Throwback Thursday | Pasadena’s Historic Memorial Flagpole

An often overlooked memorial has more significance than one may think

PHOTO: Rick Thomas | News | War Memorial Flagpole (2019)

Today, the 1927 War Memorial Flagpole stands at a pocket park on the northeast corner of Colorado and Orange Grove. Barely noticeable today as motorists zoom by or sit at the broad intersection waiting for the light to change.

PHOTO; Rick Thomas | News | Pasadena’s War Memorial “Goodhue Flagpole” today

Back in the day, however, motorists couldn’t help but notice the towering flagpole; designed as the grand centerpiece of a traffic circle (about 50 feet from where it stands today).

PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | News | War Memorial Flagpole dedication ceremony on February 12, 1927
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | | Pasadena’s War Memorial Flagpole (1929)

When time permits, notice the memorial as you pass and perhaps say a prayer for the honored dead. Over 100 years ago, the Great War (1914-1918) ended but was not “the war to end all wars” the world had anticipated.

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War Memorial Flagpole (also known as the “Goodhue Flagpole”)

Description: 115-foot steel, teakwood and copper flagpole with bronze relief sculpture and granite base. The flagpole and bronze base sculpture was dedicated Feb. 12, 1927, in memory of the City of Pasadena’s citizens who served in World War I. The names of the dead appear at the base of the pole.

Inscription reads: “In proud remembrance of our glorious dead MCMXVIII”

Architect: Bertram Goodhue

Throwback Thursday is Written and Produced by 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.