|City of Whittier|
|Los Angeles County, California|
|Total||14.7 sq mi (37 km2)|
|Land||14.7 sq mi (37 km2)|
|Water||0.0 sq mi (0.041 km2) 0.11%|
|Elevation||367 ft (112 m)|
|Density||5,800/sq mi ( 2,300/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1652813|
Whittier is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Los Angeles. The city had a population of 85,331 at the 2010 census, up from 83,680 as of the 2000 census, and encompasses 14.7 square miles (38.0 km2)). Like nearby Montebello, the city constitutes part of the Gateway Cities. Whittier was incorporated in February 1898, although it was first settled in 1887, and became a charter city in 1955. The city is named for the poet John Greenleaf Whittier and is home to Whittier College.
Whittier's roots can be traced to Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto. In 1784, Nieto received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), Rancho Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage settlement in California. The area of Nieto's land grant was reduced in 1790 as the result of a dispute with Mission San Gabriel. Nonetheless, Nieto still had claim to 167,000 acres (680 km2) stretching from the hills north of Whittier, Fullerton and Brea, south to the Pacific ocean, and from what is known today as the Los Angeles River east to the Santa Ana River. Nieto built a rancho for his family near Whittier, and purchased cattle and horses for his ranch and also planted cornfields. When Nieto died in 1804, his children inherited their father's property.
At the time of the Mexican-American War, much of Whittier was owned by Pio Pico, a rancher and the last Mexican governor of California. Pio Pico built a hacienda in Whittier on the San Gabriel River, which today is known as Pio Pico State Historic Park Following the Mexican-American war, German immigrant Jacob F. Gerkens paid $234 to the U.S. government to acquire 160 acres (0.6 km2) of land under the Homestead Act and built a cabin known today as the Jonathan Bailey House. Gerkens would later become the first chief of police of the Los Angeles Police Department. Gerkens' land was owned by several others before a group of Quakers purchased it and expanded it to 1,259 acres (5 km2), with the intent of founding a Quaker community. The area soon became known as a thriving citrus ranching region, with "Quaker Brand" fruit being shipped all over the United States. Later, walnut trees were also planted, and Whittier became the largest walnut grower in the United States. In addition to walnuts and citrus, Whittier was also a major producer of pampas grass.
Southern Pacific Railroad built the first railroad spur to Whittier in 1887. The railroad spur helped promote the boom of the 1880s. By 1906, 650 carloads of oranges and 250 carloads of lemons were shipped annually by rail. In 1904, the Pacific Electric opened the trolley line known as "Big Red Cars" from Los Angeles to Whittier. In the first two decades over a million passengers a year rode to and from Los Angeles on the Whittier line. Groves of walnuts were planted in 1887 and eventually Whittier was known as the primary walnut growing town in the United States. After World War II Whittier grew rapidly and the sub-dividing of orange groves began, driven by housing shortages in southern California. In 1955 the new Civic Center complex was completed and the City Council met in new chambers for the first time on March 8, 1955. The City continued to grow as the City annexed portions of Whittier Boulevard and East Whittier, the 1961 annexation added over 28,000 people to the population, bringing the total to about 67,000.
In the founding days of Whittier, when it was a small isolated town, Jonathan Bailey and his wife, Rebecca, were among the first residents. They followed the Quaker religious faith and practice, and held religious meetings on their porch. As the city grew, the citizens named it after John Greenleaf Whittier, a respected Quaker poet. Whittier wrote a dedication poem, and is honored today with statues and a small exhibit at the Whittier museum; a statue of him sits in the park, and another representing his poem The Barefoot Boy used to reside by the City Hall. Whittier never set foot there, but the city still bears his name and is rooted in the Quaker tradition.
In 1887 the Pickering Land and Water Company set aside a 20-acre (81,000 m2) parcel of land for the development of a college, but a collapse in the land boom stalled construction. Progress on developing a college was sporadic, but on July 30, 1896 the Whittier Academy, operating since 1891, officially changed its name to Whittier College with 100 students enrolled. The school mascot is "The Poet." By 1906, Whittier College was an educational institution with laboratories, boarding halls, a large gymnasium and athletic fields. Due to an economic depression in the 1890s, the first bachelors degrees were not awarded at the college for 17 years.
