Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles

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Baldwin Hills
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
The Baldwin Hills Village Office Building, a National Historic Landmark at Village Green
Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles
Baldwin Hills
Location within Western Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°00′28″N 118°20′49″W / 34.007778°N 118.346944°W / 34.007778; -118.346944
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyLos Angeles
CityLos Angeles
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code90008
 
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Baldwin Hills
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
The Baldwin Hills Village Office Building, a National Historic Landmark at Village Green
Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles
Baldwin Hills
Location within Western Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°00′28″N 118°20′49″W / 34.007778°N 118.346944°W / 34.007778; -118.346944
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyLos Angeles
CityLos Angeles
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP Code90008

Baldwin Hills is a community and neighborhood[1] precisely in the middle of Los Angeles, within southwestern Los Angeles County, California. Baldwin Hills is in their namesake Baldwin Hills range overlooking the Los Angeles Basin and the lower plain immediately to the north.

Geography[edit]

Baldwin Hills is bounded by La Cienega Boulevard to the west, Crenshaw Boulevard to the east, Slauson Avenue to the south, and Rodeo Road to the north, with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard forming the northeast dividing line between Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw Manor. It is bordered on the west by Culver City, and it shares the eastern border of Crenshaw Boulelvard with Leimert Park.[2]

The Baldwin Hills ZIP code is 90008, and telephone area code is 323. Baldwin Hills starts at Martin Luther King Blvd. going up to the base of the hills of Baldwin Hills Estates (an area nicknamed "The Dons" for the twenty nine streets beginning with the Spanish honorific). Baldwin Hills from Martin Luther King Blvd on the North, Marlton Avenue on the East, La Brea Avenue of the West, and Baldwin Hills Estates on the South.

The landform Baldwin Hills have long been drilled for petroleum, with active oil wells in the mid-hills along La Cienega Boulevard. As the oil fields close some of the otherwise undeveloped open space land is being acquired by agencies for the public's benefit. The Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is a major jewel enhancing the community with park activities and recreation. The headwaters of Ballona Creek are in the hills and park, which then flows west into the Santa Monica Bay.

History[edit]

Communities[edit]

View from Baldwin Hills of Downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Communities and sub-divisions in Baldwin Hills include:

Baldwin Hills Village National Historic Landmark Plaque, at Village Green.

Parks and recreation[edit]

View of Hollywood Hills (lower eastern Santa Monica Mountains) and tall San Gabriel Mountains from Baldwin Hills from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Park.

Government[edit]

Services[edit]

Library[edit]

The Los Angeles Public Library operates the Baldwin Hills Branch Library.[15]

Education[edit]

Susan Miller Dorsey High School, serving Baldwin Hills.

Baldwin Hills is zoned to Los Angeles Unified School District,[7] and the schools include:

and

Demographics[edit]

The Baldwin Hills population is 78.5% African American within ZIP code 90008.[17] Baldwin Hills is among the wealthiest majority-black communities in the United States. Prior to 1965 and restrictive covenants being eliminated, it was known as "Pill Hill" because a large number of doctors seemed to live there.

Baldwin Hills has been home to such celebrities as Ray Charles, Tina Turner, "Bubba" Smith, Nancy Wilson, Cal Worthington, Oscar-nominated film director John Singleton, comedian Jimmy Pardo, renowned architect Paul Williams, and the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.

Disasters[edit]

On December 14, 1963, a crack appeared in the Baldwin Hills Dam impounding the Baldwin Hills Reservoir. Within a few hours, water rushing through the crack eroded the earthen dam, gradually widening the crack until the dam failed catastrophically at 3:38 pm. Although the area had been evacuated after the crack had been discovered, several homes were destroyed, and most of Baldwin Vista and the historic Village Green community were flooded. The dam's failure was ultimately determined to be the result of subsidence, caused by overexploitation of the Inglewood Oil field. The dam's failure prompted the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to close and drain other small local reservoirs with similar designs, such as the Silver Lake Reservoir. The Baldwin Hills Dam was not rebuilt—instead, the empty reservoir was demolished, filled with earth, landscaped, and converted to Kenneth Hahn Regional Park.

During the summer of 1985, an arsonist started a brush fire along La Brea Avenue. The fire spread up the canyon towards the expensive homes along Don Carlos Drive in the Baldwin Hills Estates tract. Many homes were destroyed despite the efforts of the Los Angeles Fire Department to suppress the flames. The fire killed three people and destroyed 69 homes;[7] the arsonist was never caught.

Media[edit]

From 2007 to 2009, Black Entertainment Television (BET) aired Baldwin Hills, a program featuring several African-American teenagers and their lives in the upper-middle class Los Angeles community.[18][19]

The show is very similar in nature to such MTV programs as Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, The Hills, and the online series The Suburbs, as it features African-Americans of upper-middle-class families who divide their time between attending school, playing sports, shopping at high-end stores, and driving expensive cars. The series lasted for three seasons.

Orson Scott Card's urban fantasy novel Magic Street is set in Baldwin Hills.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times combines Baldwin Hills with the Crenshaw District to form an area it calls Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw. The Thomas Guide for Los Angeles County (2004) lists each neighborhood separately (page n).
  2. ^ Kemp Powers, "The Neighborhood Project," LAist, August 17, 2007
  3. ^ a b "Rancho La Cienega O'Paso de La Tijera". =Laokay.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera
  5. ^ "1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village in the Baldwin Hills". Baldwinhillspark.info. Retrieved November 12, 2007. 
  6. ^ Hale, Mike (2007-08-07). "Posh Princes and Princesses of the Hills". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  7. ^ a b c Pollard-Terry, Gayle (October 29, 2006). "Years later, the pitch still delivers". Neighborly Advice. Los Angeles Times. p. K2.
  8. ^ Hayasaki, Erika (30 September 2006). "Gang Violence Fuels Racial Tensions". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. accessed 8/22/2010
  10. ^ "trail map" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  11. ^ "Baldwin Hills Recreation Center". City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
  12. ^ "Kenneth Hahn State Park". Parks.ca.gov. accessdate= August 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Norman O Houston Park website". Laparks.org. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  14. ^ "Jim Gilliam Recreation Center website". Laparks.org. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  15. ^ "Baldwin Hills Branch Library". Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on March 23, 2010.
  16. ^ "Baldwin Hills Elementary School". Lausd.k12.ca.us. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  17. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau data on zip code 90008". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  18. ^ About The Show[dead link]
  19. ^ Can "Baldwin Hills" become the black "Laguna Beach"?
  20. ^ "Elfman in L.A.". Elfman.filmmusic.com. 

External links[edit]