Reseda, Los Angeles
|Neighborhood of Los Angeles|
Reseda // is a highly diverse San Fernando Valley residential and business community in the city of Los Angeles, California with a high percentage of residents who were born outside the United States. It was founded in 1912, and its central business district started in 1915. The neighborhood was devoted to agriculture for many years. Earthquakes struck the area in 1971 and 1994.
The neighborhood has fifteen public and five private schools. Grover Cleveland and Reseda high schools serve Reseda and surrounding areas. The community includes a public park, a senior center and a regional branch library. Areas of community have been used in several motion picture and television productions.
- 1 Population
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 4 Motion pictures, music and television
- 5 Featured sites
- 6 Government and infrastructure
- 7 Education
- 8 Parks and recreation
- 9 Public libraries
- 10 Notable residents
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The 2010 U.S. census counted 74,363 residents in Reseda's 91335 zip code. The median age was 35.5, and the median yearly household income at that time was $53,842.
Reseda, as described by the Los Angeles Times, Mapping L.A. project in the 2008, was considered "highly diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles. Their breakdown of the population using the 2000 census was Latinos, 43.5%; whites, 37.2%; Asians, 11.2%; blacks, 4.2%; and others, 3.9%. Mexico (33.7%) and El Salvador (12.4%) were the most common places of birth for the 43.1% of the residents who were born abroad.
In 2010, renters occupied 48.5% of the housing stock, and house or apartment-owners held 51.5%.
Reseda is flanked on the north by Northridge, on the east by Lake Balboa, on the south by Encino and Tarzana and on the west by Winnetka. Its street boundaries are Roscoe Boulevard on the north, White Oak Avenue on the east, Victory Boulevard on the south and Corbin Avenue on the west.
Relation of Reseda to nearby places, not necessarily contiguous:
|Woodland Hills & Calabasas||Encino & Tarzana||Sepulveda Basin|
Founding and growth
On land that was originally part of the San Fernando Mission, Reseda originated in 1912 as the town of Marian. It was named after Marian Otis Chandler, the daughter of the Los Angeles Times publisher, Harrison Gray Otis and wife of Harry Chandler. The name Reseda itself refers to the fragrant plant Reseda odorata (English name is mignonette) which was commonly found in gardens of the time and is native to many areas with a Mediterranean climate.
The geographic name "Reseda" was first used for a siding on a branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which ran between the cities of Burbank and Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley. In the 1920s, the name Reseda was transferred from the Southern Pacific Railroad to the Western Division of the Pacific Electric Railway "Red Cars Line", which had expedited development after the building of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Later, it was used as the name of a stop on the Pacific Electric interurban railway running along Sherman Way.
Throughout this time the town's name of Marian remained; then in 1921, when a Fourth Class Post Office was found to be necessary, the town's name had to be changed. As the Zelzah Tribune reported:
The Marian territory has made application for a post office to serve that district. To avoid confusion in mail distribution it is necessary that the name of the town be changed and the people of that community have decided upon the name Reseda, and if the application is granted it will be the only post office in the United States by that name. Mrs. Turner, we are told, who has taken an active interest in the canvass and to create a sentiment for post office advantages, will possibly be the postmistress.
Ninety-two residents convened and agreed to rename the town Reseda.
The central business district began in 1915, at the area which is now the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way, with the construction of a hardware store. Soon a blacksmith shop and an auto repair garage were built nearby. Within a short time, these were followed by a grocery store and a drug store. There were no sidewalks or pavement yet, most were beginning to be added during the 1918 to early 1920s time period. On the southwest corner of Sherman Way a wooden building housed the Volunteer Fire Department until 1922, when the present brick building was erected as the Reseda Bank. The wooden building, housing the Fire Department, was then moved to the southeast side of Sherman Way, where it remained until 1933. In May 1929, the city's namesake roadway, Reseda Avenue, was renamed Reseda Boulevard by a Los Angeles City ordinance. Parts of the original 1920s and 1930s residential neighborhood remain and are found to the southwest of Sherman Way and Reseda Boulevard.
Reseda grew slowly. The stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent Great Depression further slowed expansion. During the late 1920s and 1930s, the area became widely known for its production of lettuce, lima beans, sugar beets, and walnuts; in the late 1930s, Reseda became known as was one of the largest producers of lettuce in the United States. The Southern Pacific Railroad trains came up the middle of Sherman Way to pick up freight cars of lettuce on a daily basis during the lettuce harvest season. Around that time, manufacturing roof tile, canning poultry products, and processing walnuts began to emerge as viable businesses as well.
Reseda remained primarily an agricultural community with a population of 1,805 in 1930, in 1940 the population had increased to 4,147 residents. The mid- to later-1940's saw a large increase in the numbers of single-family dwellings in Reseda and the loss of numerous acres of agriculture, and the addition of First Class Postal Service. Reseda was one of the first suburbs in the San Fernando Valley. The large ranches were subdivided, and the area was developed by realtors just as the veterans of World War II were returning home. The familiar orange groves were successively plowed under in favor of housing. At the time, most of the jobs were in the Los Angeles Basin and to the south, over the Santa Monica mountains.
