As most of my readers know, I’ve been trying for years to wrap my head around Los Angeles by exploring and mapping the metropolis. My first maps were hand-drawn on paper, starting with a map of Elysian Park‘s trails that I drew around 2001. I also have made quite a few Google Maps. The Google Map of Los Angeles County communities has been shared by several websites and has been viewed about two million times. As I’ve broadened my explorations to Orange County, San Diego County, and ultimately, all of Southern California, the scope of the map has broadened accordingly. And I keep discovering more and more communities: quasi-private enclaves nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu, forgotten real estate scams in the Antelope Valley that somehow hang on with a few residents, forgotten ghost towns reduced to their concrete foundations by wildfire, historic ethnic enclaves, forgotten tract designations revived by real estate agents eager to disassociate with the perceived negative perceptions of a neighborhood they hope to gentrify, new-to-me neighborhoods within San Gabriel Valley suburbs, mysterious Los Angeles County place names that seemingly appear only on internal documents, and newly created micro-neighborhoods continually spinning off like fractals in Midtown and the San Fernando Valley.
At the beginning of the year, I began updating the Google Map; mainly trying to tidy up boundaries and update neighborhood descriptions. Many of the latter were written fifteen years ago when snark was, unfortunately, the lingua franca of the internet. Many entries also contain no longer relevant demographic information taken from the 2000 Census (now more than two decades ago). And, I wanted to add some pictures. All of this, naturally, is a lot of work, and so I’ve limited myself to one community a day, chosen at random, each of which I tweet about with the tag, #LACommunityOfTheDay. Twitter, with its strict character limit, keeps my propensity for exhausting exhaustiveness in check and as I compose my tweets, I do my best to keep the principles of both haiku and Soviet montage theory in my head.
So far, only patrons have had access to the growing directory but I wanted to post more often, even pieces that are incomplete because one of the advantages of online writing over printed publications is that I can keep updating it for as long as there’s an internet. That said, were you to become a patron of mine by supporting me on Patreon, I wouldn’t be mad and if enough did — I could afford to devote more time to mapping and exploring, and writing. Think about it.
77-acre Academy Hill was created by the Boise Cascade Building Co. The Mediterranean-style homes were designed by Richard S. Bild. A 5-year-old Palomino named Bit o’ Honey B was given away to promote the equestrian community’s opening in 1970.
In the 1920s, in the Conejo Valley, Picture City arose around Paramount Ranch. To obtain a post office, residents chose a new name, Agoura, named after local Basque shepherd Pierre Agoure. It incorporated as Agoura Hills on 8 December 1982.
Rancho Los Alamitos was partitioned in 1834. The bluffs above Alamitos Bay became known as Alamitos Heights. Pacific Electric‘s Alamitos Heights Line began operation in 1903 and a streetcar suburb, the Alamitos Heights Tract, opened in 1904.
Wilson & Shorb‘s Alhambra Tract debuted in 1875. It was named by Ruth Yorba after Washington Irving‘s Tales of the Alhambra (1832). Alhambra incorporated on 11 July 1903. Today it’s one of several local Asian majority (primarily Chinese and Vietnamese) suburbs.
The county purchased the land for Alondra Park in 1926 in order to halt the development of a planned black community, Gordon Manor. The park finally opened in 1946, a year before El Camino College. During the village-ification fad of the 1990s, people began promoting the area as “El Camino Village.”
THE ALPHABET STREETS
Angeles National Forest was established in 1908. Angeles Forest is also the name of a region of Los Angeles County in the San Gabriel Mountains that’s home to a few small communities, campgrounds, ranger stations, and a ghost town.
ANNADALE [LOS ANGELES]
Annandale was subdivided in 1886. Development took off in the 1920s. Annandale Elementary opened in 1921. Part of Annandale was annexed by Pasadena in 1924. The rest was absorbed into Highland Park in 1927, with Garvanza, Hermon, and York Valley.
ARD EEVIN HIGHLANDS
The Arlington Heights tract opened in 1887. Its suitability for vineyards and proximity to a two-horse streetcar line were among its advertised amenities. It was annexed in 1909.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS TERRACE
Arlington Park was a streetcar suburb that arose in 1909 developed as a stretch of bungalows from the 1910s along Arlington Avenue between Exposition and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards. The name was largely abandoned until it was revived by the Eighth District Empowerment Congress’s “Naming Neighborhoods Project.”
Arroyo is the Pasadena neighborhood that follows the Arroyo Seco from Devil’s Gate into the San Gabriel Mountains. It’s dominated by Hahamongna Watershed Park (named after the village of Hahamog’na) although it’s also home to a small portion of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
ARROYO TERRACE (LOWER)
ARROYO TERRACE (UPPER)
ARROYO VIEW ESTATES
William Gorham developed Arroyo View Estates, a residential neighborhood comprised entirely of ranch homes, from 1960-1964. Some homes have East Asian and Hollywood Regency architectural elements which, along with hammered glass and breeze blocks, add kitschy mid-20th century charm.
ARROYO DEL MAR
Artesia was established in 1875 and is named after the area’s many artesian wells. In the 1920s and ’30s, Artesia was dominated by Dutch and Portuguese dairy farms. Artesia incorporated on 29 May 1959. Little India arose there in the 1970s.
THE ARTS DISTRICT
Artists began to squat in the abandoned warehouses of Downtown East around 197. In ’81, the Artists-In-Residence ordinance legalized it. After the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance passed in ’99, Downtown transformed and the Arts District quickly transformed into a neighborhood in which few artists can afford to live.
Strong & Dickinson‘s City of Athens Tract was subdivided in 1907. The streetcar boasted service from three rail transit lines. Its central feature, Athens Park, was dedicated much later, in 1943. It was followed by Athens on the Hill and West Athens.
ATHENS ON THE HILL
AUBRY AT ALAMITOS RIDGE
A Tongva village, Azucsagna, was the basis for the names of two Mexican ranches, Azusa de Dalton and Azusa de Duarte. The town of Azusa shows up in the 1860 census (population 363). Azusa incorporated on 16 December 1898.
The Baldwin Hills landform (named after developer Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin) lends its name to the neighborhoods of Baldwin Hills Estates, Baldwin Hills Village (now Village Green), Baldwin Vista, and, paradoxically, the flat area below them.
BALDWIN HILLS ESTATES
This area comprised of apartments built in the 1940s and ’50s was nicknamed the Jungle for the palm and banana plants that typified its landscaping. By 1988, efforts that ultimately bore fruit were underway to rename it Baldwin Village.
THE BÁNH MÌ DISTRICT
The Bandini Islands are two unincorporated areas named after Bandini Boulevard. They are located along the Bandini Islands Watershed, which drains into the Los Angeles River. The Bandini Islands are home to a UPS employee parking lot.
BAY HARBOUR – SEADIP
THE BEACH CITIES
Bel Air was founded in 1923 by oil tycoon and tennis champion Alphonzo Edward Bell. His father was James George Bell, after whom the working-class suburbs of Bell and Bell Gardens are named. Most street names are French or Italian but the plurality of its foreign-born are from Iran and Iranian is the most common ancestry of residents. Micro-neighborhoods within Bel-Air include East Gate Old Bel Air, West Gate Bel Air, and Upper Bel Air. It’s also home to The UCLA Hannah Carter Japanese Garden.
Missourian James George Bell had the Victorian folk-style Bell House built for his family in 1876. In 1898, the town over which he presided as postmaster, was named Bell. Bell began to grow in the 1920s and incorporated as a city in 1927.
What’s now Bell Gardens was historically home to the Tongva village of Chibugna. Pacific Electric Railway’s Whittier Line began operation in 1904 and a streetcar suburb developed around the Bell Tract. Bell Gardens incorporated on 1 August 1961.
The Alamitos Land Company subdivided the streetcar suburb of Belmont Heights, located along a Pacific Electric Railway line, in 1905. It incorporated as a city on 1 October 1908. It was annexed by Long Beach in 1909.
Belmont Park is a residential community on Alamitos Bay that was subdivided in 1926 and primarily developed in the 1930s and 1940s. It’s named after the city of Belmont Heights, which incorporated in 1908 and was annexed by Long Beach in 1909.
In 1915, the Janss Investment Co. developed a streetcar suburb called Belvedere Heights along the Whittier Line. The same company developed Belvedere Gardens in 1921. The combined tracts and surrounding area came to be known as Belvedere.
Black Mexican Maria Rita Valdez Villa settled here in 1828 and named it Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas. The streetcar suburb of Beverly Hills opened in 1906. Originally whites-only, today Beverly Hills is largely Iranian, Russian, Jewish, and Korean.
BEVERLY HILLS GATEWAY
BEVERLY RIDGE ESTATES
BIG MOUNTAIN RIDGE
In the Swarthout Valley of San Gabriel Mountains. Big Pines was developed in 1924. It’s home to Mountain High Ski Resort, the Table Mountain Observatory, and Mt Kare Campground. It’s also the highest elevated community on the San Andreas Fault.
BIG ROCK SPRINGS
The somewhat redundantly-named Bluff Heights is a neighborhood composed primarily of California Craftsman bungalows constructed between 1910 and 1923, including many designed by Miner Smith, an architect from the eighth flattest state, Ohio.
THE BONG DISTRICT
What’s now Boyle Heights was historically home to the Tongva village of Apachiangna. Irishman Andrew Boyle moved there in 1858. In 1875, Boyle, Isaias W. Hellman, and William H. Workman announced the opening of their Boyle Heights Tract.
Lewis Leonard Bradbury‘s namesake, the wealthy equestrian community of Bradbury, incorporated in 1957, despite its small population. It includes within it three districts: the gated Bradbury Estates, the gated Woodlyn Lane, and the un-gated area.
THE BRIDAL DISTRICT
Several tracts were subdivided in 1906 and 1907 in what is now Broadway Square. Most of the homes were built in the 1910s and ’20s. The “Broadway Square” designation, however, was created by the Eighth District Empowerment Congress’s Naming Neighborhoods Project in 2008.
THE BROADWAY THEATER DISTRICT
Brockmont is a residential neighborhood located in the foothills of the Verdugos above Missouri-born businessman John C. Brockman‘s 1920s Brockmont Park development. Brockmont is comparatively newer, its single-family homes having been built between the 1950s and ’80s.
By 1913, there were three Pacific Electric Railway lines serving a streetcar suburb centered around Pasadena’s McDonald Park. The neighborhood was designated Bungalow Heaven in 1989. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
Bunker Hill, part of the Elysian Hills, is named after a hill in Boston. In 1867, Prudent Beaudry and Stephen Mott bought land there and subdivided the Mott Tract in ’69. Massive redevelopment began in 1955 ultimately completely transformed it.
THE BURBANK MEDIA DISTRICT
THE BYZANTINE-LATINO QUARTER
Cahuenga Pass is a mountain pass through the Santa Monica Mountains and refers to a neighborhood to the west of the Hollywood Freeway. The main thoroughfare is Cahuenga Boulevard West. Cahuenga come from the Tongva word, Kawee’nga, meaning “place of the fox.” The native gray fox is the only American canid that can climb trees.
Calabasas is derived from the Spanish “calabaza.” Its suburbanization began in 1969 with the opening of the Calabasas Park subdivision. Having incorporated in 1991, it’s the county’s newest city. The top employer is The Cheesecake Factory.
