Culver City, California

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Culver City, California
City
City of Culver City
Culver City sign in October 2010, at sunset.
Culver City sign in October 2010, at sunset.
Official seal of Culver City, California
Seal
Motto: "The Heart of Screenland"
Location of Culver City in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Culver City in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 34°0′28″N 118°24′3″W / 34.00778°N 118.40083°W / 34.00778; -118.40083Coordinates: 34°0′28″N 118°24′3″W / 34.00778°N 118.40083°W / 34.00778; -118.40083
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated (city) September 20, 1917[1]
Government
 • City Manager John M. Nachbar
 • Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells
 • Vice Mayor Micheál O' Leary
 • Councilmembers Jim B. Clarke
Jeffrey Cooper
Andrew Weissman
Area[2]
 • Total 5.139 sq mi (13.310 km2)
 • Land 5.111 sq mi (13.238 km2)
 • Water 0.028 sq mi (0.072 km2)  0.54%
Elevation 95 ft (29 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 38,883
 • Density 7,600/sq mi (2,900/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code 90230-90233,90066[3]
Area code(s) 310/424[4]
FIPS code 06-17568
GNIS feature ID 1652695
Website culvercity.org

Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 38,883. It is mostly surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, but also shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Over the years, considering its incorporated status, over forty annexations of adjoining areas have occurred. As a result the city now comprises approximately five square miles.

Since the 1920s, Culver City has been a significant center for motion picture and later television production, in part because it was the home of MGM Studios. It was also the headquarters for the Hughes Aircraft Company from 1932 to 1985. National Public Radio West and Sony Pictures Entertainment now have headquarters in the city. The NFL Network studio is also based in Culver City.

History[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 503
1930 5,669 1,027.0%
1940 8,976 58.3%
1950 19,720 119.7%
1960 32,163 63.1%
1970 34,451 7.1%
1980 38,139 10.7%
1990 38,793 1.7%
2000 38,816 0.1%
2010 38,883 0.2%
United States Census Bureau

Early history[edit]

Archaeological evidence suggests a human presence in the area of present day Culver City since at least 8,000 BC.[5] The region was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans, who held a presence in the region for over 8,000 years.[6][7][8]

The city was founded primarily on the lands of the former Rancho La Ballona, Rancho Rincon de los Bueyes, and Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera.[6]

Camp Latham[edit]

From 1861 to 1862, during the American Civil War, Camp Latham was established by the 1st California Infantry under Col. James H. Carleton and the 1st California Cavalry under Lt. Col. Benjamin F. Davis. Named for California Senator Milton S. Latham, the camp was the first staging area for the training of Union troops and their operations in Southern California. It was located on land of the Rancho La Ballona, on the South side of Ballona Creek, near what is now the intersection of Jefferson and Overland Boulevards.[9][10][11] The post was later moved to Camp Drum later the Drum Barracks.[12]

Culver City[edit]

Harry Culver's first attempt to establish Culver City was in 1913, and the city was incorporated on September 20, 1917. (His first ads read "All roads lead to Culver City" indicating a main transportation route via the city.[6]) The city was one of many all-white planned communities started in the Los Angeles area around this time.[13]

The first film studio in Culver City was built by Thomas Ince in 1918. In the 1920s, silent film comedy producer Hal Roach and Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) built studios there. During Prohibition, speakeasies and nightclubs such as the Cotton Club lined Washington Boulevard.

Culver Center, one of Southern California's first shopping malls, was completed in 1950 as a post World War II-project. Situated on Venice Boulevard near the Overland Avenue intersection, it featured many retail stores, a supermarket, J. C. Penney's department store, a dime store, several banks and a drug store.

The site of Culver City, 1913

Hughes Aircraft Company[edit]

Hughes Aircraft opened its Culver City plant in July, 1941. There the company built the H-4 Hercules transport (commonly called the "Spruce Goose"). Hughes was also an active subcontractor in World War II. It developed and patented a flexible feed chute for faster loading of machine guns on B-17 bombers, as well as manufactured electric booster drives for machine guns. Hughes produced more ammunition belts than any other American manufacturer, and built 5,576 wings and 6,370 rear fuselage sections for Vultee BT-13 trainers.[14][15]

Hughes grew after the war, and in 1953 Howard Hughes donated all of his stock in the company to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. After he died in 1976, the institute sold the company, which made it the second-best endowed medical research foundation in the world.[16]

