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Day 289: Take a Stroll Down Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge

What a beautiful day to day was.  There’s just something about the crispness in the air and the beauty of Pasadena after a storm.  My daughter suggested a trip down to Colorado Street Bridge.  Now… we have written about the Colorado Street Bridge and its history before. Many locals know it as the Suicide Bridge. However, today is all about enjoying Pasadena and seeing the beautiful views and skyline.

Colorado Bridge after the rain - Pasadena California

First things first,  how do you get to the Colorado Street Bridge and where do you park?  It can be a bit confusing trying to figure out how to get out onto the bridge.  The easiest thing to do is to take Orange Grove Blvd to Green Street and turn left, if you’re driving North on Orange grove (yes… this is where our one way Green Street is actually going both ways!)  Make an immediate right onto Grand and park immediately.  The street dead ends and there’s a pathway on your left that will take you immediately onto the bridge.

Pathway to Colorado Bridge Pasadena

As you stroll the Colorado Bridge, on your left, you’ll see the Historic Castle Green Vista del Arroyo Hotel, turned into a military hospital during World War II and now the home of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (thanks to Diana B – see comment below.)  An old military base a little further on and just some of the most beautiful sights in Pasadena… I’m not going to tell you anymore… Your job is to go out and explore!  Take beautiful photos and share some on our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena!

Suicide Bridge Lamp Pasadena

Suicide Bridge Pasadena California

Photography by Sasha Netchaev

UPDATE:  Found this great article on the Colorado Bridge at FranksReelReviews.  Here’s an excerpt:

In Pasadena’s early days, before the historic Colorado Street Bridge was built, crossing the Arroyo Seco (a deeply cut canyon linking the San Gabriel Mountains to the Los Angeles River) was an extremely difficult task. Horses and wagons had to descend the steep eastern slope, cross the stream over a smaller bridge, and then climb up the west bank through Eagle Rock Pass.

That all changed in 1913 when J.A.L. Waddell designed and built the 150 ft. high, 1,467 ft. long concrete structure that is the scenic gateway into central Pasadena just northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The bridge would eventually gain notoriety of a rather “curious” kind leading it to eventually become known as the “suicide bridge.”

Rumor has it that in 1913, while the bridge was being built, a construction worker toppled over the side of the bridge and plunged headfirst into a vat of wet concrete below. Assuming he could not be saved, workers left his body in the quick-drying mix to die. Allegedly his soul cries out for other desperate beings. While this tale sounds a bit cartoon-y, it may actually explain why the bridge became a hot spot of sorts during the Great Depression when 95 people jumped to their deaths from 1919 to 1937.

One of the most famous suicide attempts occurred on May 1, 1937, when a despondent mother threw her little baby girl over the railing and then jumped over herself. The mother died, but miraculously, the little girl survived the plunge. Her mother had inadvertently tossed her into some nearby trees, and she was later recovered from the thick branches, scratched up but alive.

During the 1980’s, the bridge would fall into a state of disrepair. The Loma Prieta earthquake that occurred near Oakland in 1989 would lead to the closing of the bridge until funding was finally set aside for repairs. The “Suicide Bridge” underwent a $27 million renovation in 1993, which included the installation of suicide prevention rails and spikes. The bridge has also received a Civil Engineering Landmark designation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Read the rest of the article here.

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