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.
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’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.
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 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.”
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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