Highland Park, Los Angeles
The Highland Park Masonic Temple, 2008
|• City Council||Gil Cedillo, Kevin de León|
|• State Assembly||Kevin De León (D), Anthony Portantino (D)|
|• State Senate||Alex Padilla (D), Carol Liu (D)|
|• U.S. House||Jimmy Gomez (D)|
|• Total||9 km2 (3.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||180 m (591 ft)|
|• Density||6,490/km2 (16,809/sq mi)|
|Population changes significantly depending on areas included and recent growth.|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|Area code(s)||213, 323|
The area was settled thousands of years ago by Paleo-Indians, and would later be settled by the Tongva. After the founding of Los Angeles in 1781, the Corporal of the Guard at the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, Jose Maria Verdugo, was granted the 36,403 acre Rancho San Rafael which included present day Highland Park. Drought in the late 1800s resulted in economic hardship for the Verdugo family, which eventually compelled them to auction off Rancho San Rafael in 1869 for $3,500 over an unpaid loan. The San Rafael tract was purchased by Andrew Glassell and Albert J. Chapman, who leased it out to sheep herders. In 1885, during the 1880s land boom, it was sold to George Morgan and Albert Judson, who combined it with other parcels they had purchased from the Verdugo family to create the Highland Park tract in 1886. Two rail lines were built to Highland Park, which helped the town to survive as the 1880s land boom ended. Highland Park was annexed to Los Angeles in 1895. In the early 20th century, Highland Park and neighboring Pasadena became enclaves for artists and intellectuals who were adherents of the Arts and Crafts movement.
With the completion of Arroyo Seco Parkway in 1940, Highland Park began to experience white flight, losing residents to the Mid-Wilshire district and newer neighborhoods in Temple City and in the San Fernando Valley. By the mid-1960s, it was becoming a largely Latino district. Mexican immigrants and their American-born children began owning and renting in Highland Park, with its schools and parks becoming places where residents debated over how to fight discrimination and advance civil rights.
In the final decades of the 20th century, portions of Highland Park suffered waves of gang violence as a consequence of the Avenues street gang claiming them and the adjacent neighborhood of Glassell Park as its territory. At the beginning of the 21st century, then City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, a Highland Park native, intensified efforts to rid Northeast Los Angeles of the Avenues. In 2006, four members of the gang were convicted of violating federal hate crime laws. In June 2009, police launched a major raid against the gang, rooting out many leaders of the gang with a federal racketeering indictment, demolishing the gang's Glassell Park stronghold. Law enforcement, coupled with community awareness efforts such as the annual Peace in the Northeast March, have led to a drastic decrease in violent crime in the 2010s.
Starting in the early 2000s, relatively low rents and home prices, as well as Highland Park's pedestrian-friendly streets and proximity to Downtown Los Angeles attracted people of greater affluence than had previously been typical, as well as a reversal of the white flight from previous decades. Of special interest were the district's surviving Craftsman homes, many of which had been demolished in the mid-20th century. One architecturally significant home made its way to Heritage Square Museum, thanks to the efforts of local activists dedicated to saving Victorian homes scheduled for demolition. Like Echo Park and Eagle Rock, Highland Park experienced rapid gentrification.
In the 21st century, Highland Park has been economically revitalized; boasting trendy shops, galleries, bars, restaurants, and tech startups. The statue Chicken Boy was relocated from a downtown Los Angeles restaurant in 2007. Initially, the corridor along York Boulevard lagged behind Figueroa Street, Highland Park's other main thoroughfare, but its respective resurgence was underway by the 2010s.
Geography and climate
Highland Park’s boundaries are roughly the Arroyo Seco Parkway (California Route 110) on the southeast, Pasadena on the northeast, Oak Grove Drive on the north, South Pasadena on the east, and Avenue 51 on the west. Primary thoroughfares include York Boulevard and Figueroa Street.
|Climate data for Highland Park, Los Angeles|
|Average high °F (°C)||68
|Average low °F (°C)||45
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.94
The 2000 U.S. census counted 56,566 residents in the 3,42-square-mile neighborhood—an average of 16,835 people per square mile, one of the highest densities in Los Angeles. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 60,841. The median age for residents was 28, considered young when compared to the city at large.
