Located four blocks from old town, the Pasadena Inn is three miles from the Rose Bowl and within walking distance to the convention center and the old town Pasadena, which features trendy boutiques, fine restaurants, theaters,...more
Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Pasadena Old Town is located in the heart of Old Pasadena. This Southern California jewel of the Los Angeles area has everything you want in a modern but historic city. Home of the...more
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About Old Town Pasadena
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Old Town Pasadena, sometimes just called Old Town or Old Pasadena, served as the community's early commercial district. As Pasadena grew, new retail districts emerged. Old Town Pasadena suffered from urban decay as the area became home to adult-oriented and lower quality businesses. The area has since been designated as a historic district with a revitalization driven by tax and other government subsidies.
The decay of Old Town Pasadena followed World War II. Other retail areas and malls began to draw the more substantial businesses from the area. The retail spaces they abandon were soon occupied by bars and pawnshops. During the 1960s, the area attracted head shops, catering to the drug culture, and massage parlors. Efforts at revitalizing the area began in the 1980s and centered around education and entertainment.
During its prime, the Old Town area was called the "Athens of the West" and was known for leading educational institutions such as the California Institute of Technology, often called Caltech, and research facilities such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or JPL. These institutions still contribute to the community by attracting young and well-educated residents to the district.
Old Town Pasadena has always been the home to an active arts community. The Norton Simon Museum, previously known as the Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, has been a leading force in the modern art movement in America.
This combination of education, science and art has attracted free thinkers for decades. The area has been the home to interesting characters ranging from Albert Einstein to Gen. George Patton. Politically, the area has often served as home for progressive causes such as women's suffrage.
Urban renewal efforts have been managed by the Old Pasadena Management District under contract to the city of Pasadena. The management district handles tasks such as community promotion, maintenance of parks and a housing and transportation planner. The stated objective of the group is to provide a "safe vibrant downtown experience."
Many of the commercial structures, including prominent hotels such as the Green Hotel and The Hotel Carver, have been converted to apartment of condominium housing. Other retail spaces have been remodeled or combined with adjacent structures to produce more usable retail space. The area now offers more housing and retail opportunities than it has in decades producing a growing population and an improved reputation as a destination shopping area.
The physical restoration of the district has attempted to return the buildings of the area to a look reminiscent of the late 1920s and 1930s. This includes remodeling buildings to reflect the styles and colors of that period. Projects that meet these standards may qualify for tax breaks.
The efforts to restore the buildings to the look and feel of Old Town Pasadena at its peak, along with the continuing growth of high tech facilities like Caltech and JPL has lead to a rebirth of the area. The district strives to combine the charm of an old downtown area with the vibrant life of a young and educated population.