Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw, Los Angeles

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Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw is an affluent neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles encompasses 2.88 square miles within the South Los Angeles region of the city.[1] It is divided between the upscale, principally home-owning Baldwin Hills residential district to the south and a more concentrated apartment area to the north, just south of Jefferson Boulevard. A commercial corridor along Crenshaw Boulevard, including the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, unites the two.

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw map as drawn by the Los Angeles Times

Geography[edit]

The neighborhood is bounded by Culver City, Jefferson Park, Ladera Heights, View Park-Windsor Hills and West Adams. Areas within it are Baldwin Village, Baldwin Vista, The Dons and Village Green.[1][2]

The neighborhood limits, according to the Los Angeles Times, are Jefferson Boulevard on the north, Ballona Creek, Jefferson Boulvard and La Brea Avenue on the west, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area and Stocker Street on the south and Crenshaw Boulevard on the east.[1]

Adjacent neighborhoods[edit]

Relation of Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw to other communities:[2][3]

Population[edit]

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw had a population of 30,123 in 2000, and its area of 2.88 square miles gave it a population density of 10,446 people per square mile, about average for the city and the county as a whole. In 2008 the city estimated that 32,234 people lived there. The median age was 36, older than the city as a whole. The percentage of residents aged 65 and older was among the county's highest.[1]

The neighborhood was considered "moderately diverse"[4] in 2000, with the residents consisting of 71.3% black, 17.3% Latino, 4.7% Asian, 3.3% white and 3.4% other. The neighborhood was the fifth-blackest in the city.[1][5]

The average household size was 2.3 people, low compared to the city as a whole. Almost 32% of the 2,400 families living in Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw were headed by single parents,[1] the third-highest rate in the city, after Watts and Vermont Knolls.[6]

The median household income at $37,948 in 2008 dollars was low compared with both city and county populations. The percentage of households earning $20,000 or less a year was high for the county. The percentage of residents 25 and older with a high school education and some college was high for the county, Those with a college degree were about the same as the rest of the city and county.[1]

The large number of veterans, 2,272 or 10.2% of the population, was high for both the city and the county. The percentage of veterans who served during World War II or the Korean War was among the county's highest.[1]

Only 16.6% of the residents were foreign born, a low figure for both the city and the county. Mexico (31%) and El Salvador (16.8%) were the most common foreign places of birth.[1]

  • These are the ten neighborhoods in Los Angeles County with the largest percentage of black residents:[7]
  1. View Park-Windsor Hills, California, 86.5%
  2. Gramercy Park, Los Angeles, 86.4%
  3. Leimert Park, Los Angeles, 79.6%
  4. Manchester Square, Los Angeles, 78.6%
  5. Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw, Los Angeles, 71.3%
  6. Ladera Heights, California, 71%
  7. Hyde Park, Los Angeles, 66%
  8. Chesterfield Square, Los Angeles, 58.6%
  9. West Compton, California, 57.6%
  10. Westmont, California, 57.5%


History[edit]

Timeline[edit]

"Lucky" Baldwin

Disasters[edit]

Condition of Baldwin Hills reservoir after collapse of the dam in 1963

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.[citation needed]

During the summer of 1985, an arsonist started a brush fire along La Brea Avenue. The fire spread up the canyon towards the expensive homes along Don Carlos Drive in the Baldwin Hills Estates tract. 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;[11] the arsonist was never caught.

Parks and recreation[edit]

View of Hollywood Hills (lower eastern Santa Monica Mountains) and tall San Gabriel Mountains from Baldwin Hills from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Park.
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook:[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 guide to the native plants of the area and history of Culver City.[14]
  • Kenneth Hahn State Regional Park: recreation and sports areas, and preservation of the open-space lands and native habitats: entrance on South La Cienega Boulevard.[15]
  • Norman O Houston Park[16]
  • Jim Gilliam Recreation Center[17]

Notable buildings[edit]

Santa Barbara Plaza is a shopping center in the district. This aging center was in disrepair and was a failed redevelopment project, for which much money has been spent but little has been achieved The shops have now been demolished.[18]

Library[edit]

The Los Angeles Public Library operates the Baldwin Hills Branch Library.[19]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i [1] "Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw," Mapping LA, Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ a b [2] "South L.A.," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ The Thomas Guide, 2006, pages D and 673
  4. ^ [3] Diversity "measures the probability that any two residents, chosen at random, would be of different ethnicities. If all residents are of the same ethnic group it's zero. If half are from one group and half from another it's .50." —Los Angeles Times
  5. ^ [4] "Black," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  6. ^ "Single Parents," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  7. ^ "Black", Mapping L.A. at Los Angeles Times
  8. ^ a b "Rancho La Cienega O'Paso de La Tijera". =Laokay.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera
  10. ^ "1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village in the Baldwin Hills". Baldwinhillspark.info. Retrieved November 12, 2007. 
  11. ^ Pollard-Terry, Gayle (October 29, 2006). "Years later, the pitch still delivers". Neighborly Advice. Los Angeles Times. p. K2.
  12. ^ Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. accessed 8/22/2010
  13. ^ "trail map" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  14. ^ "Baldwin Hills Recreation Center". 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. ^ Urban renewal project in L.A. begets blight instead - By Ted Rohrlich, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 10:38 PM PDT, April 27, 2008
  19. ^ "Baldwin Hills Branch Library". Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
  20. ^ "Darryl Strawberry Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  21. ^ Marrow, Tracy; Century, Douglas (2011). "Cold as Ice". Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—from South Central to Hollywood. Random House. pp. 5–13. ISBN 978-0-345-52328-0. 
  22. ^ "Elfman in L.A.". Elfman.filmmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  23. ^ Glicksman, Ben (December 21, 2010). "Crenshaw football star De'Anthony Thomas has Hollywood flair". Sports Illustrated. 

External links[edit]

  • [5] Area crime map and statistics

Coordinates: 34°1′12.15″N 118°21′23.81″W / 34.0200417°N 118.3566139°W / 34.0200417; -118.3566139