Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena, CA
Award Type: Honor Award
There’s no finer city hall in the US than the one that has been a Pasadena landmark for more than 70 years. Now, top-notch craftsmanship, scientific expertise and a commitment to sustainable design have turned this architectural treasure into an example that city officials everywhere should follow.
Pasadena's City Hall is a genuine architectural treasure that brings a touch of the Mediterranean to Southern California. More than 80 years of heavy use, however, took a toll on the landmark's beauty, and the ever-present threat of earthquakes put its very survival at risk. Rather than close the monumental building, the City undertook a $117.5 million renovation to strengthen the building against future seismic activity while restoring its historic features and updating its infrastructure. The resulting gem gleams anew.
Since its opening in 1927, Pasadena City Hall has remained one of the most distinctive public buildings in the country. It is the central feature of the Civic Center, a complex of government, institutional and cultural buildings. Designed by the San Francisco firm of Bakewell and Brown, who found inspiration in the style of the 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, City Hall consists of elaborate cast stone ornamentation, tile roofs, a central garden courtyard and a massive six-story domed tower.