San Pedro, Los Angeles

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San Pedro
—  Neighborhood of Los Angeles  —
View of San Pedro and Port of Los Angeles
Nickname(s): San Pedro
Location of San Pedro in Los Angeles County, California
San Pedro is connected to Los Angeles by a thin strip of land, called the "Harbor Gateway", which roughly follows the 110 freeway
San Pedro is located in Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
San Pedro
Location within the Greater Los Angeles Area
San Pedro is located in Los Angeles
San Pedro
Location within Southern Los Angeles
Coordinates: 33°44′09″N 118°17′29″W / 33.73583°N 118.29139°W / 33.73583; -118.29139Coordinates: 33°44′09″N 118°17′29″W / 33.73583°N 118.29139°W / 33.73583; -118.29139
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyLos Angeles
Government
 • TypeNeighborhood Council
Population
 • Total86,000
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 90731, 90732
Area code(s)310/424
FIPS code
GNIS feature ID
 
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San Pedro
—  Neighborhood of Los Angeles  —
View of San Pedro and Port of Los Angeles
Nickname(s): San Pedro
Location of San Pedro in Los Angeles County, California
San Pedro is connected to Los Angeles by a thin strip of land, called the "Harbor Gateway", which roughly follows the 110 freeway
San Pedro is located in Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
San Pedro
Location within the Greater Los Angeles Area
San Pedro is located in Los Angeles
San Pedro
Location within Southern Los Angeles
Coordinates: 33°44′09″N 118°17′29″W / 33.73583°N 118.29139°W / 33.73583; -118.29139Coordinates: 33°44′09″N 118°17′29″W / 33.73583°N 118.29139°W / 33.73583; -118.29139
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyLos Angeles
Government
 • TypeNeighborhood Council
Population
 • Total86,000
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 90731, 90732
Area code(s)310/424
FIPS code
GNIS feature ID

San Pedro ([sanˈpeðɾo]) is a port district of the city of Los Angeles, United States. It was annexed in 1909 and is a major seaport of the area. The district has grown from being dominated by the fishing industry to become primarily a middle class community within the city of Los Angeles.

Contents

Geography

Satellite image of San Pedro.

San Pedro is located at 33°44′9″N 118°17′32″W / 33.73583°N 118.29222°W / 33.73583; -118.29222 (33.73583, −118.29139).[1]

Climate

View from San Pedro of the Palos Verdes Peninsula

The district is situated in a Mediterranean climate zone (Köppen climate classification), experiencing mild, wet winters and warm to hot summers. Breezes from the Pacific Ocean tend to keep the beach community cooler in summer and warmer in winter than those in further inland Los Angeles; summer temperatures can sometimes be as much as 18 °F (10 °C) warmer in the inland communities compared to that of San Pedro and other Los Angeles coastal communities. The area also sees a phenomenon known as the "marine layer", a dense cloud cover caused by the proximity of the ocean that helps keep the temperatures cooler throughout the year. When the marine layer lasts for days at a time and extends farther inland during the months of May and June, it is called June Gloom.

History

San Pedro in an 1850 daguerreotype, Deadman's Island is at the top
San Pedro in an 1893 lithograph

The site, at the southern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, on the west side of San Pedro Bay, was used by Spanish ships starting in the 1540s. The peninsula, including all of San Pedro, was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieleño Native Americans people for thousands of years. In other areas of the Los Angeles Basin archeological sites date back 8,000 -15,000 years. The Tongva believe they have been here since the beginning of time. Once called the "lords of the ocean," due to their mastery of their ocean going canoes (Ti'ats). Many village covered the coastline. The Tongva lived in a virtual paradise, till colonization. [4][5] Their first contact with Europeans in 1542 with João Cabrilho (Juan Cabrillo), the Portuguese explorer who also was the first to write of them. Chowigna and Suangna were two Tongva settlements of many in the peninsula area, which was also a departure point for their rancherias on the Channel Islands. Legend has it that the Native Americans blessed the land of Palos Verdes, making it the most beautiful place on Earth. The Tongva called the San Pedro area "Chaaw."[2]

Origin of name

San Pedro was named for St. Peter of Alexandria, a Fourth Century bishop in Alexandria, Egypt. His feast day is November 24 on the local ecclesiastical calendar of Spain, the day on which Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered the bay in 1542 which would be known as San Pedro. Santa Catalina Island, named after Catherine of Alexandria, was claimed for the Spanish Empire the next day, on her feast day, November 25. In 1602–1603, Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548–1624) officially surveyed and mapped the California coastline, including San Pedro Bay, for New Spain.

