Elysian Valley, Los Angeles

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Elysian Valley
Elysian Valley Neighborhood Signage located on Riverside Drive at Egret Park
Elysian Valley Neighborhood Signage
located on Riverside Drive at Egret Park
Elysian Valley is located in Los Angeles
Elysian Valley
Elysian Valley
Location within Northeast Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°05′40″N 118°14′25″W / 34.09445°N 118.240366°W / 34.09445; -118.240366
Country United States of America
State California
County Los Angeles
Time zonePacific
Zip Code
90031, 90039
Area code(s)323

Elysian Valley, commonly known as Frogtown,[1] is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California, adjoining the Los Angeles River. It has two parks, both maintained by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). The Frogtown Art Walk is a biennial event managed by the Elysian Valley Arts Collective to celebrate local area artists. Knightsbridge Theatre is a repertory theater company located in the neighborhood.


In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Elysian Valley was home to a number of farms. These farmers carted their produce down the road to sell in the markets of downtown Los Angeles and emerging suburbs like Angelino Heights. In 1910, the city annexed the farmland. In 1911, Southern Pacific Railroad’s Taylor Yard was built just across the river. In 1913, the land started being subdivided for residential development. [2]

Sometime between the 1930s and 1960s, the neighborhood became known as Frogtown when swarms of western toads invaded its streets.[2] In 1962, the Golden State Freeway removed a section of the western flank of Frogtown, further isolating it from nearby neighborhoods.[2]

Michael Todd, one of the unofficial founding fathers of the Frogtown art scene, has had a studio in the neighborhood since the mid-1980s.[3] By 2014, artists Shepard Fairey, Mark Grohjahn and Thomas Houseago had opened studios in the community.[1]

In July 2019, it was reported that Frogtown was undergoing "inexorable change" due to gentrification.[4] With the announcement of a $1 billion restoration project for the Los Angeles River, also known as Alternative 20, many residents felt the pressure of new investment and development in the community, causing them to organize for lower density.[5] This push for low density from within the neighborhood is not new and was documented in an article as far back as 1987.[6]


Elysian Valley as drawn by the Los Angeles Times

According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, Elysian Valley is bounded by the Los Angeles River on the north and east, Riverside Drive on the west and Fletcher Drive on the northwest.[7]

The neighborhood is flanked on the north by Atwater Village, on the northeast and east by Glassell Park, on the southeast by Cypress Park, on the south and southwest by Elysian Park and on the west and northwest by Echo Park and Silver Lake.[8][9]


The 2000 U.S. census counted 7,387 residents in the 0.79-square-mile neighborhood—an average of 9,354 people per square mile, about the same population density as the rest of the city. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 7,781. The median age for residents was 31, about average for Los Angeles, but the percentage of residents aged 11 to 18 was among the county's highest.[7]

The neighborhood is moderately diverse ethnically, and the percentage of Asians and Latinos is comparatively high. The breakdown in 2000 was Latinos, 61.0%; Asians, 35.9%; whites, 9.7%; blacks, 1.1%, and others, and 2.6%. Mexico was the most common places of birth for the 47.5% of the residents who were born abroad, a high figure compared to rest of the city.[7]

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $49,013, about the same as the rest of Los Angeles. The average household size of 3.4 people was high for the city of Los Angeles. Renters occupied 52.2% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment owners 47.8%.[7]

Seventeen percent of the neighborhood residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, an average figure for the city.[7]


Los Angeles Unified School District has one school within Elysian Valley:

  • Dorris Place Elementary - 2225 Dorris Place.[10]


Knightsbridge Theatre, 2007

Formerly the Colony Theater,[11] Knightsbridge Theatre is a repertory theater company with a second location in Pasadena.[12]

  • Knightsbridge Theater - 1944 Riverside Drive.


  • Frogtown Art Walk - a biennial event to celebrate local area artists.[13] It draws thousands of visitors to the neighborhood.[1]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Riverside Drive Entrance to Egret Park

Elysian Valley has two parks, both maintained by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA).

  • Egret Park - The park features a viewpoint, native plantings, and interpretive displays along with access to the Los Angeles River Bike Path.[14]
  • Steelhead Park - The park has a small outdoor amphitheater for education. Steelhead trout adorn the top of the park's wrought iron fencing.[15]
  • Rattlesnake Park - The park has an entrance off of Fletcher Drive, south of the LA River.

In media[edit]

According to the Los Angeles Times, Dorris Place Elementary is "probably the most filmed elementary school in the United States." With elegant brick work and dark wood trim, the school has an "east coast" appearance. In the 1985-86 school year, the school was used for commercials for Purina, the California Lottery, the Mormon Church, Burger King, the National Education Assn. and Kleenex. Over that time, Dorris Place received $4,400 from filmmakers. The money was used to buy computers, software and basketball uniforms.[16] The school's facade has appeared in Cold Case, Freaky Friday, Unlawful Entry,[17] and Lucifer.[18]


Religious congregations include:

  • St. Ann Catholic Parish - 2302 Riverdale Avenue
  • St. Mary Coptic Catholic Church - 2701 Newell Avenue
  • Kadampa Meditation Center - 1492 Blake Avenue

Commercial corridor[edit]

There is a small commercial corridor on Riverside Dr. and a few small warehouses in the background of the neighborhood adjacent to the L.A. River.

Storefronts on Riverside


  1. ^ a b c Isaac Simpson (20 August 2014). "L.A.'s Hottest New Neighborhood, Frogtown, Doesn't Want the Title". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2016. Its official name, Elysian Valley, is rarely used.
  2. ^ a b c Garner, Scott (August 10, 2018). "Neighborhood Spotlight: Elysian Valley". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  3. ^ Rees, Brenda (May 23, 2019). "Five Questions for Elysian Valley Artist Michael Todd on the eve of the Frogtown Art Walk". Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  4. ^ https://capitalandmain.com/watching-another-los-angeles-neighborhood-gentrify-0717/,full.story Barron of Frogtown: Watching L.A. change with “the Willy Wonka of rusted metal"
  5. ^ Jao, Carren. "Elysian Valley Residents Push for Smart Growth". kcet.org.
  6. ^ McMillan, Penelope. "Elysian Valley : Frogtown Holds Bucolic 'Secret' Minutes From Downtown L.A." Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ a b c d e [1] "Elysian Valley," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  8. ^ [2] "Central L.A.," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  9. ^ [3] "Northeast," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  10. ^ [4] "Elysian Valley Schools," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  11. ^ "Knightsbridge Theatre History". knightsbridgetheatre.com. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Knightsbridge Offers Four New Show at Its Two Locations". Playbill.com. December 10, 2000. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  13. ^ Boone, Lisa (September 6, 2018). "Explore pop-up galleries, artists' studios and more along the Los Angeles River at the Frogtown Artwalk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Egret Park". Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Steelhead Park". Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  16. ^ Biederman, Patricia Ward (March 1, 1987). "Campuses Make Popular Film Locations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Filming Location Matching "Dorris Place Elementary School - 2225 Dorris Place, Los Angeles, California, USA" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  18. ^ "Movies Filmed at Dorris Place Elementary School". MovieMaps.org. Retrieved 15 April 2021.

External links[edit]