CALIFORNIA ROSE COURT
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH
CAMBODIA TOWN (ទីក្រុងខ្មែរ)
Metro Los Angeles is home to the largest community of Cambodians outside of Cambodia. By 1985, Cambodia Town (ទីក្រុងខ្មែរ) was known colloquially by that name. In 2007, it was finally granted official recognition by the city of Long Beach.
CAMP AL HUEY
Camp Al Huey is a United States Naval Special Warfare Command training facility built on San Clemente Island in 1989. It’s named after Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer “Uncle Al” Huey. About 200 people live there at any time.
In 1959, Saugus‘s Schaefer Land Co. created the Canyon Country Homes subdivision. “Canyon Country” supplanted pre-existing community names like Honby and Solemint. When Santa Clarita incorporated in 1987, Canyon Country became a neighborhood.
Irish immigrant John Carroll debuted his streetcar suburb, Carroll Park, on 19 January 1903. By 1923, it was mostly developed — primarily with California Craftsman bungalows. Carroll Park was designated a Historic Landmark District in 1982.
CARSON PARK (PLAZA EAST)
“Castaic” is derived from the Chumash Kaštiq, (lit. “eye”). The Ridge Route through the Sierra Pelona opened in 1915. At least as early as 1924, the area and community at the southern terminus were known as Castaic Junction.
In 1923, Winnipegger Harold Charles Seymour opened his Castle Heights Tract, a mostly residential streetcar suburb along the Santa Monica Air Line. It was preceded by several tracts there, including Arnaz and Ivywild. Seymour died in 1931.
The Frank Meline Company created the Italian-esque community of Castellammare (named after Castellammare di Stabia, in Naples) in 1924. The Getty Villa, a museum designed to resemble the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, opened there in 1954.
CENTRAL LONG BEACH
Central Long Beach is located northeast of Downtown. It was added to the city in the 1920s with the Northside and Northeast District annexes. As the result of subsequent annexes, it’s now located in the southernmost third of the city.
Traditionally characterized as South Central, “Central-Alameda” was coined around 2000 to describe the area between Central Avenue and Alameda Street that’s home to the Lincoln Theatre, Pueblo Del Rio, and Augustus F. Hawkins Nature Park.
In 1961, after a series of commercial flops, 20th Century Fox sold a backlot to developer William Zeckendorf and the Aluminum Co. of America. The new owners created the Century City neighborhood, a 1960s simulacrum of a “city within a city.”
Chapman is named after Alabama-born real estate attorney and investor Alfred Beck Chapman. It was developed in the 1920s but mostly demolished in the 1970s to allow for the construction of the 210 Freeway. It’s also home to Sierra Madre Villa Station and freeway adjacent apartments and storage.
THE CHANNEL ISLANDS
Chevy Chase is named after a 15th century English ballad, “The Ballad of Chevy Chase.” Sycamore Canyon, which Chevy Chase Drive traverses, was annexed by Glendale on 20 November 1925 and development of the neighborhood began around the same time.
Chinatown migrated from its old location after most of it was razed (and its people displaced) to build Union Station. In 1938, both Christine Sterling‘s China City (7 June) and Peter Soo Hoo et al’s New Chinatown (25 June) opened in what had until then been Little Italy.
Citrus is a mostly-Latino residential community named after Citrus Avenue and bisected by Big Dalton Wash. Nearly every home within it was built in the mid-1950s. It’s also home to Dalton Park, Center Middle School, and Covina Church of Christ.
Citrus Grove was part of Glendale since it incorporated in 1906. It developed along the route of the Glendale and Eagle Rock Railway, which opened in 1909. “Citrus Grove,” though, seems to be a more recent coinage, first appearing by the 2000s.
What’s now Citrus Square was annexed by Los Angeles in 1923 and ’24. George Allan Hancock began developing Tract 8498 of Hancock Park in 1924. The tract was mostly built out by the end of the decade. “Citrus Square” was coined around 2010.
Glendale‘s City Center (a chiefly British designation — although Portland provides another American exception) is in every sense a downtown as the actual geographic center of Glendale (thanks to numerous annexations) is located in the Verdugo Mountains. It was the center when Glendale was founded, however, and was designated “City Center” in 1935.
Walter H. Leimert developed City Terrace in 1923, believing that Los Angeles was moving east. It didn’t, and a century later, the community is still unincorporated. Until the 1940s, it had large populations of Japanese and Jews. Sometimes the hilly neighborhood is referred to as “the Mexican Alps.”
Civic Center replaced the original downtown, which by the 1900s had begun to migrate south to the “Historic Core,” leaving behind the neglected, Victorian-era “North End.” The first formal plan for Civic Center was made in 1909, the latest in 2017. For decades, virtually every new suburb was advertised by its travel time to and from the nation’s second-largest such district (after the one in Washington, DC).
CIVIC CENTER FINANCIAL DISTRICT
Claremont was founded in 1887 and named after a town in New Hampshire. PE‘s San Bernardino Line arrived in 1906. Claremont incorporated in 1907. It’s notably home to the Claremont Colleges, California Botanic Garden, and radio station KSPC.
College Hills is Glendale neighborhood that’s home to Glendale Community College, founded in 1927 as Glendale Junior College. The residential community was mostly developed in the 1960s. Many of the homes were destroyed by serial arsonist and firefighter John Orr in 1990.
COLLEGE PARK ESTATES
Ajax Construction Company developed College Square in 1951, its name a reference to adjacent Compton College. The neighborhood was annexed by Long Beach in sections, between 1946 and ’65. A neighborhood association was founded in 1975.
By the 1940s, the small communities of Bandini, Laguna, and Rosewood Park were dominated by railroads and industry. In the 1950s, industrialists advocated incorporation. On 28 January 1960, with 895 yes votes, Commerce nominally became a city.
Compton is a primarily Latino suburb of Los Angeles named after settler Griffith Dickenson Compton. Both presidents Bush lived there starting in 1949. In the 1950s, it became known for its barn dances and emerged as a center of Country & Western music. In the 1980s, it was known for producing electrofunk and gangsta rap acts. Today it’s home to the Compton Cricket Club.
Cottage Grove is a micro-neighborhood within Adams Hill composed of just fourteen mostly Tudor Revival homes built between 1924 and 1928 and situated along Cottage Grove Avenue. The City of Glendale designated it an historic district in 2009.
COUNTRY CLUB HEIGHTS
Robert Marsh began selling lots in the Country Club Park tract in 1905 and later built his residence there. The suburb boasted access to two streetcar lines. Around 2012, the neighborhood council began calling the area Country Club Heights.
COUNTRY CLUB PARK
Covina was founded at the former site of the Tongva village, Weniingna. Covina was founded in 1882 by Joseph Swift Phillips, whose surveyor, Frederick Eaton, combined “cove” and “vine” to create its name. It incorporated as a city on 14 August 1901.
Covina Islands refers to an archipelago of neighborhoods composed mostly of single-family homes built in the 1950s and surrounded by the city of Covina. They’ve been so known since at least 1976.
CRESCENT HEIGHTS [LOS ANGELES]
CRESCENT HEIGHTS [WEST HOLLYWOOD]
Norton & Hay opened their Crescent Heights Tract on 13 March 1905. It was promoted as a streetcar suburb. Crescent Heights Boulevard terminates north of the tract in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood that shares its name.
Cudahy is named after Irish meat-packer, Michael Cudahy, founder of Cudahy Packing Company. In 1893, he bought Nadeau Ranch and renamed it Cudahy Ranch. In 1908, it was subdivided as Cudahy Ranch. On 10 November 1960, it incorporated as Cudahy.
CULVER CITY ARTS DISTRICT
Los Angeles is home to at least four designated arts districts. Despite its name, only 38% of the Culver City Arts District, lies within the borders of Culver City with 62% located within Los Angeles. Art galleries began to open in the area in the early 2000s. An artwalk began in 2006. Around 2008, it was designated the Culver City Arts District.
The Los Angeles Railway launched the Eagle Rock Line in 1895 and a streetcar suburb subsequently developed around its route along Cypress Avenue. The Cypress Park Improvement Association was formed in 1909. Local chains Yum Yum Donuts (1971), King Taco (1975), and El Atacor (1992) all started there.
The streetcar suburb of Dayton Heights opened in 1887. It was annexed by Los Angeles in 1909. In the 1920s, white residents mobilized to keep out blacks but it soon became so dominated by Japanese Angelenos that it was nicknamed “J. Flats.”
Dearborn Groves is an entirely residential neighborhood centered on Dearborn Street. Most of the homes were built from the 1900s to the 1930s. The name was coined around 2019, with the formation of the Dearborn Groves Neighborhood Association.
DEER LAKE HIGHLANDS
DESERT VIEW HIGHLANDS
DOGTOWN [LOS ANGELES]
DOGTOWN [SANTA MONICA]
Downey was founded in 1873 and named after California’s first immigrant governor, Irish-born John Gately Downey. The first Taco Bell opened there in 1962. Downey Records had a 1962 hit with The Chantays‘ “Pipeline.” The Carpenters moved there in 1963 and lived in several Downey homes.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
Hollywood was founded in 1887, incorporated as a city in 1903, but was annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. In the 1920s, however, people began referring to the bustling district around the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street as Downtown Hollywood.
DOWNTOWN INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT
DOWNTOWN LONG BEACH
Downtown Pasadena includes within it Old Pasadena, the Civic Center, and the Financial District — as well as the surrounding area that includes within it Central Park and the Pasadena Convention Center.
DOWNTOWN SAN PEDRO
DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA
Duarte is named after Rancho Azusa de Duarte — an historic ranch named after the Tongva village, Asuksagna, and Mexican corporal, Andrés Duarte. Duarte’s largest ethnicities, today, are Mexican and Filipino. Its main drag, Huntington Drive, was historically part of Route 66.
EAST AZUSA (AZUSA EAST)
East Compton is an archipelago of two unincorporated areas surrounded by the city of Compton. Despite sharing no borders with Ranch Dominguez, however, in recent years it’s sometimes been referred to as East Rancho Dominguez, and East Compton Park was renamed East Rancho Dominguez Park.
EAST EATON WASH
Named after the Eaton Wash, a channelized stream (named in turn after Judge Benjamin S. Eaton) that runs along its western edge toward the Rio Hondo. Home to Vina Vieja Park, the Hastings Branch Library, the Boulevard Bar, and Pasadena City College Community Education Center.
East Hollywood originally referred to an unincorporated community in what’s now Los Feliz. In the 1940s, it began to shift to the area we know as East Hollywood today, a region annexed along with the town of Colegrove on 26 October 1909.
EAST LOS ANGELES
EAST ORANGE GROVE
EAST SAN GABRIEL
East San Gabriel is an archipelago of seven incorporated areas of widely varying sizes located east of, or in some cases surrounded by, San Gabriel. Roughly half its population is foreign-born and more than half is Asian (mostly Chinese).
EAST SAN PEDRO
East San Pedro refers to the area of Terminal Island, in the Harbor, that contains the Port of Los Angeles and a low-security prison. It formerly hosted numerous shipbuilding facilities, canneries, and a Japanese village called Furusato.
The East Village is part of the original Long Beach townsite and development of the area began in the early 1900s. By the early 2000s, it had emerged as Long Beach’s arts district, with galleries lining Atlantic Avenue and 4th Street.
