Northridge, Los Angeles

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Northridge
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Northridge neighborhood as delineated by the Los Angeles Times
Northridge neighborhood as delineated by the Los Angeles Times
Northridge is located in San Fernando Valley
Northridge
Northridge
Location within Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley
Coordinates: 34°13′41″N 118°32′09″W / 34.22806°N 118.53583°W / 34.22806; -118.53583

Northridge is a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California in the San Fernando Valley. It is the home of California State University, Northridge, as well as eleven public and eight private schools.

Originally named Zelzah, the community was renamed North Los Angeles in 1929 to emphasize its closeness to the booming city. This created confusion with Los Angeles and North Hollywood. At the suggestion of a civic leader, the community was renamed Northridge in 1938.[1] Northridge can trace its history back to the Gabrielino (or Tongva) people and to Spanish explorers. Its territory was later sold by the Mexican governor to Eulogio de Celis, whose heirs divided it for sale.

The area has been the home of notable people, and it has notable attractions and points of interest. Residents have access to a municipal recreation center and a public swimming pool.

Population[edit]

The 2000 U.S. census counted 57,561 residents in the 9.47-square-mile Northridge neighborhood—or 6,080 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 61,993. In 2000 the median age for residents was 32, about average for city and county neighborhoods; the percentage of residents aged 19 to 34 was among the county's highest. [2]

The neighborhood was considered "highly diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles, with a high percentage of Asian people. The breakdown was whites, 49.5%; Latinos, 26.1%; Asians, 14.5%; blacks, 5.4%; and others, 4.6%. Mexico (24.7%) and the Philippines (9.8%) were the most common places of birth for the 31.8% of the residents who were born abroad—an average figure for Los Angeles.[2]

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $67,906, considered high for the city. Renters occupied 46.4% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment-owners held 53.6%. The average household size of 2.7 people was considered average for Los Angeles.[2]

In 2000 there were 3,803 military veterans, or 8.5% of the population, a high percentage compared to the rest of the city.[2]

Geography[edit]

Northridge touches Porter Ranch and Granada Hills on the north, North Hills on the east, Van Nuys on the southeast, Lake Balboa and Reseda on the south and Winnetka and Chatsworth on the west.[3]

History[edit]

Indigenous peoples[edit]

The area now called Northridge was first inhabited about 2,000 years ago by the Native American Gabrielino (or Tongva) people. Totonga was their tribal village and where Northridge eventually became located.[4] The Gabrielino-Tongva people, who lived in dome-shaped houses, are sometimes referred to as the "people of the earth."[5][not in citation given] They spoke a Takic Uto-Aztecan (Shoshonean) language.[6]

European exploration and settlement[edit]

It wasn't until 1769 when the area known as Northridge was descriptively first reported by Father Juan Crespi, the prolific diarist who accompanied the exploration party of Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà on its arduous trek through California, including the Sepulveda Pass leading to the San Fernando Valley. Having traversed more than their share of dry and arid land, the discovery of water, wherever it was, merited rejoicing. And so it was with Zelzah, an unexpected oasis and one of the meeting places of the Gabrielino, native to the area.[7] The explorers bathed and rested at the watering hole, fed by underground streams which still run deep beneath the intersection of Parthenia Street and Reseda Boulevard.[8]

American conquest[edit]

When American and naval military forces decided to occupy California in the late-1840s, representatives of the Mexican Governor Pio Pico broke with the tradition of "granting" land and, instead, sold it, without the usual area limitations to Eulogio de Celis, a native of Spain. By 1850, de Celis was listed in the Los Angeles Census as an agriculturist, 42 years old, and the owner of a real estate worth $20,000.[9]

Land division[edit]

A few years later, the land was split up. The heirs of Eulogio de Celis sold the northernly half – 56,000 acres (230 km2) – to Senator George K. Porter, who had called it the "Valley of the Cumberland" and Senator Charles Maclay, who exclaimed: "This is the Garden of Eden." Porter was interested in ranching; Maclay in subdivision and colonization. Francis Marion ("Bud") Wright, an Iowa farm boy who migrated to California as a young man, became a ranch hand for Senator Porter and later co-developer of the 1,100-acre (4.5 km2) Hawk Ranch, which is now Northridge land.[10]

