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  • AboutPasadena-Content

  • Pasadena Becomes a City: 1886-1920

    Incline RailwayIn 1886 Pasadena incorporated, largely as a measure to rid the city of its saloon. In the ensuing decade, amenities such as sewers, paved streets, and electric street lighting were installed. On January 1, 1890, the Valley Hunt Club initiated a mid-winter festival with a procession of flower-bedecked horses and carriages. This became a yearly tradition that in 1898 was formally sponsored by the Tournament of Roses Association. 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.

    The cultural and educational side of the city wasThroop Polytechnic Institute  not neglected. The educational system expanded
     in both the public and private sector. Throop Polytechnic Institute (first named Throop University) was founded in 1891 and later became the California Institute of Technology. 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. The city population grew from 9,117 in 1900 to 30,291 by 1910. The population included Chinese and Mexicans, who were brought in to work on the railroads, and Blacks, who moved in and started small businesses or worked as servants in the big houses and hotels. The area of the city increased through annexations, first of sections to the north and east, then in 1914 San Rafael Heights and Linda Vista, which had been physically linked to the city by the Colorado Street Bridge in 1913. Some of the best architects settled in Pasadena, which became known for its fine architecture, particularly the Craftsman style, perfected by Greene and Greene.

    All photographs courtesy of the Pasadena Public Library unless otherwise noted

     

     1920 - 1930 >>