe hacienda on the east bank of the Arroyo, where he and his family proceeded to live in grand style, until he could not meet the interest payment due on a loan.


A severe Indiana winter during 1872-73 prompted a group of friends from Indianapolis to form an investment group with the purpose of moving to the warmer climate of Southern California.


Portions of the Rancho San Pasqual were thereafter sold, leaving Griffin and Wilson with 5,328 acres in 1873.


The Indiana Colony was founded in 1874 by farmers from Indiana.


The name of Pasadena was chosen and first used in 1875 for its Native American meaning of “crown of the valley” or “valley between the hills.” Pasadena is home to one of the most well-known events in the United States.


In 1886 Pasadena incorporated, largely as a measure to rid the city of its saloon.

One of the main reasons Pasadena was incorporated in 1886 was to abolish saloons and the sale of alcohol in the area.


In 1888, business leaders formed the Board of Trade to represent their interests with City Hall and promote a strong economy.


On January 1, 1890, the Valley Hunt Club initiated a mid-winter festival with a procession of flower-bedecked horses and carriages.

The Tournament of Roses annual parade of flower covered floats has been held in Pasadena since January 1, 1890.

The city has held the Tournament of Roses every year on New Years Day since 1890.


Throop Polytechnic Institute (first named Throop University) was founded in 1891 and later became the California Institute of Technology.


An added tourist attraction was the Echo Mountain incline railway which opened in 1893 and included a mountain chalet resort and the Alpine Tavern at Crystal Springs.


Pasadena had a Shakespeare Club and a Grand Opera House (never very successful) and numerous civic and cultural organizations.In the early 1900’s more grand hotels were built.


The city government was reorganized and in 1901 Pasadena became a charter city with an elected mayor.


Through the end of the 1920’s, Pasadena continued to enjoy a reputation as a tourist center and winter resort for the wealthy.


The Rose Bowl was constructed in 1922 on the site of a dump in the Arroyo Seco.


The Pasadena City Junior College District was created in 1924.


In much of the city’s pre-1929 housing, middle income families moved out and low income families moved in.


The completion in 1940 of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the first freeway in the west, provided a fast and direct route from Pasadena to Los Angeles.


Retail sales showed a steady increase and in 1947 the opening of Bullock’s heralded what was to become an exclusive shopping area on South Lake Avenue.


By 1954 there were 394 industrial establishments in Pasadena.


A new shopping center opened in Hastings Ranch in 1956.


According to local legend, many were released during a 1959 fire which destroyed Simpson’s Gardenland and Bird Farm in Pasadena.


The rose (no particular variety) was adopted as Pasadena’s official flower on September 22, 1961.


The year of 1969 marked the opening of the Pasadena Art Museum of Modern Art (now the Norton Simon Museum of Art) and the closure of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse, sold at auction after years of financial difficulties.


Neighborhood and preservation groups joined forces in 1981 to defeat a proposal to build two high-rise towers in downtown Pasadena.


A citizen initiative to restrict growth was passed in 1989.


The largest increase was in the Hispanic population, which grew to 27.3% of the total city population by 1990.


It was later repealed by voters in 1992, in conjunction with revising the General Plan to respond to growth management issues.


In 1993, the name for Pasadena’s elected representatives was officially changed from Board of Directors, a term associated with corporations, to City Council, a term prevalent in most city governments.


In 1994, the Northridge earthquake, the most severe quake in a series to hit Southern California, left Pasadena relatively unscathed.


And in 1998, Cynthia Kurtz become Pasadena’s first female City Manager.

The USS Pasadena was awarded the Submarine Squadron Seven Battle “E” Efficiency award for 1998.


A former city Councilmember, Bill Bogaard was elected in 1999.


The most recent award went to Robert H. Grubbs in 2005 in chemistry, along with Yves Chauvin (Institut Français du Pétrole) and Richard R. Schrock (MIT), for their work in the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis.


View the 2020 Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Business Directory, Visitor and Community Guide.

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