Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles

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Baldwin Hills
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Baldwin Hills signage located at the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Stocker Street
Baldwin Hills signage located at the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Stocker Street
Baldwin Hills is located in Western Los Angeles
Baldwin Hills
Baldwin Hills
Location within Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°00′47″N 118°21′25″W / 34.013°N 118.357°W / 34.013; -118.357Coordinates: 34°00′47″N 118°21′25″W / 34.013°N 118.357°W / 34.013; -118.357
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Los Angeles
Time zone Pacific
Zip Code 90008
Area code(s) 323

Baldwin Hills is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California. It is home to Kenneth Hahn State Regional Park and the Village Green, a National Historic Landmark.

Geography

Baldwin Hills is bounded by La Cienega Boulevard to the west, Crenshaw Boulevard to the east, Stocker Avenue to the south and Rodeo Road to the north with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard forming the northeast dividing line between Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw Manor. It is bordered on the west by Culver City and it shares the eastern border of Crenshaw Boulevard with Leimert Park.[1]

The namesake mountain range is part of the neighborhood.

History

19th century

  • Baldwin Hills and other surrounding geography are named for the famous 19th century horse racing and land development pioneer, Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin.
  • Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera: historic early 19th century eastern hills Rancho land grant.[2][3]
    • Sanchez Adobe de Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera. The adobe was once the center of the rancho. In the 1920s, an addition was built linking the structures and the building was converted into a larger clubhouse for the Sunset Golf Course.[2]
  • Rancho Rincon de los Bueyes: original early 19th century western section Rancho land grant.

20th century

  • The 1932 Los Angeles Olympics housed athletes at the Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills.[4] Itwas the site of the very first Olympic Village ever built, for the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. Built for male athletes only, the village consisted of several hundred buildings, including post and telegraph offices, an amphitheater, a hospital, a fire department, and a bank. Female athletes were housed at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. The Olympic Village was demolished after the Summer Olympic Games.[5]
  • On December 14, 1963, a crack appeared in the Baldwin Hills Dam impounding the Baldwin Hills Reservoir. Within a few hours, water rushing through the crack eroded the earthen dam, gradually widening the crack until the dam failed catastrophically at 3:38 pm. Although the area had been evacuated after the crack had been discovered, several homes were destroyed, and most of Baldwin Vista and the historic Village Green community were flooded. The dam's failure was ultimately determined to be the result of subsidence, caused by overexploitation of the Inglewood Oil Field. The dam's failure prompted the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to close and drain other small local reservoirs with similar designs, such as the Silver Lake Reservoir. The Baldwin Hills Dam was not rebuilt—instead, the empty reservoir was demolished, filled with earth, landscaped, and converted to Kenneth Hahn Regional Park.
  • During the summer of 1985, a brush fire along La Brea Avenue spread up the canyon towards the homes along Don Carlos Drive in Baldwin Hills Estates. Many homes were destroyed despite the efforts of the Los Angeles Fire Department to suppress the flames. The fire killed three people and destroyed 69 homes;[6] the arsonist was never caught.

Neighborhoods

View from Baldwin Hills of Downtown Los Angeles in the distance and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Neighborhoods within Baldwin Hills include:

  • Baldwin Hills Estates is locally known as "The Dons", because all but one street begins with the formal title of Los Angeles’ original land holders.[7]. The neighbhorhood is east of La Brea, southwest of Santo Tomas Drive, south of the Jim Gilliam Recreation Center and north of Stocker Street). It is sometimes called "the Black Beverly Hills".[8] The neighborhood is characterized by hillside houses with swimming pools, and modern condominiums (the latter often jut out from steep hillsides, perched on stilts).
  • Baldwin Vista is north of Coliseum Street and west of the major thoroughfare, La Brea Avenue, with slightly smaller homes and a more secluded ambience.[6]
Baldwin Hills Village National Historic Landmark Plaque, at Village Green.
  • Village Green, originally named Baldwin Hills Village and within Baldwin Vista, is a historic Mid-Century modern "garden city" developed by Walter H. Leimert (1877–1970) multi-family residential. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2001. The units are now condominiums on very spacious grounds, attracting seniors, young families, and design professionals as residents.
  • Baldwin Village: since 1990 the city has promoted use of the official name "Baldwin Village".[9] Located in Baldwin Hills' northeastern, flat section, between King Drive and La Brea Avenue, it consists largely of two-story apartment complex buildings of ten or more units, often originally surrounding a swimming pool and gardens, built in the late 1950s. Originally occupied mostly by adults, young families who had not yet able to afford home purchases had begun to move in around the same time that desegregation evoked white flight in the early 1960s. In the 1970s, black gangs took up illicit drug trade in the vicinity until the late 2000s as many young families are starting to return into the community.[10] There is also redevelopment in the area.

