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Running With History Mile 6

Wrigley Mansion, 391 South Orange Grove Avenue

Running With History Mile 6 – Wrigley Mansion, 391 South Orange Grove Avenue: This impressive home, now known as the Tournament House, was constructed in 1914. It was designed by noted Pasadena architect, G. Lawrence Stimson, for his father, George W. Stimson, who a prominent builder in Pasadena and dry goods tycoon. By the time the house was complete, the elder Stimson’s children had grown and moved on, and the home was sold to William W. Wrigley, Jr. for $170,000. This Pasadena mansion was one of the Chicago chewing gum magnate’s 6 homes, which included a residence in Avalon, Catalina Island, also designed by G. Lawrence Stimson. The Pasadena Wrigley Mansion was used as a winter retreat for the family, and later served as the primary residence for Mrs. Wrigley from the time of her husband’s passing in 1932 until her death in 1958. Her heirs then donated the estate to the city of Pasadena as the permanent home of the Tournament of Roses.

At the time of the Wrigley Mansion’s construction, South Orange Grove Avenue was known as “Millionaire’s Row.” This name is owed to a trend that began in the 1890s, when prominent industrialists from the Mid West and East Coast started constructing winter homes along South Orange Grove Avenue, particularly in the area between Colorado Boulevard and Columbia Street. Following the Great Depression and the resulting financial misfortune for many of the homeowners, the mansions of Millionaire’s Row were largely abandoned and fell into disrepair. To address a concerning trend of converting the large estates into boarding houses, the city of Pasadena took action in the Mid-1940s to create a special residential zone that would allow for multiple-unit dwellings of a least 1,400 square feet. This land use pattern is responsible for the present day character of South Orange Grove Avenue, although a few of the great mansions still remain.

Running with History

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