Protecting Altadena from Wildfire by Mark Goldschmidt Our scenic mountain backdrop is Altadena’s greatest amenity, yet also poses our greatest danger. The precipitous slopes of crumbly rock are covered with shrubs and grasses that have evolved to burn, and in the hot,...
Letter from the Chair We are dedicated to protecting, preserving, and raising awareness of our foothill community’s rich architectural, environmental, and cultural heritage. How we do that is through public events, advocating for change with the County, gathering and...
A “Collection of Collections” Altadena Heritage is known for its advocacy, preservation, and activism — things like helping to build parks, the Golden Poppy Awards, getting the Farmers Market started, planting trees. But we also maintain important paper and digital...
Streetlight Update & Call to Action By Mark Goldschmidt In an article in AH’s Fall/Winter 2019 Newsletter, “Change Coming to Nighttime Streets,” we wondered what night time lighting would be like with the coming inevitable change to LEDs. When I contacted Inez...
A Short History of Fire and Fire Protection in Altadena By Mike Manning The following story, somewhat abridged here, appeared in the January 1994 edition of “Peaks at Altadena”, a monthly news magazine put out by the Manning family, Mike, Sean, Julie and Stacy. It had...
Owen Brown Event at Mountain View Mausoleum We held our April Third Thursday event in the beautiful upstairs courtyard terrace at the Mountain View Mausoleum. Three panelists told the incredible story behind the restoration of Owen Brown’s gravesite in Altadena’s...
Theo’s View… Notes From the Wild Side of the Urban Interface By Michele Zack “Almost like clockwork… I can count on it every 10 years,” Theo says, sounding philosophical. He’s referring to the wildfires that have forced him to evacuate his mountain home in Altadena...
Wildfire Insurance Heating Up By Val Zavala When my husband and I bought a home in Eagle Rock in 2004 we were unpleasantly surprised that our previous fire insurance company would not insure us, they said our home was in a high-risk wildfire area. So, we had to get...
Altadena is an unincorporated community of 43,000 sited on an outwash plane beneath the abruptly rising San Gabriel Mountain Range and between the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon.
Altadena is 13 miles northeast of the city of Los Angeles and directly north of the city of Pasadena. Founded at the time of Southern California’s land boom of the 1880s, the town’s uniqueness derives from a distinct history, “live free or die” culture, and stunning physical setting.
Architecturally diverse with significant examples of every style of home from modest Craftsman bungalow to Italianate mansion and Modernist gem–Altadena has also been a racially diverse community since the 1960s.
Why Support Altadena Heritage?
At Altadena Heritage we put on events and programs every year. Our board of directors – a varying group who have joined because they love where we live and want to help Altadena become a more lively and vibrant community – gather once a month and we plot.
We ask ourselves: How can we raise awareness of what we have here in our community? How can we help our citizens become more connected to each other, to this place and to its history? What would make our community better and how can we promote positive change?
Members propose ideas for programs, events, and newsletter articles to address these questions, and our board works together to make things happen. This is the community service we do at Altadena Heritage, we find it enjoyable and deeply gratifying.
The fact is, our unincorporated community needs Heritage; we have no city government – and maybe that’s good – but this means we have to advocate for ourselves, to lobby for the community we want, and to work with others in a positive, constructive way. Because we’ve been active for over 30 years, and incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization since 1987, we have gained respect and standing. We give Altadena a voice that is heard in town and by the County.
In our office at the Community Center we maintain an archive on most buildings in Altadena, and virtually all built before 1940. Please make an appointment to research the history of your (or any) home. We are currently working to organize and update the archive and to migrate our computer database on to a modern platform.
• Fabulous annual holiday celebration – every year in a different Altadena gem
• Annual Golden Poppy Garden Awards and garden luncheon in a beautiful Altadena garden
• Tours of local homes and showcase gardens
• Invitations to special events like the Boho-Highbrow event, and our AHA!s – Altadena Heritage Areas where we hold a street party and celebrate special Altadena enclaves and neighborhoods
• Heritage of Abundance – past programs and workshops have included:
Urban homesteading & sustainable living
Restoring your old windows
Starting native plants and produce from seed
Growing fruit in the shadow of the San Gabriels
• Receive our newsletter
• Get access to our architectural archives and database
• Have a voice in advocating for a better Altadena
Altadena Heritage Events
Altadena Heritage engages the community with a variety of educational and celebratory public events. We have only one general members’ meeting each year --our Annual Members Meeting & Holiday Celebration -- a festive occasion where we also vote in board members. Other events are open to the public, either free or with a member discount.
We hold our Golden Poppy Garden Awards & Garden Party each spring in a different glorious Altadena garden. Other events repeat irregularly when we are inspired. The AHA! (Altadena Heritage Area) Program celebrates special places or neighborhoods around town, and we have dedicated seven since 2000, most recently the “Equestrian Block” (2013) which honored Altadena’s Equestrian Heritage with a lively program at Altadena Stables.
We offer most of our educational events at Altadena Community Center, for free or at nominal cost. Our Heritage of Abundance Sustainability Series has addressed such topics as Growing Fruit Trees in the Shadow of the San Gabriels, a Tomato Workshop demonstrating ways to process home-grown tomatoes, Old Window Restoration, Affordable Gray Water Systems, Make your Home Energy Efficient, and many more. A recurring theme we’ve revisited over the years has been water: how it gets to us, and how we can use it efficiently.
We’ve sponsored a few home/garden/studio tours over the years, and special one-off programs, include such past events as Breakfast at Nuccios, our tour of Homes of Altadena Artists, and our Modernist Homes in Altadena tour and many others.
Board of Directors
Linda World, chair
Jinghuan Liu Tervalon, vice chair
Justin Pinchot, secretary
Martin Zacks, treasurer
David Mosher, assistant treasurer