EAST WASHINGTON VILLAGE
Unincorporated East Whittier is bisected by La Mirada Creek and home to Southern California University of Health Sciences, founded in 1911 (although its campus moved there in 1981). Most of East Whittier’s homes were built in the 1950s and 1960s.
THE EASTSIDE [LOS ANGELES]
THE EASTSIDE [SOUTH LOS ANGELES]
EATON BLANCHE PARK
Echo Park is named after the park created in 1892 on the site of the city’s former Reservoir No. 4 (now Echo Park Lake). The reservoir was created in 1870 by building a dam beneath the confluence of two arroyos, now entombed underneath the streets.
EL DORADO LAKES
El Dorado Lakes is a cookie-cutter condominium community developed by Bob Lintz and Bob Langslet in 1974, located on the banks of Coyote Creek and oriented around a shallow pond. It’s purported nickname is “the Lakes.”
EL DORADO PARK ESTATES
EL DORADO PARK NORTH
EL DORADO PARK SOUTH
EL DORADO PARK WEST
El Miradero is named after Missouri-born Leslie Coombs Brand‘s estate, built in 1904, and now the Brand Park and Library. A gallery and recital hall was added in 1969. Most of the surrounding neighborhood was developed in the 1920s and 1930s.
EL MOLINO ORCHARD
El Molino Orchard is a small residential neighborhood descended from a tract, El Molino Orchard Park, developed beginning around 1908. Most of the neighborhood’s predominantly single-family homes were built from 1890 through the 1920s.
El Nido (Spanish for “the Nest”) is a small but densely developed, residential community nestled in lower Corral Canyon, above the city of Malibu. The oldest home was built in 1929 but most of the community was built out in the 1980s and 1990s.
El Pueblo is the neighborhood that formed the core of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, established by Spain in 1781. Its location was chosen due according to Las Leyes de Indias, with: near a reliable source of freshwater (the Los Angeles River), an exploitable workforce (the Yaangnavit), and sufficiently inland to avoid pirate attacks.
EL RIO (AKA LAKE)
EL SALVADOR COMMUNITY CORRIDOR
Home to the largest community of Salvadorans outside of El Salvador, there’ve been efforts for decades to get recognition for Little El Salvador. In 2013, 12 blocks of Vermont Avenue were designated the El Salvador Community Corridor.
El Segundo is located within the Rancho Sausal Redondo, granted to Antonio Ygnacio Ávila in 1836. In 1911, a townsite was developed there, named after Standard Oil‘s second west coast refinery. El Segundo incorporated as a city on 17 January 1917.
El Sereno was historically home to the Tongva village of Otsungna. In 1905, A. A. Baird founded a streetcar suburb, Baird Park. It was annexed in 1912, making it the easternmost neighborhood in the city. Bairdstown was renamed El Sereno in 1917.
The Eldora Park Tract was created by landscape engineer and contractor Clarence P. Day in 1920. Most of its homes were designed to resemble English cottages. The streetcar suburb developed along Pacific Electric Railway‘s East Washington Line.
Eldoradoville began as a gold mining camp established by prospectors at the confluence of the San Gabriel River and Cattle Canyon Creek in the early 1850s. By the end of the decade, it boasted a boarding house, a blacksmith, a butcher shop, and other stores. At its peak, there were six saloons. Then, on 18 January 1862, the entire town was washed away by the Great Flood of ’62.
THE ELECTRONICS DISTRICT
ELYSIAN VALLEY (FROGTOWN)
Lots of the Elysian Garden Tract went on sale in 1907. As early as the 1910s, the area was known as Elysian Park Valley or, simply, Elysian Valley. The formation of the Frogtown gang in the 1970s reflected yet another nickname for the area.
Faircrest Heights is a residential neighborhood developed in and after the 1920s. “Faircrest” is a portmanteau derived from Fairfax Avenue and Crescent Heights Boulevard. The “heights” exist only in the neighborhood’s name, which was coined around 2003.
THE FASHION DISTRICT
In the 1900s, Los Angeles Street supported several laundries, amongst other businesses. By the mid-’20s, it was the heart of the Textile District. By the ’70s, “Garment District” was preferred. The Fashion District BID was formed in 1996 and the name stuck.
FERN ANN FALLS
Fern Ann Falls is an area northwest of Chatsworth that formerly hosted several ranches. Most homes were built in the 1970s until a gated community called Indian Spring Estates was developed in 1987 and comprised of charmless mansions with pools and tennis courts.
FILIPINOTOWN (BAYAN NG PILIPINO)
Around the 1920s, a downtown area came to be known as Little Manila. In 1955, redevelopment of Bunker Hill began and many Filipinos relocated to an area that came to be known as Filipinotown. In 2002, it was officially recognized as Historic Filipinotown.
THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT
THE FLATS [BEVERLY HILLS]
Florence is a community in South Los Angeles’s Eastside named after a prominent thoroughfare that was developed by 1887. The western half was annexed by Los Angeles on Christmas 1906. The eastern half remains unincorporated. Homes began to spring up from the 1900s to 1920s. From the 1920s to 1950s, Florence boasted a thriving black cinema district. The Crips were formed by Fremont High Schoolers in 1969 and it was also in Florence that founder Raymond Washington was killed in 1979. Florence is also home to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bethune, and Gage & Avalon parks as well as 61st Street Pocket Park. Today, Florence is mostly Mexican and nearly half of residents are immigrants.
THE FLOWER DISTRICT
The Flower District grew out of the merger of the Southern California Flower Market (established in 1912) and the Original Los Angeles Flower Market (established in 1919). A community arose after hundreds of wholesale florists sprang up around the market. The flower district bustles in the wee hours of the morning, with most vendors beginning business at 2:00 and things winding down by the time the public is admitted at 8:00.
The Ford Place subdivision opened in 1902. Homes were designed by architects Charles F. Driscoll and C.W. Buchanan. It became the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary in 1947. It was added as the “Ford Place Historic District” to the National Register of Historic Places on 22 July 2010.
Forest Park began, circa 1933, as Troutman’s Tract. By the late ’30s, it was known as Forrest Park. At some point, an “r” was dropped. By the 1960s, it was usually lumped in with Canyon Country and is today a suburb of a suburb (Santa Clarita).
4TH STREET CORRIDOR
Long Beach’s 4th Street Corridor, also known as Retro Row, is a commercial district known for its antique and vintage clothing stores as well as the poet-hosting Portfolio Coffeehouse (est. 1990) and The Art Theater, an art-house cinema.
Franklin Canyon is an unincorporated area above the Franklin Canyon Reservoir. The scenic area was owned by oil baron Edward L. Doheny and enjoyed by his family. In 1981, the National Park Service purchased the Franklin Canyon Ranch.
A charming neighborhood developed along Franklin Avenue in the 1910s and 1920s. Its urban charm was shaken by the opening of the Cahuenga Pass Freeway in 1940. Nurse Ann DeBello led efforts in the 2000s to brand the area “Franklin Village.”
THE FURNITURE & DECORATIVE ARTS DISTRICT
On 5 March 2003, the city designated a vast swathe of South Los Angeles’s Eastside the “Furniture & Decorative Arts District,” stretching from the LA Mart in the northwest to Florence and Central avenues in the southeast.
Gardena incorporated in 1930. It has the second-highest percentage of Japanese in California. Historically home to strawberry farms, it was nicknamed “Berryland.” Today, its nickname is “The Freeway City.” They still host an annual Strawberry Day Festival.
Andrew Glassell received part of Rancho San Rafael as a result of the Great Partition of 1871 lawsuit and established a streetcar suburb, Glassell Park, in 1906. He named Toland Way; and Drew, Andrita, and Marguarite streets after members of his family. He was born in Orange County, Virginia in 1827 and later co-founded the city of Orange.
From the 1960s through the 1990s, Glendora acquired land through dozens of small annexations. The shrinking unincorporated area, surrounded by Glendora, was known as Glendora Islands although now only one residential “island” remains today.
What’s now Glenwood was annexed by Glendale in 1919 and ’21. Afterward, 6th Street was renamed Glenwood Road. Early tracts included Clement’s Orange Tract, a streetcar suburb along the Glendale-Burbank Line. It was mostly built out by the 1940s.
GRANT (AKA CHERRY MANOR)
GREATER LOS ANGELES HEALTHCARE SYSTEM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, WEST LOS ANGELES CAMPUS
GREEK TOWN (Γκρικτάουν)
Green Meadows acquired its name around 1864 when artesian wells there nourished alfalfa, apples, and dairy cows. Its character remained rural until the 1920s when significant development began. It was annexed by Los Angeles in 1925.
GREENWOOD (AKA ALLEN)
The grand opening of Hacienda Heights took place on 17 December 1954. The six styles of homes were designed by Daniel L. Dworsky. In the 1970s it was nicknamed “the Mexican Beverly Hills” but the 1980s saw it transform into “Little Taipei.”
The Hamilton subdivision was launched around 1904. It’s the northernmost neighborhood in Long Beach. Largely residential, it was mostly developed after the conclusion of World War II. Hamilton Jr High (now Hamilton Middle School) opened in 1967.
In 1887, Hancock McClung Johnston subdivided his estate and created the Ela Hills Tract. Later that year, the Los Angeles Cable Railway opened. Happy Valley, located between Flattop and Paradise Hill, developed near the railway’s terminus.
HARBOR GATEWAY NORTH
Harold is a residential community in the Antelope Valley developed in the 1980s. All but one of the streets of the community all have the name “Harold” in them: Harold Ash, Harold Beech, & Harold Dale avenues; and Harold 1st, Harold 2nd, Harold 3rd, and Harold 5th streets. No Harold 4th Street though, just Rozalee Drive.
Hawthorne was founded by B.L. Harding and H.D. Lombard‘s Hawthorne Improvement Company in 1905. It’s named after Nathaniel Hawthorne, who shared a birthday with Harding’s daughter. The city is famously the hometown of The Beach Boys, Emitt Rhodes, and a dead mall, Hawthorne Plaza.
Isaias Wolf Hellman was a Jewish immigrant from Bavaria who emigrated to Los Angeles in 1859. A major landowner, in 1881 he bought the land that includes the neighborhood which bears his name. In 1901, he co-founded the Pacific Electric Railway.
Free Methodists bought land from Ralph Rogers and established Hermon in 1903. Its name comes from Mount Hermon, in the Levant. Ebey, Coleman, Terrill, and Redfield streets are named after clergy. It’s also home to Albert Emmanuel Sederquist‘s folk art piece, the Hermon Car Wall.
Moses Hazeltine Sherman and Eli P. Clark organized the Hermosa Beach Land & Water Co. in 1900. The first pier was built in 1904. Hermosa Beach incorporated on 14 January 1907. In the 1970s, it spawned punk bands Black Flag and The Descendants.
Hi-Vista was founded in 1930. From roughly 1932-1978, it hosted a spring and wildflower festival. An improvement association existed from the 1930s to the ’50s but today most roads remain unpaved and most buildings are abandoned and boarded up.
Hidden Hills is a gated community in the foothills of the Simi Hills and Santa Monica Mountains. It was developed in the 1950s by A.E. Hanson with the slogan “where living is fun.” The primary ethnicity of inhabitants is Russian. The entirely residential suburb was the setting of a little-watched sitcom, Hidden Hills.
