Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Busch Gardens Pasadena: Gateway

If you ever get a chance to hear Michael Logan speak about Pasadena's Busch Gardens, go listen and enjoy yourself. He's got a great collection of photos and post cards, he's knowledgeable, and best of all he loves his subject. Last Saturday Logan spoke to a crowded auditorium at Westridge School before we headed out in tour groups to find the traces of Busch Gardens.

My first two posts about these traces are here and here. Today's photo is of one of the pillars that marked the entryway to Busch Gardens at Arroyo Blvd. and Busch Gardens Drive. There were originally two of these (if I remember correctly what Logan said), one at either side of the entrance, and the ticket takers sat beside them. During his lecture before the tour to benefit Pasadena Heritage, Logan showed a couple of rare, early photos of the ticket takers at their posts.

For the first couple of years there was no charge to enter the grounds, but soon they started charging 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children, a high price in the years before the first World War. As Bellis mentioned in comments yesterday, the proceeds went to charity.

Care of the gardens required the employment of 40 full-time gardeners. Adolphus Busch died in 1913 and Lilly Anheuser Busch died in 1928. The gardens remained open until 1938.

26 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

A lovely series, Petrea ~ I'm glad that at least traces still remain. This one would make a pretty postcard!

Sarah said...

oh, It's a lovely place!

mark said...

A beautiful photo indeed. If that pillar could only talk. Some stone mason put alot of skill into building it and it still stands today. I think it deserves a historical plaque. Great post. Your award winning blog never disappoints.

Katie said...

Wonderful photo. It's fascinating learning about this former garden and seeing little hints of its former grandeur. I absolutely must go on a tour led by Michael Logan. I love how his interest in Busch Gardens started by collecting vintage postcards!

Petrea said...

It was really fun to walk around in this lovely neighborhood and find these old treasures peeking out of bushes and ivy.

Mark, this town is full of stuff made from these old stones. "River rocks", we call them. They're from the Arroyo and people have used them in retaining walls, garden walls and pillars.

Bellis said...

I've walked past that pillar many times but never saw it until Michael took away the ivy. Wonder what the slot was for? An honesty box for paying when there was no-one at the ticket office?

It occurs to me that if Busch Gardens were still in operation today, it would have to have a large car park - perhaps covering most of the flat area near the river.

Petrea said...

I'm such an optimist, Bellis. I'd like to think that if Busch Gardens were still in operation, we'd still have the trolley.

Latino Heritage said...

Lovely series.

Michael Coppess said...

It is fun seeing these old river rock or arroyo stone pillars still holding forth after all these years. There's really nothing like them. Great series!

Greg Sweet said...

It's little bits of history like this that I found hidden around the San Gabriel Mountains that attracted me to them in the first place. I also enjoy finding them around Pasadena & Altadena.

They would be more obvious if it weren't for the importation of English and Algerian ivies.

Petrea said...

Bellis mentioned in her comment that Michael Logan pulled the vines away from this one and that's what he said--it was covered until he uncovered it. He's been sleuthing about to find these traces. He even found things in the back yards of private homes and the people didn't even know the stuff was there because it had been so overgrown.

TheChieftess said...

How fun to explore the remnants of these gardens...who knew???!!!

Greg Sweet said...

I'm glad you let me have [temporary] fun with your photos! I added two black dots...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4643164263_d7f582a4bd_o.jpg

Ms M said...

Looks like it was a gorgeous place back in the day. It's fun to see these traces and learn the story.

Bellis said...

Greg, that's so sweet. Now I'll always see that little face when I walk past the pillar.

Petrea said...

I may never walk past that pillar again!

lewi14 said...

What a lovely shot. I like it.

Dina said...

Forty gardeners?!! OK, I'm starting to get the scope of Busch Gardens.

Petrea said...

Blogger comments are working strangely lately--a couple of your comments have come to my email but aren't showing up here. Anyway, thank you Natalie and Amy. Maybe they'll show up here eventually. Amy, this particular Busch Garden had no rides, although it had amusements like statues and follies.

Yes, Dina, it was highly manicured in some spots, with terraces, fountains and even an artificial geyser.

Rosemary said...

I would love this photo as a card - don't you have some of your photos available that way?

TheChieftess said...

I'm having trouble with blogger too...comments not coming, and blogs I'm following not showing up in the dashboard when posted...

Petrea said...

Rosemary, I tried that early on, but it was a lot of work and I was the only one who bought them!

Maybe blogger is getting too big for its britches, eh, Chieftess?

TheChieftess said...

Especially if they don't fully address the copyright infringement issue re: *PhotosWorldNew* blog site...

Word press is looking better and better....

Petrea said...

Tell it, sister. I'm lodging a complaint.

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Anonymous said...

I love how his interest in Busch Gardens started by collecting vintage postcards!