Growth and metamorphosis[edit]

In 1951, a local reporter reported that Northridge's population had reached 5,500 residents, an increase of 1,000 people from 1950. In addition, it was around this time that Reseda Boulevard had been paved at its full width and become the main business street of boulevard proportions. The need also arose for Northridge to accommodate the new population, so in 1954 the first middle school opened in the rapidly growing town. Northridge Junior High School, later known as Northridge Middle School, opened with 1,000 students who had been brought all the way from Fulton Middle School in Van Nuys.[11]

Education[edit]

Thirty-four percent of Northridge residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, an average percentage for the city but high for the county. The percentages of the same-age residents with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree or higher were high for the county.[2]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The Los Angeles Unified School District serves Northridge.

In 1962, Nobel Junior High School in Northridge became the first air-conditioned school in the Los Angeles school district.[12]

In 1982 the board considered closing Prairie Street Elementary School in Northridge.[13] It was located on the California State University, Northridge campus, and that university used Prairie as a laboratory school.[14] In April 1983 an advisory committee of the LAUSD recommended closing eight LAUSD schools, including Prairie Street School.[13] In August 1983 the board publicly considered closing Prairie, which had 280 students at the time.[15] In 1984 the board voted to close the Prairie Street School.[14] In 1985 some parents were trying to have Prairie Street School re-opened.[16]

Secondary and lower-grade schools within the Northridge boundaries are:[17]

Public[edit]

  • Andasol Avenue Elementary School, 10126 Encino Avenue
  • Alfred Bernhard Nobel Middle School, 9950 Tampa Avenue
  • Topeka Drive Elementary School, 9815 Topeka Drive
  • Balboa Gifted / High Ability Magnet Elementary School, alternative, 17020 Labrador Street
  • Northridge Academy High School, 9601 Zelzah Avenue
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School, 9351 Paso Robles Avenue
  • Dearborn Street Elementary School, 9240 Wish Avenue
  • Calahan Street Elementary School, 18722 Knapp Street
  • Napa Street Elementary School, 19010 Napa Street
  • Northridge Middle School, 17960 Chase Street
  • Parthenia Street Elementary School, 16825 Napa Street

Private[edit]

  • Casa Montessori, 17633 Lassen Street
  • Our Lady of Lourdes, 18437 Superior Street
  • Highland Hall Waldorf School, K-12, 17100 Superior Street
  • Art of Learning Academy, 9535 Alden Avenue
  • St. Nicholas School, elementary, 9501 Balboa Boulevard
  • First Presbyterian Church of Granada Hill, elementary, 10400 Zelzah Avenue
  • Cornerstone Christian Academy, 11031 Yolanda Avenue
  • East Valley Academy, K-12, 20212 Londelius Street

University[edit]

California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge, or CSUN, part of the California State University system, offers bachelor's and master's degrees in a number of disciplines. The school is a major producer of K12 teachers in the region and the nation as a whole. CSUN also has engineering, business, and film programs.[citation needed]

CSUN had its beginnings as a college on Nordhoff Street and Etiwanda Avenue and officially opened in 1956 as "San Fernando Valley Campus of Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences." Two years later it separated from its parent and became "San Fernando Valley State College." By the early 1970s, however, this institution became known as "California State University, Northridge." By fall of 2013, CSUN had reached enrollment surpassing 38,000 students.[18]

A 2004 study revealed that CSUN is a major contributor to the local economy: between $663 million and $686 million annually. Additionally, CSUN employs 5,800 people directly through the university and adds another 5,700 to 6,000 jobs into the local economy.[19]

Entertainment[edit]

Motion pictures and television[edit]

