City of Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena

4.7
#5 of 26 in Things to do in Pasadena
Pasadena City Hall, completed in 1927, serves as the central location for city government in the City of Pasadena, California and it is a significant architectural example of the City Beautiful movement of the 1920s.HistoryIn 1923, the people of Pasadena approved a bond measure issuing $3.5 million towards the development of a civic center. City Hall was to be the central element of this center. The San Francisco architecture firm of Bakewell and Brown designed City Hall, which has elements of both Mediterranean Revival Style and Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture. It was completed on December 27, 1927 at a cost of $1.3 million. It measures 361ft by 242ft, and rises 6 stories. There are over 235 rooms and passageways that cover over 170000sqft. The defining dome, located above the west entrance, is 26ft tall and 54ft in diameter. On July 28, 1980 the Civic Center District, including Pasadena City Hall, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as listing #80000813.The City Hall has long been a favorite shooting location for filmmakers. The courtyard was used in the 1995 movie "A Walk in the Clouds" to portray a Napa Valley town square. It has also been used as an embassy in the "Mission: Impossible" television series, and a villa in Charlie Chaplin's Oscar-nominated 1940 film "The Great Dictator." Pasadena City Hall also served as the city hall of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, in the television show Parks and Recreation. The dome is visible through the window of the main characters' apartment building in the television show The Big Bang Theory, set in Pasadena.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
173 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 10, 2017
    A beautiful place. Absolutely worth a drive to walk the stairs and see the views. We walked over in the evening and walked the breathtaking stairs. The architecture is stunning.  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    The City Hall of Pasadena has a lovely little garden. It is in a square of older buildings and I like to walk from the Paseo in to the garden for a stroll by the fountain. I usually head to the librar...  more »
  • July 5, 2017
    The 1927 built in Pasadana City Hall rises in its architectural beauty from the Pasadena Civic Center.
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  • June 21, 2017
    The architectural details to me are stunning. I can't believe this is a city hall?? I love the courtyards in the back and the internal outdoor rotunda.
  • March 2, 2017
    This review is for the building / grounds only. Simply beautiful - you would think this was a statehouse instead of the city hall of a suburban city. Some of you may recognize the facade as part of the opening credits for the NBC sitcom "Parks & Rec" . To the right of the entrance, there is a statue commemorating Jackie Robinson and his brother, both Pasadena natives. Walk inside the building to see the central rose garden. Just a beautifully executed municipal building.
  • January 13, 2017
    I'm really not sure where to even begin with this review! It came up as a place that needed more reviews, but of course that's understandable considering it's the city hall and not a restaurant or hotel! It's actually very pretty with a nice garden. At Christmas there's a big tree lighting ceremony with a large Christmas tree. It's located across from the mall where you get 90 minutes of free parking, so you can always park there and walk over. Directly across from the city hall are two large statues of heads--one of Jackie Robinson and I can't recall who the other is. They're local landmarks and fun for photos, though I'm not sure that they specifically add to the ambiance of the City Hall itself. Would I visit again? Sure, for special events and to let my daughter run around the gardens. Would I go out of my way to see it as a tourist in Pasadena? No.
  • January 11, 2017
    I'm not usually big on municipal buildings, they all seem to give me hives. But the Pasadena City Hall is an exception. The architecture itself is a wonder, intricate and not overbearing. It's airy and yet full of things to look at. Highly recommended.
  • April 24, 2017
    Thank you to the City of Pasadena for allowing a great car meet & tour of the city hall. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

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Where to stay in Pasadena

Pasadena's Old Town extends into the Theater District, and this area is dotted with boutique hotels situated in the center of the city's social scene. Hotels along Mission Street give you easy access to a major shopping district.
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