Pasadena City Hall

Pasadena City Hall

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There’s no doubt that most states have beautiful state capitol buildings.

When one gets down to the county and city level, the buildings tend to be somewhat nondescript with little non-functional beauty.

Such is not the case with the cities of San Francisco and Pasadena, and when I went to Pasadena last weekend, one of my goals was to go see Pasadena City Hall.

Successful goal!

If you’re thinking that Pasadena sounds familiar but you’re not quite sure why, it is the city that hosts the Rose Bowl Parade and the Rose Bowl football game each year. Great place to go spend a little time relaxing!

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pasadena’s city hall was completed on December 27, 1927, at a cost of $1.3 million. It is, perhaps, the best known example of the City Beautiful movement of the 1920s.

Bakewell and Brown, an architecture firm in San Francisco, designed the building, incorporating Mediterranean Revival Style and Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture.

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The City Hall courtyard was used in the 1995 movie “A Walk in the Clouds” to portray a Napa Valley town square. It was used as an embassy in the “Mission: Impossible” TV series, and a villa in “The Great Dictator,” a 1940 Oscar-nominated film starring Charlie Chaplin.

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pasadena City Hall serves as the city hall of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” and the dome is visible through the window of the main characters’ apartment building in the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.”

Pasadena City Hall

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Rising six stories above the street, City Hall is 361′ x 242′ with a dome that is 26′ tall and 54′ in diameter. It has 235 rooms and covers over 170,000 square feet. The Civic Center District, which includes City Hall, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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17 thoughts on “Pasadena City Hall

  1. Manu Kurup

    I have seen this building in a photograph taken by a friend long back. Didn’t know anything about it. Thanks for the details, Russell. 🙂

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  2. elfkat

    And if you look carefully at the iron cupola on top of the dome you will see it’s slightly crooked from the Northridge quake. I lived there for over 10 years til it got to expensive and moved to the Valley. You need to visit the Huntington Library if you haven’t been.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Apparently the damage from the earthquake was repaired during the complete renovation and seismic retrofitting that was done in 2007.

      I went to the Huntington Library in 2011 for my 17th anniversary. However, we went for the buildings, books, and art without knowing about it being a botanic garden as well. I want to go back in mid-Spring when everything is blooming.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Funny you should mention the little old lady from Pasadena. For the past few days I’ve been buying Jan & Dean’s music from the ’50s and ’60s. It was released on CDs in the mid- to late-1990s, when I was absent from the music industry, and is now available for digital downloads.

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  3. What's Going on at Mumsy's

    That is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. I love the movie “A Walk in the Clouds”. I will have to watch again sometime now that I know about the courtyard. Thank you for sharing these great pictures and information. Russel. Hugs

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  4. laurie27wsmith

    It’s the small details you don’t usually see that are interesting, especially the work done by sculptors. Great photos BTW.
    Laurie.

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