Bell Gardens, California

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Bell Gardens, California
City
City of Bell Gardens
Official seal of Bell Gardens, California
Seal
Motto: Hub of Progress
Location of Bell Gardens in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Bell Gardens in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 33°58′5″N 118°9′22″W / 33.96806°N 118.15611°W / 33.96806; -118.15611Coordinates: 33°58′5″N 118°9′22″W / 33.96806°N 118.15611°W / 33.96806; -118.15611
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated August 1, 1961[1]
Government
 • Type Council-Manager government
 • Mayor Vacant (Daniel Crespo deceased)
 • Mayor Pro Tem Priscilla Flores
 • Council Pedro Aceituno
Jose Mendoza
Jennifer Rodriguez [2]
 • City Manager Phil Wagner
Area[3]
 • Total 2.463 sq mi (6.379 km2)
 • Land 2.459 sq mi (6.368 km2)
 • Water 0.004 sq mi (0.012 km2)  0.18%
Elevation[4] 121 ft (37 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 42,072
 • Density 17,000/sq mi (6,600/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 90201, 90202[5]
Area code(s) 323[6]/562
FIPS code 06-04996
GNIS feature IDs 1660323, 2409817
Website www.bellgardens.org

Bell Gardens is a city in Los Angeles County, California. The population was 42,072 at the 2010 census, down from 44,054 at the 2000 census.

Bell Gardens is notable for being one of only five Los Angeles County cities (out of 88 total) to permit casino gambling (the others being Inglewood, Gardena, Commerce and Hawaiian Gardens). Dice games and slot machines are forbidden by state law.

Geography[edit]

Bell Gardens is located at 33°58′5″N 118°9′22″W / 33.96806°N 118.15611°W / 33.96806; -118.15611 (33.968181, -118.156039).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), over 99% of it land.

Bell Gardens is bordered by Bell and Cudahy on the west, Commerce on the north and northeast, Downey on the southeast, and South Gate on the southwest.

The city is about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Downtown Los Angeles.[8]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 26,467
1970 29,308 10.7%
1980 34,117 16.4%
1990 42,355 24.1%
2000 44,054 4.0%
2010 42,072 −4.5%
source:[9][10]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[11] reported that Bell Gardens had a population of 42,072. The population density was 17,081.5 people per square mile (6,595.2/km²). The racial makeup of Bell Gardens was 20,824 (49.5%) White (2.7% Non-Hispanic White),[12] 377 (0.9%) African American, 476 (1.1%) Native American, 261 (0.6%) Asian, 37 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 18,787 (44.7%) from other races, and 1,310 (3.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40,271 persons (95.7%).

The Census reported that 41,648 people (99.0% of the population) lived in households, 125 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 299 (0.7%) were institutionalized.

There were 9,655 households, out of which 6,349 (65.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,298 (54.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,146 (22.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,128 (11.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,017 (10.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 49 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 750 households (7.8%) were made up of individuals and 262 (2.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.31. There were 8,572 families (88.8% of all households); the average family size was 4.40.

The population was spread out with 14,308 people (34.0%) under the age of 18, 5,234 people (12.4%) aged 18 to 24, 12,692 people (30.2%) aged 25 to 44, 7,637 people (18.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,201 people (5.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.3 years. For every 100 females there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.

There were 9,986 housing units at an average density of 4,054.4 per square mile (1,565.4/km²), of which 2,318 (24.0%) were owner-occupied, and 7,337 (76.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.6%. 10,534 people (25.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 31,114 people (74.0%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Bell Gardens had a median household income of $38,272, with 26.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line. [13]

2000[edit]

According to the census[14] of 2000, there were 44,054 people, 9,466 households, and 8,509 families residing in the city. The population density was 17,721.3 inhabitants per square mile (6,831.1/km²). There were 9,788 housing units at an average density of 3,937.3 per square mile (1,517.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.08% White, 0.97% Black or African American, 1.66% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 43.88% from other races, and 4.70% from two or more races. 93.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,466 households out of which 67.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 19.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.1% were non-families. 7.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.61 and the average family size was 4.69.

In the city the population was spread out with 39.5% under the age of 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 12.2% from 45 to 64, and 3.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 102.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,597, and the median income for a family was $30,419. Males had a median income of $21,151 versus $16,461 for females. The per capita income for the city was $8,415. About 25.3% of families and 27.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.5% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over.

Latino communities[edit]

These were the ten cities or neighborhoods in Los Angeles County with the largest percentage of Latino residents, according to the 2000 census:[§ 1]

  1. ^ [1] "Latino," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times

Politics[edit]

In the state legislature Bell Gardens is located in the 30th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ronald S. Calderon, and in the 50th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Ricardo Lara.

