Pasadena Museum of History

470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91103 - United States





Pasadena Museum of History is the only museum and research library dedicated solely to preserving and sharing the history, art, and culture of Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley. PMH offers the public changing exhibitions, events and lectures, docent-led tours, school tours, and free access to the Research Library & Archives.


Starting Anew: Transforming Pasadena, 1890 – 1930 explores the transformation of Pasadena from a small agricultural community into a bustling, multifaceted city over four decades of unparalleled growth.

How was this flourishing young city affected by the international crises that rocked the world in the second decade of the 20th century? The enhanced exhibit explores the city's private and public sector development within the broader context of world affairs. Specifically, new content looks at how back-to-back global events - World War I (1914-1918) and the Flu Pandemic of 1918 – affected Pasadena and its residents.

The forty years between 1890 and 1930 were a dynamic time in Pasadena’s history. The area changed rapidly from a small agricultural community to a renowned winter resort and bustling young city. Newcomers came for many reasons. They were taken by the region’s natural beauty and the opportunities associated with its growth and potential. It was an appealing place to launch a new venture, or in some cases, to start over. The railroad provided convenient and affordable transportation to the appropriately nicknamed “Crown City.” Pasadena was changing significantly, fashioned by a rapidly burgeoning population and its hopes, dreams, and achievements.

Historic images, documents, artwork, clothing, and ephemera, many selected from the Museum's collection – along with research compiled over decades by scholars, PMH staff, and volunteers – illustrate the scope of these vibrant decades in Pasadena’s history. The exhibition also features the legacy of Museum benefactors Eva and Adalbert Fenyes. After arriving in Pasadena as newlyweds in 1896, this sophisticated couple quickly embraced the city as their new home. They purchased real estate, developed businesses, and contributed to the cultural and artistic development of Pasadena. Their 1906 Beaux Arts mansion is an important component of the exhibit story line, providing visitors with a glimpse into what life was like on Pasadena’s Landmark Millionaire’s Row in the early 1900s.

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