Highland Park was considered moderately diverse ethnically. The breakdown was Latinos, 72.4%; Asians, 11.2%; blacks, 8.4%, Non-Hispanic whites, 11.3%; and others, 2.6%. Mexico (55.3%) and El Salvador (12.0%) were the most common places of birth for the 57.8% of the residents who were born abroad, a figure that was considered high compared to the city as a whole.
The median household income in 2008 dollars was $45,478, about average for Los Angeles, and a high percentage[vague] of households earned $40,000 or less. The average household size of 3.3 people was high for the city of Los Angeles. Renters occupied 60.9% of the housing units, and house or apartment owners the rest.
The percentage of never-married men was among the county's highest. The 2000 census found 2,705 families headed by single parents, a high rate for both the city and the county. There were 1,942 military veterans in 2000, or 4.9%, a low figure for Los Angeles.
Highland Park has a number of longtime local businesses. Galco's Soda Pop Stop has been owned and operated by the Nese family for more than a century. Another cultural landmark is Avenue 50 Studio, a nonprofit community-based organization grounded in Latino and Chicano culture.
In the 2010s, Highland Park experienced significant job growth, especially with businesses along Figueroa Street and York Boulevard. Its educational, health, and social service careers also developed robustly during this period. However, most workers employed in Highland Park do not live there but commute from surrounding areas instead.
Government and infrastructure
Highland Park is a public transportation hub which is well connected to rail and bus services. The Gold Line light rail line connects locally at the Highland Park (LACMTA station). Built upon the same site as another preexisting rail station which was demolished in 1965, the Highland Park Station was one of the original stops for the subsequently expanded Gold Line.
The district is also served by Metro Local bus lines 81, 83, 176, and 256, which connect to the surrounding areas of Pasadena, South Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley, and Downtown Los Angeles, among others. Local bus service is provided by LADOT's DASH Highland Park/Eagle Rock bus line, which begins in San Pascual Park and ends near the city limits with Glendale. The route connects several local schools, shopping districts, and the Eagle Rock Plaza.
Libraries and museums
The Los Angeles Public Library is represented in the district by the Arroyo Seco Branch Library, which sits at the intersection of Figueroa and Piedmont Streets. Prior to the construction of the Arroyo Seco, the district was served by a series of public libraries starting with the first one in 1890, which housed a collection of 50 books at the now demolished Miller's Hall, formerly located on York Boulevard between Avenues 63 and 64. As the library's collection grew, it was moved to other locations along nearby Avenue 64 in order to accommodate. A grant from Andrew Carnegie made possible a purpose-built facility which eventually became the original Arroyo Seco Library. Its location was decided upon in 1911 as a compromise between the competing residential centers of the district, as well in order to adhere to the stipulations of the grant. The library was opened in 1914.
On October 17, 1960, a newly constructed Arroyo Seco Library was opened to the public, replacing the original building after 46 years of service. Designed by architect John Landon, the second Arroyo Seco Library was the base of operations for the entire northeast region of the Los Angeles Public Library system. It also was equipped with rooftop parking which had access to the library's front door, a feature that was first of its kind among public libraries in the United States. This building would itself be replaced by another, modernized facility in 2003.
Highland Park is home to a wide array of religious practitioners. The St. Ignatius Church has been the house of worship for followers of Roman Catholicism in the district since the early 20th century. Originally located on Avenue 52, the church was moved to its present location on the corner of Avenue 60 and Monte Vista Street in 1915.
Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock was founded in Highland Park in 1923 and constructed its building in 1930. It is the second oldest synagogue in Los Angeles still operating in its original location, after the Wilshire Boulevard Temple (built in 1929).
