Talk:Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles

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Early discussion[edit]

It's good to see some else has also found the Baldwin Hills article and is working on improving it. I just found it yesterday, but was trying to do some research before doing any editing. The bit about LA being racially integrated, for example, doesn't belong in this article since it is about LA, and is balderdash anyway. It wasn't until 1964 (?) that the California Supreme Court struck down covenants on the deeds of property that said no purchases by Blacks, Mexicans, Jews and/or Catholics. LA has always been relatively ethnically diverse, but it has been a mosaic, rather than being intergrated.

I am still trying to determine some sensible boundary for Baldwin Hills. LA County has an unincorporated area they call Baldwin Hills (see [1]) that is next to Ladera Heights and Windsor Hills, but the City of Los Angeles also calls a section of the city they call Baldwin Hills as part of the West Adam - Baldwin Hills - Leimert Community Plan (see [2]). The LA City part of Baldwin Hills I had assumed was the triangular area between the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza and the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area--an area one website called "the Dons" because of all the streets that begin with Don, such as Don Lorenzo Drive. On the other hand, LA City's Baldwin Hills Recreation Center is near the intersection of La Cienega and Jefferson.

I also haven't been able to find any good history for the area on the internet, so it looks like a visit to the library might be required (or perhaps even a visit to the California African American Museum. [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 09:54, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

whew - I'm glad there are many hands working on this one. Baldwin Hills deserves a good article. You can tell I bailed out on defining the boundaries. The grim truth about L.A. is that the realtor-shorthand for neighborhoods is zipcodes, and also now neighborhood councils. So many overlapping boundaries! There may be old census data on the past integration of neighborhoods - that'd be interesting! The B.H. Village is a National Historic Site. - need to work that in.Willmcw 10:07, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I've been poking around various topics related to the Los Angeles area in the last few days, and so many of the articles are a mess. Some of them are horribly inadequate stubs, others are ladden with POV, too many are just poorly written, some need better organization, and even a few have the facts wrong. There are plenty of people editing the LA area articles, but I think that there could be some better organization, and I've have started thinking that what might be needed is a Wikipedia:WikiProject Los Angeles.
User:Jengod has worked on the L.A. neighborhoods, and might be able to offer suggestions or help. I'm sure I'd contribute - though I sometimes feel guilty lavishing attention on L.A. when some other deserving localities have even greater needs. Willmcw 23:07, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't understand why this has been moved back to Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, California from Baldwin Hills, California. Since there are both LA County and LA City neighborhoods that are called Baldwin Hills, isn't it better to use the more general, rather than the more specific designation as the primary title?

Also: Baldwin Hills is named after "Lucky Baldwin", who apparently was quite a character and deserves his own Wikipedia article (see [3]). [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 07:00, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Radumas (talk) 15:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC) I note the narrative places the 1932 Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills. That location is actually what is now View Park, hence the main avenue named "Olympiad".

Would a place that is 80% white be described as "highly diverse"?[edit]

Baldwin Hills is not highly ethnically diverse, it's highly monoethnic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2003:6F:8E04:9701:21E:C2FF:FEAC:D9E8 (talk) 13:48, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Racial covenant court cases[edit]

1948 is indeed the watershed year in many cities' history for desegregation because SCOTUS, in its ruling on Shelley v. Kraemer, barred state enforcement of segregation covenants. While a white family could still refuse to sell to a black homeowner until 1964, Shelley essentially froze enforcement of deed covenants. As most of you are well aware, I'm sure, "block-busting" (and resulting white flight) started well before 1964 in most American cities. See JimCrowHistory.org for more details.

Is there a direct tie-in with the history of Baldwin Hills? Was it under restrictive covenants? Thanks -Willmcw 06:41, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
Indeed there is, given the above comments--there wasn't a neighborhood south of the 10 and east of the 405 that wasn't experiencing at least the beginning stages of white flight by 1964, when the official ban on segregation covenants came down. Restrictive covenants were the norm in pretty much every residential development in Los Angeles until that time.
So should this go into the History of Los Angeles, California? -Willmcw 20:24, May 26, 2005 (UTC)

I don't think there's any part of Baldwin Hills that's not African-American majority. The Village Green may have more whites than other areas of Baldwin Hills but it's definitely black majority. The closest area to Baldwin Hills with a large number of whites would be Culver City (which is merely white plurality not white majority)71.106.209.163 (talk) 08:17, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Baldwin Hills Dam Disaster, 1963[edit]