Silent star Janet Gaynor and her costume-designer husband Adrian were the first owners of a spacious estate in Northridge, which was later sold to Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor. Later, actor Jack Oakie owned the property and lived on it. The Oakie house was set for the wrecking ball, but in 2010 the city agreed to buy the Tudor-style stone landmark and its 10-acre (40,000 m2) ranch estate.[20]

Mrs. Zeppo Marx and Barbara Stanwyck started Marwyck Ranch as a horse breeding farm. Northridge was known as the "Horse Capital of the West," with regular Sunday horse shows, annual stampedes, and country fairs.[20]

Devonshire Downs[edit]

In the late 1960s, Devonshire Downs was the site of two major rock music festivals. The little-known two-day 1967 Fantasy Faire and Magic Music Festival (at "Devonshire Meadows") featured The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, The Grass Roots, Canned Heat, Iron Butterfly and several other bands.[21] The better-known but confusingly named 1969 Newport Pop Festival was a massive three-day event that featured Jimi Hendrix and many other top acts. It took place in June and was briefly the largest music festival ever held before losing that distinction to Woodstock the following August. Like its famous successor, it had problems with large numbers of gate-crashers, and some young attendees far from home camped out nearby in sleeping bags. Unlike Woodstock, "nearby" included parts of suburban Northridge, where most of the local residents were horrified to find their neighborhoods invaded by "hippies". A ban on rock music festivals soon followed.[22]

Economy[edit]

In 2000, insulin pump maker MiniMed announced plans to open a facility in Northridge as part of a collaboration with California State University, Northridge, to build a biotechnology center. MiniMed located on a 65-acre (260,000 m2) parcel of land once known as Devonshire Downs. The property, now referred to as North Campus, is owned by CSUN. MiniMed's initial plans called for locating 4,500 workers at the Northridge site.[23]

By 2011, MiniMed's new owner decided to downsize the Northridge facility and relocate 300 customer service positions to Texas. Medtronic also announced the layoff of more than 400 workers at the Northridge offices. Today, about 1,800 employees continue to work at the MiniMed complex, located at Devonshire Street and Zelzah Avenue. The division is now known as Medtronic Diabetes, and the Northridge operations focus on research and development, as well as manufacturing.[24]

Earthquakes[edit]

The 1994 Northridge earthquake was named for Northridge based on early estimates of the location of the earthquake's epicenter; however, further refinements showed it to be in the neighboring community of Reseda.[25] The 6.7 magnitude earthquake, which occurred on a blind thrust fault, produced the strongest ground motions ever recorded from an earthquake which struck an urban area.[26] Freeways collapsed, and many buildings suffered irreparable damages. Vertical and horizontal accelerations lifted structures off their foundations.[27] During the 1994 quake, the Northridge Hospital Medical Center, although damaged, remained open and treated more than 1,000 patients who came to the facility during the first few days after the quake.[28]

This was the second time in 23 years that the area had been affected by a strong earthquake. On February 9, 1971 the San Fernando earthquake, which is also referred to as the Sylmar earthquake, struck having a magnitude of 6.5.[29]

Points of interest[edit]

Hospital[edit]

Northridge Hospital Medical Center consists of a 411-bed hospital and serves 2 million residents of the Valley. The hospital is one of only two facilities in the Valley certified as a trauma center for treating life-threatening injuries.[28]

Parks, recreation and sports[edit]

The Recreation Center is located in Northridge. It has an indoor gymnasium, without weights, which may also be used as an auditorium. Its capacity is 400. Doc Green is the commissioner of the youth sports leagues at Northridge Recreation Center. The park also has barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted indoor basketball courts, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, and lighted tennis courts.[31] The Northridge Pool, on the recreation center grounds, is an outdoor heated seasonal pool.[31][32]

Dearborn Park is located in Northridge. The unstaffed, unlocked park has lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, picnic tables, and lighted tennis courts.[33] Vanalden Park, an unstaffed pocket park, has a horseshoe pit, a jogging path, and picnic tables.[34]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Local government[edit]

Northridge Hospital Medical Center

Los Angeles Fire Department Station 70[35] (Northridge) and Station 103[36] (Northridge/CSUN) serve the community.

