The City of Pasadena and the Tournament of Roses turned the lights on in Defenders Parkway on Thursday evening at sunset. Defenders Parkway is a small island of green space set amid converging rivers of asphalt—the 210 Freeway, Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards, and freeway on and off ramps—at the north end of Grand Avenue. Small, and not well-lit until the switch was thrown on nine streetlamps.
The Tournament of Roses contributed $56,000 to the $69,707 project, which will enhance the security of the area. The lights use LED technology to reduce energy and maintenance costs.
A nighttime drive through Pasadena reveals that each neighborhood has its own style of streetlights. Ever mindful of neighborhood aesthetics, the city designed the fixtures to match existing streetlights, with tall stone poles topped by torch-shaped globes.
The centerpiece of Defenders Parkway is a granite monument dedicated to troops who fought for our country. While according to the City of Pasadena webite it is unknown who designed and placed the monument and when it was erected, it was certainly prior to World War II. The text reads “Defender’s Parkway Dedicated by Mothers of the Defenders of the Flag Soldiers Sailors Marines Who So Gallantly Responded to our Country’s Call 1776 1861 1898 1917.”
Photos of the monument and the parkway prior to the installation of lighting can be found in the archives of Pasadena Daily Photo.
Participants in the lighting ceremony were Tournament of Roses Executive Vice President Rich Chinen, who will be the President of the 2015 Tournament; Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard; Councilmember Steve Madison; and City Manager Michael Beck. The four unveiled a plaque commemorating the Tournament’s long-standing commitment to the Pasadena community.
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