Pasadena City Hall
Pasadena City Hall, completed in 1927, serves as the central location for city government in the City of Pasadena and it is a significant example of the City Beautiful movement of the 1920s.

In 1923, the people of Pasadena approved a bond measure issuing $3.5 million towards the development of a civic center. City Hall was to be the central element of this center. The San Francisco architecture firm of Bakewell and Brown designed the City Beautiful and California Mediterranean of Mediterranean Revival Style and Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture influenced City Hall. It was completed on December 27, 1927 at a cost of $1.3 million. It measures 361 feet (110 m) by 242 feet (74 m), and rises 6 stores. There are over 235 rooms and passageways that cover over 170,000 square feet (16,000 m 2). The defining dome, located above the west entrance, is 26 feet (7.9 m) tall and 54 feet (16 m) in diameter. On July 28, 1980 the Civic Center District, including Pasadena City Hall, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (listing # 80000813) The City Hall has long been a favorite shooting location for filmmakers. The courtyard was used in the 1995 movie "A Walk in the Clouds" to portray a Napa Valley town square. It has also been used as an embassy in the "Mission: Impossible" television series, and a villa in Charlie Chaplin's Oscar-nominated 1940 film "The Great Dictator." Pasadena City Hall currently serves as the city hall of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, in the television show " Parks and Recreation."

Seismic Retrofit
From a distance, Pasadena City Hall has always looked as though it has withstood the test of time. However, by the late 20th century, the building was showing signs of age. The 1920s building did not meet modern building codes, and studies indicated that a major earthquake could potentially destroy several parts of the building and likely result in a loss of life The concrete walls had many deep cracks, and two of the stairway towers had considerable damage. There was also water damage from years of storms with little to no repair and maintenance. In the late 90's, an effort to rehabilitate the aging building began, led by Architectural Resources Group of San Francisco, CA. In July 2004, the building was vacated in order to allow for a complete overhaul of the structure. Over the course of 3 years, all offices and council chambers were renovated, the facade was restored, the building was adapted to meet ADA standards, the building's HVAC systems were replaced and modernized, and new landscaping and architectural lighting was installed all round the complex. In order ensure that the City Hall would withstand future earthquake activity, the building was lifted off its foundation, equipped with structural base isolators, and given a new foundation. The renovation of Pasadena City Hall earned a LEED Gold certification. Following construction, staff moved back to City hall starting in April 2007. City Hall was fully operational again by July. At the time, the Los Angeles Times noted: "In a city where historic preservation is much like a civic obsession, City Hall has long been among the crown jewels of Pasadena, along with the Colorado Street Bridge, the Rose Bowl and the Gamble House. Although the renovation has been among the costliest public works projects in Pasadena, city officials decided that they couldn't risk losing the landmark in another quake."

Building Activity

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