Built in 1940, Pasadena Winter Garden was located at 171 S. Arroyo Parkway, not far from
Colorado Blvd., the main drag of Pasadena. It was the home of the Blade and Edge Figure Skating
Club and is most renowned for being the original home of World and Olympic champion Peggy
The rink was owned by Cliff Henderson, a real estate mogul who also owned the Pan Pacific Arena, which he
sold in 1947 to raise capital for his newest ambitious development, the town of Palm Desert, California. The
1,520-acre planned community is between Palm Springs and Indio.
Pasadena Winter Garden was home to the Pasadena Panthers, one of four teams in the California Ice Hockey
League in the 1950s. The league contained four teams, who were vying for ice time in the three-rink
Los Angeles basin.
The rink closed December 31, 1966 and the wonderful art deco exterior was all that remained when it was converted
to a U. S. Post Office facility. However, the permafrost (see the history of Polar Palace
caused such serious discomfort to postal workers that the facility was closed. It sat vacant for some years and
is now a Public Storage facility.
Pasadena Winter Garden, like Paramount Iceland, had an organ and an organist, which were used for weekend
evening public sessions, along with the lighted sign that instructed you to "All Skate," "Reverse Direction,"
"Couples Only" and several other options. More than a decade after the demise of Pasadena Winter Garden,
the old civic auditorium's exhibition hall was converted into the Pasadena Ice Skating
Center with a 150' x 80' ice surface (smaller than regulation hockey size), which is still in operation.