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Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw

Tell us what Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?

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Cameo Woods is a gem in the rough. It needs a little polishing to truly shine.

—  Anonymous
August 26, 2012 at 11:32 p.m.

I currently live in Santa Monica and searching for a home. I stumbled upon this neighborhood by accident and was amazed by the views and beautiful homes. I love Bladwin Hills-View Park-Windsor Hills and would take a home in these nighborhoods over Culver City, Mar Vista, and Palms. I am not Black but aware that these neighborhoods are predominantly African American. However, I am a little concerned as to how I will be welcomed in the neighborhood. I am a college educated and hard working professional who enjoys people of all types from all walks of life. It is unfortunate that sometimes race can divide people. We forget that we are all human and can learn so much from each other. I would love some feedback from current residents. It's a lovely neighborhood and I certainly hope the surrounding neighborhoods will become safer in the future. Thank you in advance.

— Anonymous
April 10, 2012 at 9:06 p.m.

We moved to Ridgeley Dr. way back in 1947 when I was 11 and went to Baldwin Hills Elementary School, Audubon JHS and Dorsey HS and enjoyed just about every minute of the 15 years I lived there. Like some of the others who have commented, I climbed up into the Baldwin Hills to the army camp, went to Hody's (and Hody's Jr.) for food and when I first went to the Baldwin Theatre it cost (believe it or not) only nine cents (yes) for kids under 12!

After my wife (also a Dorsey graduate) got married we lived in apartments in the Dons (Don Tomaso) and later in "The Jungle."

The area has many advantages in that it is close to downtown and to the beach and still has some very nice houses though the schools are not highly rated and I understand that those families who have the financial resources send their children to private schools.

— Donald L. Singer
March 16, 2012 at 5:17 p.m.

Jeanne,

We lived on Glenford. Before that on Falsgrove. My dad built both our houses on empty lots. From our front window on Glenford we could use a telescope and see inside buildings Downtown! And yes, I do remember the placemats at Hodys! All in all, I have many great memories from those times in BH

— Neal
November 22, 2011 at 4:46 a.m.

My wife grew up in the Dons (she graduated from Hillcrest Elementary) and we recently moved into her childhood home there. The first thing I noticed about the neighborhood as a newcomer is how permanent residency seems around here: I frequently hear the cashiers and customers at the Albertson's (39th and Marlton) chatting about shared experiences from decades ago. I walk my dogs through the streets of the Dons twice daily, and the people I pass on the street greet me warmly and engage me in conversation, which is a dramatic change from the way people behave back home in Chicago. I get the feeling people care about keeping the Dons a neighborhood, rather than just a place. Many of the homes built during the 50s are drop-dead gorgeous; many of the homes built since the '85 fire are glaring examples of California McMansion excess. The Kenneth Hahn State Park is a treasure, and I'm happy to say that my neighbors value and use it.

— DJR
November 6, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.

After 18 months of looking in many different areas, I am buying a home here in the Dons. I find the people, properties, weather and air quality to be positives.

— Kyle
October 16, 2011 at 2:13 p.m.

I recently moved to this area and love it. Very friendly people. When it rains some one (not the delivery man) will place our news paper by our door. Great views of the city, great walking areas and just peaceful.

— MR
May 17, 2011 at 5:47 p.m.

I have lived in Baldwin Hills for many years. I graduated from Susan Miller Dorsey High School in the late 70's and I still live there. It has been a nice place for me. I raised my children in Baldwin Hills they graduated from Hillcrest Elementary School. They said they are glad to live here. I remember going to The Baldwin Hills Theater back in the early 70's on La Brea Ave. I'm glad to still live in Baldwin Hills and don't plain on moving out of this area.

— BLF
May 15, 2011 at 12:40 a.m.

I don't know much about LA since I grew up in Texas but I am going to be visiting a friend who lives in Village Green. I would like to walk from her place to St. Agatha Catholic Church on Sunday morning for services. Is this a safe area to walk in at that time?

— Greg
March 10, 2011 at 7:17 a.m.

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.

I've lived here for 8 years now, and I love it. These neighborhoods are still lovely, over 50 years after they were built, and are now populated by proud, hard-working, mostly African American families. But back in the '50's, when many of you folks lived here, it was WHITES ONLY. Blacks were kept out then, and now they're being deceptively forced out as a result of the sub-prime mortgages which targeted the elderly residents. @Neal, who remembers a time when "the city wasn't polarized by race": I'm sure the blacks who were kept out of Baldwin Hills in the '50's might have seen LA as "polarized" back then too...

— KEP
February 24, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.

To Neal: we also lived on a street backing up to a hill and my brother and I would hike up to the old army base. We were on Weatherford Drive.

Where were you? I remember Hody's with those creepy clown placemats that you could wear as a mask.

— Jeanne
February 19, 2011 at 7:10 p.m.

Not all of BH is "the jungle." tht's the west part of it. Nicolet, etc, yep thats the jungle. Santa Barb...um excuse me King Blvd, in spots, though they are trying to make it better.

— southbaygent
October 1, 2010 at 6:13 p.m.

