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  • Hastings Branch and Neighborhood History

    In 1882, Charles Cook Hastings purchased 1,100 acres of land between Pasadena and Sierra Madre for $7.00 per acre. He named his ranch "Mesa Alta Rancho" and began the planting of 300 acres with grape vines and the construction of a mansion. Soon after he died, his son, Charles Houston Hastings, assumed responsibility for the land. Charles Houston Hastings imported unusual specimens of plants and trees and populated the ranch with peacocks, pheasants, cats, dogs (32 collies) and champion horses. In 1928, the Hastings mansion caught fire and burned to the ground. After that, the ranch fell into a state of disrepair and its operation was left to managers.

    Following the death of Charles Houston Hastings in 1942, the ranch was sold by the Hastings Foundation to a syndicate for over $1 million. The land was subdivided into luxury housing tracts. In the late 1940s, about 600 homes were built in lower Hastings; in the early 1950s, 800 houses were constructed by Coronet Homes, Inc.; and in the early 1960s, the top northern portion of the ranch was developed.

    There was a great need for a library branch in the Hastings Ranch area, and on February 17, 1959, Hastings Branch first opened its doors. It was the eighth and last library branch to be built, completing the plan to bring library service within a mile of every home in Pasadena. Demand for books, particularly children's books, quickly exceeded the supply. Students flocked to the library for help with their assignments and on some evenings, every seat in the library was filled. In April, 1967, a necessary addition to the library was completed, nearly doubling the size of the public area and providing twice the parking.

    In this reading and library-oriented community, the Hastings Branch continues to be the busiest in terms of circulation and the number of walk-in patrons. The collection includes approximately 65,000 volumes and an average of 15,000 of them circulate each month. The library's catalog is fully computerized and provides access to the entire Pasadena Public Library collection as well as the Glendale Public Library's system.

    The branch subscribes to over 60 periodicals, and offers access to hundreds of periodicals, journals, and newspapers through the InfoTrac electronic resource. Free access to the World Wide Web is offered through the library's Internet terminal.

    Hastings Branch serves seven elementary schools and eight preschools and one high school in the immediate area, offering outreach storytimes and library skills lessons or in-library visits with book checkout.

    The branch attracts its youngest patrons with Pajama Storytimes every Monday evening at 7:00 and Preschool Storytimes every Wednesday morning at 10:15 and 11:15. Summer Reading Club had approximately 900 members in 2001, and over 14,000 attended a variety of special programs, including puppet, animal, and magic shows, and storytime and craft events over the last year. Programming for adults includes Internet classes, genealogy programs, and a series of library skills lessons for homeschool families.

    Neighborhood Characteristics and Population

    Source: 2000 Census. Hastings' service area is represented by tracts 4600, 4625, 4629, 4630, 50% of 4626, 20% of 4627, and 50% of 4628. This area includes 19,860 people, of whom approximately 22% are age 17 & under.

    Political Districts

    City Council  4th District
    Gene Masuda 
    County District  5th District
    Michael Antonovich 
    State Assembly  44th District
    Anthony Portantino 
    State Senate  District 21
    Carol Liu
    U.S Congress  Congressional District 29
    Adam Schiff

    U.S. Senate
    Barbara Boxer
    Dianne Feinstein 

    Local Schools

    Public Schools
    Don Benito Fundamental
    Field Elementary 
    Norma Coombs Alternative School
    Pasadena High School

    Private Schools 
    Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
    Chaim Weizmann Community Day School 
    High Point Academy 
    Living Way Christian Academy

    Preschools 
    Faith Lutheran Child Care Center 
    Hastings Ranch Nursery School 
    Joy Christian Preschool
    Living Way Day Care Center 
    Our School 
    Step-By-Step 
    Sunrise Preschool
    Villa Esperanza

    Neighborhood Associations

    California Rose Court Association
    Daisy-Villa Homeowners' Association
    East Eaton Wash Neighborhood Association
    East Orange Grove Neighborhood Association
    Eaton Canyon Wash Homes Association
    Fort Outpost Homeowners Association
    Friends of the Foothills
    Lower Hastings Ranch Association
    Sierra Madre Villa Neighborhood Association
    Upper Hastings Ranch Association