In the United States House of Representatives, Bell Gardens is in California's 40th congressional district, represented by Democrat Lucille Roybal-Allard.[15]

History[edit]

The city of Bell Gardens has a Native American history dating back thousands of years. In the late 18th century, when the area was associated with a large amount of land situated along the lower basin of the Rio Hondo area in Los Angeles County, Bell Gardens was once a bustling agricultural center for Californios during the Spanish Empire, 1509–1823, the Mexican government, 1823–1848, and the United States, after the Mexican-American war concluded in 1848.

Among those early Spanish settlers was one of California’s first families, the Lugos. While stationed at Mission San Antonio de Padua near Salinas, California, Francisco Lugo’s son Antonio Maria Lugo was born in 1783. In 1810 Antonio Lugo, a 35-year-old corporal in the Spanish army, was given the 29,514-acre (119.44 km2) Rancho San Antonio land grant. The land grant was a reward for his military service during the establishment of the Franciscan Missions in California while being the attendant of colonization for the area. Today the grant includes the cities of Bell Gardens, Bell, Maywood, Vernon, Huntington Park, Walnut Park, Cudahy, South Gate, Lynwood and Commerce.

Antonio Lugo built several adobe homes within the boundaries of the Rancho San Antonio grant, and raised cattle. One of the adobe houses, built in 1795, is the oldest house in Los Angeles County and is still standing at 7000 Gage Ave. Lugo was given a term as Mayor of Los Angeles. According to Dr. Roy Whitehead in his book Lugo, "Don Antonio Maria Lugo…rode around Los Angeles and his Rancho San Antonio in great splendor. He never adopted American dress, culture or language and still spoke only Spanish. He rode magnificent horses, sitting in his $1,500 silver trimmed saddle erect and stately, with his sword strapped to the saddle beneath his left leg…People knew him far and wide, and even the Indians sometimes named their children after him, as he was one Spanish Don that they admired." Antonio María Lugo died at the age of 85 in 1860.

One of his nine children, Vicente Lugo, married and built a two-story adobe home in 1850, located at 6360 Gage Ave. A daughter of Antonio Lugo married Stephen C. Foster, Mayor of Los Angeles in 1854, and lived in an adobe house just east of 6820 Foster Bridge Road, now a parking lot. A granddaughter of Antonio Lugo married Wallace Woodworth, an early-day merchant and civic leader in Los Angeles. Their eldest son, Joseph, built a two-story colonial style house at 6820 Foster Bridge Road in 1924. The land’s original adobe dwelling was built in 1795 and named Casa de Rancho San Antonio by Lugo. When Gage occupied the residence, he added two wings and redwood siding, installed bronze fireplaces, and imported expensive fabric wallpaper from France to serve as background for the Gage coat of arms, which enjoys a place of prominence in every room.

The Bell Gardens’ school system began in 1867 when the San Antonio School was built where Bell Gardens Elementary stands today. Area farmers sent their children to the San Antonio School, which was one of the earliest educational institutions in the County of Los Angeles.

Because of the rich soil and abundant land, many Japanese immigrants are part of Bell Gardens’ early history. Japanese Gardeners leased land and farmed to produce quality vegetables for the marketplace. Rice fields also mushroomed within the city limits of Bell Gardens. With some of the richest agricultural land in the country, Bell Gardens remained a farming community until the 1930s.

In 1927, Firestone Tire Company bought some of the land at $7,000 an acre. By 1900, Bell Gardens was divided into tracts of 40 to 100 acres (0.40 km2). The land adjoining the City of Bell became known as Bell Gardens. In 1930, O.C. Beck purchased property and begins to build affordable homes for those suffering through the depression era. It was during this period that the area was known as 'Billy Goat Acres'. To this day, Bell Gardens is affectionately known by this moniker.

World War I and World War II brought defense plants to the area that helped build the economic stability and the population, which led to construction of new homes, more schools, and a prosperous business climate.

Bell Gardens is a relatively young city. Since its incorporation in 1961, Bell Gardens has grown from a population of approximately 4,000 to nearly 45,000. The median age is 23.8. There are six elementary schools, two intermediate schools, one high school and two adult schools. It is 93.4 percent Hispanic, 4.7% White, 0.6% Asian, 1.7% American Indian and Alaska Native and 1.1% African American.