The article at present has a paragraph on the 1963 dam disaster. I was going to improve it with additional material, but on reflection I think it deserves its own article. Unless there are really convincing objections, I plan to do that, and replace the dam disaster paragraph with a sentence and reference to the separate article. I also plan to confirm the source of the dam photos, to meet Wikipedia image status requirements, and then move them to the new article. (I lived in Baldwin Hills from 1960-1964, and was there for the dam disaster - we evacuated to a relative's house, and ours turned out to be undamaged.) If I can find some original photos my parents and I took they can be scanned and contributed. --MCB 22:57, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

I removed the following sentence, which had a fact tag; a day of searching (latimes.com,jstor, lexis-, etc) produced nothing to back it up. It seems quite likely to be true, however, so I am placing it here while I continue searching. Jlittlet 17:47, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Planned city (category)[edit]

I removed [[Category:Planned cities]] from the article. Baldwin Hills was not a planned city; the vast majority of it is simply an ordinary urban residential neighborhood. The only "planned" aspect would be the Village Green development, which was innovative in its design, but (1) it's a small part of Baldwin Hills as a whole, and (2) it is not at all a true planned city in that it is only a housing development, and lacks commercial, retail, office, or industrial districts. MCB 21:00, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I have heard, but cannot verify, that a portion of Baldwin Hills was built as part of the athlete's accommodations for the 1932 Olympics, then converted to residences afterward, by Mr. Baldwin. I wonder if this is an urban myth? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.168.70.193 (talk) 04:31, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I heard the same, from my father, who in 1932 lived near Highland and Olympic and was age 8. Also the houses on Sycamore (south of Coliseum and all in that same development) were on relatively large lots. The developer ran low on funds, so had to build the houses smaller than planned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Benreaves (talkcontribs) 04:44, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Link Correction[edit]

Made a change on the link of the official Baldwin Hills TV series. BET has changed the link.

208.71.72.2 15:58, 30 August 2007 (UTC)dystaniearl is soo sexyyour #1fan

The Jungle???[edit]

I lived the first 12 years of my life (born '74) in Baldwin Hills. My father lives there still in a house that was a survivor of the Dam burst. I grew up knowing a portion of the area as 'The Jungle' but the reasons given by those who used the expression has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with vegetation. On the contrary, I'm inclined to believe that this is a 'prettying up' of the history of the area. I was told that The Jungle was specifically the area of multi-family dwellings that had gradually come to have iron bars retrofitted over all the windows and locking steel bar doors in front of the doors. These dwellings were called crack-houses by my neighbors, and the area 'The Jungle' (as in Concrete Jungle) because the police were very reluctant to enter the area because it was so dangerous. I was routinely woken up by helicopters flying search overhead, and occasionally heard gunfire from that direction and even one day found a stray bullet that must have been a wild shot into the air embedded in the surface of the trampoline in our back yard.

On the contrary, there was almost no vegetation that I recall in the area I knew as 'The Jungle'... there was lots up on the hills near the dam, but little in the 'The Jungle'.

The Village Green of course was very verdant, but of course, it would be... there was a golf course in the center.

I have not been there in over 2 decades now, and so things may have changed, but, from a historical perspective, I think the explanation given for the epithet is bunk.

