Pasadena /ˌpæsəˈdiːnə/ is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, withinHouston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. As of the 2010U.S. Census, the city's population is 149,043 making it the seventeenth most populous city in the state of Texas as well as the second-largest city inHarris County. The area was founded in 1893 by John H. Burnett ofGalveston, who named the area after Pasadena, California because of the perceived lush vegetation.
The Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department is the largest all volunteer municipal fire department in the United States.
|Nickname(s): "Strawberry Capital"|
|Motto: "Enriched by our Heritage. Inspired by our Future."|
Location in Harris County in the state of Texas
|Coordinates: 29°40′34″N 95°10′26″W|
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.5 square miles (115 km2), of which 44.2 square miles (114 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (0.81%) is water. The city is bordered by the Houston Ship Channel (Buffalo Bayou / San Jacinto River) to the north. The southeastern most part of the city fronts Galveston Bay.
The city's key economic sectors include exploration for petroleum and gas, petroleum refining, petrochemical processing, solar panel manufacturing, maritime shipping, aerospace, and healthcare. The city's economy is closely linked to the nearby Houston Ship Channel and the Bayport shipping terminal and industrial district, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in the bordering Clear Lake Area. The Pasadena Refining System, a partnership of Petrobras and Astra Holding USA, is headquartered in Pasadena.
The nearby Bayport Industrial District, one of the nation's largest chemical processing complexes, is vital to employment in Pasadena. High-tech businesses in the area related to the JSC have developed as well, and the opening of the Bayport shipping terminal is rapidly adding to the municipal economic base.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,522, and the median income for a family was $42,541. Males had a median income of $34,330 versus $25,869 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,301. About 13.2% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.8% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
Harris County operates the Kyle Chapman/Pasadena Courthouse Annex. Harris County Hospital District operates the Strawberry Health Center in Pasadena.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Houston V District Parole Office in Pasadena.
There are four post offices in the city limits. In July 2011 the USPS announced that one, John Foster Post Office, may close.
The city has several museums, including the Pasadena Historical Museum, the Bay Area Museum and Armand Bayou Nature Center. Pasadena also has a community theater, an annual rodeo and the Pasadena Philharmonic. The city's newspaper is the Pasadena Citizen
The Champion paper mill closed in 2005. Because of the odor from the plant, Pasadena had been dubbed by locals with the nickname "Stinkadena." Several country music songs have been recorded with "Pasa-get-down-dena" as the title including Kenefick on their album "Hard Road."
John Travolta, Debra Winger and other actors came to the city to film the 1980 hit movie Urban Cowboy, which depicted life and young love in Pasadena. The film centered on the city's honky-tonk bar Gilley's, which was co-owned by country music star Mickey Gilley. In 1989, Gilley's suffered an arson fire that gutted the interior of the building, including the mechanical bull used in Urban Cowboy. The shell of the building stood until 2006, when it was demolished by the Pasadena Independent School District, its current owner. Only the old sound recording studio remains. Gilley still resides in Pasadena. The old address of Gilley's is a used-car lot.
Clara Barton of the American Red Cross purchased 1.5 million strawberry plants and sent them to Pasadena to help victims of the flood get back on their feet. By the 1930s those crops had flourished so much that Pasadena was claiming the title ofStrawberry Capital of the World. At its height, the city's strawberry growers shipped as many as 28 train carloads of strawberries each day. To honor that history, the city still holds an annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival. Strawberry Road stretches through much of the city near where the old strawberry crops grew. Attendance at the annual Strawberry Festival was 56,000 in 2008.
Pasadena Philharmonic Society and Orchestra is a combination of two groups. The Society is composed of members of the local community that support the fine arts and classical music. The Orchestra is composed of local music educators, musicians, college students and selected high school students. The Orchestra presented its first performance in the fall of 1982. The Philharmonic has presented performances ever since.
Pasadena owns the Pasadena Public Library with the Main Library at 1201 Jeff Ginn Memorial Drive and the Fairmont Library, a branch, at 4330 Fairmont Parkway between Panama Street and Watters Road.
The city operates 15 tennis courts, several baseball fields, and a total of 43 parks total. These include over 14 miles (23 km) of trails, four Youth Recreation Centers, an Adaptive Recreation center, three pools for Swimming or Aquatics, an Athletics department, a Dog Park, Party Rentals, a Golf Course, an Historical Museum, and a Senior Citizen Center.
Harris County operates several community centers in Pasadena.
Local residents have access to tennis courts, soccer fields, jogging tracks, walking tracks, picnic tables, family gathering pavilions at Pasadena's 47 parks, 5 swimming pools, and 5 game room buildings, museum, recreation center, 15 tennis courts and 21 ball fields.
San Jacinto Branch YMCA is located in Pasadena.
Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) is a 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) preserve on the western shore of Galveston Bay in Pasadena. It is the only remnant of this region's original eco-systems: coastal tallgrass prairie, bottomland forest and bayou. A diversity of plant life has taken root here, including bottomland hardwoods. Hundreds of species of wildlife thrive in the narrow wooded streams and scattered lakes, ponds and marshes. Armand Bayou also is a breeding and nursery ground for many finfish and shellfish and a haven for rarely seen species such as bobcats and owls.
As of 2010 ABNC has been designated as one of five preserves under the Texas Coastal Preserve Program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.