George W. Morgan and Albert H. Judson subdivided the Highland Park Tract in 1886. It was a “dry” town and, along with “wet” Sycamore Grove to the south, one of the first two communities annexed by Los Angeles, which it was on 17 December 1895.
In 1966, after California State Route 138 was completed, Occidental Petroleum began promoting Holiday Valley as an investment opportunity with huge ads touting its proximity to amenities within a 35-mile radius. The ad campaign ended in 1972. The Lake Club House was put up for sale in 1976 and is today a community center. Around 2006 sellers began promoting it as Holiday Valley Estates.
Hollywood was founded in August 1887. Hollywood incorporated as a city in 1903. It was annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. The multi-neighborhood Hollywood region is (along with the Downtown, Mideast, and Midtown regions) part of Central Los Angeles.
Danish immigrant Ivar A. Weid moved to the Cahuenga Valley in 1883 where he operated a stone quarry. His 145 acres in the Cahuenga foothills were subdivided into a streetcar suburb, Hollywood Heights, in November 1901. Weid died in 1902.
HOLLYWOOD HILLS EAST
HOLLYWOOD HILLS WEST
HOLLYWOOD STUDIO DISTRICT
In 1911, Nestor Studios became the first film studio in Hollywood. By 1921, the concentration of major studios was known as the Hollywood Studio District. By the 1930s, however, all had left but Paramount, which arrived in 1927.
The Greater Hollywood-Highland Association formed in 1934. The intersection was served by two streetcar lines until the 1950s. Today, it’s home to Boardner’s and Micelli’s; the Egyptian, El Capitan, and Chinese theaters; and Japan House.
Tracy E. Shoults and S. H. Woodruff‘s Hollywoodland development opened in 1923. It was advertised by a 4,000 bulb-lit sign composed of 14-meter tall letters erected on the southern face of Mount Lee. It was annexed by Los Angeles in 1924.
The Westgate Annexation happened in 1916. Arthur Letts Sr. purchased 1.6 km2 of the land therein and named it Holmby Hills after his birthplace, Holdenby, England. Letts died in 1923 and Janns Investment took over development of the Estates.
HOUGHTON MANOR (AKA JORDAN)
In 1902, 600 acres of the Mexican-era Rancho San Antonio were subdivided as Huntington Park, a streetcar suburb located along Los Angeles Railway‘s Huntington Line. It incorporated as a city on 1 September 1906. Slayer formed there in 1981.
Idlewood Canyon is the name of both a narrow valley in the Verdugos and a very small neighborhood consisting of a dozen single-family homes nestled in the foothills and built along Idlewood Road in the 1950s and ’60s. The area was annexed by Glendale on 22 July 1921.
On 22 April 1973, Beard Development Company‘s Island Village opened on a plot of land at the edgethe Los Cerritos Wetlands and in the shadow of the Haynes Generating Station. The architect of the village-themed private community was Emil Benes.
In 1887, Griffith J. Griffith subdivided the Ivanhoe tract. Street names Avenel, Herkimer, Kenilworth, Locksley, Rowena, and Waverly came from the titular novel. Ivanhoe began to disappear from maps by the 1920s when it was subsumed by Silver Lake.
JEFFERSON PARK [LOS ANGELES]
The streetcar suburb of Jefferson Street Park (later shortened Jefferson Park) opened in 1888. After Shelley v. Kraemer (1948), the neighborhood became home to many Japanese and blacks from Louisiana and, on account of the latter, came to be nicknamed “Little New Orleans.” A Jefferson Park HPOZ was created in 2011.
JEFFERSON PARK [PASADENA]
THE JEWELRY DISTRICT
The community of Juniper Hills has existed as a few homes scattered on the north face of the San Gabriel Mountains since at least 1931. For thousands of years prior, the ʔívil̃uqaletem used the berries of juniperus californica to make porridge. The Juniper Hills Community Association was created in 1948.
Hi Duk Lee and Kil Ja opened Olympic Market in 1971. Three “Koreatown” signs were installed along Olympic Boulevard in 1980. Koreatown’s official borders were drawn in 2010, by which time it was both the most populous and most densely populated neighborhood in the city
LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE
LA CIENEGA HEIGHTS
LA CIENEGA PARK
LA CRESCENTA VALLEY
LA HABRA HEIGHTS
Ohio-born avocado farmer-turned-developer Edwin G. Hart transformed a 3,600-acre avocado orchard in the La Habra Hills into the La Habra Heights Tract in 1922. Almost exclusively residential, it incorporated as a city on 3 December 1978. The Hass Avocado Mother Tree, planted there by Rudolph Hass in the 1920s, died in 2002.
La Rambla is an unincorporated community surrounded by the neighborhood of San Pedro. When San Pedro was annexed by Los Angeles in 1906, La Rambla was not. It was then the site of the Gaffey family estate, Hacienda La Rambla, demolished in 1964.
LA TUNA CANYON
The development of Ladera Heights began in 1947. In 1963, the neighborhood was flooded in the Baldwin Hills Dam Disaster. The site is now the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Ladera Heights has long been characterized as part of the “Black Beverly Hills.”
LAKE LOS ANGELES
In 1967, developers George Isaac and Ray Watt subdivided a 4,000-acre, master-planned desert oasis community they named Lake Los Angeles. The chief enticement, a 16-acre artificial lake, was allowed to evaporate in the 1980s.
On 30 September 1934, the Montana Land Company opened its Lakewood Village Tract, a planned, “garden home” suburb located on the former Montana Ranch. It was largely built out in the mid-1940s. It was annexed by Long Beach in 1952 and ’53.
In early 1910, just a few months after the land was annexed in the Colegrove Addition, developer James V. Baldwin began selling lots of his tract, Larchmont Heights. By the 1920s, most referred to the streetcar suburb simply as “Larchmont.”
Largo Vista is a very small community located north of the Largo Vista Road and Forest Service Road 4N07. Around 1932, a few cabins were built at the edge of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley. A few more homes were constructed in the decades that followed but little else.
A gorge fed by several springs in the Hollywood Hills was known as “Laurel Cañon” at least as early as 1874. The Laurel Canyon Annex added it to Los Angeles on 15 May 1923. It came to be associated with film stars, nature boys, and musicians.
A small community along Lennox Avenue (now Boulevard) chose the name Lennox in 1912, around the time Lennox Station opened on Pacific Electric’s Hawthorne Line. Lennox Park opened around 1914. A streetcar suburb slowly developed although, over the decades, most has been annexed by Inglewood.
Frank D. Hall bought the St. Anthony Ranch in 1908 in Leonis Valley and raised dairy cows on his Leona Valley Ranch. In 1918, he subdivided it. The Leona Valley Cherry Festival launched in 1972 and the Leona Valley AVA was established in 2008.
In 1913, Pacific Electric Railway‘s Oak Knoll Line began service and a streetcar suburb, Lexington Heights, was developed by Associated Homebuilders. It was annexed by Pasadena on 8 June 1926. It annually hosts the Historic Highlands Tour.
THE LINCOLN HEIGHTS AUTO GLASS DISTRICT
THE LINCOLN HEIGHTS BUSINESS DISTRICT
LINCOLN HEIGHTS INDUSTRIAL ZONE
LINCOLN HOWARD ARROYO FREEWAY
Lincoln-Villa began to develop along the Colorado & Orange Grove and Lincoln Avenue streetcar lines in the 1900s. “Lincoln-Villa” was in wide use by the 1950s. Much of the neighborhood was demolished in the 1960s for the 210, 710, and 134.
Linda Vista rancho was purchased in 1886 and the Linda Vista Improvement Co. formed in ’87. The Linda Vista name is shared with streets, a library, and a park but the best-known feature of the community is the Rose Bowl, which opened in 1922.
LITTLE ARMENIA (Լիթլ Արմենիա)
LITTLE BANGLADESH (লিটল বাংলাদেশ)
LITTLE BELIZE ()
LITTLE BRAZIL (PEQUENO BRASIL)
LITTLE CENTRAL AMERICA (PEQUEÑO CENTROAMÉRICA)
Following US interventions in Central America; significant numbers of refugees settled in the neighborhoods of Pico-Union and Westlake in the 1980s, which came unofficially to be known as Little Central America or Pequeño Centro America by the early 1990s. Today, Los Angeles is home to the largest community of Salvadorans and Guatemalans outside of their respective home countries.
LITTLE ETHIOPIA (ሊትል ኢትዮጵያ).
The seed of this thriving commercial enclave was Adolis (now Rosalind’s), which Fekere Gebre-Mariam opened in 1988. By 1995, the area was commonly known as Little Ethiopia (ሊትል ኢትዮጵያ). The city granted official recognition in 2002.
LITTLE INDIA (छोटा भारत)
721 Filipinos arrived in Los Angeles in 1924 and soon after, Little Manila arose around Bunker Hill and Little Tokyo. By the ’30s, there were proposals for a tourist-friendly enclave but urban renewal displaced the Pinoy community in the 1950s.
LITTLE ODESSA (МАЛЕНЬКАЯ ОДЕССА)
Little Odessa (Маленькая Одесса) emerged in the 1970s when Russian Jews settled eastern West Hollywood with many opening businesses on Santa Monica Boulevard. More arrived after the fall of the USSR although the population has since declined.
LITTLE OSAKA (小大阪)
LITTLE TAIPEI (小台北)
LITTLE TOKYO (小東京)
The Littlerock Creek Irrigation District was established in 1892 in order to irrigate fruit orchards. The farming community of Littlerock arose around a variety of crops, most famously Bartlett Pears. In 1918, the annual Pear Day was inaugurated.
Llano (Spanish for “plain”) is a town on the Pearblossom Highway. It was the site of socialist mayoral candidate Job Harriman‘s short-lived commune, Llano del Rio, launched in 1914 and abandoned in 1918, the ruins of which remain there.
The Loma Vista neighborhood is named after Loma Vista Street. The homes along it were built in the 1920s and ’30s. The Loma Vista-Martelo Annex and Loma Vista Annex added most of it to Pasadena in 1941 and ’42.
LONG BEACH AIRPORT
Barnstormer Earl S. Daugherty established the world’s first flight school in 1919. The Long Beach airport opened there in 1923. The community is also home Lundgren Maurer‘s 1968 groovy Holiday Inn, a business park, and a golf course.
Above Laurel Canyon is the neighborhood of Lookout Mountain. It was formerly home of the Air Force-managed 1352d Motion Picture Squadron who used it to make films for the Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission from 1947 to 1963.
LOS ALTOS NORTH
LOS ALTOS SOUTH
In 1844, Mexican cattle rancher Don Jonathan Temple built his Rancho Los Cerritos home near the historic site of the Tongva village, Amaungna. On 7 October 1906, the Los Cerritos Tract, a streetcar suburb on the Long Beach Line, made its debut.
LOS CERRITOS WETLANDS
Named after a 27 km2 ranch owned by Spanish settler José Vicente Feliz — although his family name was also spelled “Felis” and “Felix” before its standardization. Los Feliz was the first home of Disney studios and was later a hub of the swing revival scene. Today, Armenians comprise the largest ethnicity and comprise the plurality of the neighborhood’s foreign-born.
LOWER ARROYO SECO
LOWER HASTINGS RANCH
The Lower Westside (not to be confused with neighboring Westside South) is a mostly residential neighborhood (Santa Fe Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway are commercial). It was annexed by Long Beach in 1910 and developed as Tract No. 1833.
