Pico-Union, Los Angeles
Pico-Union is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California. The name "Pico-Union" refers to the neighborhood that surrounds the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Union Avenue. Located west of Downtown Los Angeles, it is home to over 40,000 residents; the neighborhood contains two historic districts, both listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It has five public schools as well as a public library. Google Maps draws the following boundaries for Pico-Union: Olympic Boulevard on the north, the Harbor Freeway on the east, the Santa Monica Freeway on the south and Hoover St. on the west. According to the Los Angeles Times' Mapping L. A. project, Pico-Union is bounded by Olympic Boulevard on the north, the Harbor Freeway on the east, the Santa Monica Freeway on the south and Normandie Avenue on the west. It includes the California Highway Patrol station beneath the freeway interchange northeast of Washington Boulevard. Pico-Union is flanked by Koreatown and Westlake to the north and northeast, Downtown to the east, Adams-Normandie, University Park and Exposition Park to the south and Harvard Heights to the west.
The area encompassed by Pico-Union was developed as a middle and upper middle class residential district beginning in the 1910s. Easy access to downtown Los Angeles and the nearby Wilshire District drew large numbers of affluent homeowners. Following the Second World War, the Pico-Union area, like many inner city neighborhoods, experienced an outflux of residents to the suburbs; the loss of residents and business led to high vacancy rates and lower property values in much of the neighborhood by the 1960s. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the area became a major point of entry for Salvadoran and Guatemalan immigrants seeking refuge from civil war, according to the Pico Union Self-Guided Walking Tour, published in 2009 by the Los Angeles Conservancy. Pico-Union became the city's 19th Historic Preservation Overlay Zone on August 10, 2004, it contains two historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places: South Bonnie Brae Tract Historic District and Alvarado Terrace Historic District.
In August 2012, the City of Los Angeles designated a portion of Vermont Avenue in Pico-Union as El Salvador Community Corridor. The former First Church of Christ, once one of Jim Jones' Peoples Temples, was located in Pico-Union, at the corner of Alvarado Street and Alvarado Terrace. Pico-Union is the fourth-most-crowded neighborhood in Los Angeles, surpassed only by East Hollywood and Koreatown; the 2000 U. S. census counted 42,324 residents in the 1.67-square-miles neighborhood—an average of 25,352 people per square mile. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 44,664; the median age for residents was 27, considered young for the county. The ethnic breakdown in 2000 was: Latinos, 85.4%. El Salvador and Mexico were the most common places of birth for the 64.6% of the residents who were born abroad, a figure, considered high in comparison with foreign-born in the city as a whole. Other immigrants come from Guatemala and Nicaragua; the median household income in 2008 dollars was $26,424, considered low for both the city and the county.
The percentage of households earning $20,000 or less was high, compared to the county at large. The average household size of 3.3 people was high for Los Angeles. Renters occupied 90.5% of the housing units, home- or apartment owners the rest. The percentages of never-married men and never-married women were among the county's highest; the census found 2,113 families headed by single parents, the 23.3% rate being considered high for both the city and the county. In 2000 there were 667 military veterans living in Pico-Union, or 2.3% of the population, considered a low rate for the city and the county overall. These were the ten neighborhoods or cities in Los Angeles County with the highest population densities, according to the 2000 census, with the population per square mile: Pico-Union residents aged 25 and older holding a four-year degree amounted to 6.7% of the population in 2000, considered low for both the city and the county, there was a high percentage of residents with less than a high school diploma.
These are the elementary or secondary schools within the neighborhood's boundaries: West Adams Preparatory High School, LAUSD, 1500 West Washington Boulevard SIATech Pico-Union is a public charter high school, 2140 West Olympic Boulevard suite 327. "Classes are held from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. This site is an independent study school where students complete work at home, online and on site." Loyola High School of Los Angeles, private, 1901 Venice Boulevard Berendo Middle School, LAUSD, 1157 South Berendo Street, which claims the title as the oldest intermediate school continuously in operation in Los Angeles and in the entire United States Sophia T. Salvin Special Education Center, LAUSD, 1925 Budlong Avenue Leo Politi Elementary School, LAUSD, 2481 West 11th Street Tenth Street Elementary School, LAUSD, 1000 Grattan Street Saint Thomas the Apostle School, private elementary, 2632 West 15th Street Magnolia Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 1626 South Orchard Avenue Los Angeles Christian School, private, 1630 West 20th Street Los Angeles Public Library operates the Pico-Union Branch Library at 1030 South Alvarado Street.
Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery was founded as Rosedale Cemetery in 1884, when Los Angeles was a small city of around 28,000 people, on 65 acres of land between Washington and Venice boulevards between Normandie Avenue and Walton and Catalina Streets. Elizabeth Harrower (1918
Elysian Valley, Los Angeles
Elysian Valley known as Frogtown, is a neighborhood of more than 7,700 residents within Central Los Angeles, adjoining the Los Angeles River. It has a large percentage of children between the ages of 11 and 18 and a high number of Latinos and Asians. There is one elementary school in the neighborhood, Dorris Place Elementary School, but children have historically attended Allesandro Elementary School. With the announcement of the $1 Billion restoration Project for the Los Angeles River known as Alternative 20, many residents felt the pressure of new investment and development in the community, causing them to organize for lower density; this push for low density from within the neighborhood is not new and was documented in an article as far back as 1987. According to the Mapping L. A. project of the Los Angeles Times, the Elysian Valley neighborhood is flanked on the north by Atwater Village, on the northeast and east by Glassell Park, on the southeast by Cypress Park, on the south and southwest by Elysian Park and on the west and northwest by Echo Park and Silver Lake.
Street and other boundaries are: the Los Angeles River on the north and east, Riverside Drive on the west and Fletcher Drive on the northwest. The 2000 U. S. census counted 7,387 residents in the 0.79-square-mile neighborhood—an average of 9,354 people per square mile, about the same population density as the rest of the city. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 7,781; the median age for residents was 31, about average for Los Angeles, but the percentage of residents aged 11 to 18 was among the county's highest. The neighborhood is moderately diverse ethnically, the percentage of Asians and Latinos is comparatively high; the breakdown in 2000 was Latinos, 61.0%. Mexico was the most common places of birth for the 47.5% of the residents who were born abroad, a high figure compared to rest of the city. The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $49,013, about the same as the rest of Los Angeles; the average household size of 3.4 people was high for the city of Los Angeles.
Renters occupied 52.2% of the housing stock, house- or apartment owners 47.8%. Seventeen percent of the neighborhood residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, an average figure for the city. There is one school within Elysian Valley: Dorris Place Elementary, a Los Angeles Unified School District School at 2225 Dorris Place. There is a small commercial corridor on Riverside Dr. and a few small warehouses in the background of the neighborhood adjacent to the L. A. River. There are a few religious congregations inside of Frogtown; these include Catholic Church institutions and Buddhist congregations. Catholic St. Ann Catholic Parish on 2302 Riverdale Avenue St. Mary Coptic Catholic Church on 2701 Newell AvenueBuddhist Kadampa Meditation Center on 1492 Blake AvenueSt. Ann's church has a significant relationship with residents. St. Ann's annually hosts a saint statue from the city of San Martín de Hidalgo, where many residents originate from. Relation of the Frogtown neighborhood to other places, not contiguous: Mapping Frogtown: Elysian Valley Elysian Valley crime map and statistics
Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, as well as a diverse residential neighborhood of some 58,000 people. A 2013 study found, it is part of Central Los Angeles. A heritage of the city's founding in 1781, Downtown Los Angeles today is composed of different areas ranging from a fashion district to Skid Row, it is the hub for the city's urban rail transit system and the Metrolink commuter rail system for Southern California. Banks, department stores, movie palaces at one time drew residents and visitors into the area, but the district declined economically and suffered a downturn for decades until its recent renaissance starting in the early 2000s. Old buildings are being modified for new uses, skyscrapers have been built. Downtown Los Angeles is known for its government buildings, parks and other public places; the earliest known settlements in the area of what is now Downtown Los Angeles was by the Tongva, a Native American people. European settlement arrived after Father Juan Crespí, a Spanish missionary charged with exploring sites for Catholic missions in California, noted in 1769 that the region had "all the requisites for a large settlement".
