Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles

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For other subjects with similar names, see Wilshire.

Mid-Wilshire is a densely populated residential neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. Its commercial and public-use areas also make it the site of museums and research centers and of widely known shopping districts and restaurants. Mid-Wilshire is notable as the most diverse neighborhood or city in Los Angeles County, containing an almost even proportion of whites, Asians, Hispanics and blacks.[1]

Map of Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles.
(as delineated by the Los Angeles Times)
Miracle Mile at the heart of Mid-Wilshire, 2004
The historic May Company Building (now part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, at the intersection of Wilshire and Fairfax in Mid-Wilshire
Park La Brea, 2009
Historic Richardson Apartments at Gramercy Drive and Eighth Street, 2012
William Grant Still residence at 1262 South Victoria Avenue, 2012

Mid-Wilshire is the home to three secondary schools, an adult school, and seven other schools. A city park is dedicated to the memory of World War I servicemen. There is a hospital and medical center in the neighborhood's southwest corner.

Geography[edit]

Boundaries[edit]

Mid-Wilshire is flanked by Fairfax, Hancock Park and Windsor Square to the north, Koreatown, and Arlington Heights to the east, Mid-City to the south and Mid-City West, Carthay and Beverly Grove to the west.

The neighborhood is bounded on the north by West Third Street, on the northeast by La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, on the east by Crenshaw Boulevard, on the south by Pico Boulevard and on the west by Fairfax Avenue.[2][3][4]

Component areas[edit]

The Mid-Wilshire neighborhood includes:

Little Ethiopia[edit]

Little Ethiopia is a block-long stretch of Fairfax Avenue,[5] part of the P.I.C.O. Neighborhood Council, northeast of the Crestview neighborhood, northwest of the Picfair Village district, east of the Carthay Square district and west of Wilshire Vista district. The area has a high concentration of Ethiopian businesses and restaurants, as well as a significant concentration of residents of Ethiopian and Eritrean ancestry.

Miracle Mile[edit]

Miracle Mile is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues. In the early 1920s, Wilshire Boulevard west of Western Avenue was an unpaved farm road, extending through dairy farms and bean fields. Developer A. W. Ross saw potential for the area and developed Wilshire as a commercial district to rival downtown Los Angeles.

Oxford Square[edit]

Oxford Square is an historic neighborhood [6][7] which, according to the Oxford Square Neighborhood Association, lies between Pico Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard and includes both sides of Victoria Avenue and South Windsor Boulevard.[8]

In 1910 the neighborhood was laid out between Wilshire Boulevard on the north and Pico Street on the south, west of the Los Angeles Country Club. It was served by the Pico Street streetcar line. The unimproved lots offered by developer Emil Firth ranged from 50 to 100 feet on the street and were 171 feet deep. The streets were 70 feet wide, with 15-foot sidewalks and parkways, which were to be panted with palm trees and flowers. Ornamental [Street light|[electroliers]] were to be placed every 300 feet. Lot prices ranged from $1,000 to $2,500 [9][10][11]

Earlier, in 1907. the Harriman interests had begun a four-track subway line across Oxford Square, south of Wilshire Boulevard.[12]

In 1991 the City Council approved a request by Oxford Square - Windsor Village residents to close 10th Street at Victoria Avenue in an effort to reduce crime in the communities after a recent outbreak of burglaries and robberies, as well as one homicide.[13]

In February 2015 the neighborhood association was lobbying to form an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. That would have put a temporary moratorium on the issuance of city building and demolition permits.[14]

Park La Brea[edit]

Park La Brea is an apartment complex bounded by 3rd Street on the north, Cochran Avenue on the east, Sixth Street on the south and Fairfax Avenue on the west. With 4,255 units located in eighteen 13-story towers and 31 two-story "garden apartment buildings," it is the largest housing development in the United States west of the Mississippi River.[15]

Park Mile[edit]