The Mendenhall Building at Whittier College was donated by Leona May Mendenhall in honor of her husband Oscar. The Mendenhalls were among the founding families of Whittier. Oscar's brother, Samuel Mendenhall, helped bring in the water system and post office. The Mendenhalls were large growers for Sunkist oranges and Blue Diamond walnuts.
The first Quaker meeting house was built on the corner of Comstock Avenue and Wardman Street in 1887. The meeting soon outgrew this 100 seat meeting house and new, larger building was erected on the corner of Philadelphia Street and Washington Avenue in 1902. By 1912, membership had grown to 1,200 and a third building was dedicated on the same site in 1917. With a capacity of 1,700, the 1917 meeting house featured a balcony and was constructed of brick with mahogany paneling and pews. The present meeting house, dedicated in 1975, features many architectural elements and materials from the 1917 building including the stained glass windows and mahogany interior.
On October 1, 1987, at 7:42 a.m., the Whittier Narrows earthquake struck, the epicenter six miles (10 km) north by northwest of Whittier. The seismic event, which registered 5.9 on the Richter scale, resulted in eight casualties and massive damage to uptown Whittier's historic buildings. Three days later, on October 4, 1987, at 3:59 a.m., a major aftershock measuring 5.2 occurred, causing further damage. Buildings and residential structures which were already borderline unsafe were now deemed unsafe or uninhabitable. In the years following the earthquake, the city's deteriorating uptown business district, which suffered substantial damage in the earthquake, became the focus of renewed development, which met with opposition from many Whittier citizens. Out of the rubble of the earthquake the Whittier Conservancy was formed in 1987 in an effort to stop the demolition of many historic buildings and residences after the disaster. The city also created a Historic Resources Commission to oversee the approval of historic designations, historic districts and Mills Act proposals.
Whittier Narrows Earthquake also destroyed The Quad at Whittier, a shopping mall which had to be rebuilt after earthquake damage.
Whittier is located at (33.5756, -118.128).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.7 square miles (38 km2), virtually all land.
Whittier is bordered by the community of Hacienda Heights to the northeast, City of Industry to the north, and several other unincorporated communities in the San Gabriel Valley mostly along its northern sections. Pico Rivera lies at the west, La Habra Heights to the east, La Habra to the southeast and Santa Fe Springs to the south.
Whittier is situated approximately 18 miles (29 kilometres) inland of the Pacific Ocean, resulting in higher daytime temperatures and since it lies at a higher elevations than the cities further west, cold air drains into lower elevation of the Los Angeles Basin which results in warmer night-time lows, producing an example of thermal inversion. Winter daytime highs typically range from 68°F to 80°F (20°C to 27°C) with overnight lows dropping to about 43°F to 54°F (6° to 12°C). In the summer highs range from 78°F to 95°F (26°C to 35°C) and corresponding overnight lows in the 58°F to 72°F (14°C to 22°C). Rainfall follows a Mediterranean pattern with the majority of the rain falling during the winter months, while summer tend to be rather dry. The mean annual rainfall is approximately 14 inches.
|Climate data for Whitter CA (Wx-Station located 4.5mi NNW at Montebello, CA 1971 2000 Normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||91 |
|Average high °F (°C)||69.7 |
|Daily mean °F (°C)||58.8 |
|Average low °F (°C)||47.9 |
|Record low °F (°C)||30 |
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.53 |
|Source: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ca5790 |
There are several neighborhoods in Whittier. The area centered around Philadelphia Street and Greenleaf Avenue is known as Uptown Whittier and contains the traditional central business core. Just north of Uptown Whittier are the neighborhoods known as Central Park and Hadley-Greenleaf. They have been designated historic districts by the city Historic Resources Commission, and together comprise most of the area of the Whittier Historic Neighborhood Association. These districts contain many Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival homes. In and abutting the hills north of the historic districts is Starlite Estates, an upscale neighborhood. The area surrounding Whittier College is known as College Hills and was also recently designated a historic district. The area east of College Avenue is referred to as East Whittier. East Whittier was a separate agricultural community until the postwar era. The eastern parts of East Whittier, developed in the 1950s and 60s, are Friendly Hills, Murphy Ranch and Leffingwell Ranch.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Whittier had a population of 85,331. The population density was 5,818.6 people per square mile (2,246.6/km ). The racial makeup of Whittier was 55,117 (64.6%) White, 1,092 (1.3%) African American, 1,093 (1.3%) Native American, 3,262 (3.8%) Asian, 123 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 20,848 (24.4%) from other races, and 3,796 (4.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 56,081 persons (65.7%).