Settlement

European settlement began in 1769 as part of an effort to populate California, although trade restrictions encouraged more smuggling than regular business. Rancho San Pedro is the site of the first Spanish land grant in Alta California, New Spain. The land was granted in 1784 by King Carlos III to Juan Jose Dominguez, a retired Spanish soldier who came to California with the Gaspar de Portolà expedition.

When New Spain won its independence from the Spanish Empire and Alta California became part of Mexico, the trade restrictions were lifted, and the town flourished.

Under United States control after 1848, when the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American war, the harbor was greatly improved and expanded under the guidance of Phineas Banning and John Gately Downey, the seventh governor of California after the Free Harbor Fight. San Pedro has now become the largest port on the West Coast of the United States and the busiest port in the country.

United States Navy Battle Fleet home port 1919–1940

In 1888, the War Department took control of a tract of land next to the bay and added to it in 1897 and 1910. This became Fort MacArthur in 1914 and was a coastal defense site for many years. Woodrow Wilson transferred 200 United States Navy ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1919 when tension arose between the United States and Japan over the fate of China. San Diego Bay was considered too shallow for the largest ships, so the battleships anchored in San Pedro Bay on August 9, 1919. Local availability of fuel oil minimized transportation costs, and consistently good weather allowed frequent gunnery exercises off the nearby Channel Islands of California. The heavy cruisers of the Scouting Force were transferred from the Atlantic to San Pedro in response to the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria. By 1934, 14 battleships, two aircraft carriers, 14 cruisers, and 16 support ships were based at San Pedro. On April 1, 1940, the Pacific Fleet battleships sailed to Hawaii for annual fleet exercises. The battleships remained in the Hawaiian Islands to deter Japanese aggression until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The fleet post office, supply depot, fuel depot, degaussing range, ECM repair facility, and naval training schools for small craft, fire fighters, merchant ship communications, and anti-submarine attack remained at San Pedro through World War II;[3] but the battle fleet never returned.[4]

Appropriately, San Pedro has been selected as the final home-port of the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61). The Iowa is to serve as a museum ship and memorial recognizing "the positive contributions of this battleship and its crew at critical moments in American history".[5]

Los Angeles annexation

In 1906, the City of Los Angeles annexed the Harbor Gateway, a long narrow strip of land connecting the city to the coast, and in 1909, the city annexed San Pedro and the adjacent town of Wilmington. The odd shape is still seen in the map of the city.

Port of Los Angeles

San Pedro, Wilmington, and Terminal Island are the locations of the Port of Los Angeles.

Locations of interest

One San Pedro landmark is the Vincent Thomas Bridge, a 1,500-foot (457 m)-long suspension bridge linking San Pedro with Terminal Island and named after California Assemblyman Vincent Thomas. It is the third longest suspension bridge in California. Nearby is the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, the largest maritime museum in California, as is the museum ship SS Lane Victory, a fully operational victory ship of World War II and National Historic Landmark. There is also the famous "Ports O' Call" tourist destination built in 1963 which provides many interesting shopping venues and a host of unique waterfront eateries.

The Frank Gehry–designed Cabrillo Marine Aquarium had its origins in the old Cabrillo Beach Marine Museum which was located in the historic Bath House at Cabrillo Beach. The Point Fermin Lighthouse, a Victorian-era structure built in the late 19th century, still exists as a museum and park on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The Korean Bell of Friendship is a massive bronze memorial bell donated by South Korea in 1976 to the people of Los Angeles. The church of Mary Star of the Sea is a prominent landmark with a steeple-top statue overlooking the harbour.