By 1950, Reseda had over 16,000 residents and in the early 1950s, a population explosion took place, making Reseda one of the most popular and populated of all Valley communities. Because of this, Reseda's merchants provided bus service to transport shoppers throughout the busy downtown Reseda areas.
In the early 1950s, the Valley's population reached 400,000. The average new Valley home, in 1949, cost $9,000. By 1955, that same house could be resold for nearly $15,000. Even at that price, though, a household income was about $6,000 a year, making Valley incomes higher than the national average. By 1960, the average market value of a Valley home reached $18,850.
As was with much of the San Fernando Valley from as far back as 1919, Restrictive covenants excluded "non-Whites" from ownership until the passage of the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act (part of the 1968 Civil Rights Act).
During the 1970s, the above-average residential real estate values and income patterns compared to the rest of the country began to reverse. Land and housing costs shot upward, while most incomes only crept. By the beginning of the 1980s, the average price of a home in the Valley reached $110,000. According to a 2004 study by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, it has tripled that of the early 1980s.
The 1994 Northridge earthquake struck at 4:31 a.m. on January 17 and measured 6.7 on the Richter Scale. It remains the only large earthquake to originate directly under a major U.S. city in modern times as well as the most damaging earthquake to strike the U.S. since the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Its epicenter was between Arminta Street and Ingomar Street, just east of Reseda Boulevard.
This was the second time in 23 years the area had been affected by a strong earthquake. On February 9, 1971, the San Fernando earthquake (also known as the Sylmar earthquake) struck the area with a magnitude of 6.5.
Motion pictures, music and television
- Targets (1968) features the now-defunct Reseda Drive-In Theatre in a long sequence in which a deranged gunman hiding behind its screen goes on a killing spree, randomly shooting audience members as they sit in their cars. Other scenes offer various glimpses of Reseda and environs as they were in 1967, the year the film was actually made.
- In The Karate Kid (1984), the main character Daniel LaRusso (played by Ralph Macchio) moves from Newark, New Jersey to Reseda.
- Tuff Turf (1985)
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) features car chase scenes down the channel of the Los Angeles River.
- A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) places the home of the main character in Reseda. Both the beginning and ending scenes of the movie ostensibly take place on a baseball field in Reseda.
- Escape From L.A. (1996), starring Kurt Russell, was filmed in and around the portion of the Los Angeles River that runs through Reseda.
- In Boogie Nights (1997), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the nightclub scenes at The Country Club were filmed at a large building on Sherman Way, one block east of Reseda Boulevard and across the street from the Reseda Theater. (See Featured sites, below.)
- Several prominent scenes from Magnolia (1999), also directed by Anderson, were filmed in Reseda.
- Erin Brockovich (2000) contains a number of scenes that were filmed in Reseda.
Reseda is mentioned in numerous songs, including:
- Soul Coughing's "Screenwriter's Blues", "The Mountain Goats"', and "High Doses #2".
- The band Hoobastank filmed their cover song "Ghostbusters" in Reseda.
- The song "Errol Flynn", written by Amanda McBroom and performed by Barbara Cook on Cook's 1994 album Live from London, contains a reference to Reseda as the hometown of the singer and her actor father.
- Tom Petty song "Free Fallin'"
- The 1974 Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention release Roxy & Elsewhere contains, on the song "Dummy Up", a reference to the city.
- The Zappa-produced album Trout Mask Replica, by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, contains a reference to the city at the end of the track "Hair Pie: Bake 1".
Television shows filmed in Reseda include:
- The show 10 Items or Less was filmed in Jons Marketplace, an actual grocery store in Reseda, and often used real customers as extras.
- In a season-three episode of Angel, called "Birthday", Cordelia's vision leads her to visit a girl who lives in Reseda.
- In an episode of Awkward.[which?], the main characters Jenna and Matty go on their first official date at a restaurant in Reseda.
- The show My Name is Earl was often filmed in Reseda, captured to look like rural small town America.
The Reseda Country Club, of Boogie Nights fame, was a well-known concert venue during the Los Angeles punk rock and New Wave scenes of the 1980s. Located at the intersection of Canby Avenue and Sherman Way, the Country Club was host to bands, including Oingo Boingo, U2, Culture Club, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Roxy Music, from 1980 to 1982. The site which began in the 1950s as one of the first Sav-On Drug stores in the San Fernando Valley, later became a night club and remained a dance hall and music venue throughout the 1990s; it was also used as a boxing venue. The site later became and since remains a Spanish-language Christian church.
The Reseda Theater, at 18443 Sherman Way, was built in 1948 and closed in 1988. The exterior was briefly seen at the beginning of the film Boogie Nights (1997) with Mark Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds.
Government and infrastructure
County, state, and federal
Mail services are provided by the United States Postal Service's branch post office at 7320 Reseda Boulevard. On October 14, 2006, the branch office was renamed the Coach John Wooden Post Office on Wooden's 96th birthday, in honor of the late UCLA basketball coach who lived in nearby Encino and whose daughter lives in Reseda.
Nineteen percent of Reseda residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, an average figure for both the city and the county. The percentages of those residents with a high school diploma was high for the county.
