I had the opportunity to join the Pasadena Group of Sierra Club for a Saturday morning walk, through South Pasadena. From the earliest settlers until today’s planned highway projects, David Czamanske, the organizer, shared his vast knowledge and showed us about a dozen historic buildings during this three hour hike. I have highlighted 6 of the sights below.
South Pasadena was incorporated in 1888 and had at the time, a population of 500. Today that number has increased to 25,000, still maintaining a small town feel. The City Council has designated four historic districts and 45 properties and sites as local City landmarks.
Our first point of interest was the Watering Through and Wayside Station, by the South Pasadena Gold Line station, which served as a resting place for people driving carriages between Los Angeles and Pasadena. The Wayside Station, was given to the city in 1906 by the The Woman’s Improvement Association.
Opposite of the Wayside Station is the The Meridian Iron Works, which was hotel and grocery store at first. Later on it was converted into a general store in the 1880s and 1890s. Today it serves as the South Pasadena Historical Museum.
Just 5 minutes south of the Meridian Iron Works, is the Wynyate, which is Welsh for vineyard. The Wynyate was built in 1887 by the first governor of South Pasadena, Donald M. Graham and his wife, author Margaret Collier Graham. This three story Victorian mansion consists of 4 bedrooms and 5 baths, and was designed by architect W.R. Norton.
Once located on 709 Meridian, the Century House was saved from being demolished, due to new building projects, and was moved to its current location. It has been featured in the horror movie Halloween starring Mike Mayers!! Today it serves a commercial building with several offices.
As you head over to 215 Orange Grove Ave, you’ll find The Porter House, which is one of South Pasadena’s oldest homes. Andrew O. Porter, headed the committee which subdivided the lands of San Gabriel Orange Grove Association in 1874. Built in 1875, this Queen Anne style house, has been passed on to four owners in total. It’s currently occupied by the owner’s daughter.
The majestic, Torrence-Childs House built in 1902, is a three story English Tudor style house with 8 bedroom and 5 baths. This 13,000 SF home was once occupied by Jared Sidney Torrance, founder of the City of Torrance in 1912, and named it the “Rose Hedge”.
If you are interested in joining the Sierra Club for their next historic walk, please visit www.sierraclub.org/angeles/pasadena
Leslie Bohling is a real estate agent at Pasadena Views Real Estate Team Inc. Leslie can be reached at 626-628-6066 and is available to help with home sales and purchases in the Greater Pasadena area.