In 1902, Charles H. Sessions founded the Lynnwood Dairy and Creamery, named after his wife, Lynn Wood. The suburb incorporated in 1921. It’s the hometown of “Weird Al” Yankovic (born in 1959) and home to Plaza México, built by Donald Chae in 2002.
Madison is home to James Madison Park, James Madison Elementary, and Madison Avenue — all named after America‘s shortest president. It began as several subdivisions that, by 1913, were served by three Pacific Electric lines. It was known as Madison by the 1940s.
The Champan and Moorland tracts developed along Pacific Electric‘s Magnolia Avenue Line that opened in 1904. It developed into an industrial area typified by small factories and warehouses. It still retains a similar industrial character.
Near the site of the historic Chumash village of Ta’lopop, Bertram D. Lackey and George Wilson created Malibou Lake by building a dam at the confluence of Medea and Trifuno creeks. Their country club opened in 1924 and a small community developed there. The original lodge burned down in 1936 but was replaced. In 1953, Ronald Reagan was appointed the position of “honorary” mayor.
Malibu Bowl is a residential community named after the geographic feature in which it is situated. The oldest of the roughly 100 homes were built in 1927. In the 1950s, Malibu Bowl was home to actor Lew Ayres, who played Dr. Kildare in nine films.
Listed in County literature as an unincorporated community perhaps referring to El Nido, above Malibu, labeled as “Malibu Hills” on many maps but not street level, where signs announce “El Nido.” Further south, in the city of Malibu, S. C. Potter, Richards & Ames subdivided Malibu Hills in 1926. The centerpiece was a 1000-gallon wishing well, said to have something to do with an “Indian romance.” Construction of the Malibu Hills Inn began in 1927.
Nestled in the Latigo Canyon above Malibu is Malibu Vista. The oldest home, built in 1928, has long served as the earth headquarters of the Ashtar Command & Galactic Federation of Light. Most neighboring homes were built in the 1970s-1990s.
MANCHESTER SQUARE [SOUTH BAY]
MANCHESTER SQUARE [SOUTH LOS ANGELES]
Smith Investment Company opened Manchester Square on 22 February 1925. The event was promoted with aerial tricks performed by aviatrix Gladys Roy and free “real Mexican chili” prepared by Romero. Art’s Famous Chili Dogs moved there in 1944.
The Maravilla Park Tract was recorded with the office of Los Angeles County on 14 November 1911. The famous Maravilla Handball Court opened in 1928. The Maravilla Housing Project opened in 1945. The Maravilla Historical Society was formed in 2009.
Dr. Alexander Schutt conceived of Marguerita Lane as an artists’ colony. The Spanish Colonial Revival “studio homes” were designed by Denman and Burton Schutt and were built between 1927 and 1930. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
MARINA DEL REY
In 1953, a loan was obtained to redevelop a saltwater marsh covered with oil derricks. Eleven years later, Marina del Rey was dedicated on 10 April 1965. Developers envisioned a marina home to 30,000 residents. As of 2019, it was home to 9,852.
Mariposa is a dense neighborhood characterized by a mix of 1920s houses and 1980s apartments. It’s presumably named after Mariposa Street. It’s highly diverse; home to many Armenians, Mexicans, Filipinos, Salvadorans, and Koreans, Arabs, and others.
Maywood was apparently named after real estate agent May Wood when it was created in 1919. The streetcar suburb was “6 1/2 cents/20 minutes from Broadway!” It was incorporated in 1924 and was built out by the 1930s. In 1971, Tapatío was born there.
Melrose (also known as the Melrose District) is named after its famous thoroughfare, Melrose Avenue, itself named after a town in Massachusetts. It was paved in 1909. Most of the homes were built in the 1920s. It emerged in the early 1980s as a fashionable shopping area with boutiques catering to the new wave scene.
The Long Beach Line began operation in 1901 and a streetcar suburb, Vista del Mar, opened along it in 1905. In 1924 it was annexed by Long Beach. In 1960, Long Beach Memorial moved to the area and people began referring to Memorial Heights.
MID-CITY [LOS ANGELES]
MID-CITY [SANTA MONICA]
In the early 1980s, Santa Monicans began referring to an area framed by Colorado Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard to the south and Wilshire Boulevard to the north began as Mid-City. In 1982, Santa Monica Mid-City Neighbors was formed.
MIDEAST LOS ANGELES
Mideast Los Angeles is the region that in 1781 marked the westernmost edge of the city. In 1896, the Westside began to expand westward. Now MELA is surrounded by Downtown, Hollywood, Midtown, the Eastside, and Northeast Los Angeles
The “Midtown” designation first appeared in New York in 1930. As early as 1935, though, Angelenos began referring to the neighborhoods south of Hollywood, east of the Westside, west of Mideast Los Angeles, and north of South Los Angeles as Midtown.
Mint Canyon is a canyon in the Sierra Pelona. Much of it lies, too, within the city of Santa Clarita. An unincorporated portion, home to Mint Canyon Elementary and Mint Canyon Mobile Manor, lies outside.
The Spanish founded Misión San Fernando Rey de España in 1797 near the Tataviam village of ‘Achooykomenga. On 24 May 1953, the development of Dennis Park opened nearby. In 1959, residents voted to change the community’s name to Mission Hills.
Monrovia is named after Indiana-born developer William Newton Monroe. It incorporated, as a dry town, in 1887. In the 1920s, it was home to vegetarian socialist author Upton Sinclair. In 1936, however, Patrick McDonald opened a hamburger stand, the Airdrome there — the precursor to McDonald’s.
Robert A. Walton and J. Frank Walter began developing Montrose in 1910. Its name was chosen through a poll in 1912. Most was annexed by Glendale in the ’50s and ’70s. The 210 Freeway erased much of the rest. Today it’s usually attached by a hyphen to neighboring La Crescenta.
MONTROSE VERDUGO CITY
In 1963, filmmaker-turned-developer Russ Vincent and Al Hess premiered their Mount Olympus project; 700 homes in the rugged upper Hollywood Hills that had previously resisted development. The gaudy entrance sign is appropriately pretentious.
The site of the Kitanemuk village of Puyutsiwamǝŋ was known to the Spanish as Ojo de la Vaca. The Americans called it Cow Springs. In the 1870s, it was settled by Danes from Neenah, Wisconsin. John A. Coovert opened the Neenach post office in 1888.
What’s now Newhall was historically home to the Tataviam village of Tochonanga. In 1875, Henry Mayo Newhall bought 188 km2 of land there and allowed the Southern Pacific through the Newhall Pass. The town of Newhall arose around a train stop there.
Nichols Canyon is named after John G. Nichols, Los Angeles mayor who was the first to expand the city’s borders. He was also the owner of the city’s first brick home. The neighborhood was later home to Father Yod, founder of the Source Family.
NOHO ARTS DISTRICT
The “triangle” of Norma Triangle, if not obvious, comes from its shape; formed by Doheny Drive, Sunset Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard. “Norma” refers to a somewhat inconspicuous street, Norma Place. The name first appeared c. 1980.
NORTH CUMBERLAND HEIGHTS
North Cumberland Heights is an historic district designated in 2012 and consisting of single-family homes, mostly Spanish Colonial Revival, but also other period revival styles, built in the 1920s and ’30s by Arthur and Dan Campbell. There are also Ranch and Minimal Traditional homes from the 1940s and ’50s.
NORTH EL MONTE
But for two schools and a liquor store, unincorporated North El Monte is an entirely residential community. The oldest homes were constructed in the 1920s but roughly half were built in 1949. The population in 2020 was 3,933.
North Pasadena is — unlike the similarly designated East Pasadena (an unincorporated community) or South Pasadena (an independent municipality) — a neighborhood in Pasadena. Almost exclusively residential, most homes were built in the 1920s or 1940s.
NORTH PASADENA HEIGHTS
NORTH UNIVERSITY PARK
The city’s first suburban rail line, the Main Street & Agricultural Railroad, began operation in 1875. A streetcar suburb, University Park, developed after. Preservationists formed the North University Park Community Association in 1980.
NORTH VILLAGE WESTWOOD
North Village Westwood is a district north of Westwood Village notable for its notable multi-dwelling residences including The Holmby House, The Grove, Chateau Colline, The Lindbrook, The Landfair, The Strathmore, Gayley Terrace, &c.
North Wrigley is a subdivision of Wrigley, a development created in 1905 by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. It was primarily developed in the 1940s. It’s home to the Wrigley Greenbelt and the Streamline Moderne Cheney-Delaney Residence.
NORTH OF MONTANA
NORTHEAST CLAREMONT ISLANDS
NORTHEAST LOS ANGELES
The “Northeast Los Angeles” designation appeared at least as early as 1875. The Highland Park Addition (1895) and Garvanza Addition (1899) were Los Angeles’s first annexed communities. NELA 13, a local gang, provided the popular “NELA” acronym.
NORTHEAST SAN DIMAS ISLANDS
NORTHEAST WHITTIER ISLANDS
The Northeast Whittier Islands refer to two small unincorporated areas within the city of Whittier. One contains within it the abandoned Turnbull Canyon Reservoir. The other contains a single home, built in 1941.
Zelzah was founded in 1908. It was annexed in 1915 renamed North Los Angeles in 1929, then Northridge Village in 1938. Eventually, bucking the trend, it dropped the “village.” California State University, Northridge, was founded there in 1958.
Northwest Whittier is a very small, unincorporated residential community located to Whittier’s northwest. It’s bisected and dominated by the San Gabriel Freeway. It’s also home to the Apostolic Church of Whittier.
NORTHWEST LOS ANGELES
From 1781-1909, the northwest corner of Los Angeles was at Hoover and Fountain. In 1915, an annexation moved that corner to Chatsworth. Since the 1940s, though, “Northwest Los Angeles” has more often meant Northwest Los Angeles County.
Norwalk was founded by Atwood and Gilbert Sproul in 1874. It was largely settled by Dutch dairy farmers. Norwalk incorporated in 1957. Today the plurality of inhabitants are Mexican or Filipino American. Norwalk’s motto is “A Connected Community.”
NORWALK ISLANDS (AKA CERRITOS ISLANDS)
OAKDALE (AKA ROSEDALE AKA SIERRA BONITA)
THE OAKS [LOS ANGELES]
The Oaks is a mostly residential neighborhood located below Griffith Park. Its name is derived from streets within including Black Oak, Cayon Oak, Dell Oak, Green Oak, Hill Oak, Live Oak, Mountain Oak, Red Oak, Spreading Oak, Spring Oak, Valley Oak, Verde Oak, and Wild Oak.
Guelagetza opened on Olympic Boulevard in 1994 and many Oaxacan businesses opened afterward in the area. In 2012 there were efforts to designate the Oaxaca Corridor although, since at least 2001, the area was more commonly known as Oaxacatown.
Oban was founded with a Southern Pacific railroad siding on 28 July 1899. Near a Scottish colony at Willow Springs, it was named after the Scottish resort town. Located at the convergence of several streams, it was a water stop and still has many wells.
OLD BANK DISTRICT
Pasadena was named in 1875. By the mid-1960s, the town’s original city center was nicknamed “Old Town.” By the mid-1970s, “Old Pasadena” was more common. In 1979, the city board voted to designate the Historic Old Pasadena District. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
South of Olympic Boulevard, home to Queen Anne Park, and partly developed as the Brookdale Tract; residents chose the name, Olympic Park, c. 2002. Aside from Los Angeles High School, it’s mostly residential, with most homes built in the 1920s.
