Pacific Boulevard

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Pedestrians on the Pacific Boulevard shopping district

Pacific Boulevard is a street and principal commercial thoroughfare in the city of Huntington Park, California. It runs from Vernon and Santa Fe Avenues in Vernon to Cudahy Street in Walnut Park before changing to Long Beach Boulevard. The Pacific Boulevard commercial district is the third highest grossing commercial district in the County of Los Angeles.[1] The Christmas Lane Parade, seen in millions of homes via television throughout the United States and parts of Europe, has run down Pacific Boulevard since 1946.[2] As many as 300,000 people attend the annual Carnaval Primavera (Spring Carnival) held on Pacific Boulevard each year.[3] Pacific Boulevard is well known to Latino residents of the L.A. area, and a magnet for commerce, culture, and night life.[4]

Pacific Boulevard represents a "Hispanic Mecca" for shopping, culture, and people watching.[5] The area offers a variety of shopping options and features several national and regional tenants such as Bank of America, Chase Bank, AT&T, T-Mobile, Daniel's Jewelers, JC Penny, Foot Locker, El Gallo Giro, 3 Hermanos and Tierra Mia Coffee. Pacific Boulevard also has numerous independent clothing and specialty stores that offer products for special occasions such as baptisms, first communions, quinceañeras, formal events and weddings. (Id.) Several bars and restaurants feature live music and entertainment in the evenings.

Pacific Boulevard is a common location for remote broadcasts from local Spanish-language media stations. Television stations often profile successful businesses and popular festivals that attract hundreds of thousands of people, bringing national attention to the area.(Id.) The Pacific Blvd. commercial area is arguably the most important area to the City because of the tax revenue it generates and the significant amount of employment available for residents. It is the center of the City’s business improvement district (B.I.D.), an organization established in 1995 to focus on community and business revitalization efforts vis-à-vis the commercial business sector.(Id.)

History[edit]

A New York Times article observed that Pacific Boulevard was once, "the apotheosis of the postwar California dream, an all-white working-class Beverly Hills with swank department stores, auto dealerships and first-run cinemas."[6] To its residents, it was an idyllic spot: "Pacific Boulevard in Huntington Park was truly magical for me, with Christmas decorations stretched across the wide boulevard, decorated store windows and the Christmas parade on Pacific."[7]

The stretch of Pacific Boulevard in downtown Huntington Park was a major commercial district serving the city's largely working-class residents, as well as those of neighboring cities such as Bell, Cudahy, and South Gate.[8] However, the thoroughfare was located three miles (5 km) from any freeway, and it was ill served by that feature in the freeway-oriented pulse of the region; by 1968, more than sixty of its storefronts were vacant.[9] During the 1980s, the strip appeared to be derelict with vacancy rates up to 50 percent in its commercial spaces. But a wave of "nearly 100 percent Latino immigrants ... transformed Huntington Park's main commercial thoroughfare from what was one of the most blighted districts in central Los Angeles into one of the most profitable and heavily trafficked in the region."[10] After its resurgence, Pacific Boulevard "competes with downtown’s Broadway and Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive for the region’s highest sales volume per square foot."[11] And it has become "an important site not only economically but socially and culturally as well."[12]

Attractions[edit]

The Warner Huntington Park is an Art Deco motion picture palace that was opened in 1930. The architect was B. Marcus Priteca, the architect who created the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The Warner Huntington Park is the sister theater to the Warner Beverly Hills and the Warner Grand in San Pedro. The Warner Huntington Park Theatre originally seated 1,468 people.[13] Huntington Park also boasted of the third Pussycat Theater to open in California. It was called The Lyric and was located at 7208 Pacific Boulevard.[14]

Tierra Mia Coffee opened in March 2010 adjacent to the Warner Huntington Park, in a space that formerly housed a McDonald's restaurant for over eleven years. Tierra Mia Coffee offers a "third wave coffee" menu featuring beverages with heart and leaf latte art and a variety of Latin specialty drinks and pastries. The company's stated mission is to offer the highest quality coffee in a setting that is contemporary and reflective of Latin culture.[15] Tierra Mia Coffee's Huntington Park store features an open air cafe patio and deep interior seating area and is one of two stores operated by the company in southern California, with the other being in the adjacent city of South Gate, CA.

El Gallo Giro (Lat. Am. Sp., for "The Yellow Rooster") is ranked among the 10 highest grossing restaurants in the Los Angeles area. El Gallo Giro was started in 1990. By the year 2000, it had become the 7th most profitable restaurant in L.A. county ranked by annual gross sales, with receipts of $6.7M that year. Despite its casual dining and working class clientele, its sales were such that it out-earned competitors such as the Parkway Grill in Pasadena, the Pacific Dining Car in Hollywood, the Paradise Cove in Malibu, and the Bel Air Hotel.[16] El Gallo Giro's Pacific Blvd store is open 24 hours a day.

Local transportation[edit]

Metro Local lines 60 and 251 and Metro Rapid lines 751 and 760 operate on Pacific Boulevard.

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

Coordinates: 33°58′59″N 118°13′30″W / 33.98306°N 118.22500°W / 33.98306; -118.22500