Happy Birthday Pasadena

PMH is launching a wide-ranging, multi-year initiative, Exploring Pasadena, in commemoration of the City’s 135th anniversary in 2021. The first event is scheduled for July 17.

Happy Birthday Pasadena – Exploring Our Community

oranges and mountains postcard
Postcard Collection

Pasadena is filled with scenic vistas, natural beauty, iconic structures, historic sites, and diverse neighborhoods. In honor of the City’s 135th anniversary on June 19th, 2021 (Pasadena was incorporated on that date in 1886), PMH is launching a wide-ranging, multi-year initiative to encourage residents and visitors alike to explore the region through multiple offerings and discover the stories behind the people, places, and things that have been instrumental in creating this unique community.

The project, Exploring Pasadena, will include visual and aural presentations, guided tours, participatory games, unique lectures, hands-on workshops, and more. All offerings will be featured on this page as well as in the media and on multiple social media platforms. The first event in the Exploring Pasadena initiative is scheduled for Saturday, July 17.

Walking Tour: Diversity in Early Pasadena

Saturday, August 14, 10:00 am to Noon, departing from & returning to Pasadena Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 91105 (North East corner of Central Park, at Raymond and Dayton - just south of the Castle Green)

The Francisca Building, 1923. Located at 22-26 W. Dayton St., it was the first commercial building commissioned by an African-American for occupancy by African American businesses (Black History Collection, BH-L-48-3)
The Francisca Building, 1923 (BH-L-48-3)

The Francisca Building was the first commercial building commissioned by an African American for occupancy by African American businesses (Black History Collection, BH-L-48-3)

In Pasadena’s early years, the area south of present-day Old Pasadena was home to people from a diverse range of ethnicities and backgrounds. We'll explore the difficulties and opportunities they encountered as they navigated life in the Crown City working as Pullman porters, launderers, entrepreneurs, domestic workers, artists, and agricultural/construction workers, among other pursuits. Join us to walk in their footsteps and learn about their stories, many of which have been forgotten and are overdue for rediscovery.

We begin our tour just south of Old Pasadena, on Dayton Street. We'll circle Central Park, discussing the original railroad system, businesses and hotels in the area, and the people who built and worked in them. After a short jaunt into the alleys of Old Pasadena, we'll return to the park to end the tour in the shade of the towers of Castle Green.

This walking tour is the second event in our Exploring Pasadena initiative.

Tickets: General $25; PMH Members $20. Space is limited; advance reservations required. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning August 1.

An additional walking tour will be offered in September. Check back for more info.