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Jefferson Park: A Century of History
History in the Making Jefferson Park: History in the Making
Jefferson Park community members are in the final stages of receiving Historic Preservation Overlay Zone status, which designates an area as a historic district. An HPOZ has many benefits for a community, including increased property value and neighborhood pride. Explore the different types of homes that have retained their historical features over the years.
Jefferson Library Jefferson Library: A Home with a History
The Jefferson Branch Library is the only structure along Jefferson Boulevard featured on the National Register of Historic Places. The building, with its rich history, was frequented by distinguished members of the African-American community while they were growing up. Today, the library remains a second home to the children in the Jefferson Park area.
Murals on Jefferson Murals Bring Life and Color to Jefferson
The murals along Jefferson Boulevard not only beautify the community, but they also bring community members together through the messages and feelings they set out to portray. In placing their unique images on the wall, the artists behind the murals, many of whom grew up or have spent a lot of time in the community, turned old buildings into bright, meaningful spectacles.

By Katie Kravit

At first glance, Jefferson Park—the area bounded by Adams Boulevard on the north, Western Avenue on the east, Exposition Boulevard on the south and Crenshaw Boulevard on the west—looks like any another neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles.

But dig deeper and this unsung space is a find as telling as the layers of a fossil--its landscape changing with every major event in American history in the last century.

From streetcar suburbs in the 1900s, to racial covenants and Supreme Court cases in the 1950s, to World War II, to the Watts Riots in 1965 and the 1992 Riots of L.A., Jefferson Park's history has changed simultaneously as America's did.

This South Los Angeles neighborhood is one of the oldest in the city. Jefferson Park was developed at the turn of the 20th century; the eastern part between 1905 and 1912 and the western part from 1925 to 1930. The neighborhood was once considered one of the city’s wealthiest areas.

Today the landscape has changed drastically. Throughout the years, different cultures, ages and races have inhabited the area. Because of this, all aspects have changed with it: architecture, art, religion, education and businesses. But most of all, it has changed the dynamics of the commmunity.

But what has remained over the years is Jefferson Park's unique history and cultural significance to Los Angeles as well as its people.



2009 | John Arnold, 47, takes a walk in Jefferson Park.

1894 | Jefferson Park was one of L.A.'s first streetcar suburbs and was instrumental in developing downtown.

1941 | Affluent blacks who were allowed to work in Jefferson Park but not live under racial covenants.

1915 | A row of Craftsman-style bungalows on the 3000 block of Harvard Boulevard.