Altadena, once considered a sub-division of Pasadena, sits directly north of Pasadena tucked into the San Gabriel Mountains, and is an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. Its name is derived from the Spanish word "Alta" for upper and "dena" from Pasadena. In the 1880’s the area began to attract millionaires from the east coast, who began building mansions in the area. William Kellogg and William Scripps built homes side by side hear Fair Oaks Avenue. Zane Grey purchased a home and added on a second level. The Benziger Publishing Company built a large home of the corner of Mariposa and Santa Rose Ave. – which is now referred to as Christmas Tree Lane. The architect, Wallace Neff, began his career here with the design and construction of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church.
When redlining policies prevented African Americans from purchasing land or acquiring property in much of California, the area of Altadena Meadows was exempt and this area thrived, becoming one of the first middle-class African-American communities in the city. Today the racial makeup of the Altadena is healthy and diverse.
Altadena architecture is also diverse, ranging from classic Craftsman bungalows to modernist gems. It's many points of interest include Christmas Tree Lane, which was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1990. This 0.7 mile stretch of Santa Rosa Ave. between Woodbury Rd and Altadena Dr., annually hosts the oldest and largest display of outdoor holiday lights in the world. Altadena is also known for its wonderful hiking trails, botanical gardens and Farnsworth Park on Lake Ave which offers picnic ground, a club house and an amphitheater. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Altadena is a beautiful place to call home.