Alhambra, California facts for kids

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Alhambra, California
City
Alhambra welcome sign
Alhambra welcome sign
Official seal of Alhambra, California
Seal
Official logo of Alhambra, California
Logo
Motto: "Gateway to San Gabriel Valley"
Location of Alhambra within Los Angeles County, California.
Location of Alhambra within Los Angeles County, California.
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Flag of Los Angeles County, California.png Los Angeles
Incorporated July 11, 1903
Named for Tales of the Alhambra
Area
 • Total 7.632 sq mi (19.766 km2)
 • Land 7.631 sq mi (19.763 km2)
 • Water 0.001 sq mi (0.003 km2)  0.01%
Elevation 492 ft (150 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 83,089
 • Estimate (2014) 85,569
 • Density 10,886.9/sq mi (4,203.63/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91801, 91802, 91803
Area codes 626, 323
FIPS code 06-00884
GNIS feature IDs 1660243, 2409681
Website www.cityofalhambra.org

Alhambra (/ælˈhæmbrə/ or /ɑːlˈhɑːmbrə/) is a city located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately eight miles from the Downtown Los Angeles civic center. It was incorporated on July 11, 1903. As of the 2010 census, the population was 83,089. The city's ZIP codes are 91801 and 91803 (plus 91802 for P.O. boxes).

History

Alhambra's roots begin with the San Gabriel Mission, founded on September 8, 1771, and the native people, Tongva, who inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish. The land that would later become Alhambra was part of a 300,000 acre land grant given to Manuel Nieto by the Spanish. In 1820 Mexico won its independence from the Spanish crown and lands once ruled by them became part of the Mexican Republic. These lands then transferred into the hands of the United States following the defeat in the Mexican-American War. A wealthy developer, Benjamin Davis Wilson, married Ramona Yorba, daughter of Bernardo Yorba, who owned the land which would become Alhambra and with the persuasion of his daughter Ruth named the land developed after a book she was reading. Alhambra is named after Washington Irving's book Tales of the Alhambra, that he was inspired to write by his extended visit to the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Alhambra was founded as a suburb of Los Angeles that remained an unincorporated area during the mid-19th century. The first school in Alhambra was Ramona Convent Secondary School, built on hillside property donated by the prominent James de Barth Shorb family. Thirteen years before the city was incorporated, several prominent San Gabriel Valley families interested in the Catholic education of their daughters established the school in 1890. The city's first public high school, Alhambra High School, was established in 1898, five years before the city's incorporation. On July 11, 1903, the City of Alhambra was incorporated. The Alhambra Fire Department was established in 1906.

Alhambra was originally promoted as a "city of homes", and many of its homes have historical significance. They include styles such as craftsman, bungalow, Spanish Mediterranean, Spanish colonial, Italian beaux-arts, and arts and crafts. Twenty-six single-family residential areas have been designated historic neighborhoods by the city, including the Bean Tract (formerly owned by early resident Jacob Bean), the Midwick Tract (site of the former Midwick Country Club), the Airport Tract (formerly the landing pad for Alhambra Airport), and the Emery Park area. There are also a large number of condominiums, rental apartments, and mixed-use residential/commercial buildings, especially in the downtown area.

Alhambra-Gar-Main-1890
Downtown Alhambra, Garfield and Main, 1890

Alhambra's main business district, at the intersection of Main and Garfield, has been a center of commerce since 1895. By the 1950s, it had taken on an upscale look and was "the" place to go in the San Gabriel Valley. While many of the classic historical buildings have been torn down over the years, the rebuilding of Main Street has led to numerous dining, retail, and entertainment establishments. Alhambra has experienced waves of new immigrants, beginning with Italians in the 1950s, Mexicans in the 1960s, and Chinese in the 1980s. As a result, a very active Chinese business district has developed on Valley Boulevard, including Chinese supermarkets, restaurants, shops, banks, realtors, and medical offices. The Valley Boulevard corridor has become a national hub for many Asian-owned bank headquarters, and there are other nationally recognised retailers in the city.

The historic Garfield Theatre, located at Valley Boulevard and Garfield Avenue from 1925 until 2001, was formerly a vaudeville venue and is rumored to have hosted the Gumm Sisters, featuring a very young Judy Garland. Faded from its original glory, for its last few years it was purchased and ran Chinese-language films, and in 2001 went out of business. Subsequently, developers have remodeled the dilapidated building, turning it into a vibrant commercial center with many Chinese stores and eateries.

