Elysian Park, Los Angeles

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Elysian Park neighborhood boundaries
Park entrance, with Broadway on the right, about 1900
Waterfall and rock garden behind Police Academy, 1956
Los Angeles Police Academy, 2005
View of the park from Stadium Way, 2012

Elysian Park is the name of a municipal park and the adjacent neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California.

Encompassing Chavez Ravine, where Dodger Stadium is located, the neighborhood is mostly a low-income community of 2,600+ people. It is also home to the city's first Catholic high school, an elementary school and the Los Angeles Police Academy.

History[edit]

Portola Trail campsite, 2013

The southeastern corner of the park is near the Los Angeles River at the location where the Portolá expedition gave the river its name in 1769. The first Europeans to see inland areas of California camped near this spot on August 2, and California Historical Landmark #655 ("Portolá Trail Campsite") is located at the Meadow Road entrance.

Park[edit]

The park is the second largest park in Los Angeles at 600 acres (2.4 km²). It is also the city's oldest park, founded in 1886 by the Elysian Park Enabling Ordinance. It hosted the shooting and the shooting part of the modern pentathlon events for the 1932 Summer Olympics.[1] In 1964 the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park was founded to prevent the City of Los Angeles from constructing the Municipal Convention Center on 62 acres (250,000 m2) of park land.

In 1968, it hosted a hippie "Love-In."[2]

Geography[edit]

According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, the Elysian Park neighborhood is flanked on the north and northeast by Elysian Valley, on the east by Lincoln Heights, on the southeast and south by Chinatown and on the southwest, west and northwest by Echo Park.[3] Street and other boundaries are: the northern apex at Exit 138 of the Golden State Freeway, thence southeasterly along the freeway, southerly along the Los Angeles River, westerly along North Broadway, northwesterly along Stadium Way, Academy Road and northerly along Elysian Park Drive.[4][5]

Figueroa Street Tunnels[edit]

The Figueroa Street Tunnels take northbound State Route 110 (the Pasadena Freeway) through the park.

Solano Canyon[edit]

Solano Canyon is a canyon within Elysian Park and also the name of a residential district at the southern extremity of the Elysian Park neighborhood, directly north of the Los Angeles State Historic Park. The district is bisected near its southern tip by the Arroyo Seco Parkway, and it shares a border with Chinatown (Los Angeles).

Solano Canyon was also an old name for a ravine in the Hollywood Hills that was later named Runyon Canyon.[6][7]

Population[edit]

The 2000 U.S. census of the Elysian Park neighborhood counted 2,530 residents in its 1.65 square miles, which includes all the city park land as well as Dodger Stadium—an average of 1,538 people per square mile, one of the lowest population densities in Los Angeles county. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 2,659. The median age for residents was 31, about average for Los Angeles; the percentage of residents aged 11 to 18 were among the county's highest.[4]

The neighborhood was moderately diverse ethnically, and the percentage of Asians was comparatively high. The breakdown was Latinos, 47.6%; Asians, 43.4%; whites, 3.1%; blacks, 2.1%, and others, 3.7%. China (32.3%) and Mexico (27.3%) were the most common places of birth for the 54.4 % of the residents who were born abroad, a high figure compared to rest of the city.[4]

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $28,263, low for Los Angeles; a high percentage of households had an income of $20,000 or less. The average household size of 3.1 people was high for the city of Los Angeles. Renters occupied 81.9% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment owners 18.1%.[4]

Education[edit]

Thirteen percent of the neighborhood residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, an average figure for the city.[4]

The schools operating within the Elysian Park neighborhood borders are:[8]

  • Solano Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 615 Solano Avenue. In 1955, the school, which then had 230 pupils, was honored as one of the 221 schools given a California Distinguished School award. The Los Angeles Times reported that: "At Solano Avenue Elementary School, things are done right. Parents chip in, teachers stick around for years, children learn, and the surrounding community claims it for their own. The campus is a thing of pride-no graffiti or trash problems here." Principal John Stoll noted that nearly half the children began school speaking limited English, having been reared in Spanish- or Cantonese-speaking homes. The school was "adopted" by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980, and it was known for sending the student choir to Dodger Stadium to sing the National Anthem before a ballgame.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] History of Elysian Park
  • [2] Elysian Park neighborhood crime map and statistics]
  • [3] SolanoCanyon.org
  • [4] Solano Canyon can be seen on the horizon of this 1873 photograph, labeled No. 50, as published in "The Story of Fifty Years: Where the City: In Which Southern California and the Los Angeles Times Grew Up Together," Los Angeles Times, December 4, 1931, page E-3.

Relation to other areas[edit]

Coordinates: 34°4′58″N 118°14′18″W / 34.08278°N 118.23833°W / 34.08278; -118.23833