Schools within the Reseda boundaries are:
- Grover Cleveland High School, 8140 Vanalden Avenue
- Reseda High School, 18320 Kittridge Street
- Joaquin Miller Career and Transition Center, special education, 8218 Vanalden Center
- Cantara Street Elementary School, 17950 Cantara Street
- Blythe Street Elementary School, 18730 Blythe Street
- John R. Wooden High School, continuation, 18741 Elkwood Street
- Melvin Avenue Elementary School, 7700 Melvin Avenue
- Garden Grove Elementary School, 18141 Valerio Street
- Sven Lokrantz Special Education Center, 19541 Wyandotte Street
- Reseda Elementary School, 7265 Amigo Avenue
- Magnolia Science Academy 7, elementary, 18425 Kittridge Street
- Diane S. Leichman Special Education Center, 19034 Gault Street
- Bertrand Avenue Elementary School, 7021 Bertrand Avenue
- Reseda Community Adult School, 18230 Kittridge Street
- Newcastle Elementary School, 6520 Newcastle Avenue
- Applied Scholastics Academy Valley, 19000-A Saticoy Street
- Saint Catherine of Siena, 18125 Sherman Way
- Heart of the Valley Christian School, elementary, 18644 Sherman Way
- Kirk o' the Valley School, elementary, 19620 Vanowen Street
- Trinity Lutheran High School, 7357 Jordan Avenue
In 1982, the board considered closing Garden Grove Elementary School in Reseda. In April 1983, an advisory committee of the LAUSD recommended closing eight LAUSD schools, including Garden Grove School and Newcastle Avenue School in Reseda. In August 1983, the board publicly considered closing Garden Grove, which had 176 students at the time, and Newcastle Avenue, which had 314 students. In 1984, the board voted to close the Garden Grove and Newcastle Avenue schools.
Parks and recreation
Reseda Park and Recreation Center, located at the corner of Reseda and Victory Boulevards, has barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room with a capacity of 200, picnic tables, an outdoor unheated seasonal pool, table tennis, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts. The Recreation Center offers a variety of sports programs and classes. Reseda Park also hosts an ornamental lake for fishing and a large duck pond. During the 1950s and 1960s, the duck pond also had a boathouse, where one could rent electric boats by the hour.
The Reseda Senior Multipurpose Center is located next to the Recreation Center. The center is operated and staffed by volunteers. Some programs for the senior center are operated through the park.
Los Angeles Public Library operates the West Valley Regional Branch.
- Donald D. Lorenzen (1920–80), Los Angeles City Council member, 1969–77
- Jim Robinson, racing driver
- Asim Bharwani journalist, photographer
-  "Community Facts" American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau
-  "Reseda," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
-  Colored map, Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
-  "San Fernando Valley," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times]
- Culver, Lawrence (2010). The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America. ISBN ISBN 9780195382631.
- Mcdougal, Dennis. Privileged Son: Otis Chandler and the Rise and Fall of the L.A. Times Dynasty.
- Gudde, Erwin Gustav. California Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary. p. 267.
- Coscia, David (2011). Pacific Electric and the Growth of the San Fernando Valley, 240 pages. Bellflower, CA: Shade Tree Books. ISBN 1-57864-735-5.
- Van Nuys News, December 1, 1921
- "Reseda Chamber of Commerce-History of Reseda"
- "Copy of street name change record". Department of Public Works-City of Los Angeles.
- "City of Los Angeles Council District 12". City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- Laura Pulido; Laura Barraclough; Wendy Cheng. A People's Guide to Los Angeles. University of California Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-0-520-95334-5. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "San Fernando Earthquake". Southern California Earthquake Data Center. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- Locey, Bill (June 10, 1999). "Time Warp: ’80s Rock On at Reseda Country Club". Los Angeles Times.
- Vince Kowalick (November 6, 1996). "Renovated Reseda Country Club Fights Back". Los Angeles Times.
- "Nuestro Inicio". Restauracion Reseda. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Reseda Theatre". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "West Valley Community Police Station - official website of THE LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT". Lapdonline.org. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Post Office Location - Reseda." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
- "Post Office Named For Coach John Wooden On 96th Birthday - UCLA OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE". Uclabruins.cstv.com. 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
-  "Reseda: Schools," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
- School website
- Faris, Gerald. "Closing of 8 Schools Recommended, One Near Airport." Los Angeles Times. April 17, 1983. South Bay SB2. Retrieved on January 16, 2012.
- Pool. Bob. "Board to Consider Closing 4 More Valley Schools." August 7, 1983. Valley V2. Retrieved on January 16, 2012.
- 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.
- "Reseda Park." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Reseda Recreation Center". City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks". Laparks.org. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Reseda Senior Multipurpose Center". City of Los Angeles Department of Aging. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- Los Angeles Public Library reference file
- "Robinson Hopes To Drive New Car To Western Title". Daily News of Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA. November 14, 1985. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- The Reseda Neighborhood Council
- Reseda High School History, Class of 1969, & links to other classes
- CSUN Oviatt Library online historical Photo Archives - Reseda collection
-  Comments about living in Reseda
-  Reseda crime map and statistics