Comfort Inn Near Pasadena Civic Auditorium
2462 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107
Phone: (626) 405-0811
Fax: (626) 796-0966
Before or after a trip to the Huntington estate, drive a quick block north of the grounds and see these interesting architectural residences. Straying from the arts and crafts movement that characterizes many of Pasadena's homes, this neighborhood includes Spanish colonial, Monterey and Mediterranean styles, to name a few. The road runs east from the Cal Tech campus to Rosemead Boulevard, with the highest concentration of interesting homes within the boundaries of San Marino.
The Huntington, the former home of a railroad tycoon, is many things—an extensive library filled with rare books, a large art collection containing numerous European prints and paintings, botanical gardens of almost unmatched splendor and a forum for regular lectures and other activities. You will also find a fine bookstore, cafe and tea room on the grounds. Come and wander through the 150 acres of colorful gardens, lily ponds and beautiful sculptures. The rare books and manuscripts in the library include some of the earliest editions of Shakespeare's works, a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum and the Ellesmere manuscript of one or more of Chaucer's greatest works.
California Institute of Technology, also called Caltech, is a private university which focuses on research in engineering and the natural sciences. Founded in 1891, this university has got progressively better with time and has become known around the world for its high education standards. Stroll through the campus and see if you can spot the Nobel Laureate winning professors.
This is an arboretum for rare, peculiar and beautiful cacti and succulents. California Cactus Center will wow you with their unusual flora even if you aren't a desert plant lover. The affable staff will take you through their collections and give gardening tips to maintain them if you intend to buy. Visit California Cactus Center to get an insight on these arid beauties.
Located on South Lake Avenue, The Commons can be better described as a meeting point for locals on the east of the Playhouse District. The charming venue offers a good range of unique services, stores and eateries like the Green Street Restaurant and more that are lined along its shady courtyard. It's a spot where you can combine work with a fine dining experience. Besides, the California Institute of Technology and the famous Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens lie a short distance away.
Spanning about 10 blocks of Lake Avenue, this shopping district is where folks drop by to discover more than 600 businesses and stores in the heart of the city's financial hub. This pre-WWII residential neighborhood still retains its leafy boulevards, and dining at one of the European-styled joints along the way is a charm in itself. Once inside any of the boutiques at South Lake Avenue, you are immediately transported into a world of modern fashion and technology. Take your time over shoes from Angelo, business suits from After Hours, kids-wear from Pottery Barn and beauty products from Merle Norman. The guys can ogle at the latest innovations in the environs of Nextel and Penny Lane Videos. Home, garden, bed and bath accessories abound here, as do tons of gift items. Store hours and credit cards vary by store.
Though not as opulent as Orange Grove Boulevard or Hillcrest Avenue, the Bungalow Heaven is equally as intriguing from an architectural point of view. Built around the same time as the Greene brothers' mansions, many of these craftsman constructions were built for around 2,000 USD, a small sum even in adjusted figures. Some of the most impressive craftsmanship of these homes is found in their interiors. Additionally, a walking tour map of this area can be obtained for free at the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau.
San Marino's most impressive collection of greenery outside of the Huntington gardens is found in this beautiful 30-acre park. In addition to greenery, the park is home to six championship tennis courts and the Rose Arbor. The Rose Arbor is the oldest staple of the park, having been here for more than 60 years.
Considered by the Greene brothers as their best architectural achievement, the Robert R. Blacker House is a grand bungalow which was built in 1907 for 100,000 USD. In adjusted figures, that sum is even more impressive, especially since the owner of the house provided the lumber from his own company. In the 1980s, a Texan purchased the house and sold off a number of the furniture and other interior accoutrements designed by the Greene brothers, causing a scandal among Pasadena's preservationists. Although the home is a private residence, no tour of historic L.A. structures would be complete without catching at least a glimpse of it.
Moore, Ruble and Yudell designed the Plaza Las Fuentes complex in 1989. It covers six acres and includes hotels, shops, restaurants and professional offices. The designers used fountains and plants to integrate the buildings into the landscape, and the pedestrian walkways are pleasant places to stroll, shop and relax. It is a great place to base a stay in Pasadena, as there are several quality hotels with all amenities close at hand.
The Robinson Memorial is fittingly located a few blocks from where the legendary athlete and trailblazer was born. After facing constant scrutiny by the community for being part of the only black family living in the area, Jackie Robinson went on to become a star athlete at Pasadena City College and UCLA. He eventually became the first African American in major league baseball and the rest, as they say is history. The memorial depicts the visages of both Jackie and his older brother Mack, who also contributed to the civil rights movement.
This is the best source of information with which to tour the historically and architecturally rich area of Pasadena. As well as information on annual events, the center tracks daily events around town and provides excellent maps for walking or driving tours of some of the city's architectural masterpieces.