The enchanting, historic architecture of Pasadena

Things to do


There are over 30 historic and landmark districts packed into 23 square miles in Pasadena.

Tag #visitpasadena to be featured!

Touring the Architecture of Pasadena

Simply by visiting the city’s cultural and academic attractions, you’ll see everything from Beaux Arts and Spanish Revival to Craftsman and Northern Chinese Imperialist. With tree-lined streets of iconic craftsman bungalows by Henry and Charles Green and 1920s revival style historic landmarks in the vibrant downtown centers, Pasadena is a pioneer in the historic preservation movement and a must-see American architectural destination. (Hero photo credit @tommy.lei)

Self-Guided Tours

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.