The Census reported that 83,696 people (98.1% of the population) lived in households, 1,083 (1.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 552 (0.6%) were institutionalized.
There were 28,273 households, out of which 11,289 (39.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,152 (50.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,566 (16.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,896 (6.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,770 (6.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 247 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 6,096 households (21.6%) were made up of individuals and 2,495 (8.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96. There were 20,614 families (72.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.46.
The population was spread out with 21,686 people (25.4%) under the age of 18, 9,198 people (10.8%) aged 18 to 24, 23,627 people (27.7%) aged 25 to 44, 20,819 people (24.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 10,001 people (11.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.4 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.
There were 29,591 housing units at an average density of 2,017.8 per square mile (779.1/km ), of which 16,207 (57.3%) were owner-occupied, and 12,066 (42.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.1%. 49,393 people (57.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 34,303 people (40.2%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 83,680 people, 28,271 households, and 20,468 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,719.4 inhabitants per square mile (2,208.4/km ). There were 28,977 housing units at an average density of 1,980.5 per square mile (764.7/km ). The racial makeup of the city was 43.2% White, 1.2% African American, 1.3% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 25.8% from other races, and 5.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 65.9% of the population.
There were 28,271 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.38.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,256, and the median income for a family was $55,726. Males had a median income of $40,394 versus $34,223 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,409. About 7.8% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.7% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
Whittier was once very conservative politically, but in recent years has become divided, with the Central and Western portions of Whittier voting more for Democrats, and East Whittier voting more for Republicans.
In the state legislature Whittier is located in the 30th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ronald S. Calderon, and in the 56th, 58th and 60th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrats Tony Mendoza, Charles M. Calderon and Republican Curt Hagman respectively. Federally, Whittier is located in California's 38th, 39th, and 42nd congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of D +20, D +13, and R +10 respectively and are represented by Democrats Grace Napolitano and Linda S nchez and Republican Gary Miller respectively.
Whittier's Redevelopment Agency has numerous projects underway to revitalize the community. This includes a $7 million dollar project near historic Hoover Hotel.
The Whittwood Town Center (formerly the Whittwood Mall) anchored by JC Penney, Target, Sears, Vons, and Kohl's has made way for Red Robin and Black Angus. The city still waits to attract more well known businesses and open new residential town homes with the revival of its Uptown district.
In addition, the agency is working on developing a 480-acre (1.9 km2) project area near Whittier Blvd. The master plan was adopted in June 2005 by the City Council.
The local newspaper is the Whittier Daily News. Other area papers include the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the parent paper of the Whittier Daily News, Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register.
According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital||2,600|
|2||Whittier Hospital Medical Center||850|
|3||City of Whittier||702|
|4||Whittier Union High School District||412|
|6||United States Postal Service||315|
|7||Bright Health Physicians||300|
|9||Southern California University of Health Sciences||220|
|10||Whittier City School District||200|
There are a variety of bus routes operating within the city with Foothill Transit, Montebello Bus Lines and the Norwalk Transit being the leading bus lines used within the city. Other bus routes operating in the city include the Metro, The Sunshine Shuttle starting at Beaty Ave all the way through The Whittwood Town Center, Line 121 Whittwood starting at Aviation Station (Metrorail Green Line) and ending at the Whittwood Town Center. The city also has a variety of freeways with the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) running right along the northern end of the city. State Route 72 runs via Whittier Boulevard and forms part of El Camino Real.
