Reseda is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1912, and its central business district started developing in 1915. The neighborhood was devoted to agriculture for many years. Earthquakes struck the area in 1971 and 1994.
The neighborhood has 15 public and five private schools. The community includes public parks, a senior center and a regional branch library.
Founding and growth
The area now known as Reseda was inhabited by Native Americans of the Tongva tribe who lived close to the Los Angeles River.
In 1909 the Suburban Homes Company, a syndicate led by H.J. Whitley, general manager of the Board of Control, Harry Chandler, H.G. Otis, M.H. Sherman and O.F. Brandt purchased 48,000 acres of the Farming and Milling Company for $2,500,000. Henry E. Huntington extended his Pacific Electric Railway (Red Cars) through the Valley to Owensmouth (now Canoga Park). The Suburban Home Company laid out plans for roads and the towns of Van Nuys, Reseda (Marian) and Canoga Park (Owensmouth). Los Angeles annexed the rural areas in 1915.
On land that was originally part of the San Fernando Mission, Reseda originated in 1912 as the town of Marian. It was named after Marian Otis Chandler, the daughter of Los Angeles Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis and wife of Harry Chandler. The name Reseda refers to the fragrant plant Reseda odorata (mignonette) which was commonly found in gardens of the time and is native to many areas with a Mediterranean climate.
The geographic name "Reseda" was first used for a siding on a branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which ran between the cities of Burbank and Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley. In the 1920s, the name was transferred from the Southern Pacific Railroad to the Western Division of the Pacific Electric Railway "Red Cars Line", which had expedited development after the building of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Later, it was used as the name of a stop on the Pacific Electric interurban railway along Sherman Way.
Throughout this time, the town's name of Marian remained; then in 1921, when a Fourth Class Post Office was found to be necessary, the town's name had to be changed. As the Zelzah Tribune reported:
The Marian territory has made application for a post office to serve that district. To avoid confusion in mail distribution it is necessary that the name of the town be changed and the people of that community have decided upon the name Reseda, and if the application is granted it will be the only post office in the United States by that name. Mrs. Turner, we are told, who has taken an active interest in the canvass and to create a sentiment for post office advantages, will possibly be the postmistress.
Ninety-two residents convened and agreed to rename the town Reseda. The new post office bearing the name was established on May 9, 1922, although local records show that the post office was dedicated on May 26. The post office officially opened on July 1, with receipts of $1.59.
The central business district began in 1915, at what is now the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way, with the construction of a hardware store. Soon a blacksmith shop and an auto repair garage were built nearby, followed by a grocery store and a drug store. There were no sidewalks or pavement yet; most were added between 1918 and the early 1920s. On the southwest corner of Sherman Way a wooden building housed the volunteer fire department until 1922, when the present brick building was erected, as was the Reseda Bank. The wooden building housing the fire department was then moved to the southeast side of Sherman Way, where it remained until 1933. In May 1929, the city's namesake roadway, Reseda Avenue, was renamed Reseda Boulevard by a Los Angeles City ordinance. Parts of the original 1920s and 1930s residential neighborhood remain southwest of Sherman Way and Reseda Boulevard as well as in Reseda Ranch near Grover Cleveland High School.
Reseda grew slowly, with the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent Great Depression further slowing expansion.
During the late 1920s and 1930s, the area's reputation developed for its production of lettuce, lima beans, sugar beets, and walnuts, becoming known as one of the nation's largest producers of lettuce by the late ‘30s. The Southern Pacific Railroad trains came up the middle of Sherman Way to pick up freight cars of lettuce daily during the lettuce harvest season. Around that time, manufacturing roof tile, canning poultry products, and processing walnuts began to emerge as viable businesses as well.
Reseda remained primarily an agricultural community, with a population of 1,805 in 1930. By 1940 the population had increased to 4,147. The mid- to late 1940s saw a large increase in the numbers of single-family dwellings and the loss of numerous acres of agriculture, and the addition of First Class Postal Service. Reseda was one of the early suburbs in the San Fernando Valley. The large ranches were subdivided, and the area was developed by realtors just as World War II veterans were returning home. The familiar orange groves were successively plowed under in favor of housing. At the time, most jobs were in the Los Angeles Basin and to the south, over the Santa Monica mountains.
By 1950, Reseda had over 16,000 residents, and in the early 1950s a population explosion took place, making Reseda one of the most popular and populated Valley communities. Because of this, Reseda's merchants provided bus service to transport shoppers throughout the busy downtown Reseda areas.
