Known as the birthplace of free Texas, Pasadena was the site of the last battle of the Texas Revolution. Founded in 1893, the city was named after Pasadena, California, because of its landscape and rich vegetation. Pasadena is a suburb of Houston, and the city has the largest all-volunteer fire department in the United States.
Pasadena's population of more than 141,000 enjoys a slightly higher average household income and a lower average housing cost than the rest of Texas. The median age is just over 29 years, which is below the Texas average of around 32 years. Pasadena has a large Latino population.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
- After the Galveston hurricane in 1900, Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, brought 1.5 million strawberryplants to the area. Pasadena rapidly became a thriving agricultural region.
- The nearby Houston Ship Channel and its associated businesses account for much of Pasadena's economy and employ many Pasadena residents.
- NASA's Johnson Space Center provides a large boost to Pasadena's economy.
- A number of oil refineries operate in the area.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
- North Pasadena has many older homes and is closer to the industrial part of the city. There have been reports of air pollution from refineries in North Pasadena.
- Homes in South Pasadena are newer and often part of residential developments. The area is prone to flooding.
- The Clear Lake area (to the southeast) is near NASA and is known for nice homes, but lots of traffic.
- The Pearland area (to the southwest) is growing and has newer neighborhoods.
- Other popular residential areas include Deer Park and LaPorte, on the eastern side of the city.
- In La Porte, about seven miles from Pasadena, is the San Jacinto Monument at the San Jacinto Museum of History. The monument is taller than the Washington Monument and commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto. Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana in this battle that opened the American West. The tower has an observation deck, and the museum is nearby.
- The nearby Space Center Houston is the visitors' center for NASA's Johnson Space Center. Exhibits tell the story of manned space flight, and visitors can touch a moon rock, land a space shuttle, and watch astronauts train. Students between the ages of 15 and 18 can attend Space Camp at the Space Center.
- Pasadena Heritage Park, a collection of early buildings, and the Pomeroy Homestead illustrate early life in the area.
- Pasadena is known as the "Strawberry Capital of the South." Every May as many as 45,000 people celebrate at the Pasadena Strawberry Festival. The festival features a cook-off, a beauty pageant, pig races, and helicopter rides. Volunteers bake the world's largest strawberry shortcake.
- The Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo, held every autumn at the fairgrounds, has a parade, cook-offs, a beauty pageant, and a livestock auction. The rodeo lasts more than a week and showcases specialty acts. Children participate in a Little Wrangler Rodeo.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Since 1955 the Pasadena Little Theatre has presented live stage productions of popular plays. The theater also sponsors children's acting workshops.
- The Stage Door Inc. Center for the Performing Arts and Education presents live theatrical productions and sponsors a youth educational program.
- The Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra performs at San Jacinto College's Slocomb Auditorium. The orchestra fosters children through its Student Music Scholarship Fund.
- Armand Bayou Nature Center is the largest urban wildlife refuge in the country. A boardwalk meanders through the forest and marsh and displays an 1800s farm site. Educational programs are offered.
- The city of Pasadena operates a large number of swimming pools, tennis courts, ball fields, and game-room buildings in 47 parks.
- Clear Lake Park is home to the Bay Area Museum. The park features a playground, fishing, and a boat launch. Picnic areas with barbecue pits are available. The museum is housed in a historic church in the park.
Pasadena sponsors a Youth Basketball League and has tennis and fast-pitch softball teams on which many residents play.
Pasadena residents cheer for Houston's professional sports teams, which include:
- Houston Astros (baseball)
- Houston Rockets (basketball)
- Houston Texans (football)
- Houston Dynamo (soccer)
- Houston Aeros (hockey)
HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE
- Bayshore Medical Center ;
- Vista Medical Center Hospital
- Columbia East Houston Medical Center
- Triumph Hospital East Houston
- Christus St. John Hospital
Pasadena residents have easy access to several colleges and universities in neighboring towns and in Houston, including:
- San Jacinto College-Central Campus
- San Jacinto College-South Campus
- University of Houston-Clear Lake
- University of Houston-University Park
- Texas Southern University
- University of Houston-Downtown
- University of St. Thomas
- Lee College
Pasadena's local newspaper is the Pasadena Citizen. The Houston Chronicle also covers the area.
The dozens of radio and TV stations that air in Pasadena are based almost entirely in Houston.
DID YOU KNOW?
The hit movie Urban Cowboy was filmed in Pasadena.