The Whittier Police Department provides patrol service to the communities of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs. Currently, over 100 officers are assigned to patrol the city streets. The Patrol Division includes the Traffic Bureau, Special Enforcement Team, Code Enforcement, and School Resource Officers. The Police Services Division consists of the Records Bureau, 9-1-1 Communications Center, Property and Evidence, and the Jail. The Services Division operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, staffing communications and records functions around the clock. This permits continuous support to patrol and investigational activities.
In October 2010, the dedication of the new, spacious police station was held. It is a 53,000-square-foot (4,900 m2) facility, built at a cost of $35 million. Police Chief David Singer said he has been working towards a new station since 2002, but the project has been in the works for three decades, because the old station, built in 1955, at only 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) was so small. Voters had previously rejected a raise in their utility tax, so the delay in building was a matter of finding funding. Included in the new station is a more modern jail, air conditioning, upgraded radio and 9-1-1 communications systems and more space for the department offices and private interview rooms. Chief Singer celebrated his efforts by retiring that day, and leaving behind the attractive new building for his officers and community.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 28 (Engine, Quint, Paramedic Squad, Mobile Aid, and the Battalion Chief), Station 17 (Engine), Station 59 (Engine and EST[disambiguation needed]) serve the community of Whittier. The Los Angeles County Fire Department, Battalion 8 services the unincorporated area of Whittier.
On April 17, 1900, the Whittier Public Library Board of Trustees held its first meeting in Landrum Smith's drugstore. With an initial collection of 60 books and 200 magazines, the library facilities began in the Woody Building as a reading room, maintained by Mr. Hester in exchange for space for his telegraph office. In 1907, a Carnegie grant funded the construction of the building at Bailey and Greenleaf that many Whittierites fondly remember. As the city expanded, a larger library was needed, and the Friends of the Library organized in 1956 to raise money for a new building. Through their efforts, and those of the board members, librarians, and citizen fund raising groups, the new library was completed at the Washington Avenue site in May 1959. In 1968, service was further expanded with the construction of the Whittwood Branch Library on Santa Gertrudes.
The city of Whittier is served by the Whittier Union High School District, East Whittier City School District, Whittier City School District, Lowell Joint School District and the Fullerton Joint Union High School District.
Five high schools, California High School, La Serna High School, Pioneer High School, Santa Fe High School, and Whittier High School comprise the Whittier Union High School District. There is one alternative continuation high school Sierra Vista High School, and Frontier High School. Although they still have Whittier postal addresses, both California High School and Pioneer High School lie outside the city limits in unincorporated Los Angeles County. Santa Fe High School is located within the City of Santa Fe Springs. Adults may attend the Whittier Adult School, which belongs to the Whittier Union High School District. The city also has three private Catholic elementary schools, K-8
The schools are operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles with one (St. Mary of the Assumption School) being one of the largest Catholic elementary schools in Los Angeles County. St Gregory The Great School has been Number One in their deanery for the Academic Decathlon two years in a row.
Trinity Lutheran School, a ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church, serves Pre-K through eighth grade and is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Whittier Christian School, a ministry of Calvary Baptist Church, Association of Christian Schools International serves grades K 8 in the Whittier community.
The Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility is located on a highly visible sector of Whittier Blvd. Nelles' 74-acres Nelles has been added to the list of state historical landmarks. Taken separately, the administration building that was constructed in 1928-29, has its own historical designation and must be protected, according to the State of California. On the campus there 6-8 historical buildings to be considered. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, in its 2010 Thanksgiving edition, gave thanks for "The plans to revitalize Whittier Boulevard and properly develop the former Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility."
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2011)|
- "True Blood" (HBO Series) - several scenes of involving The Fellowship of the Sun church were filmed at the chapel at Rose Hills Memorial Park. On the DVD commentary of Season 3, Stephen Moyer says several local girls came to the filming with shirts saying, "The girls are prettier in Whittier".
Although John Greenleaf Whittier never visited the city, he did write a poem in honor of it:
"My Name I Give To Thee"
Dear Town, for whom the flowers are born,
Stars shine, and happy songbirds sing,
What can my evening give to thy morn,
My Winter to Thy Spring?
A life not void of pure intent
With small desert of praise or blame;
The Love I felt, the Good I meant,
I leave Thee with My Name.
| ||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|