The studios (1960s and 1970s)[edit]

In the late 1960s, much of the MGM back lot acreage (lot 3 and other property on Jefferson Boulevard), and the nearby 28.5 ac (11.5 ha) of the somewhat inaccurately named "back forty", once owned by RKO Pictures and later Desilu Productions, were sold by their owners. Elvis Presley, among others, occasionally rehearsed in these studios. In 1976, however, the sets were razed to make way for redevelopment. Today the "back forty" is the southern expansion of the Hayden Industrial Tract, while the MGM property has been converted to a subdivision and a shopping center known as Raintree Plaza.

Rebirth of downtown (1990s and 2000s)[edit]

Sony Pictures Entertainment office building in Culver City.

In the 1990s, Culver City launched a successful revitalization program in which it renovated its downtown as well as several shopping centers in the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor near Westfield Culver City. Around the same time, the relocation of Sony's motion picture operations (known as Columbia Pictures)[17] to the former MGM studios at Washington Boulevard and Overland Avenue brought much-needed jobs to the city.

The influx of many art galleries and restaurants to the eastern part of the city, formally designated as the Culver City Art District,[18] prompted The New York Times in 2007 to praise the new art scene and call Culver City a "nascent Chelsea."[19]

In 2012 Roger Vincent of the Los Angeles Times said that, according to local observers, the city's "reputation as a pedestrian-friendly destination with upscale restaurants, gastropubs and a thriving art scene is less than a decade old."[20]

Movie and television production[edit]

Hundreds of movies have been produced on the lots of Culver City's studios: Sony Pictures Studios (originally MGM Studios), Culver Studios, and the former Hal Roach Studios. These include The Wizard of Oz, The Thin Man, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, Rebecca, the Tarzan series, and the original King Kong. More recent films made in Culver City include Grease, Raging Bull, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, City Slickers, Air Force One, Wag the Dog, and Contact. Television shows made on Culver City sets have included Las Vegas, Gunsmoke, Cougar Town, Mad About You, Lassie, Hogan's Heroes, Batman, The Green Hornet, Arrested Development, The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, Jeopardy!, The Nanny, the syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune and Tosh. O. The TV series The Green Hornet featured Bruce Lee as Kato, who also resided in Culver City during the Series' production.

John Travolta's "Stranded at the Drive-In" sequence in Grease was filmed at the Studio Drive-In on the corner of Jefferson and Sepulveda. It served as a set for many other films, including Pee-wee's Big Adventure. The theatre was closed in 1993 and was demolished in 1998; it is now a housing subdivision featuring large homes on small lots, as well as being home to the Kayne-ERAS center, a school and community center for the disabled and mentally challenged.

Sony Pictures Plaza - Present day.
Main entrance to Sony Pictures Entertainment lot.

Culver City's streets have been featured in many films and television shows. Since much of the architecture has not changed in decades, particularly in residential areas of town, the nostalgic sitcom The Wonder Years set many of its outdoor scenes in the neighborhoods of Culver City. The 1970s/1980's show CHiPs also featured many chase scenes through the streets. The Nicolas Cage film Matchstick Men included scenes made at Veterans Memorial Park, which was also featured in the opening scenes of the sitcom The Hogan Family.

The Aviator, a film about Howard Hughes, featured several mentions of Culver City in connection with Hughes. Scenes from Bewitched (2005) with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell were also filmed in the Culver City streets. The 2005 film, Fun with Dick and Jane, starring Jim Carrey was filmed there. The closing aerial sequence of Get Shorty (1995) starring John Travolta and Danny DeVito is also filmed in Culver City, at Sony Pictures Studios. Additionally, scenes of "Superbad" (2007) starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera were filmed in areas surrounding Culver City High School.

In 2010, the films Killers and Dinner for Schmucks were filmed in Culver City. In 2011, Lincoln Lawyer, Moneyball, Horrible Bosses, and Jack and Jill were released, all of which were filmed in Culver City. Think Like A Man and The Campaign were filmed in Culver City and released in 2012.

Transportation[edit]

Culver City bus in transit.

Construction began in 2006 on the first phase of the Expo line, a light rail line from Downtown Los Angeles to a terminal station at the Culver Junction near Venice and Robertson Boulevards in Culver City, which opened on June 20, 2012. The line mostly follows the right-of-way the Pacific Electric Santa Monica Air Line used. The line is currently being extended westward to Santa Monica, again mostly along the existing right of way and with a projected opening date in 2015.