Park Mile is a commercial strip that lies along Wilshire Boulevard between Highland Avenue on the west, Wilton Place on the east, Sixth Street on the north and Eighth Street on the south. Some of the office buildings in the district have been designed to harmonize with the nearby Hancock Park area, with long, horizontal warm look of brick and other textures rather than a vertical high-tech design. Construction is regulated by the Park Mile Ordinance, adopted by the city in 1979.[16][17] It was designed to protect the single-family nature of the residential area and to promote development that provided Park Mile with an "image and sense of continuity."[18] There is a three-story height limit along Park Mile,[19] as well as a ban on painted signs on the outside of buildings.[20] In 1990 a Park Mile-Wilshire District neighborhood design review board, composed of five to seven volunteers appointed by City Council members, was one of four such local boards throughout the city that oversaw architectural planning.[21]

Wilshire Vista[edit]

Wilshire Vista is an area north of Pico Boulevard near La Brea Avenue which for a long time was typically African-American but which around 2001 became more varied in ethnic composition with the arrival of young families and single professionals.[22]

A portion of Wilshire Vista was part of a 120-acre farm purchased in 1870 by Joseph Masselin, a French miner who had failed at prospecting in the 1849 California Gold Rush and then settled in the Los Angeles area in 1870. His heirs sold 73 acres fronting on Wilshire Boulevard to Walter G. McCarty, John A. Vaughn and John Evans, who combined it with other land to form the Wilshire Vista tract.[23]

Sales and development began in 1922 on 85 acres of high, rolling ground between Pico, Cahuenga and Wilshire boulevards, with "the promising of a [street]car line, the new Los Angeles High School within eight minutes walk, the Page Military Academy on the adjoining property, the convenience to the city and beaches via the boulevards, as well as Country Club Drive and San Vicente Boulevard running across the tract."[24]

Adjacent neighborhoods[edit]

Relation of Mid-Wilshire to other communities:[2][4]

Population[edit]

The 2000 U.S. Census counted 41,683 residents in the 2.78-square-mile neighborhood—an average of 14,988 people per square mile, among the highest population densities for the city and the county. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 47,176. The median age for residents was 34, about the city's average.[3]

Mid-Wilshire was said to be "highly diverse" when compared to the city at large. The ethnic breakdown in 2000 was whites, 33.6%; blacks, 22.7%; Latinos, 19.9%; Asians, 19.8%; and others, 3.9%. Mexico (16.1%) and Korea (24%) were the most common places of birth for the 25.1% of the residents who were born abroad, a figure that was considered average for the city as a whole.[3]

The median household income in 2008 dollars was $58,483, average for Los Angeles. The average household size of 2.1 people was low for Los Angeles. Renters occupied 78.3% of the housing units, and home- or apartment owners the rest.[3]

Libraries, parks and education[edit]

Mid-Wilshire residents aged 25 and older holding a four-year degree amounted to 45.2% of the population in 2000, a high rate for both the city and the county. The percentage of residents with a master's degree was also high.[3]

As Mid-Wilshire is an neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles, public facilities are provided by city departments: the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Los Angeles Public Library. Public schools are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, The schools operating within Mid-Wilshire are:[25]

  • Los Angeles Senior High School, LAUSD, 4650 West Olympic Boulevard
  • Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles, private high school, 5444 West Olympic Boulevard
  • Shalhevet School, private K-12, 910 South Fairfax Avenue
  • Los Angeles Community Adult School, 4650 West Olympic Boulevard
  • Hancock Park Elementary School, LAUSD, 408 South Fairfax Avenue
  • New Los Angeles Charter School, private middle, 1919 South Burnside Avenue
  • Cathedral Chapel Elementary School, private, 755 South Cochran Avenue
  • Westside Jewish Community Center. private elementary, 5870 West Olympic Boulevard
  • Wilshire Crest Elementary School, LAUSD, 5241 West Olympic Boulevard
  • Queen Anne Place Elementary School, LAUSD, 1212 Queen Anne Place
  • Rejoyce in Jesus Christian School, private, 1304 South Cochran Avenue

