The Freedom Valley Chronicles: Pasadena Park

The names of three communities in California were utilized to name a neighborhood and its streets in Plymouth Township.  Pasadena Park is located between Johnson, Gravers, Plymouth, Sandy Hill, and Belvoir Roads.  Both split-level houses and ranch-style homes can be found in this residential area.

The housing development of about 50 houses was initially called “Plymouth Park”, according to a news article dated May 3, 1957, in The Philadelphia Inquirer.  The name of the neighborhood was changed to “Pasadena Park” to avoid confusion with another residential area with the “Plymouth Park” name.

The reference may actually be to the neighborhood of “Plymouth Meeting Park” since some individuals abbreviated the name of that residential area to “Plymouth Park”.  “Plymouth Park” was also the name used by landowners for the acreage in the vicinity of the intersection of Germantown Pike and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Years later, “Plymouth Park” was the name given to an apartment complex – still in operation – on Butler Pike and North Lane.

The headline for an advertisement for Pasadena Park in The Philadelphia Inquirer on September 20, 1959, was “You’re On Top Of The World”.  In this advertisement, readers were told that the housing development was on “a lofty hilltop overlooking the scenic beauty of Valley Forge.”

(Valley Forge, it should be noted, is some distance from Plymouth Township.)

Houses here sold for $18,490.00 in 1959, according to that advertisement.

Split-level houses were still being sold at that price in 1961, according to another advertisement for the housing development;  ranch-style homes were being sold for $18,990.00 in the same year.

In June of 2018, according to Montgomery County, deed transfers were filed for the sale of two houses in Pasadena Park.  One house sold for $325,000.00;  the second house sold for $295,000.00.

The builder of the homes in Pasadena Park was Mr. Ralph Bodek.  According to several news reports, he built thousands of homes throughout the Delaware Valley, including in this Montgomery County community as well as in such Delaware County communities of Haverford, Lawrence Park, Upper Darby, and Yeadon.

According to a news article dated December 22, 1959, in The Conshohocken Recorder, local officials announced that Pasadena Park would be among the initial neighborhoods in Plymouth Township to have sewers installed through what is now known as the East Norriton-Plymouth-Whitpain Joint Sewer Authority.

The neighborhood of Pasadena Park is named after Pasadena, California.  This community is known throughout the United States as the home of the Rose Bowl.

The Pasadena City Hall is located at the Pasadena Civic Center and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  According to the City of Pasadena, the City Hall was opened on December 27, 1927.  The City indicated that the original cost for the Pasadena City Hall was $1.3 million.

Monterey Drive was named after Monterey, California.  Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, pictured above, was constructed in 1870.  According to the City of Monterey, the municipal government purchased the wharf in 1913 and reconstructed it several times through the years.

Westwood Circle is named after the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.  One of the more prominent buildings in Westwood is the Los Angeles California Temple, pictured above.  According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Temple was announced by the Church on March 6, 1937.  Groundbreaking took place on September 22, 1951, with the formal dedication on March 11, 1956.  The Los Angeles California Temple, according to a news article dated May 11, 2015, in the Los Angeles Times, “is the second-largest Mormon Temple in the world.”

Pasadena Park includes houses on several roadways, including Monterey Drive and Westwood Circle.

The images of Pasadena Park are courtesy of Google, 2017.

The photo of the Rose Bowl is courtesy of Mr. Ted Eytan, 2018.

The photo of the Los Angeles California Temple is courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Do you have questions about local history?  A street name?  A building?

Your questions may be used in a future news column.

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© 2018 Richard McDonough