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South Pasadena Historical Museum

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The building was constructed circa 1887 and is designated as South Pasadena Landmark #5. In 1982 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property in the South Pasadena Historic Business District. It is among a small number of comparably old wood frame buildings in the city and represents the earliest type of structures seen in the town’s commercial district before the turn of the twentieth century. The two-story, redwood building originally operated as a general store. Over time it has served as a hotel, ticket office, telegraph station, bicycle shop, chapel, and school. In 1943, this and adjacent utility structures, now demolished, became the site of a foundry known as Meridian Iron Works, which remained through the 1970s. The City of South Pasadena acquired the property, and due to its age and significance as a resource for community history, undertook extensive rehabilitation of the property in 1986.

Today, the building houses the South Pasadena Historical Museum operated by the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. The museum displays a permanent collection of artifacts from the earliest history of South Pasadena and the entire San Gabriel Valley. Occasionally the museum will show private collections.

Exterior 2016
 913 Meridian Ave
South Pasadena, CA

Hours of Operation
Thursdays - 3pm to 8pm
Saturdays - 1pm to 4pm

 Old Roof

Old Roof

New Roof
New Roof

Exterior 1950
Exterior c1950

Exterior 2016
Exterior 2016

In January 2016, the City contracted with Architectural Resources Group (ARG) and architectural colorist and designer, Alisa Smith, to assist with historic preservation planning and provide full architectural services, including research on the physical and use history of the facility (through photographs, city documents, and online resources), analysis on the exterior color of the museum, and monitoring to ensure compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

During the August 18, 2016 Cultural Heritage Commission meeting, a presentation was made to solicit feedback regarding the repainting of the Meridian Iron Works Museum. The building is a rare and important historic resource for the City and the City’s goal is that its rehabilitation proceeds according to recognized preservation practices.

ARG assisted in the selection process to ensure contractor demonstrates experience with historic preservation projects and technical understanding of historic preservation treatments. The City awarded contract to K.C. Restoration who demonstrated an understanding of the project, and has a team of qualified specialists trained under the guidelines of the American Institute of Conservation Code of Ethics and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Prior to the start of the painting project, the museum received a much needed new roof which was completed on September 16, 2016. The painting project was completed on November 7, 2016.