I won't make the edits as my information is that of anecdotes I heard 21 or more years ago, but if anyone else can confirm this with more solid information, then the article should be altered. --Thistledowne (talk) 05:25, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I grew up in Baldwin Hills from 1957, and I can verify the fact that "The Jungle" has nothing to do with vegetation. It was, and remains, a dense area of inexpensive apartments with only nominal amounts of landscaping. "The Jungle" is definitely an urban epithet, and the area was not even referred to by that term until the 70's. I experienced the Baldwin Hills Dam Disaster personally, and could tell a few stories and give lots of facts if anybody is interested. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.168.70.193 (talk) 04:28, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I grew up 1960-1970 on Sycamore in Baldwin Hills, and I remember it was called "the Jungle" as a metaphor for a dangerous area where one should not go, especially after dark. Village Green was not included. South of Coliseum was also not included. --Benreaves (talk) 04:54, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Memory is funny, ain't it? I didn't grow up in "Baldwin Hills", I grew up in the Jungle itself, living there from the early 1960s until the late 1970s, minus time away at college. And yes, it certainly was initially called "The Jungle" because of lush, Japanese-style landscaping surrounding the apartment building exteriors and the pools within: Nearly every building had a swimming pool, most had cutesy names blazoned above the entry (like "Nicolet Arms" and "August Manor"), multi-colored floodlights illuminated the path from door to curb, kids weren't usually welcome because these were mostly 1 or 2 bedroom, poolside apartments for adults rather than for families (I was big, so Mom lied about my age and slipped some bills where they did some good), the buildings were ultra-modern in style, no two looked alike, and the Baldwin Theater was considered a state-of-the-art cinema. What you remember is what it became like after about 1970, by which time families had crowded in, the last whites (mostly Jewish: I remember most doors had mezuzahs and there were as many synagogues in the area as churches) moved West if they could afford it, to the Valley or Inland Empire if they couldn't, and the neighborhood became predominantly black before I started high school. Only after white flight turned the Jungle dark did the streets and alleys became shops for drugs and turf over which Bloods and Crips waged war. When my family moved in we were among the first blacks to do so (because most declined, quite politely, to rent to "colored"), but my Mom was determined to send me to Audubon, the racially integrated junior high off of Santa Barbara (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard). No, they weren't the single-family homes across La Brea in post-dam Baldwin Vista, nor the cordoned-off, multi-racial community that the Village Green preserved, still less the multi-level mansions occupied by mostly black professionals directly above and behind us in the "Don" streets of Baldwin Hills. But, yes, I say again it really was called "The Jungle" because it was once densely beautiful with semi-tropical foliage, we kids walked after dark across Coliseum Street to the theater to see "Mary Poppins" and, forebodingly, West Side Story, neighbors kept only their screen doors shut, shouted for friends to come outdoors to share barbecue, sat around the pools on weekends under giant umbrellas, and it was -- for one, brief, shining moment -- a little, multi-ethnic Paradise. Come the early 70s and the vast windows were crisscrossed with metal bars, while the pools got boarded over. By the mid-70s the landscaping was gone: hordes of kids overran the lawns, trees were trimmed back to increase visibility and safety, and landlords would no longer spend money for the painstaking gardeners who had tended each building when they were built. Repairs were done cheaply if at all, Section 8 families moved straight from the projects of Jordan Downs into the Jungle -- which was a giant step up to the "Westside" for them. Crack moved in, ice cream trucks shooed children away, and old folks tried to move out. The school buddy who had once run away from his home north of Olympic to mine when we were in junior high got mugged coming to visit me during college vacation. Still, I say that I grew up "in the Jungle" -- there was no such place as Baldwin Village. I don't deny the truth of your memories there. Please don't try to take away mine. Both are reality, and what each of us saw just depended on which side of the railroad track we were looking from. PlayCuz (talk) 12:21, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Just found this comment online to a 2009 L.A. Times profile on Baldwin Hills:
"I lived at the top of Baldwin Hills from 1953-1968. For what it's worth, our neighbors two doors up were black. And there were others. Also, I have understood, since I attended Baldwin Hills Elementary School and then Audubon, that when the flat part of BH was originally built, the developers followed the Southern California weather and planted date palms and royal palms and hibiscus and vines and and banana trees and most of the apartment buildings had in-gound swimming pools, at did the homes up the hills. View Park, too. Anyway, from the air, BH appeared lush and beautiful and tropical and then, 50 years ago, it was referred to as The Jungle. Because it was beautiful. I was there. — blacksheep March 3, 2011 at 12:47 p.m." Nice to read that my recollection of the Jungle (and the origin of its name) is shared by others -- and not only by fellow blacks. PlayCuz (talk) 23:53, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Notable Residents[edit]

The multi-talented Elfman family, including Emmy Award winning author Blossom Elfman, and her sons, Acadamey Award nominated film composer Danny Elfman and his brother director Richard Elfman, grew up in Baldwin Hills. Also, Andy Lipkis, the founder of the L.A. based urban reforestation organization TreePeople, grew up there as well. We all attended Baldwin Hills Elementary School. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.168.70.193 (talk) 04:38, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

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