ORANGE GROVE VILLAGE
Despite its bucolic name, Orange Grove Village is named after Orange Grove Boulevard rather than any orange groves. The “village” consists solely of 122 detached condominiums designed by Matlin and Dvoretzky and completed in 1975.
Pasadena’s Orange Heights Tract was inaugurated in 1906. Most of the neighborhood’s single-family Craftsman homes were built in the decade that followed. The Orange Heights-Barnhart Tracts Historic District was added to the NRHP in 1995.
Emil Firth’s Oxford Square subdivision opened in 1907. It was annexed in 1909. Ironically, although Firth was himself Jewish, Jews were explicitly prevented from buying homes there by restrictive deeds which remained in place for decades.
In 1986, Warmington Homes built Pacific Villas, a gated residential community of 35 “luxury Mediterranean style homes” (i.e. identical stucco houses) on Alamitos Bay. The Long Beach Pacific Villas Homeowners Association incorporated in 1990.
The town of the Palms was founded in 1886 along the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad near the midway point between Los Angeles and Santa Monica. It was annexed in 1915. It’s home to the Irish Times, Museum of Jurassic Technology, and Simpang Asia.
PALOS VERDES ESTATES
PALOS VERDES PENINSULA
Palos Verdes Peninsula is a landform and region of Los Angeles. Historically it was home to numerous Tongva villages. In 1846, it was granted as Rancho Palos Verdes to Mexican ranchers José Loreto and Juan Capistrano Sepúlveda.
Paramount was created with the merger of two villages, Hynes and Clearwater, in 1948. It was known for its dairy and hay production. A camphor tree at the intersection of Paramount and Harrison, where the daily price of hay was set, is still known as the Hay Tree.
PARAMOUNT (AKA DAVENPORT PARK)
Through a series of annexations that took place between 1947 and ’53, Long Beach annexed the land on which Los Altos Realty‘s Park Estates was developed, beginning in 1950. The residential neighborhood was almost entirely built out by 1957.
PARK LA BREA
Park La Brea (Spanglish for “The Tar Park” ) is a residential community in Midtown that was primarily developed in two phases. The first consisted of a 31-building garden apartment complex designed by Leonard Schultz & Son with Earl T. Heitschmidt in 1941. Eighteen thirteen-story towers designed by Leonard Schultz Associates with Stanton + Kaufmann were added in 1948.
Pasadena, historically home to the village of Hahamog’na, was so-named in 1875. It’s derived from “Weoquân Pâ sâ de ná”; literally “crown of the Valley” in the Anishinaabemowin language spoken by the indigenous people of Michigan and North Dakota.
PASADENA CIVIC CENTER
Pearblossom is a small town that, like Pearland, is named after pear orchards of the Antelope Valley. Most of the pears, these days, however, are grown near the similarly portmanteaued Antelope Valley town of Littlerock.
Named after the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. It was home to the Picfair Theatre, an art deco cinema built in 1940 that was operated by Joseph Moritz. In later years, it was a swap meet. The former cinema burned down in the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
In 1886, the Electric Railway Homestead Association started selling tracts of a new streetcar suburb, Pico Heights, that was served by the Pico Street Railway. Pico Heights was annexed by Los Angeles on April Fool’s Day of 1896.
PICO DEL MAR
THE PIÑATA DISTRICT
The Piñata District began to coalesce after the 1995 opening of Joker Party Supply. Other stores in the area, including older party supply stores, began focusing on selling smashable, candy-filled papier-maché figures and objects.
By roughly 6000 BCE, the Ballona Wetlands supported a large Chumash village. Playa Vista was later used by the Tongva as a burial ground. From 1941-1985, it was home to the Hughes Aircraft Co. It was annexed by Los Angeles on 9 February 1986.
PLAYA DEL REY
THE PLAYHOUSE DISTRICT
The Pleasant View Neighborhood Association serves a very small neighborhood of about two-dozen homes surrounded by the larger La Pintoresca neighborhood. It was originally developed as Indian Tract in 1904 and annexed by Pasadena the same year.
PORT OF LONG BEACH
The Port of Long Beach was founded in 1911. It was developed by the Los Angeles Dock and Terminal Company and built atop augmented mudflats at the mouth of the Los Angeles River. It was acquired by Long Beach in 1916. Today, it’s the second-busiest container port in the US, after the Port of Los Angeles.
Benjamin F. Porter bought land from his cousin, George, who’d purchased it in 1874 and evicted the remaining Tataviam living there. In 1883, he formed the Porter Land and Water Company. The Porter Ranch Tract was subdivided in the early 1960s.
THE PRODUCE DISTRICT
Los Angeles Terminal Mart, designed by John Parkinson, was built from 1917-1923. It was the terminus of the Southern Paciﬁc Railroad and the hub of what became the Produce District. The Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market opened in 1986.
Quail Lake is a sag pond on the San Andreas Fault that was turned into a 197-acre reservoir for the California Aqueduct. Most homes in the area are abandoned and the Quail Lake School lies in ruin. There is a Spanish Colonial-style phone booster station, built in 1929. In 1942, developer Glaucus E. “George” Kinsey acquired an old hunting lodge and converted it into the still extant Neo-Classical style Kinsey Mansion, completed in 1946, complete with a private airport, Quail Lake Sky Park.
Luis Gonzaga Policarpo Manuel Antonio y Fernando Domínguez‘s still extant adobe was completed in 1826. Today, all residents of the industrial community live in one of two trailer parks: Del Amo Mobile Home Estates (1942) and Dominguez Hills Estates (1980).
RANCH PALOS VERDES
Rancho Park was named by Bill Heyer, who opened his real estate office there in 1927. In 1947, Felix Figueroa (a pseudonym of Freddy Martin) released the song “Pico and Sepulveda” about an intersection there. A gap exists there in the Exposition Line Bikeway thanks to NIMBYs.
RANCHO SAN RAFAEL
The Chumash settled here at least 7,000 years ago. The Tongva, who arrived later, named it “‘Ongoova’nga,” or “place of salt” after a spring-fed salt lake. The Redondo Beach Railway launched in 1888. Redondo Beach incorporated on 29 April 1892.
Renaissance Square was developed as several tracts, including Allen Rhea, Alta Vista, Hawkeye, MacDonnell, Metcalf, Trissler, and Young & Parmley. “Renaissance Square,” which sounds likes the name of a multiplex, is as far as I know a recent coinage, entering usage as recently as 2005.
In 1865, Don Rocha built an adobe on Rancho Rincón de los Bueyes. In 1923, Citizens Trust & Savings Bank and Title Insurance & Trust Co. subdivided the streetcar suburb as Renyier Park (now Reynier Village). The eponymous park opened in 1978.
RIDGEVIEW COUNTRY ESTATES
Burbank‘s Riverside Ranchos subdivision debuted in 1937. By the 1940s, it was often shortened to Riverside Rancho and by the 1960s, the name was also applied to the adjacent equestrian community in neighboring Glendale.
In 1935, Archibald Elexis Hanson began developing dude ranches on the former Rancho Palos Verdes. One, the gated community of Rolling Hills, was developed with homes designed by Wallace Neff. It incorporated as a city on 24 January 1957.
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES
In 1907, John DeMuth circulated a petition to establish a school district for the scattered homes east of Lancaster. The Roosevelt School opened in 1908 with just 14 students in attendance. The Roosevelt Community Church was completed in 1945.
Pacific Electric Railway‘s Monrovia-Glendora Line began operation in 1902. Grider & Hamilton’s Rose Hill Tract, a streetcar suburb, opened in 2004. Its name echoes the name of an historic Tongva village there, Otsungna, meaning “place of roses.”
ROSE PARK SOUTH
Bavarian settler Leonard John Rose named his ranch Rose’s Meadow. Later it was shortened to Rosemeade. In 1959, it was incorporated as Rosemead. In the 1990s, there was an influx of immigration and today Rosemead is primarily Chinese and Vietnamese.
ROSSMOYNE HISTORIC DISTRICT
Virginian Erskine Mayo Ross moved to Los Angeles in 1868 and established Rossmoyne Ranch. The Haddock-Nibley Company opened the Rossmoyne Tract in 1923. The entirely residential Rossmoyne Historic District was designated in 2012.
In April 1842, governor Juan B. Alvarado granted Rancho La Puente to American immigrant John Rowland. The Rowland Heights Improvement Association was formed in 1963. Since the 1980s, it’s been recognized as forming part of Little Taipei.
SAINT ANDREWS SQUARE
Saint Francis is a north Long Beach neighborhood which has within it the winding St. Francis Place which, along with the homes that line it, was developed in 1968. Most of the neighborhood’s homes, however, were built in the mid-1950s. St. Francis was a 13th-century mystic and animal lover, Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone (better known as Francis of Assissi).
SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND
THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
THE SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS [LOS ANGELES COUNTY]
SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS [GLENDALE]
The northernmost neighborhood of Glendale stretches from Deukmejian Wilderness Park up to the 1,547 meter-high peak of Mount Lukens (formerly known as Sister Elsie Peak). The area was annexed by Glendale as the Inter-Valley Ranch Annexation on 24 April 1975.
THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY
The San Gabriel Valley is named after a river which is itself named after La Misión del Santo Príncipe el Arcángel, San Gabriel de los Temblores, destroyed by flooding in 1776. Today it is widely recognized for its large Asian population.
Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo arrived in San Pedro Bay on St. Peter’s Day in 1542. In 1784, Rancho San Pedro was granted to Juan José Domínguez. The city of San Pedro incorporated on 1 March 1888. It was annexed by Los Angeles on 28 August 1909.
SAN RAFAEL HEIGHTS
In 1784, José María Verdugo was granted the 147 km2 Rancho San Rafael. In 1898, the Garvanza-based San Rafael Ranch Company began selling lots of the residential tract, San Rafael Heights. It was annexed by Pasadena on 11 August 1914.
SAN RAFAEL HILLS
The name Sand Canyon has been used since at least the 1880s to describe an area of Canyon Country. In 1987, most became part of Santa Clarita. More was annexed in 1998. A residential area, developed between 1990 and 2001, remains unincorporated.
In 1914, Norwegian Harald Sandberg opened Sandberg’s Summit Hotel and Sandberg’s Meals on the Ridge Route through the Sierra Pelona. By 1918, there was a post office and service station. On 29 April 1961, all but two cabins burned to the ground.
SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
By 7000 BCE, the Chumash lived on Santa Catalina. It was later conquered by the Tongva, who named it Pimuu’nga. The Spanish named it twice: San Salvador (1542) and Santa Catalina (1602). Most Angelenos, however, know it merely as Catalina.
SANTA FE SPRINGS
Jesus Santa Maria was born in Spain in 1849. After emigrating, he married 13-year-old Elena Valenzuela in 1878. They settled in what’s now Santa Maria in 1880. They had 18 kids. In 1928, Santa Maria was subdivided into lots for ten of the sons.
SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS
The Santa Monica Mountains is a mountain chain that extends from the Channel Islands to the Los Angeles River’s west bank (where they’re more widely known as the Hollywood Hills). The name also refers to the westernmost region of Los Angeles that includes Malibu and other communities.