Culver City Bus currently operates bus service within Culver City.[21]

The city is served by the Los Angeles International Airport, which is located about 7 miles (11 km) south of the city.

Points of interest[edit]

Historic Helms Bakery on Washington Blvd.

Businesses[edit]

Education and research[edit]

Antioch University Los Angeles is a small non-profit liberal arts college located in Culver City's Corporate Pointe district. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioch_University_Los_Angeles

Local landmarks[edit]

Museums and the arts[edit]

Actors' Gang at Ivy Substation in Media Park, Culver City, California

Recreation[edit]

Parks[edit]

Veterans Memorial Building at Veteran's Park

Library[edit]

The County of Los Angeles Public Library operates the Julian Dixon Culver City Branch on Overland Ave.

Neighborhoods[edit]

El Marino Park

Neighborhoods[29]

Economy[edit]

Corporations with headquarters in Culver City include Beats Audio, National Public Radio West, the NFL Network, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Largest employers[edit]

Culver City's Kirk Douglas Theater at night

According to the City's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[30] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Sony Pictures Entertainment 6,000
2 Goldrich & Kest Industries 1,100
3 Culver City Unified School District 1,084
4 Brotman Medical Center 860
5 City of Culver City 650
6 Security Industry Specialists 400
7 Target 400
8 Inovel 300
9 Karl Storz Endoscopy 300
10 Kayne Eras Center 300
11 Moldex 300

Geography[edit]

The city is surrounded by the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Mar Vista, West Los Angeles and Palms to the north; Westchester to the south; the Baldwin Hills and Ladera Heights unincorporated areas to the east; and the L.A. neighborhoods of Venice and Playa Vista to the west, along with the unincorporated area of Marina Del Rey.

The two primary ZIP codes for Culver City are 90230 and 90232. Because ZIP codes do not necessarily follow city boundaries, a portion of Culver City is in the 90066 ZIP code, which also serves some of the Mar Vista neighborhood of the city of Los Angeles.

The major geographic feature of Culver City is Ballona Creek, which runs northeast to southwest through most of the city before it drains into Santa Monica Bay in Marina Del Rey.

Culver City is served by the San Diego, Santa Monica, and Marina freeways.

Culver City is at 34°0′28″N 118°24′3″W / 34.00778°N 118.40083°W / 34.00778; -118.40083 (34.007761, -118.400905).[31] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.1 square miles (13.2 km2), over 99% of which is land.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Culver City, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 67.3
(19.6)
68.6
(20.3)
69.3
(20.7)
72.6
(22.6)
73.5
(23.1)
77.1
(25.1)
80.0
(26.7)
81.1
(27.3)
80.2
(26.8)
77.0
(25)
71.6
(22)
67.7
(19.8)
73.8
(23.2)
Average low °F (°C) 46.1
(7.8)
47.2
(8.4)
49.1
(9.5)
52.0
(11.1)
55.7
(13.2)
58.8
(14.9)
61.5
(16.4)
62.2
(16.8)
61.3
(16.3)
57.2
(14)
50.8
(10.4)
46.3
(7.9)
54.0
(12.2)
Rainfall inches (mm) 3.19
(81)
3.25
(82.6)
2.66
(67.6)
0.58
(14.7)
0.26
(6.6)
0.04
(1)
0.02
(0.5)
0.07
(1.8)
0.08
(2)
0.33
(8.4)
0.94
(23.9)
1.90
(48.3)
13.32
(338.3)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.01 inch) 5.7 5.3 5.8 1.7 0.7 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.6 1.1 1.9 4.0 27.5
Source: NOAA[32]

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Culver City has its own school district, Culver City Unified School District. It has five elementary schools, a middle school, two high schools (regular and continuation), a Community Day School, an Office of Child Development, and an Adult School. In addition, there are three elementary schools that are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition, there is an Independent Study program where students of elementary, middle school, or high school age can make a weekly appointment to drop off and pick up homework, which is to be completed throughout the week.