On July 19, 2003, the San Pedro Waterfront Red Car Line was opened, along the waterfront between downtown San Pedro and the Cruise Ship Terminal. This line includes two newly constructed trolleys built to resemble the wood-bodied 500 class cars introduced in 1905 for the Pacific Electric Railway, which once operated more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of track running streetcars and interurbans in Southern California. The 1.5-mile (2.4 km) line operates along former Pacific Electric right-of-way. The line, rebuilt and maintained by the Port of Los Angeles, also has one original restored Pacific Electric interurban, which is used only for special charter excursions and special events. The original car is in fact Pacific Electric 963 (former Los Angeles Pacific 713 as built in 1907) rebuilt by Richard Fellows and renumbered 1058. Discussions have been held to extend the line to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.[6]

Twenty-Eighth Street in San Pedro, between Gaffey Street and Peck Avenue, is the steepest section of public roadway in Los Angeles. For about 50 feet (15 m), the street climbs at a 33.3% angle, although the rest of the street is less steep.[7]

There is also "sunken city" that is just east of Point Fermin where the land literally "sunk" into the sea.[8]

Special events

Demographics

Demographic history

Ethnically diverse, San Pedro was a magnet for European immigrants from various countries for years, reflected in the number of restaurants representing diverse cuisines, especially Croatian, Portuguese, Mexican, Italian, and Greek. San Pedro is home to the largest Italian-American community in Southern California, centered on the "Via Italia" (South Cabrillo Avenue). Estimates state that the community numbers about 45,000 Italian-Americans. San Pedro is also considered the heart of the Croatian and Norwegian communities in Los Angeles. The Croatian community, originally composed of seafarers and fishermen from the Dalmatia (especially the islands of Brač, Hvar, Vis and Korčula) region, has been present in San Pedro since the settlement began more than 200 years ago. The City of Los Angeles even named a stretch of 9th Street "Croatian Place" in honor of the city's old Croatian community. There are reportedly more than 35,000 Croats in San Pedro, making it the biggest Croatian community on the Pacific..[citation needed] The Norwegian presence can be felt at the Norwegian Seamen's Church.

A large portion of San Pedro is also composed of Mexican-Americans, Hispanic immigrants and African-Americans with long-time roots in the community. Much of their populations are based in the older, east side of the community surrounding the downtown area and bordering the Port of Los Angeles.

Until February 1942, San Pedro was home to a vibrant Japanese immigrant community of about 3,000 people who lived in what had been described as a " typical Japanese Fishing Village" on Terminal Island (East San Pedro).These Japanese immigrants pioneered albacore fishing out of San Pedro Bay and harvesting abalone off of White Point, thus leading the way in establishing a viable fishing industry in San Pedro. The 48-hour forced expulsion of these San Pedro residents and the razing of their homes and shops, as part of the Japanese-American internment during World War II, is described in Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's memoir Farewell to Manzanar.

Demographics (today)

In 2009, the Los Angeles Times's "Mapping L.A." project supplied these San Pedro neighborhood statistics: population: 78,405; median household income: $57,198.

The ethnic composition is 44.6% non-Hispanic white, 4.5% Asian, 6.0% African American, 40.6% Latino and 4.4% belong to other groups. Mexican (31.5%) and Italian (8.4%) are the most common ancestries.[9]

"19,639 (24.5%) of residents are foreign born, low for the city of Los Angeles but about average for the county. Mexico (49.8%) and Italy (4.4%) are the most common foreign places of birth".[9]

"22.8% of residents 25 and older have a four-year degree".[9]

"The median age is 34".[9]

"Average household size is 2.5 people".[9]

"There are 3,393 families headed by single parents. The rate is 17.5%. The percentages of divorced males, divorced females, widowed males and widowed females are among the county's highest".[9]

"There are 6,559 veterans, or 11.0% of the population. The percentage of veterans who served during 1990–99 is among the county's highest".[9]

Economy

At one point Eva Air had its United States headquarters in San Pedro, but, in 1997, the airline moved its US headquarters to Norwalk, California.[10]

San Pedro also has the Port' O Call Village which is close to the water with many seafood restaurants and art galleries.

