Old Town Pasadena

Old Pasadena is the original commercial center of Pasadena, a city in California, United States that arose from one of the most prosperous areas of the state, and had a latter day revitalization after a period of decay. Old Pasadena is often referred to as Old Town Pasadena or just Old Town.

Old Pasadena began as the center of an enlightened “Athens of the West” that gave rise to Caltech, JPL, as well as Beckman Instruments, Aerojet and numerous other industrial giants. The area also housed, schooled and provided stomping grounds for numerous famous and infamous free thinkers, poets, artists and rapscallions such as General George Patton, Alexander Calder, Upton Sinclair, L. Ron Hubbard, Jack Parsons, Albert Einstein, Bobby Fischer and David Lee Roth. It was also the home to Andy Warhol’s west coast debut, the Pasadena Museum of Modern Art (one of the earliest and best modern art museums in the country, now the Norton Simon Museum), and before that a center of suffragist and pacifist movements, and other liberal causes. By the late 1940s, the area was blighted by flop houses, seedy bars and pawn shops. It later became a hippie mecca with head shops, adult bookstores and massage parlors. By the late 1980s, urban renewal was in full swing with the trendy set.


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