Plan Your Trip
Architecture & Tours
With 16 historical districts packed into 23 square miles, Pasadena has a wealth of incredible architecture to discover.
Architecture Enthusiasts Playground
Experience a guided or self-guided tour in architectural style by visiting the city’s cultural and academic institutions where you’ll see everything from Beaux Arts to Northern Chinese Imperialist.
Designed by Pasadena architects Charles and Henry Greene, the Gamble House is considered to be one of the finest examples of architecture from the American Arts & Crafts Movement. The home was built in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble (of Procter & Gamble). The Gamble House is a National Historic Landmark, and is open for public tours everyday of the week. The house also offers an outdoor Gardens & Gables tour. Learn more…
Greene & Greene Neighborhood Walking Tour
Enjoy a guided walk around the historic Arroyo Terrace neighborhood, a National Register historic district that’s home to nine Greene & Greene houses as well as the works of other noted architects such as Myron Hunt, Edwin Bergstrom, Elmer Grey, and D. M. Renton. Among these are the personal residences of Myron Hunt and of Charles Greene, whose house evolved between 1902 and 1915 as his family grew and his design ideas matured. The tour will also visit the elegant Greene and Greene-designed portals and gates of Westmoreland Place. (Details.)
OLD PASADENA WALKING TOURS
Old Pasadena is a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the best examples of downtown revitalization in the United States. The district’s cobblestone courtyards, quaint alleyways and ornate architecture date back to the 1880s. Tours can be arranged through Pasadena Heritage. The Old Pasadena Walking Tour is offered on the first Saturday of each month throughout most of the year, except January, July and October. Tour info…
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (CALTECH)
The prestigious university is one of the world’s most widely recognized institutions in the studies of science and engineering. Caltech offers architectural tours of the campus and its historic halls, which was built in 1891. Tour info…
10 TOURS OF PASADENA
Use the Explore Pasadena Architecture brochure for these tours. The brochure features 10 neighborhoods with a rare concentration of landmark homes and buildings. The tours range from 1.2 to 4 miles in length and may be explored on foot, by bicycle or car. Pick up copies of the brochure in the Pasadena Visitors Center or download it here.
Tour 4: Oak Knoll
Once the site of a sheep ranch owned by Henry Huntington, Oak Knoll was developed into large estates in the early 1900s. The rolling oak-covered area is now home to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena and an array of impressive estates.
Tour 6: Civic Center & Playhouse District
Planned in the 1920s, the richly detailed buildings, broad boulevards and park-like settings are firmly rooted in a civic axis. Commanding structures include the historic Central Library, Pasadena City Hall with its red-tile dome, and the revered Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Tour 10: Lombardy Road
Returning from European study, the aspiring gentlemen architects of the time created fanciful reconstructions of their remembered visions of rural Spain and Italy. This route passes the California Institute of Technology whose faculty has won 39 Nobel Prizes. End the tour at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens with lunch in the Tea Room.