Washington Boulevard (Pasadena)
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Washington Boulevard Is a major street in Pasadena, California, and one of eight streets in Pasadena named after U.S. States. It is notable for being a major roadway that bypasses Pasadena's central districts.
Washington Boulevard was constructed in the early 20th Century to facilitate vehicular access to the Hotel La Pintoresca, originally the Painter Hotel, at the Fair Oaks intersection, and to service riders on the East Washington Streetcar line. The line ran for 2.5 miles between Los Robles Avenue and Santa Anita Avenue. Washington Boulevard originally terminated at Arroyo Boulevard and Altadena Drive. An extension west to Linda Vista was built in the 1940s and another southeast to Pasadena High School in the 1960s.
At its westernmost end, Washington Boulevard serves as a utilitarian connection between Linda Vista and the neighborhoods east of the Arroyo Seco (the nearest crossings are 3100 feet to the north and over a mile to the south). The Washington Boulevard Bridge is a low bridge which crosses the river at one of its narrowest and flattest points, cutting through the Brookside Golf Course. It ascends the canyon wall by way of a single, quarter-mile long incline, which ends at Arroyo Boulevard.
Between Los Robles Avenue and Hill Avenue, the road is mostly residential, the only commercial and industrial zones being located at intersections with major north-south thoroughfares.
East of Hill Avenue, Washington Boulevard takes on a very different look. The road widens (originally to accommodate the streetcar line) and is lined with businesses, shopping centers, and postwar homes. This neighborhood has experienced major revitalization in the past decade as evidenced by several new retail buildings and new brick crosswalks. East of Altadena Drive, the road bends southward and becomes isolated, with some 1980s-era housing developments on one side and the Eaton Wash on the other. Washington Boulevard officially ends on Sierra Madre Boulevard in front of Pasadena High School, though the roadway continues southward as Sunnyslope Avenue.
In Pasadena, five streets are named after U.S. Presidents and eight are named after states. Washington Boulevard is named after the state because of its east-west orientation (all streets named for presidents are north-south).