Marlborough did not actually start out as “Marlborough,” but as St. Margaret’s School, with three consecutive locations in Pasadena operating in conjunction with the Episcopal Church. Seeking the liberty to develop the School as she saw fit, founder Mary Caswell leased the defunct Marlborough Hotel, downtown at Twenty-Third and Scarff Streets (on the University Electric Road trolley) for use as a campus in 1890 and renamed the School after its new environs. In 1895 an annex was built around the corner.
In 1899 the Los Angeles Times described the campus as “a modern building of 80 rooms, with a large parlor, large halls and bedrooms with plenty of sun and light exposure. The appointments and furnishings are of a high order, rich in art adornments acquired by Mrs. Caswell on her several trips abroad.”
In 1903, Caswell opened the Marlborough Preparatory School, an all-girls lower school which was destroyed by fire in 1915. At that time, however, Caswell was already making arrangements for the move to Hancock Park.
Photos: 1) St. Margaret’s School, Pasadena; 2) Marlborough at Twenty-third and Scarff Streets; 3) the annex; 4) The Marlborough Preparatory School