| Leimert Park

Leimert Park

Geography

The district's boundaries are roughly Rodeo Road on the north, 4th Avenue and Roxton Avenue on the east, Vernon Avenue on the south, and Crenshaw Boulevard on the west. Crenshaw District lies to the south, View Park to the west, Vermont Square to the east, and Jefferson Park to the north. The district's principal thoroughfare is Leimert Boulevard, which bisects the neighborhood from northeast to southwest. Leimert Park's ZIP code is 90008.

Demographics

Per the United States Census of 2000, for which Leimert Park was roughly contiguous with tract #2343, the district had a population of 4,262 and had the highest percentage of African-American residents of any census tract in the entire Western United States. Racial and ethnic representation was as follows: 1.7% white, 91.7% black or African-American, 0.3% Native American, 1.2% Asian or Pacific Islander, 1.4% some other race, and 3.6% of two or more races. 3.5% of respondents of all races were of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. Median household income was $31,443, median family income was $46,709, and per capita income was $25,253; 16.1% of individuals and 15.9% of families were below the federal poverty line.

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History and the Neighborhood Today

Developed by Walter H. "Tim" Leimert (for whom it is named) beginning in 1928 and designed by the Olmsted brothers, Leimert Park was one of the first comprehensively planned communities in Southern California designed for low- and middle-income families, and was considered a model of urban planning for its time: automobile traffic near schools and churches was minimized, utility wires were buried or hidden from view in alleys, and densely planted trees lined its streets.

Initially white-dominated, (it was in this neighborhood in January 1947 that the bisected and mutilated body of Elizabeth Short, the victim of the infamous Black Dahlia murder was found in a vacant lot on the 3800 block of South Norton Avenue) Leimert Park and the neighboring Crenshaw District eventually became one of the largest Black middle class neighborhoods in the United States, and is now considered part of South Los Angeles.

Leimert Park is considered the center of the African-American arts scene in Los Angeles, with flourishing blues and jazz clubs; as well as venues for Hip Hop and numerous dramatic performances and poetry readings. (One resident, filmmaker John Singleton, has called it "the black Greenwich Village.") The park at the district's center, adjoined by shops and a theater, is a popular place for performances and gatherings.

Project Blowed, [1] hosted by Kaos Network, is the longest running Hip Hop open mic in the world; started in 1994 by Aceyalone and friends, and is held every Thursday night at 43rd St. and Degnan Blvd.

The World Stage [2] is the hub of jazz and literary activity in Leimert Park. Founded by the late jazz drummer, Billy Higgins, and poet/community arts activist Kamau Daaood in 1989; it hosts the world renowned Anansi Writers Workshop (notable alumni include Michael Datcher [Raising Fences], Ruth Forman, Derrick I.M. Gilbert, Jenoyne Adams [Selah's Bed] and Peter J. Harris) and has featured in either master class or informal jam sessions jazz legends Max Roach, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, Pharoah Sanders and contemporary artists, such as Geri Allen.

Another jazz venue, 5th Street Dick's Coffee and Jazz Emporium [3], founded by Richard Fulton in 1991 continued to be a mainstay for music lovers, chess players and poets and comedians. It was at 5th Street Dick's In 1992 Comedian Stevie Mack began the first topical comedy show in Los Angeles featuring clean comedy and skits, attracting Hollywood hopefuls and heavy hitters alike. In 1996 Richard Fulton opened another room three doors down called the Great Negus Wordsmith and Roots Empire where Comedian Stevie Mack began producing Stevie Mack's One Acts, a series of skits, short plays, monologues and urban gameshows. Richard Fulton passed away from throat cancer in 2000 and the coffee shop closed but was later re-opened in 2005, under new management around the corner on Degnan by Richard's girlfriend Erma.

Eso Won Books, [4] co-owned by James Fugate and Tom Hamilton, made its new home in Leimert Park at 4331 Degnan Blvd. in 2006.

Despite suffering from rising crime beginning in the 1970s and sustaining significant damage during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Leimert Park has experienced a resurgence in recent years as middle-class black families from other parts of South Los Angeles have settled down in the Spanish Colonial style homes and bungalows that line its leafy streets. Unlike other parts of South Los Angeles, Leimert Park remains almost entirely black, with a minuscule Latino population, due in part because, along with Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills and Ladera Heights, Leimert Park is the last bastion of a black middle class neighborhood in South Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Unified Schools

Crenshaw High School:
http://www.crenshawhs.org/

Dorsey High School:
http://www.dorseydons.org/

Audubon Middle School:
http://www.lausd.net/Audubon_MS/

Tom Bradley Magnet:
http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Tom_Bradley_EL/

Baldwin Hills Elementary School:
http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Baldwin_Hills_EL/Welcome.html

Marlton School:
http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Marlton_EL/index.htm

View Park Middle School:
http://vppms.icefla.org/

US Post Office

3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, #103a, Los Angeles, CA 90008 - no phone

3894 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008 - 323.295.0099

5472 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90043 - no phone

Related Links

William H. Leimert:
http://www.leimert.com/company.html

Map of Leimert Park Village:
http://leimertparkvillage.org/LeimertParkVillageMap.html

Map of Leimert Park:
http://leimertparkvillage.org/LeimertParkMap.html

Leimert Park Village Book Fair:
http://leimertparkbookfair.com/index.htm

Farmer's Market Info:
http://www.farmernet.com/events/one-cfm?venue_id=1823

Leimert Park Plaza:
http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/facility/leimertPlazaPk.htm

Leimert Park is pulsing with culture:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/photography/la-streetscenes-20080721,0,1330435.htmlstory

Los Angeles Police Department Telephone Directory:
http://www.lapdonline.org/search_results/content_basic_view/23774

Los Angeles Fire Department:
http://lafd.org/fs94.htm

Los Angeles Public Library:
http://www.lapl.org/branches/Branch.php?bID=46

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas:
http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/default.htm

State Assembly Rpeprasentative - Mike Davis:
http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a48/

Speakeer of the Assembly - Karen Bass:
http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/speaker/default.aspx

State Senators:
http://www.house.gov/waters/

Congresswoman Diane E. Watson:
http://www.house.gov/watson/

Leimert Plaza Park:
http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/facility/leimertPlazaPk.htm

Jim Gilliam Recreational Park:
http://www.laparks.org/dos/ereg/facility/jimGilliamRC.htm

Norman O. Houston Park:
http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/facility/houstonNOPk.htm

Rancho Cienega Sports Center:
http://www.laparks.org/dos/reccenter/facility/ranchocienegaRC.htm

Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Plaza:
http://www.crenshawplaza.com/

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