South Pasadena

7Centrally located in the West San Gabriel Valley, South Pasadena is known for its tree-lined streets, historic California Craftsman-style homes, unique small businesses and its outstanding public schools. The small town atmosphere makes South Pasadena one of California’s most desirable locations.  Less than three and one-half square miles in area, South Pasadena lies between the far larger City of Pasadena, of which it was once part, and the metropolis of Los Angeles. Small, proud and independent, the City of South Pasadena has battled for a hundred years to preserve its status as a distinct—and distinctive—community.

With one quick hop onto the 110-freeway south towards Los Angeles you can reach your professional destination or the beautiful beaches of southern California, leaving your peaceful home behind.  This small but active community has united over the last thirty-five years to fight against the intrusion of a freeway through their city.  With that behind them, the city has welcomed the Metro, making public transportation both pleasant and functional.

South Pasadena is the perfect city to raise a family and offers a wonderful community environment.   June through August, take in a free concert at Garfield Park.   The famous Fair Oaks Pharmacy, which has been open and pretty much unchanged since the early 1900s, is popular with families.  Mission Street is lined with small businesses designed to accommodate the local shopper.  The Farmers Market sets up on Thursday’s in Metro Square, providing the finest organic produce and a wide selection of prepared foods in a family friendly atmosphere.

South Pasadena is also acclaimed for the quality of its schools, with all schools in the district recognized as California Distinguished Schools and scoring high on the standardized tests.  The recently remodeled high school is equipped with all the latest technology and resources, making it one of the most desirable school districts in Los Angeles.

South Pasadena offers a diversity of home styles, ranging from the modern mansion to colonial.  Modern lofts in the craftsman style have recently sprouted up around the Mission Street metro station.   This is an example of the city’s eclectic nature, which merges historic character with modern design.  It is now one of the best-preserved cities, maintaining a small-town quality and humanity in the scale of its buildings, its residential streetscapes and historic commercial core.


In the late 1800s colonists from the Midwest and eastern areas began arriving in the San Gabriel Valley. The initial buildings on the Rancho San Pascual, which subsequently gave birth to the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena and Altadena, were built in South Pasadena. The first of these adobe structures became headquarters for General Flores and his staff in 1847 where they agreed to surrender to American forces, ending Mexican Colonial rule in California.

In early 1874, the area that is now South Pasadena was a part of the San Gabriel-Orange Grove Association. In 1875, the stockholders of the association voted to name their town Pasadena and just three years later, residents living in the southern portion of Pasadena considered themselves South Pasadenans.

Rapid growth resulted in the establishment of the first South Pasadena school district in 1878 and the first post office in 1882. One of the early landmarks, the Raymond Hotel, opened its doors in 1886 and dominated the local hotel market until 1931 when it fell victim to the Great Depression.

On March 2, 1888, South Pasadena officially incorporated with a population of slightly over 500. The City’s boundaries established in 1889 are essentially the same today.   The establishment of the first South Pasadena newspaper came in 1893, the free public library in 1895 and the Women’s Improvement Association in 1899.  The completion of the Pacific Electric Short Line put the entire city within easy walking distance of the “red car” stations, and South Pasadena became one of the first suburbs of Los Angeles.

Source:  City of South Pasadena




750ml Wine Bar & Bistro  966 Mission St.  626-799-0711
Bistro de la Gare  921 Meridian Ave.  626-799-8828
Bistro K   1000 Fremont Ave   626-799-5052
Briganti 1423 Mission Street 626-441-4663
Carmine’s   424 Fair Oaks Ave. 626-799-2266
Firefly Bistro  1009 El Centro Street 626-441-2443
Gus’s Barbecue 808 Fair Oaks Ave.  626-799-3251
Mike & Anne’s  1040 Mission St.  626-799-7199
Shiro Restaurant  1505 Mission St.  626-799-4774



South Pasadena Unified School District

High School
South Pasadena High School 1401 Fremont Ave.  626-441-5825

Middle School
South Pasadena Middle School   1600 Oak St   (626) 441-5761

Elementary Schools
Click here to see a map showing which elementary school your child would attend, based on street address.

Arroyo Vista Elementary 335 El Centro Street  (626) 441-5840
Marengo Elementary 1400 Marengo Ave. (626) 441-585
Monterey Hills Elementary 1624 Via Del Rey  (626) 441-5860

Holy Family School  1301 Rollin Street
S.E.E.D.S.  1101 Arroyo Verde Rd.  323-258-9890

Calvary Preschool  1050 Fremont Ave. (626) 799-0385
Oneonta Cooperative Nursery School 1515 Garfield Ave.  (626) 799-3105
St James Parish Day School   1325 Monterey Rd  (626) 799-6906‎