Parks and Libraries

View of Hollywood Hills (lower eastern Santa Monica Mountains) and tall San Gabriel Mountains from Baldwin Hills from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Park.

Parks

  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is located at 6300 Hetzler Road in Culver City, CA. [12][13] The 8.5-acre (3.4 ha) park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. The Visitor Center is open Thursday–Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park includes an amphitheater, drinking water, the Evan Frankel Discovery Center, gardening boxes, picnic tables, a permeable parking lot ($6), toilets, and walking paths with a central feature known as the Culver City Stairs. The Visitor Center has a comprehensive guide to the native plants of the area and history of Culver City. On a clear day the Overlook's platform offers exceptional views spanning the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Hollywood Sign to the north, and downtown Los Angeles to the east.[14]
  • Kenneth Hahn State Regional Park is located at 4100 South La Cienega Boulevard. It is a 401 acre recreation and sports area.[15]
  • Norman O Houston Park: is located at 4800 South La Brea Avenue.[16]
  • Jim Gilliam Park & Recreation Center is located at 4000 South La Brea Avenue. It is home to the Jim Gilliam Senior Citizen Center[17]

Library

The Los Angeles Public Library operates the Baldwin Hills Branch Library. It is located at 2900 La Brea Avenue.[18]

Education

Susan Miller Dorsey High School, serving Baldwin Hills.

Baldwin Hills is served by Los Angeles Unified School District. Baldwin Hills also has a charter school.[6] The schools operating within Baldwin Hills borders are:

Media

Television

From 2007 to 2009, BET aired Baldwin Hills, a program featuring several African-American teenagers and their lives in the upper-class Los Angeles community.[20][21]

The show is very similar in nature to such MTV programs as Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, The Hills, and the online series The Suburbs, as it features African-Americans of upper-middle-class families who divide their time between attending school, playing sports, shopping at high-end stores, and driving expensive cars. The series lasted for three seasons.

Literature

Orson Scott Card's urban fantasy novel Magic Street is set in Baldwin Hills.[22]

Notable residents

See also

References

  1. ^ Kemp Powers, "The Neighborhood Project", LAist, August 17, 2007
  2. ^ a b "Rancho La Cienega O'Paso de La Tijera". Laokay.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera
  4. ^ https://la.curbed.com/2014/8/6/10065132/14-secrets-of-the-1932-olympic-village-in-baldwin-hills
  5. ^ "1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village in the Baldwin Hills". Baldwinhillspark.info. Retrieved November 12, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b c Pollard-Terry, Gayle (October 29, 2006). "Years later, the pitch still delivers". Neighborly Advice. Los Angeles Times. p. K2.
  7. ^ http://www.ecwandc.org/baldwin_hills/baldwinhillsestates/
  8. ^ Hale, Mike (2007-08-07). "Posh Princes and Princesses of the Hills". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  9. ^ Erika Hayasaki, "Gang Violence Fuels Racial Tensions," Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2006, page B-1. Link requires the use of a library card.
  10. ^ "gentrification begins in South LA". isteve.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2017-06-13. 
  11. ^ "Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Medical Offices". thrive.kaiserpermsnente.org. Retrieved 2017-06-13. 
  12. ^ Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. accessed 8/22/2010
  13. ^ "trail map" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  14. ^ "Baldwin Hills Recreation Center Archived 2010-02-28 at the Wayback Machine.". City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "Kenneth Hahn State Park". Parks.ca.gov. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Norman O Houston Park website". Laparks.org. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  17. ^ "Jim Gilliam Recreation Center website". Laparks.org. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  18. ^ "Baldwin Hills Branch Library". Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
  19. ^ "Baldwin Hills Elementary School". Lausd.k12.ca.us. Archived from the original on 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  20. ^ "Baldwin Hills". BET. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  21. ^ Can "Baldwin Hills" become the black "Laguna Beach"?
  22. ^ https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-345-41689-6
  23. ^ "Elfman in L.A.". Elfman.filmmusic.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. 

External links

  • Friends of the Baldwin Hills website
  • The Baldwin Hills Conservancy website
  • Official Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area website
  • lacounty.info: Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Park website
  • Village Green website
  • Village Green: historic architecture article
  • 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village in the Baldwin Hills: history
  • Baldwin Hills Dam history
  • University Park Family—a collaborative online community: focused on University Park, Expo Park and the surrounding areas.
  • Leimert Park Beat—a collaborative online community focused on Leimert Park: "The Soul of Los Angeles and the African American cultural center of the city."
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