Cal Poly Pomona

Historic Preservation in the Unincorporated Community of Altadena, California

A Web Page on Historic Preservation in the San Gabriel Valley

Ana Maria C. Whitaker A.I.C.P.
Urban and Regional Planning Department

Altadena is an unincorporated area within Los Angeles County, located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.The area has a Town Council that provides a web page with historical information ( which includes a early map of the area and a detailed timeline. It has a rich history, well described by Michelle Zack in her publication Altadena: Between Wilderness and City (2004). It also includes the timelime described above.(p.210-215). Altadena has many outstanding structures representing Victorian, Craftsman, Revival and Modern architectural styles.

The Altadena Town Council has officially adopted the Deodar Cedar (Cedrus Deodara) as its community tree.The official flower is the golden poppy which is also the official flower of the State of California ( symbols of this community are included in their seal together with the mountains, and the date of establishment (1887).

Local groups have worked to identify and preserve several sites of importance. Altadena has one (1)California Historic Landmark, two (2) Historic Districts and seven (7) sites, the last two designated by the National Register of Historic Places(one site, Christmas Tree Lane,is also a California Historic Landmark). Please see below for larger images and descriptions of each property.

California Historic Landmarks*

Location: Santa Rosa Ave, both sides of street from Woodbury Ave to Altadena Dr.

NO 990.The 135 Deodar Cedar trees were planted in 1885 by the Woodbury Family, the founders of Altadena. First organized by F.C. Nash in 1920, the 'Mile of Christmas Trees' has been strung with 10,000 lights each holiday season through the efforts of volunteers and the Christmas Tree Lane Association. It is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in Southern California*.Michelle Zack describes the plantings of the trees from seed and the development of the road, with" "substantial arroyo stone drains", as a entrance to a mansion that was never built by the Woodbury family (2004.p.69) .

*State of California

Historical Districts Designated by the National Register of Historical Places**




(added 2002 - Los Angeles County - #02001187)
396 E. Mariposa St., Altadena (12 acres) Period of Significance:                   1900-1924, 1925-1949

This house belonged to the writer Zane Grey.




(added 1997 - District - #97000027)
Also known as Altadena Park;Davies,William D. Memorial Building;Farnsworth
568 E. Mt. Curve Ave., Altadena

Period of Significance: 1925-1949

it was designed by Charles H. Kyson as a recreation center and park and it includes a meeting hall, a outdoor bowl and an expansive park.

Historical Structures Designated by the National Register of Historical Places**

(added 1993 - Building - #93001463)
Also known as the "Frederick J. Woodbury House "
2606 N. Madison Ave., Altadena


Period of Significance: 1875-1899

This house was built by Frederick Woodbury,early Altadena pioneer between 1882 and 1898. It was designed by Frederick Roehric and later by Hamilton Ridgeway.



(added 1997 - Building - #97000751)
Also known as the Fair Oaks Ranch
2186 Crary St., Altadena


Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924

This privately owned property,hidden behind walls and gates, was one of the original houses in Altadena

(added 1978 - Building - #78000678)
1337 E. Boston St., Altadena

Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Built in 1911 by unknown builder.

Historic person Gregory Jackson

(added 1977 - Building - #77000295)
Also known as Altadena Substation
2245 N. Lake Ave., Altadena


Period of Significance: 1900-1924
privately owned.

(added 1999 - Building - #99000893)
Also known as Pasadena Waldorf School
209 E. Mariposa St., Altadena

Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949


(added 1993 - Site - #92001522)
Located north of Altadena in the Angeles National Forest
Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949

This federally owned property was built in the years 1893,1900,and 1905 by David J. Macpherson under the
auspices of Thaddeus Lowe .

**National Register of Historic Places