AKA: Pasadena City Hall #1, Pasadena, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - city halls

Designers: Brown, Carroll H., Architect (firm); Driscoll, C.F., Architect (firm); Carroll Herkimer Brown (architect); C. F. Driscoll (architect)

Dates: constructed 1902-1903

2 stories

view all images ( of 1 shown)

Pasadena, CA

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map


This was the first, purpose-built city hall erected in Pasadena, CA. The city was incorporated in 1886, and utilized borrowed or rented facilities prior to the construction of this building in 1902-1903.

Building History

Pasadena, CA, became a an incorporated city in 1886, largely as a means of limiting the availability of alcohol within city limits. No dedicated city hall was built, however, during the span 1886 and 1902. Instead, Pasadena city government occupied at least two leased buildings during this 16-year span. The first was in the former Central School, which became the Pasadena Athletic Club for a short time in 1891. During the mid-1890s, the city leased space in the building at 43-45 North Fair Oaks Avenue, on the northwest corner of Union Street. It stood above the Boston Cash Dry Goods House store in 1899. (See "News from SOuthern California Towns," Los Angeles Times, 06/05/1899, p. 11.)

In 1901, Pasadena voters approved a new city governmental structure, with an elected mayor and a city charter. For this more professionalized city government, residents agreed that an expenditure be made to construct a new city hall. This occurred in 1902 and 1903. Unfortunately, the construction of the new city hall disputes delayed its completion. Labor problems occurred as did financial disputes with the architect and contractors. These issues were resolved after about a year of negotiating.

Alterations were made by Pasadena architect, C.F. Driscoll, c. 11/1912; Driscoll added two rooms for use by the Board of Health and the City Chemist. These were to occupy space between the main city hall building and the jail, on the second floor.

PCAD id: 7250