Zoned elementary schools include:
- Aldama Elementary School
- Annandale Elementary School
- Buchanan Elementary School
- Bushnell Way Elementary School
- Garvanza Elementary School
- San Pascual Elementary School
- Saint Ignatius of Loyola School (K-8)
- Toland Way Elementary School
- Yorkdale Elementary School
- Monte Vista Elementary School
- Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet School (K-8)
- Isaac Colton Ash, City Council member, 1925–27
- Maggie Baird, actress and screenwriter
- Jackie Beat, drag performer and comedian
- Beck, musician
- Jackson Browne, musician
- Rose La Monte Burcham (1857-1944), medical doctor and mining executive whose Highland Park house still stands
- Zack de la Rocha, musician
- Rocky Delgadillo, City Attorney of Los Angeles, 2001–2009
- Daryl Gates, police chief from 1971 to 1992
- Billie Eilish, musician, singer, songwriter
- Edward Furlong, actor
- John C. Holland, Los Angeles City Council member, 1943–67, businessman
- Diane Keaton, Academy Award-winning actress, brought up in Highland Park 
- Mike Kelley, artist
- Marc Maron, comedian and actor
- Finneas O’Connell, singer, songwriter, record producer, musician, and actor
- Ariel Pink, musician
- Fritz Poock, artist
- Skrillex, musician
- Emily Wells, musician
- David Weidman, silkscreen artist and animation background painter
- Miles Heizer, actor
In popular culture
Motion pictures that have been shot in Highland Park include:
- Reservoir Dogs
- The Lincoln Lawyer – location for the bar The York on York
- Gangster Squad – in early 2012 the entire Highland Park downtown area along Figueroa Street was redone to look like post-WWII-era Los Angeles for the film.
- Yes Man
- Tuff Turf
- Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments on the East and Northeast Sides
- List of districts and neighborhoods of Los Angeles
- "Los Angeles Times Neighborhood Project". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- Los Angeles Department of City Planning, Highland Park-Garvanza Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (2010-12-09). "4.1 History of Highland Park & Garvanza". Highland Park-Garvanza HPOZ Preservation Plan, Including Garvanza, Highland Park, Montecito Heights and Mount Angelus Neighborhoods (PDF) (Report). Los Angeles Department of City Planning. pp. 17–20. Archived from the original on 2017-09-03. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "The Highlands". Departures. Kcet.org. Archived from the original on 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Arroyo Culture". Departures. Kcet.org. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "The Parkway". Departures. Kcet.org. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Brown and Proud". Departures. Kcet.org. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- Mozingo, Joe; Quinones, Sam; Winton, Richard (February 23, 2008). "A gang's staying power". Los Angeles Times.
- Rubin, Joel (September 22, 2009). "Major police raid targets L.A.'s notorious Avenues gang". Los Angeles Times.
- Quinones, Sam (February 5, 2009). "Avenues gang bastion is demolished". Los Angeles Times.
- McDonald, Kathy A. (June 18, 2008). "Edgy neighborhoods attract frosh buyers". Variety.
- "Experience an alternative Los Angeles". London Evening Standard, February 22, 2012. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012.
- Bogado, Aura. "Dispatch from Highland Park: Gentrification, Displacement and the Disappearance of Latino Businesses". Colorlines. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Lazo, Alejandro (March 11, 2012). "Highland Park becoming gentrified". Los Angeles Times.
- Logan, Tim (December 21, 2014). "Highland Park renters feel the squeeze of gentrification". Los Angeles Times.
- Juliano, Michael. "A guide to Highland Park". Timeout. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
Of all the neighborhoods in Northeast L.A.—if not the entire city—none have changed as rapidly as Highland Park.
- Gumbel, Andrew (2020-01-26). "'Whitewashed': how gentrification continues to erase LA's bold murals". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
- Nakano, Craig (March 9, 2012). "York Boulevard, Highland Park: A hub of hip, really". Los Angeles Times.
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- "Highland Park Profile - Mapping L.A. - Los Angeles Times". Projects.latimes.com. Archived from the original on 2017-09-03. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "GALCO'S SODA POP STOP | 7 Reinterpreting Highland Park | Departures". KCET. 1999-02-22. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Avenue 50 Studio | Art | Highland Park Field Guide". KCET. 2008-12-13. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "The State of Highland Park" (PDF). Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Central Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
- "Post Office Location - HIGHLAND PARK." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 9, 2008.