City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils that cover Northridge:

  • Northridge East Neighborhood Council[37]
  • Northridge West Neighborhood Council[38]
  • Northridge South Neighborhood Council[39]

The Los Angeles Police Department operates two police stations that serve Northridge:[40]

  • Devonshire Community Police Station serves residents north of Roscoe Boulevard.[41]
  • West Valley Community Police Station serves residents south of Roscoe Boulevard.[42]

County, state, and federal representation[edit]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Pacoima Health Center in Pacoima, serving Northridge.[43]

The United States Postal Service Northridge Post Office is located at 9534 Reseda Boulevard.[44]

The U.S. Census Bureau operates the Los Angeles Regional Census Center in Chatsworth, adjacent to Northridge.[45][46]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d e [1] "Northridge," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ [2] Colored map, Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ "villages". Tongvapeople.com. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ http://cd12.lacity.org/Neighborhoods/Northridge/LACITYDV_008959
  6. ^ [3][dead link]
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  8. ^ "Northridge, California". Northridge Vision. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ TheOkayNetwork.com. "Andres Pico Adobe – Historic Adobes of Los Angeles County by John R. Kielbasa ISBN 0-8059-4172-X – Things To Do In Los Angeles". Laokay.com. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
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  13. ^ a b Faris, Gerald. "Closing of 8 Schools Recommended, One Near Airport." Los Angeles Times. April 17, 1983. South Bay SB2. Retrieved on January 16, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Savage, David G. "L.A. Board to Close 5 More Schools." Los Angeles Times. February 7, 1984. Part II C2. Retrieved on January 16, 2012.
  15. ^ Pool. Bob. "Board to Consider Closing 4 More Valley Schools." August 7, 1983. Valley V2. Retrieved on January 16, 2012.
  16. ^ Jalon, Allan and Elaine Woo. "Hope Emerges for Reopening of School in Northridge." Los Angeles Times. July 26, 1985. Retrieved on January 17, 2012.
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  18. ^ Kaijo, Charlie (August 25, 2013). "CSUN officials anticipate a record 38,000 plus students to enroll this fall 2013". The Daily Sundial. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  19. ^ "California State University Northridge: Community Impacts". California State University, Northridge. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Oakie House saved from destruction". LA Daily News. January 31, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Prior News". Idafan.com. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
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  24. ^ "Medtronic Diabetes laying off more than 400 at Northridge site". Dailynews.com. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  25. ^ "January 17, 1994 northridge earthquake". National Geophysical Data Center. Retrieved Oct 2013. 
  26. ^ David J. Wald et al. "The Slip History of the 1994 Northridge, California, Earthquake Determined from Strong Ground Motion, Teleseismic, GPS, and Leveling Data". Bulletin of the Seismic Society of America 86. Retrieved April 2014. 
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  31. ^ a b "Northridge Recreation Center." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
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  33. ^ "Dearborn Park." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
  34. ^ "Vanalden Park." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
  35. ^ "Station 70". Lafd.org. January 1, 2000. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Station 103". Lafd.org. January 1, 2000. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Northridge East Neighborhood Council". Nenc-la.org. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Northridge West Neighborhood Council". Northridgewest.org. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Northridge South Neighborhood Council". Northridgesouth.wordpress.com. December 7, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2013. 
  40. ^ West Hills Police Stations lapdonline.org
  41. ^ Devonshire Community Police Station lapdonline.org
  42. ^ West Valley Community Police Station lapdonline.org
  43. ^ "Pacoima Health Center". Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  44. ^ "Post Office Location – NORTHRIDGE". United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  45. ^ "The Los Angeles Region". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 17, 2010.
  46. ^ "Boundary Map". Chatsworth Neighborhood Council. Retrieved on January 17, 2010.
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°13′42″N 118°32′09″W / 34.22833°N 118.53583°W / 34.22833; -118.53583