On Saturday, July 12, 2014, the Colorado Street Bridge's 36th anniversary was celebrated. The original landmark bridge was built in 1913. "After decades of advocacy, struggle, debate and negotiation, the seismic upgrade and restoration was completed in December, 1993. A huge crowd turned out at the Pasadena Heritage's celebration on the Bridge on which has been a signature event since 1978," stated Blair Smith – Communication Coordinator of the Heritage organization.
My friend and neighbor (Opal Joseph) and I attended the anniversary celebration. The event was celebrated with food and beverages, children's activities, entertainment, and other festivities. It was fun. We enjoyed the day learning about Pasadena's early years.
According to Smith, the Heritage organization, which was founded in 1977, provides a powerful voice for the preservation of historic buildings, neighborhoods and cultural resources, resulting in the city now being nationally recognized as a leader in historic preservation. "The second largest preservation organization in California, Pasadena Heritage has played a major role in such success stories as the revitalization of Old Pasadena and the restoration of City Hall, the Main Library, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Colorado Street Bridge, the Rose Bowl, the former YWCA, Bullock's Pasadena (now Macy's), and homes and neighborhoods across the city," stated Mr. Smith.
My great grandparents came to Pasadena in the late 1800's and my mother's father, Willis E. Coleman, Sr., was born in Pasadena at that time. He attended the Pasadena City School system, and most of my family is now buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. My grandmother, Bessie M. Coleman, also on my mother's side, came to Pasadena in 1910. She met and married my grandfather in 1912. Our family is one of the oldest black families in Pasadena.
To join the Pasadena Heritage and become a part of one of the city's most influential organization's, visit pasaenaheritage.org or call 626-441-6333 for more information on Pasadena's heritage.
[Pasadena Heritage, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in and around Pasadena, California. The organization advocates on behalf of historic resources, educates the public about local history and the benefits of preservation, and demonstrates quality restoration through its own preservation projects. Its 2000-plus members are drawn from Pasadena and neighboring communities, and throughout Southern California. www.pasadenaheritage.org. Wanda Nelson, resident of Altadena and is a staff assistant at The Journal.]
[Photos courtesy of Blair Smith, Communications Coordinator, Pasadena Heritage.]