Government and infrastructure

San Pedro Post Office

[File:Terminal-Island.jpg|thumb|The southwestern tip of Terminal Island, including Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island]] Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn' office is located on Beacon Street.[citation needed]

The San Pedro Superior Court is located on 6th Street.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Torrance Health Center in Harbor Gateway, Los Angeles, near Torrance and serving San Pedro.[citation needed] [ The United States Postal Service operates the San Pedro Post Office at 839 South Beacon Street and the Eastview Post Office at 28649 South Western Avenue.[11][12] The USPS also operates the Seafarers Post Office at Suite A at 93 Berth in close proximity to the San Pedro Post Office.[13]

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island on Terminal Island and in San Pedro.[14]

Education

Primary and secondary schools

San Pedro is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The area is within Board District 7.[15] As of 2012, Dr. Richard Vladovic represents the district.[16]

San Pedro High School, Mary Star of the Sea High School, and the Port of Los Angeles High School are primary senior high schools within the region. San Pedro High School is home to the protected landmarks in the form of The English Language Arts and Administration Buildings (c. 1939, 1936, resp.). The school recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2003. It is home to both the Marine Science and Police Academy Magnet programs. Port of Los Angeles High School is a public charter high school, fusing a college preparatory program with elective coursework in International Business and Maritime Studies. Such studies reinforce the significant impact of California's ports on the global economy and international trade.

As of 2002 test scores tend to be higher in the area's elementary schools than in its middle and high schools.[17]

Primary schools (Grades 1–5)
Secondary schools (Grades 6–12)
Continuation schools
Private schools

Private schools in San Pedro include:

Grades 1–8
Grades 1–8
Grades 6–12
Grades 9–12

Libraries

Los Angeles Public Library operates the San Pedro Regional Branch Library at 931 South Gaffey. This library was opened in 1983 in the presence of the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.[45]

Churches and community services

San Pedro has Catholic, Baptist (Southern and American Baptist Association), Pentecostal, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish, Presbyterians, Seventh Day Adventists and Hope Chapel congregations. There are also bilingual churches like the Korean Methodist Church on 6th St, the Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana (First Baptist Mexican Church) on Centre and Sepulveda, built in 1922. This church is associated with the American Baptist Churches USA.[46] The Hispanic Salvation Army on Bandini Street and also Faro de Esperanza (Lighthouse of Hope) from the Assemblies of God. In San Pedro, some churches give other community services such as free meals, ESL for Hispanics and computer classes. Homeless people may get free meals thru the First Baptist Church on the 500 block on 7th St or the Mary Star of the Sea church on the 800 block. Along 7th St in San Pedro, there are four congregations: the Beth-el Jewish Synagogue, the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, the First Baptist Church (Southern Association), and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormons).

Notable residents


Art
Acting
Music
Politics
Science
Sports
Writers and poets
"San Pedro is real quiet. It used to be a seaport full of whorehouses and bars. I like the quietness. They ask you how you're doing, they really want to know."
"Two days brought us to San Pedro, and two days more (to our no small joy) gave us our last view of that place, which was universally called the hell of California and seemed designed in every way for the wear and tear of sailors. Not even the last view could bring out one feeling of regret. No thanks, thought I, as we left the hated shores in the distance, for the hours I have walked over your stones barefooted, with hides on my head, – for the burdens I have carried up your steep, muddy hill, --for the duckings in your surf; and for the long days and longer nights passed on your desolate hill, watching piles of hides, hearing the sharp bark of your eternal coyotes, and the dismal hooting of your owls." Excerpt from Two Years Before the Mast [At the time, San Pedro had no dock. Everything had to be loaded onto smaller boats and rowed ashore.]
"In those days it [East San Pedro] was a company town, a ghetto owned and controlled by the canneries. The men went after fish, and whenever the boats came back-day or night-the woman would be called to process the catch while it was fresh. One in the afternoon or four in the morning, it made no difference...I can still hear the whistle—two toots for French's, three for Van Camp's—and she [Mom] and Chizu would be out of bed in the middle of the night, heading for the cannery." Excerpt from Farewell to Manzanar
"The worst times were when he was "on the beach" – on shore, in San Pedro, California, between ships and broke. "I slept in boxcars and under piles of lumber, and took jobs no one else wanted. I was 18 and looked 24. There were several times I went three and four days without eating. I didn't beg or steal, just went without. I'd like to recover for my readers what it's really like to be hungry. I have a penchant for stories about survival, lessons in survival. I've been a survivor most of my life." L'Amour chronicled some of his experiences on the beach in San Pedro in is 1980 book Yondering.."
"Island of the Blue Dolphins, though it is based upon the true story of a girl who lived alone on a California island for eighteen years, came from the memory of my years at San Pedro and Dead Man's Island, when, with other boys my age, I voyaged out on summer mornings in search of adventure."
"It was interesting. San Pedro may have been the last great place to grow up in the L.A. area – a harbor, a real sense of community, a real Left, even a literary history: Charles Bukowski, Louis Adamic, even Richard Henry Dana stayed [here] for a time. I could ride the ferry across to Terminal Island, hang out at the docks, walk down the harbor among the commercial fishing boats with old Sicilians and Croatians mending their nets, catch crawdads in Averill Park."
Film and television
The Infamous