- "Los Angeles Fire Department — Fire Station 12". Lafd.org. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Arroyo Seco Regional Library". Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Dellquest, Wilfred (August 11, 1957). "Northeast Pictures: Arroyo Library result of sacrifice and determination" (PDF). Highland Park News-Herald and Journal. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Branch Library Location Pleases Some—Not All!". Highland Park News-Herald and Journal. September 23, 1911. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Public spirit builds library". Highland Park News-Herald and Journal. October 17, 1963. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Early Los Angeles Historical Buildings (1900 - 1925)". Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Catholics Erecting Huge Church Building". Highland Park News-Herald and Journal. October 9, 1915. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Leibowitz, Ed. "Finding Sanctuary". Archived from the original on 2008-09-16.
- "History". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29.
- Susan Carrier (2003-10-12). "History hopes to repeat itself in Highland Park". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- "You are about to leave the LAUSD Domain". Lausd.k12.ca.us. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Luther Burbank Middle School website". www.lbmsbears.com.
- Los Angeles Public Library file
- O'Connor, Pauline (2016-07-31). "Drag queen Jackie Beat's eye-popping pad is up for grabs". Curbed LA. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
- Hochman, Steve (1994-02-20). "Don't Get Bitter on Us, Beck : Thanks to his rap-folk song 'Loser,' the 23-year-old musician is one of the hottest figures to emerge from the L.A. rock scene in years. But now that he's going national, how will he hold up under all the attention?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Sunday in the dungeon with Jackson Browne". The Eastsider LA. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- Bradford Caslon, "Rose La Monte Burcham -- 4900 Pasadena Avenue" A Look Back at Vintage Los Angeles (November 9, 2011).
- "A Chicano Art Collective Needs Help Bringing This Massive Highland Park Mural Back to Life". Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Merl, Jean (July 1, 2001). "Life of Promise, Pressing New Issues". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
- Cannon, Lou (1998), Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD, p.92. Crown. ISBN 0-8129-2190-9. Excerpt available at Google Books.
- "Get to Know: Billie Eilish | MTV UK". Retrieved 2018-04-01.
- "Agreement Reached on Custody of Teen Actor". 1991-09-27. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Los Angeles Public Library reference file
- Finnigan, Kate (2017-08-06). "Diane Keaton: Why I decided to adopt in my 50s". Glen Innes Examiner. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
- "Highland Park pays tribute to Mike Kelley*". Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- "Marc Maron Learned the Meaning of "Feral" from a Cat". 2012-08-06. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Billie Eilish Is The Weird Achiever Of The Year". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
- Samadder, Rhik (2014-11-15). "Ariel Pink: 'I'm not that guy everyone hates'". The Guardian. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- "Fritz Poock's Water Colors". Los Angeles Times. July 2, 1933.
- Glazer, Joshua. "Skrillex: Strictly Laptop". Hot Topic. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011.
- "The Evolution of Emily Wells, New York Phase". Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Saperstein, Pat (2014-08-07). "David Weidman, Animation Artist Whose Work Appeared on 'Mad Men,' Dies at 93". Variety. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
- Berlinger, Max (2020-02-21). "Connor Jessup of 'Locke & Key' Gets His Nails Done". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
- "Film locations for Reservoir Dogs (1992)". Movie-locations.com. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Highland Park bar gets a Hollywood close-up". The Eastsider LA. 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Gangster Squad Recreates Mickey Cohen's 1940s LA - LA Plays Itself - Curbed LA". La.curbed.com. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Yes Man - Filming Locations - part 1". Seeing-stars.com. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Offbeat Rom-Com Cyrus Premieres at LA Film Festival". Blogcritics. 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "Tuff Turf (1985)". iMDB. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
- "Tour Location: 6045 York Blvd, Los Angeles, California". The Movieland Directory. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Highland Park, Los Angeles.|
- History of Highland Park—Occidental College Sociology Department article
- Audubon Center—Audubon Center at Debs Park
- Southwest Museum—Autry National Center, Southwest Museum of the American Indian
- Heritage Square Museum—Historic Rescued Homes
- Chicken Boy—Historic Route 66 Landmark
- York & Fig—a reporting project by Marketplace on the gentrification of Highland Park
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