Old meets new in Pasadena

Fix up a classic house, fix up a great city — that's what they do in this LA suburb

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In a region where sprawl has created poorly planned, faceless neighborhoods, there's a hunger for an alternative. That craving is born of a desire to recapture a community ideal that seems to be slipping away. Pasadena is less an exercise in nostalgia than about being a bridge between the past and what is to come. And in the finest Craftsman tradition, it all begins at home.

"It's not just about architecture but about people," says Bungalow Heaven resident Patty Judy. "There's a spirit to our house, and not in some ghostly way. My husband put together a list of the people who have lived here. This house was a place of protection, a place that helped them, just as it is for us. We know we're part of a long line of people who have lived in this house. Now we're the ones taking care of it."

VITAL STATS

POPULATION: 136,237

YEAR INCORPORATED: 1886

MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $535,000

MEDIAN AGE OF RESIDENTS: 34.5

NAME: While the area's Native American settlers were the Hahamogna, "Pasadena" is said to come from a Chippewa word meaning "crown of the valley."

FAMOUS PRAISE: In 1911 Theodore Roosevelt said of the Arroyo Seco, "This arroyo would make one of the greatest parks in the world."

NUMBER OF TREES: An estimated 425,000

BUILDINGS ON NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES: 1,000

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