Saugus is named after the Massachusetts hometown of Henry Newhall, who established a ranch on land formerly home to the Tataviam village of Chaguayanga. Saugus was one of the four communities (the others being Canyon Country, Newhall, and Valencia) that merged in 1987 to create Santa Clarita, in which it’s now a neighborhood.
Too similar in name to Bassett, in 1899, the town of Barrett was renamed Sawtelle after Pacific Land Company manager William E. Sawtelle. It incorporated in 1906. Historically home to many Japanese, it was later nicknamed Soteru (そてる). It was annexed in 1922.
THE SEAFOOD DISTRICT
After American-Mexican William Wolfskill died in 1866, his former vineyard and orange orchards were subdivided as the Wolfskill Orchard Tract. Adjacent to both the railroad tracks and Little Tokyo, by the 1890s it was developing into the Seafood District. Today it’s still dominated by wholesale markets and cold storage facilities.
SEMINOLE HOT SPRINGS
7 STREETS EAST
Although represented by a neighborhood association, there’s not much information about 7 Streets East. It’s home to the corner of the CalTech campus that includes the Page and Ruddock Houses, as well as the Hale Solar Laboratory.
In 1907, Dr. Homer Hansen subdivided the equestrian community of Hansen Heights. The streets were named after members of the Hansen family. The town was annexed by Los Angeles on 10 April 1918. In 1947, voters changed the name to Shadow Hills.
Signal Hill was named in 1889. A streetcar suburb developed after the 1906 opening of the Newport-Balboa Line in 1906. Oil was discovered in 1921 and homes were replaced by over 100 derricks. It incorporated in 1924 to avoid paying oil taxes to Long Beach.
Silver Lake is named after Water Board Commissioner Herman Silver and titular reservoir that began operation in 1906. By the 1940s it was a hotbed of Mid-century modern architecture. By the 1950s, it was known as Los Angeles’s gayborhood.
Housing tracts began opening in Pasadena‘s southwest around the 1904 opening of Pacific Electric Railway‘s Arroyo Seco Line. South Arroyo is named after the boulevard that passes through it. Its Colorado Street Bridge was completed in 1913.
THE SOUTH BAY
Builder Spyros George Ponty and architect Alan Ruoff began building Spanish Colonial Revival homes “South of Carthay Center” in the 1930s. In 1984, South Carthay was designated the city’s second Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).
SOUTH DIAMOND BAR
South Diamond Bar, also known as The Ranch, is an agricultural zone owned by City of Industry — although they do not share any border. It’s home to the Firestone Boy Scout Reservation and scattered oil wells and other ruins but no homes or commercial properties.
SOUTH EL MONTE
SOUTH LAKE DISTRICT
SOUTH LOS ANGELES
SOUTH MONROVIA ISLAND
SOUTH PARK [DOWNTOWN]
In 1970, the Philadelphia planning firm of Wallace, McHarg, Roberts & Todd created plans to revive Downtown. They included South Park Urban Village, centered around the Los Angeles Convention Center and a 50-acre park with a lake. There is another neighborhood known as South Park since 1899 and the park was never built but the name stuck. Today it’s home to L.A. Live and the Staples Center.
SOUTH PARK [SOUTH LOS ANGELES]
7.75-hectare South Park was created in 1899 as the centerpiece of a streetcar suburb also named South Park. Its Dunbar Hotel opened in 1928 and was a hub of the Central Avenue Jazz scene. Another amenity, the Jan Perry Wetlands, opened in 2012.
South Pasadena incorporated on 3 March 1888. Early on, it was famously home to the Cawston Ostrich Farm and California Cycleway. Today it’s home to the Fair Oaks Pharmacy, the Rialto Theatre, Shakers, and Mission Wines.
SOUTH SAN GABRIEL
SOUTH SAN JOSE HILLS
THE SOUTH SERRANO AVENUE HISTORIC DISTRICT
SOUTH OF CONANT
SOUTHEAST LOS ANGELES
The “Southeast Los Angeles” designation has existed since at least 1902 to refer to the suburbs located between the Los Angeles River in the west; Coyote Creek in the southeast; and the Repetto, Montebello, and Puente Hills in the north.
Indiana-born citrus magnate & developer William S. Sparr‘s Sparr Realty Corporation began operation in 1922. A streetcar suburb, Sparr’s offices were converted into a streetcar station. Today the building is the Sparr Heights Community Center.
In 1988, Newport Beach-based Fieldstone Company announced their plans for a waterfront community called Spinnaker Bay (a name already used in Newport Beach). Construction occurred from 1989-1998. It’s home to the Jack Dunster Marine Reserve.
STARR KING (FREEWAY CIRCLE)
STONEY BROOK VILLAS
Stoneybrook Villas is a large, gated, 471-unit condominium community built in 1970. In addition to amenities including tennis courts and pools, early buyers were further enticed with the promise of free refrigerators and microwave ovens.
The streetcar suburb of Laurelwood was founded in 1910. It was annexed by Los Angeles in 1915. The Mack Sennett Studio opened there in March 1928. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and other studios followed suit and by June, the area was known as “Studio City.”
Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in the San Fernando Valley in 1876 and a town called Roscoe arose at the mouth of La Tuna Canyon. In June 1948, residents chose the new name “Sun Valley,” beating out Glenridge, Glenoaks, and North Los Angeles.
In 1946, Melvin Ray Grubbs and the Sun Village Land Corporation began advertising the Sun Village development in The California Eagle, a black newspaper. The Sun Village Parks Assn. was formed in 1958. Jackie Robinson Park was dedicated in 1965. The Mothers of Invention commemorated the community with “Village of the Sun.”
Near the site of the Tongva village, Tuxunga, the Monte Vista Hotel and Sunland (then a nickname for Southern California) post office both opened in 1887. Eventually, Sunland won out as the name for the surrounding community although, by 1928, it was often connected by a hyphen to Tujunga as Sunland-Tujunga.
Sunset Hills is a residential neighborhood named after Sunset Hills Road and home to architecturally significant homes, like La Collina (designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann, 1922) and the George Cukor Residence (designed by Roland E. Coate, 1931).
The Loftus Land Company began subdividing farmland formerly owned by the Mayberry and Meyer families into suburban Sunshine Farms in 1926 followed by Sunshine Acres and a public golf course in 1928. It was mostly developed in the early 1950s.
The land that is now home to the Sutter neighborhood was annexed by Long Beach on 4 January 1924. I honestly don’t know why it’s called “Sutter” but the mayor of Long Beach from 1953 to 1954 was Lyman B. Sutter.
The Switzer neighborhood is presumably named after Switzer Alley which was, in turn, probably named after Perry Switzer. It was annexed by Pasadena in 1948 and ’50. It’s dominated by the abandoned St. Luke’s Hospital, open from 1933 until 2002.
Historically, travelers between Los Angeles and (dry) Highland Park had to pass through lawless Sycamore Grove. The two towns were annexed in 1895 in part to expand LAPD’s reach. A notorious roadhouse closed and became Sycamore Grove Park.
Sycamore Square is a trapezoid-shaped neighborhood that shares its name with a 1970s Simi Valley shopping center. It was mostly built out in the 1920s. The Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association was founded in 2005 and coined the name.
Cabin sites in Sylvia Park went on sale in 1924. The developers, Charles H. and Irving H. Goldman, suggested as an incentive to prospective buyers that they might discover oil. A further incentive, the Sylvia Park Country Club, was built in 1930.
After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Los Angeles emerged as home to the largest Iranian population outside of Iran. By the mid-1980s, a stretch of Westwood Boulevard and the surrounding neighborhood became colloquially known as Tehrangeles (تهرانجلس). The city has yet to recognize it as such but did designate an intersection within the neighborhood as Persian Square in 2010.
Temple-Beaudry is where the first oil was discovered in Los Angeles, in 1892. Eventually the neighborhood had over one hundred oil wells (one remains active today). In the shadow of downtown’s skyscrapers, the dusty, dirt alleys of Temple-Beaudry are still patrolled by roosters. Architecture is a jarring mixture of Victorian (the oldest home is from 1880) and contemporary. The neighborhood’s Vista Hermosa Natural Park is one of the city’s most charming.
THAI TOWN (ไทยทาวน์)
Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Thai people outside of Thailand. New Hollywood Plaza, completed in 1980, became a hub of Thai Los Angeles. Thailand Plaza opened next door in 1992. In 1999, the city recognized the area as Thai Town.
Movie studios may’ve ditched Hollywood decades ago but there a small theater district has been known as Theatre Row, since at least 1976. Today it’s often referred to as Hollywood Theater Row to differentiate from other local live theater districts.
Jared Sidney Torrance founded Torrance in 1911. “Torrance” is derived from the Gaelic “torran,” meaning “hillock.” Torrance is home to the nation’s 2nd largest population of Japanese, behind Honolulu. Torrance is home to many Japanese American business and the headquarters of several Japanese companies. Koreans are the most numerous foreign-born.
THE TOY DISTRICT
Hongkonger Charlie Woo opened ABC Toys in 1979 whilst pursuing a physics degree from UCLA. Soon, toy sellers from China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam followed suit, and “Toy Town” was born. It was later designated The Toy District.
Long Beach‘s Los Alamitos Traffic Circle was designed by engineer Werner Ruchti in 1930 in order to accommodate increased traffic from the 1932 Olympics. The surrounding neighborhood, annexed in the ’40s, was soon known as Traffic Circle.
Tropico began with a Southern Pacific depot of that name in 1887. It was known, among other things, for its strawberries. Part of the town was annexed by Los Angeles in 1910 what remained incorporated in 1911. In 1918, however, Tropico was absorbed into Glendale.
Tennessee-born developer and former gum salesman Paul Whitney Trousdale Jr. bought the old Doheny Ranch in 1954 with plans to develop it. On 28 August 1955, Beverly Hills annexed the entirely residential area as Trousdale Estates.
Twin Lakes Park was a private resort and resort community with a Mayan Revival architecture theme designed by Robert Stacy-Judd and developed by Gerard and Walters. Two lakes were created by damming Browns and Devil canyons and were stocked with bass and perch. The streets were named after various Native American peoples. In 1927, 750 lots of George W. Haight‘s ranch were put on sale. By the 1930s, though, roads remained unpaved, sewer undeveloped, and lots were slow to sell. Lawsuits were brought against the developers in 1933. Raymond Lake was drained in 1948 and the lower lake went dry. A fire in 1970 destroyed half of the homes but some Maya-style structures remain, along with the old dams. The rustic character took a hit when the 118 highway was extended along its edge in 1975.
Two Harbors is located on the isthmus between Banning Harbor and Catalina Harbor. Historically it was the site of the Tongva village of Naayxoxar. In 1864, the Army sent 83 soldiers to establish a camp there, now the basis of the small village.
UWAMACHI (宇和町 AKA UPTOWN)
Tracts #12216 and #12256, part of the North Moneta Gardens Land Tract, were subdivided in 1940. Today, the 3.85 km2 area remains unincorporated. Mostly residential, it’s also home to a strip club, King Henry VIII, founded in 1970.
UNINCORPORATED LONG BEACH
Unincorporated Long Beach (formally designated Increment 152) is a small, residential area centered along Harco and surrounded by the city of Long Beach. Within it are single-family homes, almost all of which were built in 1954, Woodruff Medical Plaza (1978), and Cypress Point (2005).
