Covina, California

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Covina, California
City of Covina
Downtown Covina
Downtown Covina
Official seal of Covina, California
"One Mile Square and All There", "Where Friendship is Traditional" (1965)
Location of Covina in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Covina in Los Angeles County, California
Covina, California is located in the United States
Covina, California
Covina, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 34°5′30″N 117°52′45″W / 34.09167°N 117.87917°W / 34.09167; -117.87917Coordinates: 34°5′30″N 117°52′45″W / 34.09167°N 117.87917°W / 34.09167; -117.87917
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Founded1882[citation needed]
IncorporatedAugust 14, 1901[1]
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorJorge Marquez[2]
 • Mayor Pro TemPatricia Cortez[2]
 • CouncilmemberWalter Allen III[2]
 • CouncilmemberVictor Linares[2]
 • CouncilmemberJohn King[2]
 • Total7.05 sq mi (18.25 km2)
 • Land7.03 sq mi (18.22 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)  0.22%
Elevation558 ft (170 m)
 • Total47,796
 • Estimate 
 • Density6,745.81/sq mi (2,604.70/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code626[8]
FIPS code06-16742
GNIS feature IDs1652693, 2410251
WebsiteCovina, California

Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley. The population was 47,796 at the 2010 census, up from 46,837 at the 2000 census. The city's slogan, "One Mile Square and All There", was coined when the incorporated area of the city was only one square mile.


Modern-day Covina sits on land that was originally part of Rancho La Puente, a Mexican era rancho grant.

Present-day Covina was originally within the homelands of the indigenous Tongva people for 5,000 to 8,000 years. In the 18th century it the became part of Rancho La Puente in Alta California, a 1770s Spanish colonial and 1842 Mexican land grant.

The city of Covina was founded in 1882 by Joseph Swift Phillips, on a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) tract that was purchased from the holdings of John Edward Hollenbeck, one of the 1842 grantees of Rancho La Puente. In 1875 Hollenbeck had purchased a failed coffee plantation from three Costa Rican brothers, Pedro Maria Badilla, Julian Badilla, and Pedro Antonio Badilla; the latter purchased it from the heirs of Hollenbeck's 1842 co-grantee John A. Rowland.[9] Four streets of Covina were named after these people, as well as Rancho La Puente, which include Badillo Street, Puente Street, Rowland Street, and Hollenbeck Avenue.

The City of Covina was named by a young engineer, Frederick Eaton, who was hired by Phillips to survey the area. Impressed by the way that the valleys of the adjacent San Gabriel Mountains formed a natural cove around the vineyards that had been planted by the region's earlier pioneers, Eaton merged the words "cove" and "vine", and in 1885, created the name Covina for the new township.[10]

The city was incorporated in 1901, the townsite bounded by Puente Street on the south, 1st Avenue on the east, the alley north of College Street on the north, and 4th Avenue on the west. The city's slogan, "One Mile Square and All There",[10] was coined by Mrs F. E. Wolfarth, the winner of a 1922 slogan contest sponsored by the chamber of commerce.[11]

It was not vineyards but orange and grapefruit groves that blanketed the city. By 1909, the city was the third-largest orange producer in the world,[10] and it still claimed to have "the best oranges in the world" as late as the 1950s. Since World War II, however, the orange groves have been largely replaced by single-family (houses) and multiple-family (apartments) dwellings.[12]

The Covina Valley Historical Society maintains an archive illustrating the city's history in the 1911-built Firehouse Jail Museum, Covina's first municipal building, located immediately behind City Hall in Covina's Old Town.[10]

Opened in 1997, the Covina AMC 30 located at Arrow Highway and Azusa Avenue is one of the busiest theatres in the United States.[13] The movie theater was built on the site of a former Sears building and claims to have the largest movie multiplex in Los Angeles County.

It has been a sister city of Xalapa, Mexico, since 1964. A replica of a giant stone Olmec head, located in a place of honor in Parque Xalapa, was given to the city in 1989 by the state of Veracruz.[14] According to the placard placed below the head, it was originally excavated from San Lorenzo de Tenochtitlan. The statue was later moved from its location in front of the police department to Jalapa Park in the southeast portion of the city.

2008 marked both the opening as well as charter season of the Covina Center for the Performing Arts, a newly remodeled multimillion-dollar theatrical venue in downtown Covina.