On September 4, 1781, the city was founded by a group of settlers who trekked north from present-day Mexico. Land speculation increased in the 1880s, which saw the population of the city explode from 11,000 in 1880 to nearly 100,000 by 1896. Infrastructure enhancements and the laying of a street grid brought development south of the original settlement into what is today the Civic Center and Historic Core neighborhoods. By 1920, the city's private and municipal rail lines were the most far-flung and most comprehensive in the world in mileage besting that of New York City. By this time, a steady influx of residents and aggressive land developers had transformed the city into a large metropolitan area, with DTLA at its center. Rail lines connected four counties with over 1,100 miles of track. During the early part of the 20th century, banking institutions clustered around South Spring Street, forming the Spring Street Financial District. Sometimes referred to as the "Wall Street of the West," the district held corporate headquarters for financial institutions including Bank of America and Merchants Bank, the Crocker National Bank, California Bank & Trust, International Savings & Exchange Bank.
The Los Angeles Stock Exchange was located on the corridor from 1929 until 1986 before moving into a new building across the Harbor Freeway. Commercial growth brought with it hotel construction—during this time period several grand hotels, the Alexandria, the Rosslyn, the Biltmore, were erected — and the need for venues to entertain the growing population of Los Angeles. Broadway became the nightlife and entertainment district of the city, with over a dozen theater and movie palaces built before 1932. Department stores opened flagship stores downtown, including The Broadway, Hamburger & Sons, May Company, JW Robinson's, Bullock's, serving a wealthy residential population in the Bunker Hill neighborhood. Numerous specialty stores flourished including those in the jewelry business which gave rise to the Downtown Jewelry District. Among these early jewelers included the Laykin Diamond Company and Harry Winston & Co. both of which found their beginnings in the Hotel Alexandria at Fifth and Spring streets.
The Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal opened in May 1939, unifying passenger service among various local and long-distance passenger trains. It was built on a grand scale and would be one of the "last of the great railway stations" built in the United States. Following World War II, the development of the Los Angeles freeway network, increased automobile ownership led to decreased investment downtown. Many corporate headquarters dispersed to new suburbs or fell to mergers and acquisitions; the once-wealthy Bunker Hill neighborhood became a haven for low-income renters, its stately Victorian mansions turned into flophouses. From about 1930 onward, numerous old and historic buildings in the plaza area were demolished to make way for street-level parking lots, the high demand for parking making this more profitable than any other option that might have allowed preservation; the drastic reduction in the number of residents in the area further reduced the viability of streetfront businesses that would be able to attract pedestrians.
For most Angelenos, downtown became a drive-out destination. In an effort to combat blight and lure businesses back downtown, the city's Community Redevelopment Agency undertook the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project in 1955, a massive clearance project that leveled homes and cleared land for future commercial skyscraper development; this period saw the clearing and upzoning of the entire neighborhood, as well as the shuttering of the Angels Flight funicular railway in 1969. Angels Flight resumed operation in 1996 for a period of five years, shutting down once again after a fatal accident in 2001. On March 15, 2010, the railway once again opened for passenger service following extensive upgrades to brake and safety systems. With Class A office space becoming available on Bunker Hill, many of DTLA's remaining financial corporations moved to the newer buildings, leaving the former Spring Street Financial District devoid of tenants above ground floor. Following the corporate headquarters' moving six blocks west, the large department stores on Broadway shuttered, culminating in the 1980s.
However, the Broadway theaters saw much use as Spanish-language movie houses during this time, beginning with the conve
Mitch O'Farrell is an American politician and member of the Los Angeles City Council representing the 13th district. O'Farrell was elected on May 21, 2013 to succeed outgoing incumbent Eric Garcetti, the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. O'Farrell was raised in a suburb south of Oklahoma City, he first moved to Los Angeles where he became a cruise ship dancer traveling the world and ending up working as a dancer in a casino in the Bahamas. He moved back to Los Angeles in the 1990s, settling in Glassell Park, he started volunteering for his neighborhood. Eric Garcetti was running for City Council and he did some volunteer work for him, he was elected President of the Glassell Park Improvement Association and helped form the Neighborhood Council. In 2002, he was hired by Councilmember Garcetti to work in his office, he stayed for ten years. He was a field deputy deputy director district director and senior advisor. 13th District Website
Wilshire Boulevard is one of the principal east-west arterial roads in the Los Angeles area of Southern California, extending 15.83 miles from Ocean Avenue in the city of Santa Monica east to Grand Avenue in the Financial District of downtown Los Angeles. It is one of the major city streets though the city of Beverly Hills. Wilshire Boulevard runs parallel with Santa Monica Boulevard from Santa Monica to the Miracle Mile district, after which it runs a block south of Sixth Street to its terminus. Wilshire Boulevard is densely developed throughout most of its span, connecting Beverly Hills with five of Los Angeles's major business districts to each other. Many of the post-1956 skyscrapers in Los Angeles are located along Wilshire. Aon Center, at one point Los Angeles' largest tower, is at 707 Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. One famous stretch of the boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues is known as the Miracle Mile. Many of Los Angeles' largest museums are located there; the area just to the east of that, between Highland Avenue and Wilton Place, is referred to as the "Park Mile".
