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Our store sign today, which has been
designated a “Historic Sign” by the
City of Pasadena.

CCH History

When we opened our doors in 1916 as “Thompson’s Hardware”, in a building built by Lucky Baldwin in the late 1800’s as a wine cellar, we were a family owned, neighborhood hardware store. Our shelves and aisles were packed with Colony Paints, Schlage and Weiser locks, Speed-O-Matic power tools, as well as what were then common hardware store products like toasters, pots, pans, and, of course, hand tools.

Original Storefront

The original storefront, on
Colorado Boulevard, of
Thomson’s Hardware, 1932.

Sale Counter

The sales counter with Happy Hardware himself, owner Len Fields (middle) in newly renamed Crown City Hardware, c.1940’s.

In the 1940s, we changed our name to “Crown City Hardware” in honor of our home city Pasadena, nicknamed the "Crown City.” Also in the 1940s, we launched our now famous marketing campaign featuring a caricature of our owner, Len Fields, known as “Happy Hardware.” We still have customers today who remember the Happy Hardware ads.

Our commitment to being the best hardware store in the world started early and was officially recognized in 1948 by the national magazine Hardware World. A local newspaper, The Star News, covered the award and wrote: “Crown City was chosen as an outstanding example of a modern hardware store with proper arrangement layout and display of merchandise. It was commended on the fact that it is strictly a hardware store and not a miscellaneous merchandising outlet.”

In over sixty years since winning that award, nothing has changed. We’re still 100% focused and dedicated to hardware. A dedication to those products that keep your family safe, protect your most important possessions, and add the final touches of character and style to your home.

In the 1960s, desperately needing space, we moved our store from Lucky’s old wine cellar, located on Colorado Blvd. (sadly giving up prime seats with a fantastic view of the Rose Parade each year), to our current home on Allen Avenue. What the move also did, was place us in the heart of some of the most beautiful, and historic, neighborhoods in the country. We’re now neighbors with the landmark districts Bungalow Heaven, the Historic Highlands and Garfield Heights.

rose parade from crown city hardware

Watching the Rose Parade in front of the
Crown City Hardware Store on
Colorado Boulevard, January 1, 1955.

allan ave location

The new Allen Avenue location in 1967,
where Crown City Hardware still operates
from today.

Due to our proximity with these historic treasures, we continually saw demand for hardware pieces, like glass cabinet and door knobs, no longer in production. As a result, in the 1980s, before restoration was in vogue, we made it our mission to bring back any and all hardware items necessary for the proper restoration of the homes in our area. The response and success of our early reproductions was so overwhelming, that we expanded nationally. In 1989 we offered our first catalog, which broadened our mission to every neighborhood in the country.

Since we opened 95 years ago, we’ve never stopped working to bring you the finest and most complete line of hardware products anywhere. We now have well over 100,000 individual pieces, over 600 suppliers worldwide, and dozens of foundries producing hundreds of exclusive reproductions. Now, some 20 years after our first catalog shipped, we’re launching the all new Restoration.com web site and store with the goal of bringing our collection to you, no matter where you have your home. Just like in 1948, we hope the new web site will be an “outstanding example” of an online hardware store. No matter what, we can promise you that the store’s focus will always be strictly hardware.

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