Pasadena has a rich history in hotels going back to it’s earliest days as a city in the 19th century. Hospitality, the railroad, and wonderful weather were among major reasons for its growth.
The Hotel Green was one of the earliest hotels built, along with The Raymond about a mile to its south. Located in Old Town Pasadena at the corner of Raymond & Green, the first portion of the Hotel Green was built in 1887. Actually it was first named the Webster Hotel. But Webster, due to financial difficulties, shortly sold out to his friend Colonel G.G. Green. Additions to the hotel would be made over the next 20 years, extending west across Raymond Avenue.
It’s Moorish design gives it a castle-like appearance. Certainly eye catching appeal even to this day. This is not meant to be an exhaustive history of the Hotel/Castle Green by any means – just a short chapter in its long storied past in this city. Please take note that at least once each year Castle Green gives tours to the public for a nominal fee. There is a tour this April as a matter of fact. I recommend you check it out if you’re a Pasadenan or just like architectural history.
The Green has been a major social center since its inception. In 1891 President Benjamin Harrison visited Pasadena and the hotel. Many gentlemen came to fill its largest hall to see the President. I have a photo of that somewhere! John D. Rockefeller, and President’s Cleveland & Teddy Roosevelt are just a few of the dignitaries who have felt the hospitality of the Green.
And of course, all kinds parties have been held at the Green. Such as the above, “Tacky Party is Planned for Green”: Hotel Green will be the scene of a unique party this evening. (They don’t give wild parties like that anymore! Or, do they??)
Most of the original big resort hotels would meet their death in the 1930’s. This was the period of The Great Depression and it even affected the wealthy who came to visit and/or live in Pasadena. It didn’t help that newer, “better” hotels continued to be built.
The bridge over Raymond Avenue connecting the original east wing with the remaining West Wing would meet an earlier death in 1929. With it’s blood supply line now figuratively cutoff, it’s no surprise the original Green hotel east of Raymond Avenue (except for a 1 story slice at the corner of Green & Raymond) would meet its own demolition by 1935.
What remains of the Hotel Green is now called the Castle Green. The hotel has conformed into condos/apartments. I suppose who can blame evolution or progress for that. However, during its long history the Hotel Green has suffered many ownership and name changes! Recall, it was the Webster before it was the Green! Hotel Pasadena and Hotel Parkview were other names for instance!
But, to get back to the articles, as you can read above and below, in 1924 they were already believing the Hotel Green’s best days as a hotel were in the past. In fact just a decade later the original hotel would be basically destroyed. Nevertheless its remains remain a Pasadena historical landmark.
“Castle Green is a thoroughly Class A building.” “Pasadena may well be proud of Castle Green and no work I have ever untaken has given me greater pleasure.”
Gotta Get Ready. Stay Thirsty My Friends