Pasadena Beautiful Foundation works with individuals, community organizations and the City to restore, renew and protect Pasadena’s parks, urban forests and public spaces.
Immediate Past President
2019-2020 Board Members
Where We Started“Pasadena Beautiful came into being on a balmy spring evening in 1960 at the popular east-side dining spa known as Gwinn’s Restaurant. Everyone was in a jolly mood that night (someone had spiked the punch) so that by 10 o’clock, the otherwise rather somber assembly of doctors, dentists, attorneys and City Fathers were ready for action! The instructed John Holmes–late Judge Holmes–to record enough signatures (14 or 15, as I recall) and file the proper charter documents in Sacramento that would entitle us to a self-sustaining, non-profit entity on our own, totally independent of the Chamber of Commerce, as was the case of Los Angeles Beautiful.
Since then our course and compass have undergone many changes as we rather stumblingly sought a magic formula that would stamp out all ugliness and produce parcels of beauty everywhere. Eventually, we realized that our best approach would be to applaud and reward others for maintaining–even uplifting–high standards of excellence in design, whether in architecture, preservation and planting of tree, or landscaping. This seemed to work! And we are pleased that we have made great strides in helping erase the careless, shoddy post-war 50’s. Much is left to learn and do, but we hope to be constantly honing our goals and ideals, and putting firmly “on-line” all our scheduled events, large or small, such as the Annual Awards…Golden Arrow presentations…and the city-wide far-reaching Pasadena Beautiful Day.
Meanwhile, may we pledge that, with favorable winds blowing our way, enthusiasm on full speed ahead, and creative camaraderie manning the wheel, we will see our beloved city returned to its rightful place as one of the most enviable, livable and absolutely delightful communities on this planet!”
Mary Fran Russell – Founding Board Member
read more about our history