Jefferson Park, Los Angeles
|Neighborhood of Los Angeles|
Southern border of Jefferson Park at Crenshaw and Jefferson boulevards
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
Jefferson Park is a 1.28-square-mile neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the South Los Angeles area. With 24,285 mostly low-income residents, Jefferson Park has a population density which is among the highest in Los Angeles County. It is the home neighborhood for J. P. Widney High School.
Jefferson Park touches Arlington Heights on the north, Adams-Normandie on the east, the Exposition Park residential neighborhood on the southeast, Leimert Park on the south and West Adams on the west. It is bounded by the Santa Monica Freeway on the north, South Western Avenue and Arlington Avenue on the east, Jefferson Boulevard and Rodeo Road on the south and Crenshaw Boulevard on the west.
With development commencing around the turn of the 20th century, Jefferson Park began as one of the city's wealthiest areas. On the hills rising west of Western Avenue, wealthy white Angelenos built fine Edwardian, Craftsman, and Art Deco mansions, with churches and commercial buildings of commensurate expense. Some wealthy blacks moved into the area as well, leading the neighborhood to be dubbed "Sugar Hill" by many African-Americans of the day. To the south, in the flatter areas along Jefferson Boulevard, a low-rise commercial corridor developed, with small single-story homes and low-rise apartment buildings in the blocks behind. After the 1948 Supreme Court ruling that banned segregationist covenants on property, most of Jefferson Park's white population decamped to other parts of the region, in turn being replaced by upper-middle and upper-class blacks whose descendants still reside in many of the district's spectacular homes.
Jefferson Park contains within it a smaller neighborhood called West Adams Terrace.
A total of 23,130 people lived in the neighborhood's 1.42 square miles, according to the 2000 U.S. census—averaging 16,300 people per square mile, among the highest population density in the city as a whole. The median age was 31, about the same as the rest of the city.
Within the neighborhood, black people made up 46.8% of the population, with Latinos 44.9%, Asian 2.9%, non-Hispanic whites 2.7% and others 2.7%. Mexico and El Salvador were the most common places of birth for the 32.7% of the residents who were born abroad, considered an average percentage of foreign-born when compared with the city or county as a whole.
The median household income in 2008 dollars was $32,654, considered low when compared with all city and county neighborhoods. The percentage of households earning $20,000 or less was high, compared to the county at large. The average household size of 2.8 people was about the same as the rest of the city. Renters occupied 69.5% of the housing units, and homeowners occupied the rest.
In 2000, there were 1,365 families headed by single parents, or 26.6%, a rate that was high for the county and the city.
The Jefferson Park and Jefferson Boulevard area saw an influx of Creole peoples to the Los Angeles area in the post-World War II period. The resulting area was dubbed "Little New Orleans" and saw a large population of Creole people and Creole owned businesses such as the Big Loaf Bakery. The area and its Creole influence has been mentioned in the 2007 book One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life--A Story of Race and Family Secrets by Bliss Broyard.
Asian and Latino influence
Additionally, many Japanese-American families moved to Jefferson Park in the late 1940s to the 1960s. This is reflected in some old Japanese businesses such as Tak's Hardware, Saki Liquors and Kashu Realty, all on Jefferson Blvd. Distinctive Japanese-style landscaping also shows the influence in yards in the neighborhood. As South Central (now South Los Angeles) deteriorated from the 1970s onward (punctuated by the 1992 Los Angeles riots), the working-class black population that had moved into the bungalows and ranch homes in the Jefferson corridor was increasingly replaced by Latinos.
Jefferson Park residents aged 25 and older holding a four-year degree amounted to 11.8% of the population in 2000, considered low when compared with the city and the county as a whole; the percentage of residents aged 25 and older with a high school diploma was also considered low.
- Joseph Pomeroy Widney High, LAUSD, special education, 2302 South Gramercy Place
- Twenty-Fourth Street Elementary, LAUSD, 2055 West 24th Street
- Mid City Magnet, LAUSD alternative, 3150 West Adams Boulevard
- Celerity Nascent Charter, LAUSD, 3417 West Jefferson Boulevard
- Sixth Avenue Elementary, LAUSD, 3109 Sixth Avenue
- Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Elementary, private, 1955 West Jefferson Boulevard. The school was founded in 1924 by families from New Orleans. It celebrates its Creole heritage with a music program in which every child in the school learns to read music and to play a musical instrument.
- Westside Academy/Little Citizens, private, 3411 12th Avenue
- Little Citizens Westside Academy, private elementary, 3666 Seventh Avenue
- Little Citizens Elementary, private, 3672 Seventh Avenue
Recreation and parks
- Benny H. Potter West Adams Avenues Memorial Park, formerly Second Avenue Park, 2413 Second Avenue
- Leslie N. Shawn Park, 2250 West Jefferson Boulevard
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2013)|
The First African Methodist Episcopal Church, considered the spiritual heart of South Los Angeles and the usual venue for funerals of prominent black Angelenos, lies just northeast of the intersection of Adams and Western. Its rector, Los Angeles icon Rev. Cecil Murray, stepped down in 2004.
Trinity Baptist Church was one of the first non whites land owners in the area in the 1940s. It was Trinity along with its membership that went to court to tear down white only covenants in the area. Trinity is located at 2040 W. Jefferson Blvd.
-  "South L.A.," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
-  "Hyde Park," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
- The Thomas Guide, 2006, pages 633 and 673
- "South L.A.," Mapping L.A. website of the Los Angeles Times
- Carpenter, Jane (2002). Conjure women: Betye Saar and rituals of transformation, 1960-1990. University of Michigan. p. 22.
- Campanella, Richard (2006). Geographies of New Orleans. University of Louisiana at Lafayette. p. 215. ISBN 1887366687.
- Thompson, Ginger (February 5, 1989). "Spicy Parties : Set Tone for : Creoles' Life in Southland". LA Times. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- Broyard, Bliss (2007). One+Drop:+My+Father's+Hidden+Life--A+Story+of+Race+and+Family+Secrets&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5OsqUqH8JLb54AOFn4HQDw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=jefferson&f=false One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life--A Story of Race and Family Secrets. Back Bay Books. ISBN 0316019739.
-  "Jefferson Park Schools," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
- www.hnojla.org School website
-  Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks]
-  Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jefferson Park, Los Angeles.|
- Jefferson Park Historic Neighborhood Profile at The Los Angeles Conservancy
- Los Angeles Times, Real Estate section, Neighborly Advice column: "[Jefferson Park:] L.A. as it looked a century ago" (10 Aug 2003)
- LA Times Neighborhoods: Jefferson Park--comment by Greg Jackson, April 18, 2010