In 2003, actress Lana Clarkson was shot to death in the Alhambra home of record producer Phil Spector. Spector lived in Alhambra's largest and most notable residence, the Pyrenees Castle, built in 1926. In 2009, Spector was convicted of second-degree murder in connection with Clarkson's death.

Geography

Alhambra is bordered by South Pasadena on the northwest, San Marino on the north, San Gabriel on the east, Monterey Park on the south, and the Los Angeles districts of Monterey Hills and El Sereno on the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (20 km2), over 99% of which is land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 808
1910 5,021
1920 9,096 81.2%
1930 29,472 224.0%
1940 38,935 32.1%
1950 51,359 31.9%
1960 54,807 6.7%
1970 62,125 13.4%
1980 64,767 4.3%
1990 82,106 26.8%
2000 85,804 4.5%
2010 83,089 −3.2%
Est. 2015 85,551 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Alhambra had a population of 83,089. Its population density was 10,887.4 people per square mile (4,203.6/km²). The racial makeup of Alhambra was 43,957 (52.9%) Asian, 23,521 (28.3%) White, (10.0% non-Hispanic White), 1,281 (1.5%) African American, 538 (0.6%) Native American, 81 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 10,805 (13.0%) from other races, and 2,906 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28,582 persons (34.4%).

The census reported that 82,475 people (99.3% of the population) lived in households, 132 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 482 (0.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 29,217 households, of which 9,357 (32.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,679 (46.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,818 (16.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, and 2,097 (7.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,370 (4.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 183 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 6,479 households (22.2%) were made up of individuals, and 2,301 (7.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82. There were 20,594 families (70.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.30.

The population was spread out with 15,707 people (18.9%) under the age of 18, 7,876 people (9.5%) aged 18 to 24, 24,907 people (30.0%) aged 25 to 44, 22,687 people (27.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 11,912 people (14.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.3 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.

There were 30,915 housing units, at an average density of 4,050.9 per square mile (1,564.1/km²), of which 11,916 (40.8%) were owner-occupied and 17,301 (59.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.3%. 35,774 people (43.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units, and 46,701 people (56.2%) lived in rental housing units.

During 2009–2013, Alhambra had a median household income of $54,148, with 13.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

Alhambra-1920
Alhambra, 1920

These were the ten neighborhoods in Los Angeles County with the largest percentage of Asian residents, according to the 2000 census:

  1. Chinatown, 70.6%
  2. Monterey Park, 61.1%
  3. Cerritos, 58.3%
  4. Walnut, 56.2%
  5. Rowland Heights, 51.7%
  6. San Gabriel, 48.9%
  7. Rosemead, 48.6%
  8. Alhambra, 47.2%
  9. San Marino, 46.8%
  10. Arcadia, 45.4%

Religion

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America has its headquarters in Alhambra

Landmarks

The Hat, Alhambra
The Hat neon sign at Garfield Ave.
  • Alhambra Place Shopping Center (Main Street and Garfield Avenue)
  • Almansor Park
  • Dupuy's Pyrenees Castle (Grandview Drive)
  • Edwards Stadium Cinemas (Edwards Alhambra Renaissance Stadium 14 and IMAX)
  • Fosselman's Ice Cream - An old fashioned ice cream shop
  • Garfield Theatre (Valley Boulevard and Garfield Avenue), originally the Valley Grand Building
  • Gateway Plaza Monument (Valley Boulevard and Fremont Avenue)
  • Granada Park
  • Ramona Convent
  • Renaissance Plaza (Main Street and Garfield Avenue)
  • The Hat sign (Valley Boulevard and Garfield Avenue)
  • Twohey's Restaurant sign (Huntington Drive and Atlantic Boulevard)
  • Wing Lung Bank, Los Angeles Branch building has the largest glass tile mural in North America until 2008

Annual events

Each year, Valley Boulevard hosts the San Gabriel Valley Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, which runs from Del Mar to Garfield Avenues. The event is of such significance to the majority Asian American demographic in Alhambra that it is broadcast live on Chinese radio, KWRM AM 1370, locally on KSCI-18, and later on worldwide cable and satellite TV.

From 2001 to 2008, Alhambra was the host of the Summer Jubilee, a street carnival and music concert held every Saturday, until its postponement due to loss of funds caused by the late 2000s recession.

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