Reseda, Los Angeles
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|— Neighborhood of Los Angeles —|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|ZIP code||91335, 91337|
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 refers to the fragrant plant Reseda odorata (English name is mignonette) commonly found in gardens of the time and native to many areas with a Mediterranean climate.
Although the town's name of Marian remained, 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.
In 1921, when a Fourth Class Post Office was established, the town's name needed to be changed so as to avoid a conflict with Mariana. Ninety-two local residents convened and agreed to rename the town Reseda.
The central business district began in 1915 at 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 was a foremost producer 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.
Development into a post-war suburb 
Reseda remained primarily an agricultural community of approximately 2,300 residents until the mid-1940s, when it grew dramatically. 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.
Although home values continued to increase, the White population stopped growing in the early 1980s. As the White population decreased due to aging and a lower birth rate, Latino/Hispanic immigrants continued moving into the area. At the same time, a variety of factors led to a decreasing level of income, from discrimination to gang problems, and the changing economy of the Los Angeles area led to the loss of many blue-collar, unionized jobs. As a result, many of the middle-class San Fernando Valley neighborhoods reverted to their working-class roots.
Northridge earthquake 
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 located 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) of February 9, 1971 had a magnitude of 6.6.
As of the 2000 census, the 91335 ZIP Code, which includes Reseda and other areas, had 68,002 people (estimated 77,250 in 2006) and 22,811 households. The ethnic makeup of Reseda was 65.2% Hispanic/Latino 34.6% White, 11% Asian American 9.8% African American, 6.15% two or more races 0.8% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 0.1% Pacific Islander 91335's median age was 33 years with an average household size of 3.05 persons.
As of 2010, the median household income was $54,467. 
Motion picture and music production 
A number of motion pictures have been produced and set in Reseda and other parts of the San Fernando Valley. Films set in Reseda include:
- 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) feaures 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 the city.
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.
- The band Paramore filmed their platinum selling song "Misery Business" in Reseda High School.
- 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.
- 2004 History Channel Documentary "Flying Pyramids, Soaring Stones" released, featuring field research lead by Reseda resident Dr. Maureen Clemmons lifting a 16-ton obelisk using the wind as the motive force, demonstrating that ancient civilizations could have harnessed the wind to build their megalithic monuments.
- The show My Name is Earl is often filmed in Reseda, captured to look like rural small town America. One episode about a hot dog stand was filmed at the Home Plate Burgers (now FatBurger) on the corner of Saticoy Street and Reseda Boulevard.
- Home Plate Burgers was also in an episode of The Office.
Featured sites 
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 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. Some talk continues as to restoring the theater similarly to the city-owned theater in next-door Canoga Park, and the theater's image graces the local neighborhood council's banners on Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way.
Government and infrastructure 
Local government 
County, state, and federal representation 
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.
Early education 
Vanalden Early Education Center is in the community. Sven Lokrantz Special Education Center, a Kindergarten-through-1st-grade special school, is in Reseda.
Elementary schools 
Comprehensive elementary schools in Reseda include Bertrand Avenue Elementary School, Blythe Street Elementary School, Cantara Street Elementary School, Garden Grove Elementary School, Melvin Avenue Elementary School, Newcastle Elementary School, Reseda Elementary School, Shirley Avenue Elementary School, Calvert Elementary School (in Woodland Hills), and Vanalden Avenue Elementary School (in Tarzana).
Middle and junior high schools 
The Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies (SOCES), formerly Sequoia Junior High School, lies adjacent to Reseda Park; it is not located in or near the community of Sherman Oaks, its former location.
High schools 
Charter schools 
School closings 
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, 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. 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.
Public libraries 
Los Angeles Public Library operates the West Valley Regional Branch.
Notable residents 
- Dr. Maureen Clemmons, an innovator whose work was the subject of a 2004 History Channel documentary, "Flying Pyramids, Soaring Stones"
- Barbara Cook, on her 1994 album Live from London, she performs the song "Errol Flynn", written by Amanda McBroom, which contains a reference to Reseda as the hometown of the singer and her actor father.
- Donald D. Lorenzen (1920–80), Los Angeles City Council member, 1969–77
- Nick Young, Philadelphia 76ers
- Jim Robinson, three-time NASCAR Winston West Series champion.
- Pamela Des Barres, Author, Groupie
- "Los Angeles Almanac: City of Los Angeles Population by Community & Race 2010 Census". Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- 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.
- "Reseda Chamber of Commerce-History of Reseda"
- "Copy of street name change record". Department of Public Works-City of Los Angeles.
- 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.
- "91335 zip code Reseda (2000 Census data)". Brainyzip. Retrieved 2006-07-20.
- "Reseda Profile - Mapping L.A. - Los Angeles Times". Projects.latimes.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Los Angeles County/Reseda demographics"
- Locey, Bill (June 10, 1999). "Time Warp: ’80s Rock On at Reseda Country Club". Los Angeles Times.
- Vince Kowalick (November 06, 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.
- "School Finder." Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
- 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.
- "City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks". Laparks.org. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "West Valley Senior Citizen Center." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Center for Innovation presents Maureen Clemmons at next Entrepreneur Forum". University Letter (University of North Dakota). April 21, 2010.
- The Reseda Neighborhood Council
- Americassuburb.com: historical blog that catalogs early valley history
- Community news, trivia, photos and links
- Reseda High School History, Class of 1969, & links to other classes
- CSUN Oviatt Library online historical Photo Archives - Reseda collection