STAR Prep Academy, a private middle and high school, was established in 2004 and shares its campus with the STAR ECO Station, an exotic wildlife rescue center. It is one of the few schools in the United States in which students have the unique opportunity to work with exotic and endangered animals on a daily basis as part of their school-day curriculum.[33]

The Willows Community School is a private primary, elementary and middle school, grades DK through 8, established in 1994 and located on Higuera Street.

Turning Point School is a private primary, elementary and middle school, grades K through 8, located on National Blvd.

Kayne Eras Center is located on Machado Road. In July 2008, the Kayne Eras Center merged with the Exceptional Children's Foundation, creating the only agency in Southern California that provides a continuum of services to individuals with disabilities from birth through adulthood..

Wildwood School is a private primary, elementary, middle and high school, grades K through 12, established in 1971 and located on McManus Avenue.

Echo Horizon School is a private primary, elementary, and middle school, grades Pre-K through 6, established in 1985 and located on McManus Avenue.

Culver City High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) is a "specialized secondary program" created in 1996 through a grant from the state of California with major support from Sony Pictures Entertainment. The program offers classes in departments of Music, Theatre, Visual Art, Film, and Dance that occur after the regular school day at Culver City HS has ended.

Colleges and universities[edit]

West Los Angeles College, located in an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County adjacent to Culver City,[34] is part of the Los Angeles Community College District. Antioch University Los Angeles is located on Corporate Point, off Slauson Avenue.

Other[edit]

The Los Angeles County Probation Department's Training Academy is housed on the campus of West L.A. College.

Culver City is the location for the Los Angeles area campus of the Gemological Institute of America as well as Academy of Beauty and the Biofeedback Institute of Los Angeles.

Demographics[edit]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[35] reported that Culver City had a population of 38,883. The population density was 7,566.0 people per square mile (2,921.2/km2). The racial makeup of Culver City was 23,450 (60.3%) White (48.0% Non-Hispanic White),[36] 3,694 (9.5%) African American, 191 (0.5%) Native American, 5,742 (14.8%) Asian, 81 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 3,364 (8.7%) from other races, and 2,361 (6.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9,025 persons (23.2%).

The Census reported that 38,572 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 84 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 227 (0.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 16,779 households, out of which 4,499 (26.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,826 (40.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,882 (11.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 636 (3.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 922 (5.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 157 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 5,649 households (33.7%) were made up of individuals and 1,956 (11.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30. There were 9,344 families (55.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.01.

The population was spread out with 7,312 people (18.8%) under the age of 18, 2,711 people (7.0%) aged 18 to 24, 12,098 people (31.1%) aged 25 to 44, 10,956 people (28.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,806 people (14.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.5 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

There were 17,491 housing units at an average density of 3,403.5 per square mile (1,314.1/km2), of which 9,111 (54.3%) were owner-occupied, and 7,668 (45.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.1%. 21,549 people (55.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 17,023 people (43.8%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Culver City had a median household income of $76,182, with 7.1% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[36]

2000[edit]

As of the census[37] of 2000, there were 38,816 people, 16,611 households, and 9,518 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,589.8 inhabitants per square mile (2,932.9/km2). There were 17,130 housing units at an average density of 1,294.3/km2 (3,349.5/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.24% White, 11.96% Black or African American, 0.71% Native American, 12.02% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 10.16% from other races, and 5.69% from two or more races. 23.70% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 16,611 households out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.8% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.9% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $51,792, and the median income for a family was $61,451 (these figures had risen to $65,525 and $82,582 as of a 2007 estimate[38]). Males had a median income of $46,683 versus $41,478 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,025. About 5.5% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

In Los Angeles County, Culver City is located in the 2nd Supervisorial District, currently represented by Mark Ridley-Thomas. In the state legislature Culver City is located in the 26th Senate District, represented by Democrat Holly J. Mitchell, and in the 54th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Sebastian Ridley-Thomas. Federally, Culver City is located in California's 37th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +36[39] and is represented by Democrat Karen Bass.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Culver City.[40] The department operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica, serving Culver City.[41]

The United States Postal Service operates the Culver City Post Office at 11111 Jefferson Boulevard and the Gateway Post Office at 9942 Culver Boulevard.[42][43]

Culver City is served by its own police force, the Culver City Police Department, located at 4040 Duquesne Avenue.[44]

Culver City is served by its own fire department, the Culver City Fire Department, has its headquarters located at 9600 Culver Boulevard.[45]

Sister cities[edit]

Culver City has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Notable people[edit]