2008 massacre[edit]

On December 24, 2008, a shooting and arson occurred. Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, dressed in a Santa Claus costume, entered a Christmas party at his ex-wife's residence and opened fire. After the shootings, Pardo unwrapped a Christmas package containing a homemade flamethrower and used it to set the home ablaze. When he left, nine family members were dead and the house was engulfed in flames. After the massacre, Pardo drove his rental car to his brother's house in Sylmar, approximately 30 miles (48 km) away from the attack. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[15] The slayings left 15 children without one or both parents.[16]


Covina is located at 34°5′30″N 117°52′45″W / 34.09167°N 117.87917°W / 34.09167; -117.87917 (34.091609, -117.879193).[17]

The only freeway that passes through the area is a very small stretch of Interstate 10. Covina is centered in the midst of Interstate 210 (Foothill Freeway) to the north, Interstate 605 (San Gabriel River Freeway) to the west, State Route 57 (Orange Freeway) to the east, and Interstate 10 to the south.[14]

The Southern Pacific Railroad, which reached Covina in 1884, and the Metrolink San Bernardino Line pass through the city just north of the downtown area. The town is located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley.[14] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.0 square miles (18 km2)—99.78% of it is land and 0.22% of it is water.


This region experiences hot, dry summers and mild, occasionally rainy winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Covina has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Covina, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 60
Average low °F (°C) 42
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.68
[citation needed]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)47,450[6]−0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]


The 2010 United States Census[20] reported that Covina had a population of 47,796. The population density was 6,788.3 people per square mile (2,621.0/km2). The racial makeup of Covina was 27,937 (58.5%) White (29.9% Non-Hispanic White),[21] 2,013 (4.2%) African American, 532 (1.1%) Native American, 5,684 (11.9%) Asian, 104 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 9,230 (19.3%) from other races, and 2,296 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,030 persons (52.4%).

The Census reported that 47,361 people (99.1% of the population) lived in households, 68 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 367 (0.8%) were institutionalized.

There were 15,855 households, out of which 6,396 (40.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,931 (50.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,815 (17.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,072 (6.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 978 (6.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 94 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,153 households (19.9%) were made up of individuals, and 1,179 (7.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99. There were 11,818 families (74.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.43.

The population was spread out, with 11,896 people (24.9%) under the age of 18, 5,043 people (10.6%) aged 18 to 24, 13,113 people (27.4%) aged 25 to 44, 12,174 people (25.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,570 people (11.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

There were 16,576 housing units at an average density of 2,354.2 per square mile (909.0/km2), of which 9,256 (58.4%) were owner-occupied, and 6,599 (41.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.4%. 28,707 people (60.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 18,654 people (39.0%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Covina had a median household income of $66,726, with 11.3% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[21]

An additional 31,072 residents live in zip codes associated with Covina but outside the city limits, making the total Covina-area population 78,868 at the time of the 2010 census.[22]


As of the census of 2000,[23] there were 46,837 people, 15,971 households, and 11,754 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,723.7 inhabitants per square mile (2,594.5/km2). There were 16,364 housing units at an average density of 2,349.1 per square mile (906.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.10% White, 5.03% Black or African American, 0.90% Native American, 9.82% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 17.18% from other races, and 4.78% from two or more races. 40.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[14]

There were 15,971 households, out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.36.[14]

In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.1% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.[14]

The median income for a household in the city was $48,474, and the median income for a family was $55,111. Males had a median income of $40,687 versus $32,329 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,231. About 8.9% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.[14]

An additional 30,000 residents live in unincorporated areas of the three zip codes associated with Covina but outside the city limits, making the total Covina-area population 76,417.

Latinos in Covina[edit]

Hispanics made up 13% of Covina's residents in 1980, 26% in 1990, 40% in 2000, and 52% in 2010.[24]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Local government in Covina is run by an elected city council through their hired city manager. Covina residents are represented at-large, currently by the following elected officials: Mayor Jorge Marquez, Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Cortez, Councilmember John King, Councilmember Walter Allen III, and Councilmember Victor Linares.[25]

In the California State Legislature, Covina is in the 22nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Susan Rubio, and in the 48th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Blanca Rubio.[26]

In the United States House of Representatives, Covina is in California's 32nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Grace Napolitano.[27]

Covinians who access county health services may use the Pomona Health Center in Pomona or the Monrovia Health Center in Monrovia, both operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.[28][29]


Top employers[edit]

According to the city's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[30] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Covina Valley Unified School District 1,291
2 Citrus Valley Medical Center 1,139
3 Charter Oak Unified School District 584
4 Wal-Mart 286
5 Magan Medical Clinic 270
6 City of Covina 268
7 Bert's Mega Mall 220
8 Pall Medical 202
9 MedLegal 193
10 IKEA 186

In popular culture[edit]

Covina is the fictional setting for the Harold Teen comic strip and 1934 movie that depicted several teenagers from Covina High School. A downtown Covina malt shop was named the Sugar Bowl (with the permission of the artist Carl Eds), imitating the after-school gathering place in the comic strip.

