Plaque dedicated at President Obama’s former Pasadena residence

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More than 200 people gathered Saturday for the dedication of a plaque at the Pasadena site where President Barack Obama once lived while attending Occidental College.

President Obama lived in the Pasadena apartment building at 253 Glenarm Street from 1980 to 1981 during his sophomore year. He later transferred to Columbia, where he graduated and went onto law school at Harvard. 

“There is tremendous interest that there is sort of a living link between Pasadena and the President of the United States,” Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek told KPCC, noting the online and social media popularity of the plaque announcement.

The efforts to install the sidewalk plaque began about five years ago with Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison. Madison first met President Obama when he was running for president and said Obama mentioned his love of Pasadena and that he had lived there.

Pasadena city and library employees researched and ultimately determined the address where the President formerly resided through old telephone books, Tornek said.

“We know what unit [he lived in] but we are trying not to publicize that,” said Tornek. “We don’t want to intrude on people’s privacy.”

Tornek added that he’s pretty confident that not long after President Obama leaves office he’ll pay Pasadena a visit thanks to Pasadena city councilman John J. Kennedy, who has known President Obama since he was senator.

"Of late, I've constantly done what some people call shameful persistence," Kennedy said at the ceremony, asking Obama to "come back to Pasadena," since it was part of his formative years in terms of leadership.

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