Altadena, California: Wikis

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Altadena, California
—  CDP  —
Location of Altadena in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 34°11′19″N 118°8′5″W / 34.18861°N 118.13472°W / 34.18861; -118.13472Coordinates: 34°11′19″N 118°8′5″W / 34.18861°N 118.13472°W / 34.18861; -118.13472
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Area
 - Total 8.7 sq mi (22.5 km2)
 - Land 8.7 sq mi (22.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,358 ft (414 m)
Population
 - Total 42,610
 Density 4,898.9/sq mi (1,891/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91001, 91003
Area code(s) 626
FIPS code 06-01290
GNIS feature ID 1652662

Altadena is an unincorporated census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) from the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center. The population was 42,610 at the 2000 census.

Benjamin Eaton first developed water sources from the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon from the mid-1860s from his vineyard near the edge of Eaton Canyon. This made development of Pasadena, Altadena, and South Pasadena possible. He did the work for B.D. Wilson and Dr. John Griffin, who jointly owned the Mexican land grant of the Rancho San Pasqual, about 14,000 acres that comprised the future sites of the three communities. They hoped to develop and sell part of this in a real estate scheme called the San Pasqual Plantation. It failed by 1870 despite the irrigation ditch Eaton engineered for the partners that drew water from around the site of present day JPL in the Arroyo Seco. The failure had a few causes, with the major ones being no one believed citrus or other crops could thrive so close to the mountains, and the land was too inaccessible. Eaton then tried to sell the land for the partners, and in late 1873 helped broker a deal with Daniel Berry, who represented a group of investors from Indiana to purchase 4000 acres of the rancho. Although this included the land of present day Altadena, they developed the 2,500 section further south into Pasadena. In 1881, the land that became Altadena was sold to the Woodbury brothers John and Fred, who launched the subdivision of Altadena in 1887 just as Southern California's great land boom busted.

The land remained mostly agricultural, however several millionaires (mainly from Chicago) built mansions along Mariposa Street, and a small community slowly developed through the 1890s and into the new century. While Altadena long refused wholesale annexation by neighboring Pasadena, the larger community nibbled at its edges in several small annexations of neighborhoods through the 1940s. Beginning in the early 1960s redevelopment in Pasadena, the routing of extensions of 134 and 210 freeways, and lawsuits over the desegregation of Pasadena Unified School District caused white flight and convulsive racial change in Altadena. In 1960, its black population was under four percent; over the next 15 years, half the Caucasian population left and was replaced by people of color — mainly displaced by Pasadena's redevelopment and freeway projects.

The name Altadena derives from the Spanish alta, meaning "upper", and dena from Pasadena; the area is adjacent to, but at a higher elevation than, Pasadena.[1]

Contents

Government

Altadena is part of the County of Los Angeles and is politically run by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who have executive, legislative and judicial powers. There are five members of the Board of Supervisors, elected by geographic district. Altadena is in District five, presently represented by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. In 1975, a group of Altadenans formed The Altadena Town Council with the help of Los Angeles County Supervisor Baxter Ward and the Pasadena Chapter of the League of Women Voters.

The Altadena Town Council acts as an ombudsman group to express to county, state and federal agencies the will and wishes of the Altadena community. Altadena is identified collectively by eight census tract, (U.S. Census Bureau) from each of which two resident census tract representatives are elected. The Altadena Town Council meets monthly at the Altadena Community Center to provide a forum for residents and government officials to convene. The council has no legislative powers and makes no legal decisions for the community; it only operates to express consensus to governmental officials.

Official tree and flower

Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
Golden poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Official tree: The Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara). Indigenous to the Himalayas, the deodar was brought as seeds to Altadena in 1883 by Founder John Woodbury who saw the beautiful trees in Italy. After growing the trees for two years, the trees were transplanted to Santa Rosa Avenue where they now stand majestically as Christmas Tree Lane.

Official flower: The California Golden Poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Indigenous to the southland, the golden poppy was a landmark to Spanish sailors who recognized the area by a sweeping gold carpet. The sailors referred to the marvelous vision as sabanilla de oro, or, "altar cloth of gold."

Points of interest

Christmas Tree Lane is a 0.7-mile (1.1 km) stretch of Santa Rosa Avenue from Woodbury Road to Altadena Drive. It has been a holiday attraction since 1920 and it is the oldest large-scale outdoor Christmas lighting venue in the world. Each December, members of the Christmas Tree Lane Association[1] festoon the 110 still standing giant deodars that line the street with thousands of Christmas lights. Christmas Tree Lane was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, and is a California Historical Landmark.

Among Altadena's Christmas lighting attractions is the Balian Mansion, which collects worldwide tours for its Christmas lighting display. The Balian Mansion has been lighted since 1955 and is arguably the pioneer of home holiday lighting. The Balian Mansion is located at the 5-point junction of Mendocino Street, Mendocino Lane, Allen Avenue, and East Glenview Terrace.

The historic Mount Lowe Railway was once a scenic railway that carried passengers to any four resort hotels high in the San Gabriel Mountains above Altadena and Pasadena. Although the mountains and the remains of the railway are not strictly in Altadena, the most direct trail to the sites, the Sam Merrill Trail, starts in Altadena at the top of Lake Avenue and leads to Mount Echo, about 3 miles (4.8 km). Chaney Trail, just west of the intersection at Fair Oaks Avenue and Loma Alta Street, is a forestry service road leading to the old right of way. The Mount Lowe Railway was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

The Cobb Estate at the top of Lake Avenue is now a free botanical garden of the United States Forest Service. It is guarded by its historic gates which are easily bypassed to allow visitors and hikers to ascend its long and winding paved driveway to the site of what was once one of Altadena's premier mansions. This is found alongside the Sam Merrill Trail which accesses Las Flores Canyon on the way to Echo Mountain.

