Manhattan Beach, California facts for kids

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Manhattan Beach, California
City
City of Manhattan Beach
The Manhattan Beach Pier on a typical fall afternoon
The Manhattan Beach Pier on a typical fall afternoon
Official seal of Manhattan Beach, California
Seal
Motto: "Sun, Sand, Sea"
Location of Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles County, California
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated December 12, 1912
Named for Manhattan
Area
 • Total 3.941 sq mi (10.208 km2)
 • Land 3.937 sq mi (10.197 km2)
 • Water 0.004 sq mi (0.010 km2)  0.1%
Elevation 66 ft (20 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 35,135
 • Estimate (2013) 35,726
 • Density 8,915.2/sq mi (3,441.91/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 90266, 90267
Area codes 310/424
FIPS code 06-45400
GNIS feature IDs 1660985, 2411020
Website www.citymb.info

Manhattan Beach is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, United States, on the Pacific coast south of El Segundo, and north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan Beach is one of the three Beach Cities that make up the South Bay. Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach is ranked in the top 1% of high schools nationally.

History

In 1863, a Scottish immigrant, Sir Robert Burnett, purchased Rancho Sausal Redondo and Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela from Avila's heirs for $33,000. Ten years later in 1873, Burnett leased the ranch to a Canadian, Daniel Freeman (not the American Daniel Freeman, who was the first to file a claim under the Homestead Act of 1862). Burnett returned to Scotland. Freeman moved his wife and three children onto the ranch and started growing various crops. On May 4, 1885, Freeman bought the ranch from Burnett for $140,000.

George H. Peck owned a lot of the land that became part of the north section of Manhattan Beach. A coin flip decided the town's name. Around 1902, the beach suburb was named "Manhattan" after developer Stewart Merrill's home, the New York City borough of Manhattan. "Beach" was appended to the city's name in 1927 at the behest of the postmaster.

The land in Manhattan Beach was formerly sand dunes. During the 1920s and 1930s, builders leveled uneven sandy sites and some excess sand was sold and shipped to Waikiki, Hawaii, to convert their reef and rock beach into a sandy beach. The sand was also used to build the Los Angeles Coliseum and portions of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Manhattan beach pier photo D Ramey Logan
The Manhattan Beach Pier in 2013.

Geography

Manhattan Beach benefits from ocean breezes that provide clean air and summer temperatures that are 10 to 20 °F (5.6 to 11.1 °C) cooler than the inland regions of Southern California. The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has test scores ranked #3 in the state of California according to California Department of Education statistics. Forbes magazine ranked Manhattan Beach Unified as the sixth best School District in the U.S. According to a July 5, 2014, article in the Beach Reporter newspaper, the city of Manhattan Beach has more educated residents (according to percentage of residents with bachelor's degree or higher) than any other Los Angeles suburb.

Many high profile individuals in the sports and entertainment industry live in Manhattan Beach due to its oceanfront desirability, top performing school district, and commuting distance to Los Angeles. GQ Magazine named Manhattan Beach one of the nation's six best beaches in their July 2014 issue.

The city has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10 km2). Manhattan Beach features 2.1 miles (3.4 km) of ocean frontage.

Beach and sand dunes

Manhattan Beach is a hotspot for beach volleyball and surfing.

A majority of the land in Manhattan Beach was once exposed sand dunes which now lie beneath the city's buildings and streets. The underlying dunes afford residents ocean views throughout western portions of the city. The tallest hill is 244 feet high and located in the city's southwest region. The only remaining exposed sand dune is at Sand Dune Park, where sand resembling the original landscape can also be found. In the late 1920s, Manhattan Beach excess sand was purchased by Hawaiʻian developers, who negotiated a deal with the Kuhn Brothers Construction Company to ship the sand across the Pacific Ocean from Manhattan Beach via Los Angeles Harbor to Waikiki Beach over a 10-year period.

The beach is approximately 400 feet wide and 2.1 miles long. In the early part of the last century, the beach was narrow (approximately 150 feet) and sloping. From 1938 to 1989, it more than doubled in width when large quantities of sand were placed on beaches to the north during construction of the Hyperion Treatment Plant, Marina Del Rey, and Scattergood Power Plant. The sand was carried southward by the ocean's natural littoral flow and widened Manhattan Beach.

Every August, the city hosts the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball Tournament and the International Surf Festival.

Neighborhoods

Manhattan Beach CA Glass Strand House photo D Ramey Logan
Glass home on the "Strand"
Manhattan Beach houses
A view of the ocean in Manhattan Beach

Residents have divided the city into several distinct neighborhoods, including the "Sand Section", "Hill Section", "Tree Section", "Gas Lamp Section", "The Village", "Manhattan Heights", "The Knolls"(East Manhattan Beach), "Liberty Village", "Poet's Section" (Shelley, Tennyson, Longfellow, Keats), and "El Porto" (North Manhattan Beach).

