San Marino is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Incorporated on April 12, 1913, the city was designed by its founders to be uniquely residential, with expansive properties surrounded by beautiful gardens, wide streets, and well maintained parkways. The city is located in the San Rafael Hills. The population was 13,147 at the 2010 census.
In 2010, Forbes Magazine ranked the city as the 63rd most expensive area to live in the United States. In 2014, LA Weekly ranked the city as the 3rd most expensive area to live in the Los Angeles County, topping Beverly Hills (7th), Malibu (5th), and more. There are little to no homes priced under US$1,000,000, with the median list price of a single family home at US$2,159,000.
San Marino is the location of the Huntington Library and gardens. In 1919 Henry Huntington provided limited access to the art collections, and to the rare books and historical documents, housed in the library and in his large Neoclassical–Palladian mansion, as well as to the surrounding botanical gardens, all collectively known as “The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens”, or “The Huntington”, to the public.
View of the Old Mill from rear courtyard
El Molino Viejo (“The Old Mill”), completed about 1816 as a grist mill for Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, is in San Marino. The original two-story structure measured 53 feet (16 m) by 26 feet (7.9 m). It is the oldest commercial building in Southern California. The town is located on the former lands of the historic Rancho Huerta de Cuati.
The Edwin Hubble House: From 1925 to 1953, this two-story stucco home was the residence of one of America’s greatest 20th-century astronomers, Edwin Hubble, who, among other accomplishments, discovered extragalactic nebulae and their separation from each other. It is a National Historic Landmark.
The Michael White Adobe House, is located on the high school campus and houses the San Marino Historical Society archives.
The University of Southern California owns a house in San Marino which is used as the residence of the President of the University. The residence and grounds are often used for University Presidential events.
Rotary Centennial Clock in San Marino, California
Across from City Hall is the Centennial Clock, standing at the northeast corner of Huntington Drive and San Marino Avenue, donated to the community in 2005 by the Rotary Club of San Marino in celebration of Rotary International’s 100th anniversary. Dedicated on July 4, 2005, the nineteen foot high clock includes a time capsule with artifacts donated by residents and community organizations which is to be opened on July 4, 2039 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club of San Marino.
In the middle of San Marino lies Lacy Park, a 30-acre (120,000 m2) expanse of grass and trees. Originally named Wilson Lake in 1875, the land was purchased by the city in 1925 and dedicated as a park. Families in San Marino have enjoyed the park for years. A picnic area is often the site of musical concerts, civic events and pancake breakfasts. Within the park are two walking loops: an inner loop of approximately 3/4 mile in length, and an outer loop of approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) in length. Dogs are welcome with their owners, providing they are on a leash. The park includes six championship tennis courts and a pro shop, administered by the San Marino Tennis Foundation. At the west entrance of the park is the Rose Arbor, which is of special significance for the people of San Marino. It is sixty years old and has long been a source of beauty and tranquility to many residents. In recent years the care and upkeep of the Rose Arbor itself has been augmented by private donations from residents who have chosen to sponsor individual posts. Additionally, the park receives funding from admission fees charged to nonresidents.The park recently built a memorial to General George S. Patton (a native of San Marino) and also a large memorial to the Armed Forces along with a statue of a sad soldier. The memorial includes the names of all military personnel from San Marino.
The city’s local newspaper office is located near the city’s most prominent street, Huntington Drive. “The San Marino Tribune” has been the official newspaper of the city since 1929. There are two sections of the weekly paper, an “A” section and a “B” section, the distinction being that it covers not only San Marino news but also the Pasadena, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Arcadia and South Pasadena news.
History of San Marino
Obtaining the Land
The principal portions of San Marino were included in a Mexican Land Grant in 1830 to an Indian lady named Senora Victoria Reid, the widow of an Englishman. She named her Rancho, Huerta de Cuati. Prior to this grant, the area was part of the San Gabriel Mission (the “Old Mill” was the grist mill for the mission), and before that was occupied by the Gabrielino Indians with their village located at what is now Huntington School.
Naming the Land
In 1852, Mrs. Reid deeded her Rancho to Don Benito Wilson. Later, Wilson deeded the main portion to J. de Barth Shorb, who named his Rancho after his grandfather’s plantation in Maryland, which in turn had received its name from the Republic of San Marino, in Italy.
The San Marino Republic was named after a Dalmatian stone-cutter, by the name of Marino, who fled nearly 1,600 years ago from his home on the Dalmatian coast at the time of a Turkish invasion, and took refuge among the rocky crags of Monte Titano, which commanded a view of the Adriatic Sea.
Henry E. Huntington In 1085 A.D., the Monastery at Mt. Titano canonized Marino and changed his name to San, which means Saint, hence Saint or San Marino.
In 1903, the Shorb Estate was purchased by Henry E. Huntington and in 1913 the three primary Ranchos of Wilson, Patton, and Huntington, together with the subdivided areas from those and smaller Ranchos, such as Stoneman, White, Rose, and others, were incorporated as the city of San Marino.
The first mayor was general George S. Patton, Sr.
Seal Design of San Marino
The San Marino seal contains the three summits of Mt. Titano, upon each of which reposes a tower, fortified with walls built from native rock and capped with a bronze plume, all surrounded by a heart-shaped scroll with two roundels and a lozenge (of unknown significance) at the top. Underneath the left side is a graceful palm frond and underneath the right side, a branch from an orange tree. The crown representing the monarchy on the original was removed when the city’s Coat of Arms was redesigned by William Hertrich in the 1920s.
Schools of San Marino
The first San Marino school was opened at the corner of Monterey Road, (then called Calle de Lopez) and Oak Knoll, in what was known as the Old Mayberry Home, on September 9, 1917, with three teachers and 35 pupils, grades kindergarten through the eighth. Our high school students attended South Pasadena High until San Marino High School graduated its first class in 1956. Our high school nickname, “The Titans,” comes from Mt. Titano, in the Republic of San Marino.
Data: City of San Marino Site