Today, only a 2.4-square-mile (6.2 km2) city, Bell Gardens maintains only a small portion of the original Lugo land grant, which is located at the site of the Casa Mobile home Park at 7000 Gage Ave. In 1991, the park’s tenants, who own the land as well as Lugo’s original dwelling, were successful in their efforts to have Casa de San Antonio named State Historical Monument No. 984. Their effort ensures that Don Antonio Maria Lugo’s name and his historic home will be preserved for future generations of Bell Gardens residents and Californians.[16]

On September 30, 2014, Bell Gardens mayor Daniel Crespo was shot dead at his home. Police took Crespo's wife into custody. Daniel Crespo's brother, William Crespo, files a $50 million wrongful death law suit against Crespo's wife, Lyvette 'Levette' Crespo, according to Inquisitr.[17]

Gage Mansion[edit]

The oldest remaining house in Los Angeles is the Avila Adobe located on Olvera Street (built in 1818). It is not, however, the oldest remaining house in Los Angeles County. Shane Kimbler, a Bell Gardens history enthusiast, wrote that early colonist Francisco Salvador Lugo and son Antonio María Lugo began construction in 1795 on what is now known as Casa de Rancho San Antonio or the Henry Gage Mansion. The house is located at 7000 East Gage Avenue in Bell Gardens. It was built to qualify the younger Lugo, a former Spanish colonial soldier, for a land grant from the Spanish crown. In 1810, Antonio María Lugo completed the house and received the grant, naming his new grant Rancho San Antonio. The ranch eventually grew to encompass 29,513 acres (119.43 km2), including what are now the cities of Bell Gardens, Commerce, and parts of Bell, Cudahy, Lynwood, Montebello, South Gate, Vernon and East Los Angeles. When California became part of the U.S. in 1850, Lugo, as did all recipients of Spanish/Mexican land grants, began losing portions of his land to the growing population of Anglo newcomers. The ranch adobe, however, continued to be owned and used by the Lugo family.

By 1865, most of the Lugo ranch, divided among five sons and three daughters, had been sold off for as little as a dollar per acre. The original adobe ranch home, however, remained in the family. In 1880, attorney Henry Tifft Gage, a transplant from Michigan, married one of Lugo’s great granddaughters, Francis "Fanny" Rains. The original adobe ranch home was gifted to Gage as a wedding dowry and it became known as the Gage Mansion. When Gage acquired the mansion he worked very extensively to restore the heritage farmhouse of early Los Angeles. In 1898, Gage was elected to become the 20th governor of California. He served in that office from 1899 to 1903. In 1910, he was appointed by President William Howard Taft to serve as U.S. Minister to Portugal. He resigned after only one year due to his wife’s health problems. Gage lived in the abode ranch house until his death in 1924.

A century later, the Gage Mansion was all that remained of the once great Rancho San Antonio. In 1983, the Casa Mobile Home Park, a cooperative of mobile home owners renting lots on the property, purchased the land and the house from their ailing landlord. Although they were aware of the historical significance of the old house, they had no means of maintaining it. In 1987, then Bell Gardens City Councilwoman Letha Viles began working to get the house listed on the state historical registry, making it eligible for maintenance grants. It is now listed as California Historical Site Number 984.

Education[edit]

Bell Gardens residents are served primarily by the Montebello Unified School District, including Bell Gardens High School.

According to California Watch, Bell Gardens has the highest percentage of residents who have not completed ninth grade (44.9%) of any California city.[18]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Fire protection in Bell Gardens is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The LACFD operates Station #39 in Bell Gardens as a part of Battalion 3.[19] The Bell Gardens Police Department provides law enforcement.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Whittier Health Center in Whittier, serving Bell Gardens.[20]

The United States Postal Service Bell Gardens Post Office is located on Garfield Ave.[21] The Postal Service also operates a Network Distribution Center on Bandini Boulevard north of Bell Gardens, in the City of Commerce.

Gambling[edit]

The Bicycle Casino is a large gambling establishment located in Bell Gardens. The Bicycle Casino has been the venue for several major poker tournaments including the Legends of Poker tournament and Winnin' O' the Green. Considered one of the largest poker casinos in the world after expansion[22] in the 1990s. Some major players who have won tournaments here include Doyle Brunson, Mel Judah, Randy Holland and Brett Jungblut. A major facilities modernization was carried out in the mid-1990s, involving a highly credentialed design team.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.bellgardens.org/News/tabid/86/ctl/ShowNewsDetail/mid/512/eventid/118/Default.aspx
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer File - Places - California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Bell Gardens". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Number Administration System - NPA and City/Town Search Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ Moshtaghian, Artemis and Dave Alsup. "Officials: Bell Gardens, California, mayor shot and killed by wife" (Archive). CNN. September 30, 2014. Retrieved on October 2, 2014.
  9. ^ "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790-2000)". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  10. ^ Census figure in 1960 enumerated prior to incorporation
  11. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Bell Gardens city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0604996.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0604996.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "California's 40th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  16. ^ http://www.bellgardens.org/n_about.asp?view=history
  17. ^ "Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo fatally shot at home". Los Angeles Times. September 30, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Palo Alto is California's most educated city". California Watch. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Hometown Fire Stations." Los Angeles County Fire Department. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  20. ^ "Whittier Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  21. ^ "Bell Gardens". United States Postal Service. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  22. ^ Phase One Environmental Site Assessment, Lumina Technologies Inc., Santa Rosa, Ca. (1994)

External links[edit]