The "Hill Section" is known for its high priced homes where many of the residences are remodeled or newly constructed. The steep hills allow panoramic ocean and city views.

The nearby "Sand Section" is notable for its quiet walk-street neighborhoods adjacent to the ocean. Oceanfront homes stretch along the bike path and walking lane of "The Strand". "The Strand" section of Manhattan Beach includes some of the most expensive real estate per square foot in the United States.

Since 2010, new property developments in Manhattan Beach cannot exceed two lot parcels. Size and appearance restrictions were enacted by the Manhattan Beach City Council to preserve the appearance of the beachfront community after three lots were joined to create a 16,000 square foot oceanside home in 2008.

Downtown

"Downtown" Manhattan Beach is considered the heart of the city. The area runs along Manhattan Beach Boulevard and the streets perpendicular to the Manhattan Beach Pier and Valley Drive. There are many Zagat rated casual-fine dining restaurants, specialty boutiques and retailers that create a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use downtown center. The Metlox site, where the pottery factory once stood for decades, was closed in the early 1990s and redeveloped into a mixed-use center. The new Metlox site includes a luxury boutique hotel, spa, restaurants, shops and underground parking.

North Manhattan Beach District

North Manhattan Beach business district is located near the intersection of Rosecrans and Highland and has many excellent restaurants and shops including Pancho's Mexican Restaurant and Fishbar. The district is defined as covering "32nd Street to 45th Street and consist[s] of over 80 businesses".

Rosecrans Corridor

The "Rosecrans corridor" is located on the south side of Rosecrans Avenue, east of Sepulveda, and west of Aviation.

The Manhattan Beach Country Club, the Marriott Hotel and Golf Course, Fry's electronics, retail stores, restaurants, supermarkets, multi-story office buildings, and shopping centers border the Rosecrans corridor between Sepulveda and Aviation Boulevards. The Rosecrans corridor is adjacent to The Point and Plaza El Segundo off Sepulveda Blvd, which features additional retailers including Whole Foods Market.

Sepulveda Corridor

The "Sepulveda Corridor" occupies the commercial zone, and is the city's main north-south highway. The area includes the Manhattan Village Mall, which is located east of Sepulveda Boulevard between Marine and Rosecrans Avenues. The mall, built in the early 1980s, was remodeled in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The mall is anchored by Macy's on both ends and tenants include Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Williams-Sonoma, and the Apple Store. Many restaurants such as Islands, Chili's, Olive Garden, and the Tin Roof are co-located with the mall. The Manhattan Village Mall is planning a new multimillion-dollar redevelopment which will add both outdoor and enclosed retail and restaurant space. There are several medium-size hotels, large automobile dealerships, automotive repair shops, restaurants, multi-story office buildings, medical buildings, pharmacies, banks, small shopping centers and a Target store along this corridor.

Aviation Corridor

The "Aviation Corridor" is located along Aviation Boulevard (the city's eastern boundary), south of Rosecrans Avenue, and north of Marine Avenue. Aviation High School was located at the intersection of Manhattan Beach Blvd and Aviation until it closed in the early 1980s. The zone includes several major entertainment and aerospace complexes, including Manhattan Beach Studios and the Northrop Grumman Space Park Complex. Manhattan Beach Media Campus is home to the production of many popular releases in movies and entertainment, including the Marvel pictures "Thor" and "Iron Man 2" and both sequels to James Cameron's "Avatar" movie. The studio complex is equipped with one of the largest photovoltaic solar panel rooftop installations in the area which generates approximately 1 megawatt of power.

Parks and recreation

Manhattan Beach CA pier and boardwalk photo D Ramey Logan
Manhattan Beach CA pier and concrete bikepath

Manhattan Beach is known for its clean, wide, sandy beaches and attracts over 3.8 million visitors annually. Along the Strand at the eastern edge of the beach, a concrete bike path is reserved for bicycles. The bikeway extends north to Santa Monica and south to Palos Verdes. A separate 2.1 mile walkway, reserved for pedestrians, runs alongside the bike path. Restrooms and shower facilities are provided adjacent to the Strand paths. Beach volleyball, swimming, body boarding and surfing are popular activities among residents and visitors. Popular surf spots include the Pier and El Porto. Lifeguard stations are located along the entire length of the beach and the beach is cleaned and groomed daily by crews from LA County Beaches and Harbors Department.