Pomona annexed much of its northern territory in the 1950s and ’60s. Crest Mobile Manor, Foothill Village Mobile Home Park, as well as a nearby cluster of houses built in the 1950s remain unincorporated and thus, Unincorporated Pomona.
UNINCORPORATED SANTA CLARITA
German immigrant Carl Laemmle opened the film studio, Second Universal City, on 15 March 1915. A retail area, Universal CityWalk, opened on 27 May 1993. Unincorporated and with no residents, however, Universal City is a city in name only.
UNIVERSITY PARK ESTATES
UNIVERSITY PARK NORTH
UNIVERSITY PARK WEST
UPPER HASTINGS RANCH
In 1882, Charles Cook Hastings founded Mesa Alta Rancho and began growing grapes. In the 1940s, the convention arose of dividing Upper and Lower Hastings Ranch. Edward H. Fickett built nearly every home in the Upper Hastings Ranch in 1951.
Development of this master-planned community began in 1967. 59 residential developments known as “villages” are connected by bike-and-pedestrian paths called “paseos.” The California Institute of the Arts moved there in 1971. It merged with four other communities in 1987 to create Santa Clarita, today the county’s third most populous city.
The Suburban Homes Company auctioned lots of its Van Nuys town site (named after Dutch rancher Isaac Van Nuys) on 22 February 1911. Pacific Electric‘s San Fernando Line arrived in December. Today Van Nuys is the most populous community in the Valley.
Abbot Kinney founded Venice of America on 4 July 1905. Like its namesake, its chief attraction was its canals. Venice became part of Los Angeles on 24 November 1925. In 1929, most of the canals were filled in, paved over, and surrendered to the car.
After the town of Venice was annexed by Los Angeles, seven of its thirteen famed canals, built in 1905, were filled in to accommodate automobiles. The Venice Canal Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The Southwest Land Company began developing Vermont Square, a streetcar suburb, in 1907. Next to the titular park is one of the city’s three Carnegie libraries, built in 1913. Most of the neighborhood’s bungalows date from the 1900s-1930s.
Much of Vermont Vista was developed in the early 20th century as the Sunny Side Tract in 1905. It was annexed by Los Angeles as part of the Shoestring in 1906. It was named Vermont Vista by the Eighth District Empowerment Congress in 2001.
Vernon is a “phantom city,” that is, a city almost without a population (just 112 in 2010). Like other phantom cities, Vernon was created as a tax shelter and cover for noxious businesses like chemical plants and slaughterhouses such as Farmer John.
But for the Frostig School, Pasadena Church of the Brethren, and AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School; the Victory neighborhood is exclusively residential. Nearly all of Victory’s homes were built between the 1940s and ’60s.
Villa Vista was originally mostly developed as part of Crawford’s Orange Grove Avenue Tract although a portion was developed as the Villa Vista Tract. Most of Villa Vista’s homes were built in the 1910s and ’20s although the oldest is from 1895.
VINEYARD [LOS ANGELES]
The Los Angeles Pacific Railroad extended a line to Vineyard Junction in 1907. A train collision in 1913 left fourteen dead. Most of Vineyard’s homes were built in the 1920s but the arrival of Sears Pico in 1939 and Midtown Shopping Center transformed it into an area of big box stores and surface parking lots.
Connor’s Subdivision of the Johannsen Tract opened in 1887. It was annexed by Los Angeles in 1909. The name Virgil Village was coined in 1994 as part of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, supposedly to empower residents.
WASHINGTON SQUARE (AKA CLEMENTE HEIGHTS AKA HEATHER HEIGHTS)
Two tracts above the town of Sherman, Sherman Heights (1907) and Shoreham Heights (1922), form the basis of WeHo Heights. “WeHo” emerged as a nickname for West Hollywood around 1992 and the “WeHo Heights” designation appeared by 2008.
WEST ADAMS [HISTORIC]
West Adams is a region centered along West Adams Boulevard. It was mostly annexed by Los Angeles between 1896 and 1915. Most wealthy residents decamped to the Westside, especially after the 10 Freeway opened, but many mansions remain.
WEST ADAMS TERRACE
WEST ARCADIA ISLANDS
The Chumash lived here for roughly 8,000 years. The Tataviam roughly 3,500 years ago and trading centers developed there. In the 20th century, sparsely populated, unincorporated West Chatsworth was home to Iverson and Spahn movie ranches.
Development of unincorporated West Compton mostly took place in the 1940s. By the 1960s it was a mostly black community — then unlike Compton. The industrial west was mostly developed in the 1960s and ’70s. Despite its location to Compton’s west, developers have promoted it as West Ranch Dominguez since the 2000s. By the 2010s, it was the last black majority community on South Los Angeles’s Eastside.
Although part of Long Beach since its incorporation in 1897, the West Gateway moniker only appeared in the mid-2000s to describe the neighborhood on Downtown Long Beach‘s west end. Attempts to rebrand it West Village have been less successful.
WEST HOLLYWOOD NORTH
For most of its existence, it’s doubtful that many felt the need to break down tiny West Hollywood (fewer than five square kilometers in area) into neighborhoods. The West Hollywood North Neighborhood Association was formed around 2001.
WEST LOS ANGELES
WEST LOS ANGELES CIVIC CENTER
In the 1950s, Los Angeles began created three regional civic centers to serve the sprawling population. The West Los Angeles Civic Center, built between 1957 and 1965, opened in 1961. It’s now set to be majorly redeveloped.
WEST PARK TERRACE
WEST POMONA ISLANDS
WEST PUENTE VALLEY
WEST SAN DIMAS
WEST TOLUCA LAKE
Secessionists in North Hollywood rejected “SoNoHo,” “Toluca Village,” and “Toluca Lake West,” and approved West Toluca Lake. The West Toluca Lake Residents Assn. was formed in January 1996 and on 5 August, neighborhood signs were installed.
In 1942, the Marlow-Burns Development Company opened the Westchester district to residential development. Prefabricated homes were quickly built throughout the area. LAX began expanding massively in the 1960s and now occupies 45% of Westchester.
Paul W. Trousdale launched the Westdale Village tract in 1947 on former bean fields and citrus orchards. Architect Allen Siple designed the homes in a variety of styles, including American Colonial, Monterey Colonial, and Regency revival as well as Ranch.
Most homes in the equestrian community of Westfield were built between 1959 and ’67. Westfield is home to Mystic Canyon Stable and several horse trails (Bridle, Palomino, Pinto, Quarterhorse, Ranchview, and Thoroughbred trails), and Westfield Park.
On the site of the Chumash village of Hipuc, American-Hawaiian Land Co. opened a planned community designed by A. C. Martin & Associates in 1966. Its focal point is Westlake Lake. The Los Angeles County half incorporated as a city in 1981.
THE WESTSIDE [LOS ANGELES]
THE WESTSIDE [LONG BEACH]
THE WESTSIDE [SOUTH LOS ANGELES]
The Westside (of South Los Angeles) was annexed between 1899 and 1948. The traditional dividing line between the region’s east and west sides was Main Street. From 1954 to ’58, the Harbor Freeway carved a more dramatic division.
What’s now Westwood was annexed by Los Angeles on 14 June 1916. UCLA moved there in 1929. Westwood is home to numerous museums, botanic gardens, sculpture gardens, striking architecture, theaters, and venues — as well as notoriously sleepy Westwood Village.n
WHITE FENCE FARMS (EL DORADO)
Alta California governor Don Pío de Jesús Pico built his home, El Ranchito, here in 1853. German Jacob F. Gerkens built a cabin c. 1860, the foundation of a quaker colony named after poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Whittier incorporated as a city in February 1898.
Bounded the Puente and Montebello hills, various rivers flow through the Whittier Narrows area. The Tongva had several villages in the area, including Isantcagna and Peruksngna (“place of the running water”). It proved less suitable for permanent structures. The Spanish built the first mission there in 1771 but was washed away by a flood in 1776.
By the mid-1890s, the Wholesale District began to coalesce in the southeast corner of Downtown next to freight train lines. Today there are neighboring districts dedicated to bongs, electronics, garments, piñatas, produce, seafood, and toys; and the Wholesale District is slowly being absorbed into the Arts District.
WILLMORE (EASTERN PARKWAY)
Willow-lined brooks and streams covered marshland here until the 1940s, much of the community was developed. Today it’s known as the home of Magic Johnson Park (and several smaller parks) as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.
In 1858, Phineas Banning acquired land from Manuel Domínguez and named it Wilmington after his Delaware birthplace. Today it’s home to the Banning Museum, the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum, and the first location of the Der Wienerschnitzel chain.
Wilshire Center is a sub-district of Midtown named after Henry Gaylord Wilshire‘s eponymous boulevard. It contains within it both Koreatown and Little Bangladesh. The designation first appeared around 1928, the year after Gayolord’s death.
The original Wilshire Highlands tract opened in 1923. Later, the name was revived for a neighborhood developed in 1922 with a less romantic name, Tract No. 5069. Since 1969, it’s been home to a 24-hour Tex Mex joint, Lucy’s Drive-In.
WILSHIRE VISTA HIGHLANDS
WILTON HISTORIC DISTRICT
The oldest homes in Winnetka date back to the 1910s but development really took off after the establishment of the Weeks Poultry Colony on 14 July 1927. In 1987, residents of eastern Canoga Park voted to rename their community after Winnetka Avenue.
Wiseburn is an enclave surrounded by Hawthorne. Wiseburn is a portmanteau of “Wise” and “Burwell.” Around 1891, Kentuckyian Kenneth D. Wise established a horse farm near the Redondo Railway‘s Burwell Station. Doc Wise died on 31 July 1916.
Woodbury is presumably named after Woodbury Road. It was home to the Glendale Sanitarium, which opened in 1905, now in operation as Adventist Health Glendale. Most homes in the neighborhood were built in the 1920s and ’30s.
Near the historic site of the Tataviam village of Jucayubit, counterfeit Persian rug salesman/developer Victor Girard Kleinberger founded the community of Girard in 1923. In 1939, the Girard Country Club was renamed Woodland Hills Country Club. Residents of the community decided to rename their community Woodland Hills in 1941.
The Taaqtam were probably the first people in Swarthout Valley. Mormons settled the valley in 1849. One Mormon, Sumner Wright, leant his name to Wrightwood. Mainly in San Bernardino County, by the 1960s, Wrightwood spread into Los Angeles County.
Construction began in January 1944 on 300 homes for the Wrigley Heights Tract. The homes were built by the Glenn A. Doughty Co. for US Navy drydock workers. The subdivision was annexed by Long Beach on 18 May 1944. Homes went on sale in July.
In 1909, residents of New York Valley petitioned to change New York Street to York Boulevard due to misdirected mail and the community afterward became York Valley. In 1922, York Valley forsook its distinct identity and joined Annandale, Garvanza, and Hermon in the Greater Highland Park Association. Garvanza and Hermon later regained a measure of their distinct identities.
By the 1950s, Hollywood and Yucca Corridor went into steep decline. By the 1980s, it was a hotbed of cocaine dealing. Roads were blocked, cameras installed, and a park was created. In 2007, a Los Angeles Times writer described it as a “hip urban district.”
The Zaferia Tract was established in 1906 as a streetcar suburb amongst fields of mustard and sugar beets. Pacific Electric’s Balboa Line (1906-1950) opened the same year. Zaferia had saloons until it was annexed by dry Long Beach in 1920.