Between Westwood and Holmby Hills, several tall glitzy condominium buildings overlook this part of Wilshire, giving it the title of Millionaire's Mile. This section is known as the Wilshire Corridor and Condo Canyon; the Wilshire Corridor, located next to Century City, is one of Los Angeles' busiest districts, contains many high-rise residential towers. The Fox and MGM studios are located in a series of skyscrapers, along with many historic Los Angeles hotels. Wilshire Boulevard is the principal street of Koreatown, the site of many of Los Angeles' oldest buildings, as well as skyscrapers. Koreatown and Mid-Wilshire are among Los Angeles' most densely populated districts. Much of the length of Wilshire Boulevard can be traced back to the indigenous Tongva people who used it to bring back tar from the La Brea pits in today's Miracle Mile section of Wilshire Blvd, back to their settlement on the coast; this road was used by Spanish explorers and settlers, calling it El Camino Viejo. The route that became Wilshire crossed the original pueblo of Los Angeles and five of the original Spanish land grants, or ranchos.
Wilshire was pieced together from various streets over several decades. It began in the 1870s as Nevada Avenue in Santa Monica, in the 1880s as Orange Street between Westlake Park and downtown. Nevada and Orange were renamed as parts of Wilshire; the boulevard was named for Henry Gaylord Wilshire, an Ohio native who made and lost fortunes in real estate and gold mining. In 1895 he began developing 35 acres of a barley field, stretching westward from Westlake Park for an elite residential subdivision, donated to the city a strip of land 120 feet wide by 1,200 feet long for a boulevard, on the conditions that it would be named for him and that railroad lines and commercial or industrial trucking would be banned; the road first appeared on a map under its present name in 1895. A historic apartment building on the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and S. Kenmore Ave. the Gaylord, carries his middle name. The Wilshire Boulevard home of J. Paul Getty was used as the filmset for the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard: it was demolished in 1957.
The Purple and Red subway lines of the Los Angeles Metro run along Wilshire Boulevard from just past the 7th/Figueroa Street station before serving the Westlake/MacArthur Park and Wilshire/Vermont stations, where the Purple Line continues along Wilshire to serve two stations at Normandie Avenue and at Western Avenue in Koreatown, while the Red Line branches off to terminate in North Hollywood. The construction of the future Purple Line extension along Wilshire Boulevard commenced in November 2014; the construction timeline would see the project from the existing Wilshire/Western station to the planned Wilshire/La Cienega station on the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevard, to be completed by 2023. The second phase got under way on February 23, 2018 from Wilshire/La Cienega to Century City Station. Phase three of the Purple Line extension, when completed, will extend to UCLA and Westwood/VA Hospital, will follow Wilshire Boulevard for most of its route. Phase four to downtown Santa Monica has no funding.
Metro Local Line 20, Metro Rapid Line 720, Santa Monica Transit Line 2 operate along Wilshire Boulevard. Due to the high ridership of line 720, 60-foot NABI articulated buses are used on this route, bus lanes are in place along some segments of the line. All of the boulevard is at least four lanes in width, most of the portion between Hoover Street and Robertson Boulevard has a raised center median; the widest portion is in the business district of central Westwood, where mobs of pedestrians crossing Wilshire at Westwood Boulevard must traverse ten lanes. According to a 1991 study by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the nearby intersection of Wilshire and Veteran are among the busiest in Los Angeles; the boulevard's widest portion is in Westwood and Holmby Hills, where it expands to six, eight lanes. The sections of Wilshire Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles are notorious for their giant potholes. Wilshire Boulevard ended at the MacArthur Park lake, but in 1934 a berm was built for it to cross and link up with the existing Orange Street into downtown Los Angeles.
Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,310 acres of land, it is the second-largest city park in California, after Mission Trails Preserve in San Diego, the 11th largest municipally owned park in the United States. It has been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles but is much larger, more untamed, rugged than its New York City counterpart. After investing in mining, Griffith J. Griffith purchased Rancho Los Feliz in 1882 and started an ostrich farm there. Although ostrich feathers were used in making women's hats in the late-19th century, Griffith's purpose was to lure residents of Los Angeles to his nearby property developments, which were haunted by the ghost of Antonio Feliz. After the property rush peaked, Griffith donated 3,015 acres to the city of Los Angeles on December 16, 1896. Griffith was tried and convicted of shooting and wounding his wife in a 1903 incident.
When released from prison, he attempted to fund the construction of an amphitheater, planetarium, a girls' camp and boys' camp in the park. His reputation in the city was tainted by his crime, however, so the city refused his money. In 1912, Griffith designated 100 acres of the park, at its northeast corner along the Los Angeles River, be used to "do something to further aviation"; the Griffith Park Aerodrome was the result. Aviation pioneers such as Glenn L. Martin and Silas Christoffersen used it, the aerodrome passed to the National Guard Air Service. Air operations continued on a 2,000-foot -long runway until 1939, when it was closed due to danger from interference with the approaches to Grand Central Airport across the river in Glendale, because the City Planning commission complained that a military airport violated the terms of Griffith's deed; the National Guard squadron moved to Van Nuys, the Aerodrome was demolished, though the rotating beacon and its tower remained for many years.
From 1946 until the mid-1950s, Rodger Young Village occupied the area, the Aerodrome. Today that site is occupied by the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot, the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, soccer fields, the interchange between the Golden State Freeway and the Ventura Freeway. Griffith set up a trust fund for the improvements he envisioned, after his death in 1919 the city began to build what Griffith had wanted; the amphitheater, called the Greek Theatre, was completed in 1930, Griffith Observatory was finished in 1935. Subsequent to Griffith's original gift further donations of land, city purchases, the reversion of land from private to public have expanded the Park to its present size. In December, 1944 the Sherman Company donated 444 acres of Hollywoodland open space to Griffith Park; this large, eco-sensitive property borders the Lake Hollywood reservoir, the former Hollywoodland sign, Bronson Canyon where it connects into the original Griffith donation. The Hollywoodland residential community is surrounded by this land.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Civilian Conservation Corps camp contained within Griffith Park was converted to a holding center for Japanese Americans arrested as "enemy aliens" before they were transferred to more permanent internment camps. The Griffith Park Detention Camp opened immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack, taking in 35 Japanese immigrants suspected of fifth column activity because they lived and worked near military installations; these men fishermen from nearby Terminal Island, were transferred to an Immigration and Naturalization Service detention station after a brief stay, but Issei internees arrested in the days and weeks following the outbreak of the war arrived soon after to take their place. Up to 550 Japanese Americans were confined in Griffith Park from 1941 to 1942, all subsequently transferred to Fort Lincoln, Fort Missoula and other DOJ camps. On July 14, 1942, the detention camp became a POW Processing Center for German and Japanese prisoners of war, operating until August 3, 1943, when the prisoners were transferred elsewhere.
The camp was changed to the Army Western Corps Photographic Center and Camouflage Experimental Laboratory until the end of the war. Hired as part of a welfare project, 3,780 men were in the park clearing brush on October 3, 1933, when a fire broke out in the Mineral Wells area. Many of the workers were ordered to fight the fire. In all, 29 men were killed and 150 were injured. Professional firefighters limited the blaze to 47 acres. On May 12, 1961, a wildfire on the south side of the park burned 814 acres, it destroyed eight homes and damaged nine more, chiefly in the Beachwood Canyon area. Another fire occurred circa 1971 in the Toyon Canyon area. Repelled by the ugliness of the devastated area, Amir Dialameh replanted a portion of it himself by hand. Over the course of more than 30 years, he tended the garden he built there with the help of occasional volunteers. On May 8, 2007, a major wildfire burned more than 817 acres, destroying the bird sanctuary, Dante's View, Captain's Roost, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people.
The fire came right up to one of the largest playgrounds in Los Angeles, Shane's Inspiration, the Los Angeles Zoo, threatened the Griffith Observatory, but left such areas intact. Several local organizations, including SaveGriffithPark.org, have been working since with local officials to restore the park in a way that would benefit all. It was the third fire