Farnsworth Park located on Lake Avenue is a large county park that offers picnic grounds, play areas, and a club house and amphitheater. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Geography

Altadena is located at 34°11′19″N 118°8′5″W / 34.18861°N 118.13472°W / 34.18861; -118.13472 (34.188605, -118.134795).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.7 square miles (22.5 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 42,610 people, 14,780 households, and 10,671 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,898.9 people per square mile (1,891.0/km²). There were 15,250 housing units at an average density of 1,753.3/sq mi (676.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 47.30% White, 31.42% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 4.24% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 10.19% from other races, and 6.14% from two or more races. 20.39% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,780 households out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $60,549, and the median income for a family was $66,800 (these figures had risen to $77,020 and $86,778 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[4]). Males had a median income of $49,098 versus $38,054 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $27,604. About 7.4% of families and 10.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

In the state legislature Altadena is located in the 21st Senate District, represented by Democrat Carol Liu, and in the 44th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Anthony J. Portantino. Federally, Altadena is located in California's 26th and 29th congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of R +4 and D +12 respectively[5] and are represented by Republican David Dreier and Democrat Adam Schiff respectively.

History

In 1880, Capt. Frederick Woodbury and his brother John Woodbury of Marshalltown, Iowa, purchased 937 acres (3.79 km2) known as the Woodbury Ranch. John Woodbury established the Pasadena Improvement Company in 1887 with a plot plan of residential development referred to as the Woodbury Subdivision. They contacted Byron O. Clark who established a nursery in the foothills in 1875 and had since moved away. He called his nursery "Altadena Nursery", a name he coined from the Spanish "alta" meaning "upper" and "dena" from Pasadena. Woodbury asked if he could use the name "Altadena" for his subdivision and Clark agreed.

The newly sprouted community of Altadena immediately began to attract millionaires from the East. In 1887 Andrew McNally, the printing magnate from Chicago and his good friend Col. G. G. Green had built mansions on what was to become Millionaire's Row, Mariposa Street near Santa Rosa. Newspaper moguls William Armiger Scripps and William Kellogg built side by side just east of Fair Oaks Avenue. The grandson of Andrew McNally, Wallace Neff, became a famous Southern California architect. He started his career in Altadena with the design and construction of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church ( parish est.1918) which was dedicated in October 1926.

Altadena Plot map of 1887 developed by John Woodbury.

Over the years Altadena has been subject to attempted annexation by Pasadena. Annexation was stopped in 1956 by community campaigns though it has been resurrected several times since by Pasadena without success. Had the annexation succeeded, Pasadena would be the 108th largest city in the United States.

Government and infrastructure

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Altadena Station in Altadena.[6]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Monrovia Health Center in Monrovia, serving Altadena.[7]

Population history

  • 1960 — 40,568
  • 1970 — 42,415
  • 1980 — 40,510
  • 1990 — 42,658
  • 2000 — 42,610

Source: U.S. Census Bureau [2]

Education

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Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Residents are zoned to Pasadena Unified School District schools.

Zoned elementary schools include:

  • Altadena Elementary School
  • Burbank Elementary School
  • Edison Elementary School
  • Franklin Elementary School
  • Jackson Elementary School
  • Loma Alta Elementary School
  • Webster Elementary School

Private schools

  • Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Christian School[3]
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic School[4]
  • Saint Mark's[5]
  • Pasadena Waldorf School
  • Walden School
  • Jane Warner's School

Charter schools

  • Nia Educational Charter School
  • Pasadena Rosebud Academy
  • Aveson Charter School
  • Odyssey Charter

Petition to Create Altadena School District

In 2005, some Altadena residents began discussing splitting off from the Pasadena School District to create a new, smaller district. In 2006, residents worked with the Los Angeles County Board of Education to create and file a petition to perform a feasibility study for the creation of a new district. As of June, 2009, petitioners claim to have more than the minimum 6,291 signatures required to submit the petition the Superintendent of Schools of Los Angeles County, but continue to collect signatures with a goal of 7,000.

Further reading

  • The Altadena Historical Society
  • Altadena Town Council
  • Ives, Sarah Noble, Altadena. Pasadena, California: The Star-News Publishing Co., 1938. Out of print.
  • Peterson, Robert H. Altadena's Golden Years. Alhambra, California: Sinclair Printing and Litho, Inc., 1976.
  • Zack, Michele. Altadena: Between Wilderness and City. Altadena, California: Altadena Historical Society, 2004. ISBN 0-9747257-0-6

See also

References

External links


Simple English

Altadena, California
—  CDP  —
Location of Altadena in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 34°11′19″N 118°8′5″W / 34.18861°N 118.13472°W / 34.18861; -118.13472
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Area
 - Total 8.7 sq mi (22.5 km2)
 - Land 8.7 sq mi (22.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,358 ft (414 m)
Population
 - Total 42,610
 Density 4,898.9/sq mi (1,891/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91001, 91003
Area code(s) 626
FIPS code 06-01290
GNIS feature ID 1652662

Altadena is an unincorporated census-designated place of Los Angeles County in the state of California, in the United States. 42,610 people were living in Altadena as of 2000. It is about fourteen miles from downtown Los Angeles. It was built as a suburb of Pasadena in 1887. However, although it was meant to be a suburb of Pasadena, it has so far refused to become part of Pasadena.

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