Highland Park, Los Angeles

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Highland Park
Arroyo Seco Bank building (cropped).jpg
Arroyo Seco Bank on Figueroa
Location map Los Angeles.png
Red pog.svg
Highland Park
Location within Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°06′43″N118°11′53″W / 34.11194°N 118.19806°W / 34.11194; -118.19806 Coordinates: 34°06′43″N118°11′53″W / 34.11194°N 118.19806°W / 34.11194; -118.19806
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles
   City Council Eunisses Hernandez (D)
Kevin de Leon (D)
   State Assembly Wendy Carrillo (D)
   State Senate María Elena Durazo (D)
   US Senators Alex Padilla (D)
Dianne Feinstein (D)
   U.S. House Jimmy Gomez (D)
  Total3.4 sq mi (9 km2)
591 ft (180 m)
 (2000) [1]
  Density16,809/sq mi (6,490/km2)
 Population changes significantly depending on areas included and recent growth.
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code 213/323

Highland Park is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, located in the city's Northeast region. It was one of the first subdivisions of Los Angeles [3] and is inhabited by a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic groups.



San Encino Abbey, built in 1915. San Encino Abbey.jpg
San Encino Abbey, built in 1915.

The area was settled thousands of years ago by Paleo-Indians, and would later be settled by the Kizh. [4] 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 mid-19th century 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. [5] [3] Two rail lines were built to Highland Park, which later helped the town to survive the burst of the property bubble. [3] 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. [6]

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. [7] 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. [8]

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. [9] In June 2009, police launched a major raid against the gang, rooting out many leaders of the gang with a federal racketeering indictment, [10] demolishing the gang's Glassell Park stronghold. [11] 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.

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, [12] [13] as well as a reversal of the white flight from previous decades. [14] Of special interest were the district's surviving Craftsman homes. [15] Similar to Echo Park and Eagle Rock, Highland Park has experienced rapid gentrification. [16] [17] [18] The topic of Highland Park's rapid neighborhood changes has garnered national and international attention. [19] [20]

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. [21] The benefits of Highland Park's 21st century economic revitalization have been experienced unevenly, bypassing many of the area’s longtime Latino residents. [22]

Neighborhood view from Avenue 64, 2017 View of Highland Park from Avenue 64.jpg
Neighborhood view from Avenue 64, 2017
From Monte Vista to the 110 freeway, 2018 Aerial view of HIghland Park.jpg
From Monte Vista to the 110 freeway, 2018

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. [23]

Highland Park sits within the Northeast Los Angeles region along with Mount Washington, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, and Eagle Rock.

Climate data for Highland Park, Los Angeles
Average high °F (°C)68
Average low °F (°C)45
Average precipitation inches (mm)3.94
Source: [24]


St. Ignatius of Loyola Church. St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church, Los Angeles.JPG
St. Ignatius of Loyola Church.

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. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 60,841. The median age for residents was 28. [25]

The ethnic composition of Highland Park in 2000 was Latinos, 72.4%; Non-Hispanic Whites, 11.3%; Asians, 11.2%; Blacks, 8.4%; and others, 2.6%. Among the 45% of residents born abroad, Mexico and El Salvador are the most common countries of origin. [25]

The median household income in 2008 dollars was $45,478, and 59% of households earned $40,000 or less. The average household size was 3.3 people. Renters occupied 60.9% of the housing units. [25]

The percentage of never-married men was 41%. The 2000 census found that 21% of families were headed by single parents. There were 1,942 military veterans in 2000, or 4.9% of the population. [25]

According to the 2020 United States census, the ethnic composition of Highland Park in 2020 was Latinos, 58.7%; Non-Hispanic Whites, 21.8%; Asians, 13.4%; Blacks, 1.8%; and others, 4.3%. Overall, the population of Highland Park decreased by 7% between 2010 and 2020. [26]


Government and infrastructure


LACMTA train pulling into Highland Park Station, 2012 Highland Park Gold Line.jpg
LACMTA train pulling into Highland Park Station, 2012

Parks and libraries

Exterior of Highland Park's original Arroyo Seco Branch Library in 1914. Arroyo Seco Branch Library 1914.jpg
Exterior of Highland Park's original Arroyo Seco Branch Library in 1914.

Highland Park was served by a series of public libraries starting in 1890. It 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. [36] 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. [37] The library was opened in 1914. [36]

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. [38] This building would itself be replaced by another, modernized facility in 2003. [39]


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. [40]

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). [41] [42]

Landmarks and attractions

Historic-Cultural Monuments

The following Historic-Cultural Monuments are located in Highland Park:

Charles Lummis Residence, HCM #68. Lummis House in Los Angeles, California.jpg
Charles Lummis Residence, HCM #68.
Highland Park Police Station, HCM #274. HighlandParkPoliceStation.1.jpg
Highland Park Police Station, HCM #274.
The Highland Park Masonic Temple, HCM #282 Highland Park Masonic Temple, Los Angeles.JPG
The Highland Park Masonic Temple, HCM #282


Highland Park is zoned to the following schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. [46]

Zoned elementary schools include:

Residents are zoned to Luther Burbank Middle School [48] and Benjamin Franklin High School. Los Angeles International Charter High School and Academia Avance Charter also serve the community.

Notable people

Motion pictures that have been shot in Highland Park include:

Television and feature films have used the old Los Angeles Police Department building in the 6000 block of York Boulevard. [78]

Smith Estate, an historic hilltop Victorian house, has been a shooting location for horror films such as Spider Baby , Silent Scream and Insidious: Chapter 2 .

See also

Related Research Articles

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