Throwback Thursday | Altos de Monterey

South Pasadena’s last major redevelopment agency was established over a half-century ago to develop Monterey Hills

PHOTO: South Pasadena Public Library | News | Altos de Monterey billboard located at Monterey and Via del Rey (1962)

In 1962, South Pasadena’s Community Redevelopment Agency offered lots for auction in the Monterey Hills with a starting bid of $20,000.

Altos de Monterey is the city’s last major redevelopment project. All downtown redevelopment initiatives have failed to get off the ground over the previous 55 years.

PHOTO: South Pasadena Public Library | News | Monterey Hills on La Manzanita (1962)

The above photo was taken from La Manzanita Street, depicting the hills after they were graded and paved. In the background (just to the right of the “S” curve) is the future site of Monterey Hills Elementary School.

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Note: In 1906, a city booster slogan claimed South Pasadena is the “City of Happy Homes.” And for more than a century, residents take pride knowing our city is predominantly a neighborhood community.

Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas


Rick Thomas
Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.