Notable places[edit]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Page Museum, Hancock Park and the La Brea Tar Pits on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Curson avenues.[4]
  • The Miracle Mile, a commercial strip on Wilshire Boulevard east of Fairfax Avenue designed in the 1920s by developer A. W. Ross to attract and serve automobile traffic rather than pedestrian shoppers.[4]
  • Petersen Automotive Museum, on the southeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. One of the world's largest automobile museums, the Petersen is a nonprofit organization specializing in automobile history and related educational programs.[4]
  • Olympia Medical Center, formerly Midway Hospital Medical Center, between Olympic and San Vicente boulevards.[4]
  • Harold A. Henry Park, named after the former city councilman, at Ninth Street and Plymouth Boulevard.[4]
  • Los Angeles High School Memorial Park, with its associated Memorial Library, dedicated to the L.A. High graduates who took part in World War I. It is on Olympic Boulevard between Mulllen and Muirfield avenues, facing Los Angeles High across the street.[4][26]
  • Queen Anne Recreation Center, at 12th Street and West Boulevard, with an auditorium, barbecue pits, baseball diamond (lighted), basketball courts (lighted/indoor, unlighted/outdoor), children's play area, picnic tables, restrooms and tennis courts (lighted).[4][27]
  • Town and Country shopping center, on the southeast corner of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue.[4][28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Diversity," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ a b [1] "Central L.A.," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ a b c d e [2] "Mid-Wilshire," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Thomas Guide, 2006, page 633
  5. ^ Gayle Pollard-Terry, "To Fairfax and on to Ethiopia," Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2006
  6. ^ Bill Boyarsky, "Immigration Changes the Old Political Patterns," Los Angeles Times, September 3, 1986, page 1
  7. ^ Richard Verrier, "Company Town: On Location: 'Bukowski' Plays Role in Rise of L.A. Filming," Los Angeles Times, page B-3
  8. ^ [3] Oxford Square Neighborhood Association website
  9. ^ "The Market: By Owners and Dealers," Los Angeles Times,June 12, 1910, page V-16
  10. ^ "Sales in District," Los Angeles Herald, April 18, 1909, page 2
  11. ^ "Car Line Extends to Oxford Square," Los Angeles Herald, November 26, 1907, page 7
  12. ^ "Real Estate Notes," Los Angeles Times, September 1, 1907, page II-2
  13. ^ Lee Harris, "Los Angeles City Hall Journal," Los Angeles Times, August 29, 1991, page WS-15
  14. ^ Martha Groves, "Surroundings: Overgrowing Pains: Attempt to Tighten 'McMansion' Law Prompts Complaints That Some Developers Have Undue Influence at City Hall," Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2015, page B-2
  15. ^ R. Daniel Foster, "Park La Brea, 70-year-old design still feels the love (and hate)", Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2012. (In February 25, 2012 print edition, p. E5, under headline "Park La Brea: monster or jewel?")
  16. ^ Evelyn De Wolfe, "Mid-Wilshire Office Sites Regain Favor; Study Shows New Tenant Mix Brings Increase in Leases," Los Angeles Times, June 23, 1985, page 1
  17. ^ Tracey Kaplan, "Split by Redistricting, S. Wilshire Groups Unite in Suit," Los Angeles Times, August 31, 1986, page WS-1
  18. ^ Diane Seo, "Hancock Park: Woes Threaten: Residents of This Exclusive Enclave Are Fighting to Preserve the Status Quo," Los Angeles Times, April 17, 1994, page 12
  19. ^ Larry Gordon and Richard Simon, "Council Redistricting Poses Little Threat to Incumbents; Despite an Early Scare, Ferraro Appears Secure," Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1987, page 1
  20. ^ Richard Simon, "'Visual Pollution' in L.A.—There's No Discernible Sign of a Reduction," Los Angeles Times, June 29, 1987, page 1
  21. ^ Laura Lake, "Perspectives on L.A. Architecture: Do the 'Art Police' Have a Role?" Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1990, page 7
  22. ^ Marc Lallanilla, "Looking for the Hot Spots: Where Are Home Prices Going to Skyrocket?" Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2001, page K-1
  23. ^ "Big Addition Made to Wilshire Vista," Los Angeles Times, December 17, 1922, page V-5
  24. ^ "Wilshire Vista Started With a Selling Boom," Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1922, page V-2
  25. ^ [4] "Mid-Wilshire Schools," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  26. ^ [5] Los Angeles Unified School District
  27. ^ [6] Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks
  28. ^ [7] California Home Town Locator

External links[edit]