Pasadena Museum of History presents Starting Anew: Transforming Pasadena 1890 – 1930, an exhibition that explores the city’s private and public sector development by examining themes such as: Why did people come to Pasadena? Why did they choose to stay? Where did they live and what did they see and do? What local, national, or international influences served as a catalyst for the city’s remarkable transformation? Visitors can see historic images, documents, artwork, clothing, and ephemera, and research compiled over decades by scholars, PMH staff, and volunteers.
The 40 years between 1890 and 1930 were a dynamic time in Pasadena’s history. The area changed rapidly from a small agricultural community to a renowned winter resort and bustling young city. Newcomers came for many reasons. They were taken by the region’s natural beauty and the opportunities associated with its growth and potential. It was an appealing place to launch a new venture, or in some cases, to start over. The railroad provided convenient and affordable transportation to the appropriately nicknamed “Crown City.” Luxurious resort hotels sprung up and a town grew, providing opportunities for real estate investments and starting commercial and service businesses. Pasadena was changing significantly, fashioned by a rapidly burgeoning population and its hopes, dreams, and achievements.
The exhibition also features the legacy of Museum benefactors Eva and Aldalbert Fenyes. After arriving in Pasadena as newlyweds in 1896, this sophisticated couple quickly embraced the city as their new home. They purchased real estate, developed businesses, and contributed to the cultural and artistic development of Pasadena. Their 1906 Beaux Arts mansion is an important component of the exhibit storyline, providing visitors with a glimpse into what life was like on Pasadena’s landmark Millionaire’s Row in the early 1900s.