Welcome to South Pasadena
A charming community just six miles from downtown Los Angeles, South Pasadena is known for its small-town atmosphere and rich legacy of intact late 19th and early 20th century neighborhoods and residences. Its nearness to a natural fording place along the Arroyo Seco River made it a gateway to travel and commerce for aboriginal peoples here and along the coast for many centuries. The first buildings on the Rancho San Pascual were built here, and South Pasadena is home to some of the oldest and most historic sites in the San Gabriel Valley.
The city has battled for a century to preserve its status as a distinct community. In 1875, stockholders of the San Gabriel Orange Grove Association voted to name their town Pasadena. But residents of the southern portion considered themselves South Pasadenans, and in 1888 they voted overwhelmingly for incorporation as the sixth municipality in Los Angeles. Today, the town’s diverse population occupies only 3.44 square miles of flatlands and hillsides. More than 100 acres of parks and playgrounds blanket its landscape, and over 21,000 trees line its streets. Because there are very few Spanish Colonial houses and virtually no palm trees in parts of the city, it is a popular stand-in for Midwestern and Northeastern towns in movie and TV productions. Its Mission West shopping area is a part of the original U.S. Route 66.