|City of Covina|
"One Mile Square and All There", "Where Friendship Is Traditional" (1965)
|Incorporated||August 14, 1901|
|• Mayor||Patricia Cortez|
|• Mayor Pro Tem||Walter Allen III|
|• Councilmember||Hector Delgado|
|• City Manager||Chris Marcarello|
|• Total||7.05 sq mi (18.26 km2)|
|• Land||7.04 sq mi (18.22 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2) 0.22%|
|Elevation||558 ft (170 m)|
|• Density||7,286.53/sq mi (2,813.39/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1652693, 2410251|
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 51,268 according to the 2020 census, up from 47,796 at the 2010 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 (2.6 km2).
Covina is bordered by West Covina, to its south and west side. Irwindale lies to the west, as well as the unincorporated area of Vincent, and the city of Baldwin Park. Azusa and Glendora are to the north, the unincorporated community of Charter Oak to the northeast, San Dimas to the east, the unincorporated area of Ramona and city of Pomona to the southeast.
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. 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.
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", was coined by Mrs F. E. Wolfarth, the winner of a 1922 slogan contest sponsored by the chamber of commerce.
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, 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.
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.
Opened in 1997, the Covina AMC 30 located at Arrow Highway and Azusa Avenue is one of the busiest theatres in the United States. 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. 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 and the charter season of the Covina Center for the Performing Arts, a newly remodeled multimillion-dollar theatrical venue in downtown Covina.
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. The slayings left 15 children without one or both parents.
Covina is located at (34.091609, -117.879193).
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.
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. 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|
|Average high °F (°C)||60
|Average low °F (°C)||42
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.68
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Covina had a population of 47,796. The population density was 6,788.3 inhabitants per square mile (2,621.0/km2). The racial makeup of Covina was 27,937 (58.5%) White (29.9% Non-Hispanic White), 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.
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.
As of the census of 2000, 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 (907.0/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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Government and infrastructure
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 Patricia Cortez, Mayor Pro Tem Walter Allen III, Councilmember John King, Councilmember Hector Delgado, and Councilmember Victor Linares.
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.
According to the city's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, 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|
|5||Magan Medical Clinic||270|
|6||City of Covina||268|
|7||Bert's Mega Mall||220|
In popular culture
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 and television shows have been filmed in Covina, including:
- The television series Roswell was filmed in various location in Covina 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.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2012)
- Lacey Baker – professional skateboarder, attended Northview High School
- Rick Baker – seven-time Academy Award-winning makeup artist; films include American Werewolf In London, Ed Wood, Men In Black and The Wolfman
- Pamela Baird, child actress, My Friend Flicka, Leave It to Beaver, graduated from Covina High School, class of 1963
- Irma Blanco – L.A. radio personality, resided in Covina
- Tom Brunansky – Major League Baseball player and coach, played from 1985 to 2000 for New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs; 1985 All-Star, member of 1987 World Series champion Twins; born in Covina
- Clyde Christensen – offensive coordinator of NFL's Miami Dolphins; born in Covina, attended Royal Oak High School
- Jack Clark – Major League Baseball player for San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox from 1975 to 1992; hit .267 with 340 home runs, played in 1985 World Series, four-time MLB All-Star; graduated from Gladstone High School in 1973
- Art Clokey – creator of Gumby; with wife Ruth invented Gumby in early 1950s at their Covina home after Art finished film school at USC
- Casey Dailey – football player for Northwestern and NFL's New York Jets
- Herschel Daugherty – former film, television and theatre director.
- William "Billie" Raymond DeVrell (1937–1981) – Wonderland Gang member killed in 1981 Wonderland murders is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries (Covina Hills)
- Donald W. Evans Jr., Sp4., (1943–1967) – Army medic awarded Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam War, plus Purple Heart; born in Covina
- Donna Fargo – country singer, taught English at Northview High School in the 1960s and 1970s
- Hussein Mohamed Farrah – son of Mohamed Farrah Aidid and former President of Somalia, graduated from Covina High School
- Jason David Frank (1973–2022) – played Tommy Oliver in the Power Rangers franchise
- Rod Gilfry – opera baritone
- Roy Harris – composer, grew up on strawberry farm in Covina and attended Covina High School
- Lillian Kinkella Keil – decorated World War II flight nurse; born in Covina
- Ward Kimball – one of original Disney animators, leader of Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two; Covina High School class of 1929
- Robert Knapp – actor, lived in Covina in his teenage years and worked in orange groves
- Bob Lorenz – anchor and studio host, New York Yankees TV network (YES Network); previously with CNN, CNNSI and Turner Sports
- Mike Lynn – former NBA player for Los Angeles Lakers
- Jeremy Miller – actor in TV comedy series Growing Pains; born and raised in Covina
- John Molina Jr. – boxer, born in Covina
- Corey Nakatani – jockey, winner of nearly 4,000 races; born and raised in Covina
- Vince Neil and Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe – met while attending Royal Oak High School
- Aaron Perez – Soccer player
- PattiSue Plumer – Athlete in 1980 and 1988 Olympics
- Polly Plumer – American track and field runner
- Alice Huyler Ramsey – died in Covina; first woman to drive across America from coast to coast. On June 9, 1909, the 22-year-old housewife and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey, completed 3,800 miles (6,100 km) from Manhattan, New York, to San Francisco, California, in a Maxwell automobile; she was accompanied on the 59-day trek by three female companions, none of whom could drive a car.
- Mitrice Richardson – dancer
- Jeron Roberts (born 1976) - American-Israeli basketball player
- Gary Roenicke – Major League Baseball outfielder for Montreal Expos (1976), Baltimore Orioles (1978–85), New York Yankees (1986) and Atlanta Braves (1987–88), hit .247 with 121 home runs; born in Covina
- Ron Roenicke – Major League Baseball player and manager, coach of 2002 World Series champion Anaheim Angels; born in Covina
- Bobby Rose – Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball player; born in Covina
- Rio Ruiz – baseball third baseman
- Willie Shoemaker (1931–2003) – Hall of Fame jockey with 8,833 wins including four Kentucky Derbys; attended Covina High School
- Jean Stafford – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short-story writer
- Tatiana Suarez – mixed martial artist
- Rob Wilfong – Major League Baseball player for Minnesota Twins, California Angels and San Francisco Giants from 1977 to 1987, batted .248 with 39 home runs; graduated from Northview HS in 1971
- Chris Woodward – Major League Baseball player (1999–2010) for Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, and Seattle Mariners; born in Covina and attended Northview HS
- Ellen Beach Yaw (known as Lark Ellen) – a coloratura soprano active during the 19th and 20th centuries, who toured the world singing opera for over 40 years and chose to retire in Covina; a street in city is named for her
- Michael Young – Major League Baseball infielder, 7-time All-Star selection with Texas Rangers (2004–2009, 2011), 2005 American League batting champion, 2006 MLB All-Star Game MVP, 2008 Gold Glove Award winner; born in Covina
Covina has one sister city:
- List of cities and towns in California
- List of Mexican-American communities
- List of cities in Los Angeles County, California
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During the summer of 1999 the Covina AMC 30 Theater was ranked 28th in the United States in attendance.
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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.
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