University Hills, Los Angeles
|Neighborhood of Los Angeles|
University Hills sign at Lansdowne Avenue near Eastern
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
Geography and transportation
The campus of California State University, Los Angeles occupies nearly 200 acres (0.8 km²) on a hilltop site that affords views of the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, the San Gabriel Valley to the east, metropolitan Los Angeles to the west, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island to the south.
University Hills is nestled among shifting and whirling hills on a site that once housed one of California's 36 original adobes. It was built in 1776 by Franciscan missionaries and destroyed by fire in 1908. These lands once were part of a Spanish land grant known as the Rancho Rosa Castilla, created by the family of Juan Batista Batz, a Basque rancher from northern Spain who settled the district in its early years. The inspiration for the name of the ranch, according to local historians, was the wild rose that once grew near the ranch home.
For much of its history, University Hills was considered an extension of El Sereno. However, in both built environment and socioeconomic conditions, it is very different from El Sereno. In response, the local homeowners association "seceded" from El Sereno in the 1990s and in 2004 it was officially designated University Hills. The increase in real estate activity in Southern California at the onset of 2000, made University Hills---with its beautiful scenic views and central location---an attractive neighborhood for professionals seeking alternatives to the suburbs and the Westside.
The economic and real estate conditions of the mid-2010s has again made University Hills a desirable community for new homeowners; and the looming gentrification is mixing up the community. The Los Angeles Derby Dolls once located in Echo Park, recently found a new home in 2015 at the periphery of the community on Valley Boulevard and Alhambra Avenue. University Hills is currently a hipster-free zone, but with the move of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls the influx of hipsters from the pseudo-Eastside will manifest itself in the near future.
In addition, many neighborhood residents send their kids to nearby Catholic schools .
- "City of Los Angeles. Public Works Committee Report: Designating the Residential Areas Surrounding California State University Los Angeles as University Hills" (13 Oct 2004)
- Los Angeles Times, Real Estate section, Neighborly Advice column: "[University Hills:] A campus enclave that's a study in contrasts" (24 April 2005)