Throwback Thursday | Four Lives of the Vista del Arroyo

If the above building was a cat, what might it say?

PHOTO: Rick Thomas photography | News | This historic Pasadena building has served many masters (2019) 

The Vista del Arroyo hotel and bungalows once graced the Arroyo Seco near the Colorado Street Bridge. From 1943 to 1949, however, it served another purpose, and then two more after that!

If this building was a cat, it has already lived four of its nine lives. Can you name all four in order? (see answer below)

PHOTO: Rick Thomas Collection | News | Magazine advertisement: Vista del Arroyo hotel and bungalows (1932)


First Life: Vista del Arroyo hotel 

Second Life: U.S. Army Hospital

Third Life: Federal Office Building

Fourth Life: U.S. Court of Appeals 

Next Life: Emergency Shelter (during the Zombie Apocalypse)


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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here