Scenes from several movies were filmed in Covina, including:

  • The television series Roswell was filmed in various location in Covina[31] including the downtown area on North Citrus Avenue. City Hall, Charter Oak High School and several other businesses and residences served as locations for the fictional version of the town of Roswell, New Mexico.
  • Multiple episodes of the hit television series Knight Rider were filmed in Downtown "Old" Covina, including an episode coincidentally shot at Knight's Photo Studio on Citrus, where David Hasselhoff greeted fans and passed out signed photographs.
  • One of the ending shots of the movie Frailty was filmed on Center St. off of Hollenbeck.
  • The "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene from the film Wayne's World was filmed on Citrus Avenue in downtown Covina, although some external shots were filmed in other locations.
  • The "Grey Poupon" scene from Wayne's World was shot on Citrus Avenue. Covina Hobby was visible in the background. Having two cars side-by-side reflects (incorrectly) that the main drag had four lanes.
  • The "cruising" portion of Hometown USA was filmed on Citrus Avenue.
  • The interior of Covina Public Library served as the Baltimore County Public Library for the 2004 television movie Back When We Were Grownups.
  • An episode of Tabatha's Salon Takeover was filmed in Downtown "Old" Covina at Tantrum on Citrus Avenue.
  • The theater in downtown Covina (refurbished in 2008), the library and neighborhood streets around downtown were used in the filming of High School U.S.A.a 1983 movie starring Michael J. Fox and Nancy McKeon.
  • The small independent film Small Time, starring Christopher Meloni and Bridget Moynahan, was filmed at Clippinger Chevrolet, which used to be at San Bernardino Road and Citrus Avenue in Downtown Covina.
  • A satirical short film called Make America Great? by filmmaker Candice Vernon was filmed at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church located at Badillo and Third Avenue.

Notable people[edit]

Sister city[edit]

Covina has one sister city:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "City Council". City of Covina. Archived from the original on January 21, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Covina". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  5. ^ "Covina (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved January 18, 2007.
  8. ^ "Number Administration System - NPA and City/Town Search Results". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved January 18, 2007.
  9. ^ Covina Argus, May 4, 1912, p. 5, c. 2.
  10. ^ a b c d "Downtown Covina, California - Shopping, Dinning, Entertainment". Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  11. ^ "History - City of Covina California".
  12. ^ Pitt, Leonard, and Dale Pitt. Los Angeles A to Z : an encyclopedia of the city and county. Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1997. ISBN 0-520-20274-0
  13. ^ "North Azusa". City of Covina: The Tour. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007. During the summer of 1999 the Covina AMC 30 Theater was ranked 28th in the United States in attendance.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "City of Covina, California information". Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "Coroner: Ninth body found in ruins of 'Santa massacre' home". CNN. December 26, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2008. The car was parked outside a Sylmar, California, home where Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, committed suicide hours after he opened fire at a holiday party and then started a raging blaze inside a Covina, California, home, police said.
  16. ^ DA, Schwartz. "CEO". Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  17. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  18. ^ "Covina, California Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Covina city". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "State and County quick facts". Archived from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  22. ^ "Zip code statistics". Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  23. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  24. ^ Bader, Michael (April 1, 2016). "Op-Ed: L.A. is resegregating -- and whites are a major reason why". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  25. ^ "Covina City Council". City of Covina. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  26. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  27. ^ "California's 32nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  28. ^ "Pomona Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 27, 2010.
  29. ^ "Monrovia Health Center." Retrieved on March 27, 2010.
  30. ^ "City of Covina CAFR" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 31, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  31. ^ "Roswell Location Photos (photo)". Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  32. ^ Ramsey, Alice Huyler. Veil, duster and tire iron. Covina, Calif. : Printed at the Castle Press, 1961.
  33. ^ "Covina : Sister City Art Dedicated". Los Angeles Times. July 26, 1990. Retrieved August 22, 2020.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Covina City Web Page | City of Covina California". Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "Visit Covina For Shopping, Dining, Entertainment & More | Downtown Covina CA". Retrieved August 30, 2019.