High above Altadena, on Echo Mountain, lie the ruins of White City and the Lowe Railroad. Created in 1893 as a tourist attraction, the Lowe Railroad was the only electric scenic railroad ever built. 

Its tracks spanned seven miles between Lowe and Echo Mountains, showcasing the beauty of the San Gabriel Valley. At the terminus was a funicular which took people a half-mile to a resort at the top. White City — so named because all the buildings were painted white — was comprised of a large hotel, chalet, dance hall, casino, zoo, restaurants, a tavern, and an observatory.

 It was never a profitable venture, and a series of disasters, both natural and un, caused its eventual closure in 1938. The hotel itself burned down in 1900. The others were gradually destroyed by floods or fires. A massive windstorm blew the dome off of the observatory in 1928. What remained of White City was dynamited in 1959.

 You can still see the ruins; it's about an hour and forty-five minute hike to the site from the trail entrance at the top of Lake.  

 reposted courtesy~ Gregory Stanton~ los angeles/antebellum correspondent

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