Press

Many city residents subscribe to or purchase the local newspaper, the Daily Breeze. In 2003, it created a weekly, More San Pedro, in the San Pedro Harbor Area. More San Pedro was cancelled in 2008 after the Breeze was purchased by MediaNews Group. The San Pedro News-Pilot, long the area's daily newspaper, ceased publishing in 1998. The News-Pilot traced its history back to 1906; it was created from the merge of the San Pedro Daily News and the San Pedro Pilot. Some of the staff of the N-P were hired by the South Bay Daily Breeze; still covering San Pedro is former News-Pilot reporter Donna Littlejohn. An online community news and social network, called SanPedroNewsPilot.com, is not connected to the original newspaper of a similar name. In 2002, the Long Beach Press-Telegram launched the monthly publication San Pedro Magazine serving the San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes areas. San Pedro Magazine was cancelled in December 2008 after the Press-Telegram eliminated their magazine department. In January 2009, a new independently-owned monthly magazine called San Pedro Today[50] debuted. Other papers available for subscription or purchase include the Los Angeles Times and the Long Beach Press-Telegram. San Pedro is also the publishing home of the free left-leaning alternative newspaper, the Random Lengths News.[51]

See also

References

  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ Munro, Pamela, et al. Yaara' Shiraaw'ax 'Eyooshiraaw'a. Now You're Speaking Our Language: Gabrielino/Tongva/Fernandeño. Lulu.com: 2008.
  3. ^ "U.S. Naval Activities World War II by State". Patrick Clancey. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ref/USN-Act/CA.html. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  4. ^ Beigel, Harvey M. "The Battle Fleet's Home Port: 1919–1940". United States Naval Institute Proceedings Supplement March 1985, pp.54–63.
  5. ^ Pacific Battleship Center is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and display of USS IOWA as a museum and educational attraction at Port of Los Angeles Berth 87.
  6. ^ Port of LA Waterfront Red Car Line
  7. ^ Bob Pool (August 21, 2003). "Getting the Slant on L.A.'s Steepest Street". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2003/aug/21/local/me-surround21. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sunken City Los Angeles, California". Wikimapia.org. http://wikimapia.org/900844/Sunken-City. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "San Pedro Profile – Mapping L.A. – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/neighborhood/san-pedro/. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  10. ^ Press-Telegram (28). EVA AIRWAYS RELOCATES HEADQUARTERS TO NORWALK "EVA AIRWAYS RELOCATES HEADQUARTERS TO NORWALK". NewsLibrary. Knight-Ridder Inc.. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=LB&p_theme=lb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EAE916C796762EC&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM EVA AIRWAYS RELOCATES HEADQUARTERS TO NORWALK. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
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  12. ^ Post Office Location "EASTVIEW Post Office™ Location". United States Postal Service. USPS. 2012. http://usps.whitepages.com/service/post_office/25530?p=2&s=CA&service_name=post_office&z=San+Pedro Post Office Location. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ Post Office Location – SEAFARERS "SEAFARERS Post Office™ Location". Unites States Postal Service/ White Pages. USPS. 2012. http://usps.whitepages.com/service/post_office/40289?p=2&s=CA&service_name=post_office&z=San+Pedro Post Office Location – SEAFARERS. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
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  16. ^ Los Angeles Unified School District BOARD OF EDUCATION (2012). "Events". Los Angeles Unified School District BOARD OF EDUCATION. Los Angeles Unified School District BOARD OF EDUCATION. http://www.laschoolboard.org/. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  17. ^ Mary Forgione (October 13, 2002). "San Pedro: Blue-collar soul with ocean views". Los Angeles Times – Real Estate. http://www.latimes.com/classified/realestate/la-re-inside13oct13,1,3561124.story. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
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  41. ^ [1][dead link]
  42. ^ "Mary Star of the Sea Elementary School". Marystarelementary.com. http://www.marystarelementary.com/. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
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External links