In the early 1950s, the Valley's population reached 400,000. The average new Valley home, in 1949, cost $9,000. By 1955, that same house could go for nearly $15,000. Even at that price, though, a household income was about $6,000 per year, making Valley incomes higher than the national average. By 1960, the average market value of a Valley home reached $18,850.
During the 1970s, the above-average residential real estate values and income patterns began to decline. Land and housing costs shot upward, while most incomes only crept. By the beginning of the 1980s, the average price of a home in the Valley reached $110,000. According to a 2004 study by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, it has tripled that of the early 1980s.
The 1994 Northridge earthquake struck at 4:31 a.m. on January 17 and measured 6.7 on the moment magnitude scale. It remains the only large earthquake to originate directly under a major U.S. city in modern times as well as the most damaging earthquake to strike the U.S. since the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Its epicenter was between Arminta Street and Ingomar Street, just west of Reseda Boulevard.
This was the second time in 23 years the area had been affected by a strong earthquake. On February 9, 1971, the San Fernando earthquake (also known as the Sylmar earthquake) struck the area with a magnitude of 6.5.
thumb|right|250px|Aerial view of Reseda (2019)
Reseda is flanked on the north by Northridge, on the east by Lake Balboa, on the south by Tarzana and Encino, on the southwest by Woodland Hills, and on the west by Winnetka. Its street boundaries are Roscoe Boulevard on the north, White Oak Avenue on the east, Victory Boulevard on the south and Corbin Avenue on the west.
The 2010 U.S. census counted 74,363 residents in Reseda's 91335 ZIP code. The median age was 35.5, and the median yearly household income was $53,842.
In 2008, the Los Angeles Times, Mapping L.A. project described Reseda as "highly diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles. The breakdown of the population using the 2000 census was 43.5% Latino; 37.2% non-Hispanic white; 11.2% Asian; 4.2% black; and 3.9% other. Mexico (33.7%) and El Salvador (12.4%) were the most common birthplaces of the 43.1% of the residents who were born abroad.
In 2010, renters occupied 48.5% of the housing stock, and house or apartment-owners held 51.5%.
Government and infrastructure
Los Angeles Fire Department Station 73 (Reseda) and Station 100 (West Van Nuys/Lake Balboa) serve the community.
The Los Angeles Police Department operates the nearby West Valley Community Police Station.
County, state, and federal
Mail services are provided by the United States Postal Service's branch post office at 7320 Reseda Boulevard. On October 14, 2006, the branch office was renamed the Coach John Wooden Post Office on Wooden's 96th birthday. Wooden lived in nearby Encino and his daughter lived in Reseda.
Nineteen percent of Reseda residents 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, an average figure for both the city and the county. The proportion of residents with a high school diploma was high for the county.
Schools within the Reseda boundaries are:
In 1982, the board considered closing Garden Grove Elementary School. In April 1983, an advisory committee of the Los Angeles Unified School District recommended closing eight schools, including Garden Grove School and Newcastle Avenue School. In August 1983, the board publicly considered closing Garden Grove, which had 176 students at the time, and Newcastle Avenue, which had 314 students. In 1984, the board voted to close the Garden Grove and Newcastle Avenue schools.
A decade after the schools closed, which occurred due to thousands of parents withdrawing their children from the Los Angeles Unified School District in the wake of mandatory busing, they were reopened. With the advent of class-size reduction becoming the priority, many parents began returning their children to the city's schools, and the number of newly arrived immigrants was boosting enrollments, officials said.
The Reseda Country Club was a well-known concert venue during the Los Angeles punk rock and new wave scenes of the 1980s. At the intersection of Canby Avenue and Sherman Way, the Country Club hosted bands, including Oingo Boingo, U2, Culture Club, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Roxy Music, from 1980 to 1982. The site began in the 1950s as one of the first Sav-On Drug stores in the San Fernando Valley, then became a nightclub, and remained a dancehall and music venue during the 1990s; it was also used as a boxing venue. It later became and remains a Spanish-language Christian church.
The Reseda Theater, at 18443 Sherman Way, was built in 1948 and closed in 1988. The exterior was briefly seen at the beginning of the film Boogie Nights.
Parks and recreation
The West Valley Regional Branch is operated by the Los Angeles Public Library.
In popular culture
A number of movies have been filmed or set in Reseda:
Reseda is mentioned in numerous songs, including:
Television shows filmed in Reseda include:
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Reseda, CA, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. Township-6t4ab-c4u-75d-ef78-iy9