CNN Money named Manhattan Beach #1 as the "2011 Best Places For the Rich and Single", while The Travel Channel named Manhattan Beach the 9th sexiest beach on earth for its 2008 "21 Sexiest Beaches" show. Manhattan Beach has also been nicknamed the "Pearl of the South Bay" for its beauty and desirability.

There are several public parks in the city. The largest and most popular is Polliwog Park located on Manhattan Beach Boulevard, two blocks west of Aviation Boulevard. Polliwog Park has a small lake, open-air concert amphitheater, playground equipment, picnic tables, restrooms, and a fenced dog exercise area. It is also the site of the Manhattan Beach Historical Society Red Cottage, which is home to the city's collection of historical artifacts. Marine Avenue Park, west of Aviation Boulevard on Marine, has several lighted ball fields, basketball courts, and an indoor racket ball facility. Live Oak Park in the downtown area has ball fields, playground equipment, tennis courts and picnic tables.

An area known as the "Green Belt" or "Veteran's Parkway" is a pedestrian-friendly walkway that runs adjacent to Valley Drive and Ardmore Avenue near downtown Manhattan Beach. Nearly 20 acres total and comprising 3 miles in length, the wood-chip walkway is a popular trail for runners and dog-walkers.

For over 50 years, the city of Manhattan Beach hosts an annual Hometown Fair at Live Oak Park in downtown Manhattan Beach. Popular among community residents, the fair features food and drink, live music, games and booths to raise funds for local causes.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 859
1930 1,891 120.1%
1940 6,398 238.3%
1950 17,330 170.9%
1960 33,934 95.8%
1970 35,352 4.2%
1980 31,542 −10.8%
1990 32,063 1.7%
2000 33,852 5.6%
2010 35,135 3.8%
Est. 2015 35,818 1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

The 2010 United States Census reported that Manhattan Beach had a population of 35,135. The population density was 8,914.7 people per square mile (3,442.0/km²). The racial makeup of Manhattan Beach was 29,686 (84.5%) White (79.3% Non-Hispanic White), 290 (0.8%) Black or African American (U.S. Census), 59 (0.2%) Native American, 3,023 (8.6%) Asian, 49 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 409 (1.2%) from other races, and 1,619 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,440 persons (6.9%).

The Census reported that 35,107 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 28 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 14,038 households, out of which 4,735 (33.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,583 (54.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 892 (6.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 438 (3.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 695 (5.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 85 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,627 households (25.8%) were made up of individuals and 1,078 (7.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50. There were 8,913 families (63.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.10.

The population was spread out with 8,725 people (24.8%) under the age of 18, 1,740 people (5.0%) aged 18 to 24, 9,532 people (27.1%) aged 25 to 44, 10,681 people (30.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,457 people (12.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.9 years. For every 100 females there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males. There were 14,929 housing units at an average density of 3,787.9 per square mile (1,462.5/km²), of which 9,420 (67.1%) were owner-occupied, and 4,618 (32.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.3%. 25,587 people (72.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,520 people (27.1%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Manhattan Beach had a median household income of $139,259, with 3.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

In popular culture

Filming locations

  • 1408 (2007). John Cusack's character surfs in El Porto waves.
  • 2012 (2009). Cracks appear down the middle of 45th Street.
  • The 1983 Taylor Hackford film, Against All Odds, was filmed along The Strand and on the beach.
  • George Jung of Blow fame.
  • The CBS series CSI: Miami, at Manhattan Beach Studios and one episode was taken at Pollywog Park.
  • The TV show Hannah Montana used Mira Costa High School as the image of the school portrayed in the TV show, and the Manhattan Beach Pier was also commonly shown in the intro of the show.
  • Jerry Maguire (1996). In the movie, Dorothy's (Renée Zellweger) house is in the Gas Lamp Section on 23rd Street.
  • The Fox Network series The O.C.
  • Point Break (1991). In the movie, Keanu Reeves buys his surfboard from a shop located on the Manhattan Beach pier.
  • Starsky and Hutch (2004). In the movie, Starsky (Ben Stiller), can be seen stretching under the pier.
  • Tequila Sunrise (1988). Mel Gibson's character lives on the beach near the pier.
  • The CW Television Network series Veronica Mars.
  • The TV show Weeds.
  • The movie Airborne.
  • The video for the song "White Walls" by Macklemore.

Other

  • Manhattan Beach is mentioned in the song, "Surfin' U.S.A.", by the Beach Boys. Group members were from the adjacent city of Hawthorne and surfed in Manhattan Beach.
  • The Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach is known as "The Championships, Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball." The names of the tournament champions are inscribed in plaques along Manhattan Beach Pier. This event usually takes place in August and is aired on national TV.

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