Notes on the Geography of The Western United States: Los Angeles 4: Photo 1
Although it can be traced back even beyond the San Gabriel Orange Growers' Association, Pasadena was not incorporated until 1886. That was a year after it was connected by rail to Los Angeles, and it was the same year that the lavish Raymond Hotel began attracting eastern tourists in search of pleasant winters. Sunshine and oranges spurred growth--Pasadena tripled from 10,000 people in 1900 to 30,000 in 1910--and the city entered what people remember now as its golden age. The Great Depression hit hard. Compounding difficulties, the ironically named Arroyo Seco flooded disastrously in 1938. The flood-control channel shown here, built by the Army Corps of Engineers, was the response. Parallel to it, and barely visible here, is the Arroyo Seco Parkway, built at the same time. It was the West's first freeway and a mixed blessing, because it made Pasadena a Los Angeles suburb.
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