Altadena is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) from the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center, and directly north of the city of Pasadena, California. The population was 42,777 at the 2010 census, up from 42,610 at the 2000 census
Aerial view of Altadena and Eaton Canyon
In the mid-1860s, Benjamin Eaton first developed water sources from the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon to his vineyard near the edge of Eaton Canyon. This made possible the development of Altadena, Pasadena, and South Pasadena. He did the construction for B.D. Wilson and Dr. John Griffin, who jointly owned the Mexican land grant of Rancho San Pascual, about 14,000 acres (57 km2) that was the future sites of these three communities. They hoped to develop and sell this land in a real estate plan called the San Pasqual Plantation. Their efforts failed by 1870, despite Eaton's irrigation ditch that drew water from the site of present day Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Arroyo Seco. They had failed because the land was relatively inaccessible and few believed crops could thrive that close to the mountains.
Official tree: The Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara). Indigenous to the Himalayas, the deodar was brought as seeds to Altadena in 1883 by Founder John Woodbury who saw the beautiful trees in Italy. After growing the trees for two years, the trees were transplanted to Santa Rosa Avenue where they now stand majestically as Christmas Tree Lane.
Official flower: The California Golden Poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Indigenous to the southland, the golden poppy was a landmark to Spanish sailors who recognized the area by a sweeping gold carpet. The sailors referred to the marvelous vision as sabanilla de oro, or, "altar cloth of gold."
Christmas Tree Lane is a 0.7-mile (1.1 km) stretch of Santa Rosa Avenue from Woodbury Road to Altadena Drive. It has been a holiday attraction since 1920, and it is the oldest large-scale outdoor Christmas lighting venue in the world. Each December, members of the Christmas Tree Lane Association festoon the 110 still standing giant deodars that line the street with thousands of Christmas lights. Christmas Tree Lane was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, and is a California Historical Landmark.
Among Altadena's Christmas lighting attractions is the Balian Mansion, which draws people worldwide for tours of its Christmas lighting display. The Balian Mansion has been lighted since 1955, and is arguably the pioneer of home holiday lighting. The Balian Mansion is located just east of Allen Avenue, at the 3-point junction of Mendocino Street, Mendocino Lane, and Glenview Terrace.