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Travel to U.S.: West: Los Angeles 4: Photo 1

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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 the same year that the lavish Raymond Hotel began attracting eastern tourists in search of pleasant winters. Sunshine and oranges spurred growth--the city 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 the city's difficulties, the ironically named Arroyo Seco ("dry stream") flooded disastrously in 1938. This flood-control channel, 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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