Answered By: Shauna Redmond (Virtual Services)
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2015     Views: 6922

According to an article published in the Pasadena Union in 1971, businessman W.L. Leishman, who supported architect Myron Hunt in his dream for a stadium in the Arroyo Seco,  was from New Haven, CT and had fond memories of the Yale Bowl, and therefore wanted the word "Bowl" associated with the stadium. The article adds that Leishman's son, Lathrop "Lay" Leishman, recalled a local newspaperman, Harlan "Dusty" Hall, suggesting they plant a few roses around the stadium and call it the Rose Bowl.


Myron Hunt, the architect who dreamed of building a stadium in the Arroyo Seco (on a site then serving as the town "dump"), studied many stadiums and arenas--from ancient Greek and Roman structures to the (then contemporary) Yale Bowl. He used ideas and elements from his studies and made innovative changes, resulting in a design Hunt called "more or less revolutionary." Hunt, Leishman, and William Taylor, a contractor, were the three main minds behind the planning and building of the Rose Bowl. All three men were members of the Tournament of Roses, and an alternative explanation for the stadium’s name may come from the fact that was the site of Tournament games, therefore the "Tournament of Roses Bowl" became the "Rose Bowl."



"'That dump!?' How The Bowl came about," Pasadena Union, 9/1/71.

"The Rose Bowl." Myron Hunt, 1868-1952: The Search for a Regional Architect, 3 October-9 December 1984. Santa Monica, CA: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1984.

Comments (2)

  1. This answer is incorrect and is being used by the Tournament people. WL Leishman was not an architect but owned the local lumber company and Myron Hunt is the only architect of the Rose Bowl. He did not design a copy of the Yale Bowl, but created a unique form for the Rose Bowl see:
    Myron Hunt, 1868-1952: The Search for a Regional Architecture: 3 October-9 December 1984. 1984, Baxter Art Gallery, California Institute of Technology. page 59.
    by Jan Muntz, Architect LEED AP on Jan 13, 2014.
  2. Thank you for the comment, Ms. Muntz! We appreciate your information and pointing out the source. We have updated this answer to reflect the information about the building and naming of the Rose Bowl. Thank you for visiting Ask Us!
    by Shauna Redmond on Jan 24, 2014.