I have been living in BH since 2003, my grandparents have lived here longer. BH is a great place to live but it troubles me when you say proudly you live in BH the response is Jungles. We are a great community of all races, and cultures who have great homes like any other community i.e. Ladera, View Park or Windsor Hills

— Happy Camper
September 30, 2010 at 3:35 p.m.

Capri Capital Partners is investing $200 million plus to upgrade the Baldwin Hills Mall property, including adding a high-end hotel, condos and office high-rise. In addition, CRA-LA is in the process of consolidating the dilapidated Marlton Square property for total redevelopment. Expect the area around the Jungle to be tranformed in the next decade. There may well be strong incentive to bulldoze the Jungle and replace it with upscale condos.

— Duane
July 7, 2010 at 7:14 p.m.

OK, here is trip down memory lane. Our house backed up to a hillside and at the top of the hill was an Army base. I used to climb up and talk to the soldiers. Made the mistake of doing it once at night and almost got shot by a sentry. The base had WWII anti aircraft guns. I think it is now part of a park. This was all in the early and mid 50's. Anyone remember Hody's or Peppy's restaurants? Seems like ages ago- because it was!

— Neal
June 16, 2010 at 7:23 p.m.

My great grandfather had the baldwin hills ranch 1898 to 1913 when his cousin anita baldwin sold it . i have poics & contracts & checks from him to lucky baldwin . its area was from the 10 freeway at crenshaw west to la cenigua then down to slawson then over to crenshaw . it was 3300.+ acres my grandfather & father were born there . the big house it still there on west bvld. my grandfather owned lots of property in la co almost 1/2 of lax .thay all went to inglewood high school. Mike Baldwin

Mike Baldwin

— mike baldwin
May 4, 2010 at 9:37 a.m.

I lived in Baldwin Hills in the early and mid 50's and went to B.H. Elementary School. I sometimes drive by our old house which my dad built on Glenford Street. Apparently that is now considered where the "rich" people live. My dad was a fireman and we were surely not rich! In fact, the entire area were just working class people who lived simple post-war lives. I remember going to Pepy's and Hody's restaurants and to the Baldwin theater on Saturday for the 25 cent movies. We would walk to school and sometimes venture into the Village Green which was a sort of magical and strange place. The best highlight of all was the appearance of the Good Humor ice cream man. And yes, we were one of those white Jewish families that have been referred to in some earlier posts. It upsets me that the city has become so polarized and divided by race and income. I am glad that I had the opportunity to be in Baldwin Hills at a time when that was not the case.

— Neal
April 4, 2010 at 5:12 a.m.

I am a resident of Baldwin Hills and have lived in the community all my life. No, I did not inherit my home nor did the majority. But for those that have - hold on to these prime properties and a wonderful blessing. I loved shopping at Lindberg's (health food store) and The Broadway Dept. Store. I graduated from Dorsey and I too have seen it change over the years.

But, the views are truly beautiful from this hillside.

— JT
April 2, 2010 at 1:04 p.m.

The income reflects the *zip code* which includes, not affluent Baldwin Hills, but less-affluent Jungle, Leimert Park & Crenshaw. You'll find similar demographics for Hancock Park Zip codes. This is what cities are like. Baldwin Hills is an oasis, however. Unlike other affluent areas, there are no high-end shops and the schools perform poorly. The latter doesn't matter so much as many parents can afford good private schools. Though the surrounding areas are dangerous, the streets of Baldwin Hills area are safe & command wonderful views. It's also conveniently located near Hollywood, beaches, freeways & LAX. It's a perfect urban suburb. There are lots of residents who don't work but have inherited homes from their parents. Such is the case in many well-0ff areas.

— Mike
March 1, 2010 at 12:13 p.m.

When I lived in the area from 1978 until 1992 it was a good experience. I went to Audubon JHS, walked through the shopping center (now mall) everyday. Stopped at Savon for a cone with friends on the way home. We did our shopping at Von's Market, May Company and The Broadway. Had burgers from Hamburger City or Fish from Mel's on MKL Blvd. Those were good times and it was a good neighborhood. But, around the late '80s crack came on the scene and changed the area big time. I drive through every once in awhile and it seems to be getting back on track, some development is happening with shopping centers and housing, its making its way back.

— kgp
February 9, 2010 at 4:46 p.m.

Back in the day, I lived in Windsor Hills and then moved to the Don's. Back in '62, There were quite a few whites living there (even in the Jungle). That soon changed after the Watts riot. I loved where I lived. Once I hit 16, I worked at Von's in the Crenshaw shopping center (now the Baldwin Hills Mall). Life was great. Then came Crack and Jungle really became a Jungle with crime, violence and gangs. I left LA, but 20+ years later, I visited the area in which I grew up a few months ago. It looks good. I just wish I could afford to live back in the Don's. Maybe some day I will. BTW, If you didn't live in the hills, everthing else was considered Baldwin flats. And, Phil's BBQ is the best I ever had.

— BB
February 4, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.

I live in Leimert Park and the zip code 90008 includes Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, etc. I found this neighborhood to be a blessing and a front. On the one hand it is quieter, cleaner and safer. On the other it is hidden with unruly kids, low performing schools and people who look like they have money but are undercover pot heads or those who inherited houses and are living off inherited property. There is good food, great shopping, and a few quirks and bright spots. However, as soon as the market picks up, I'm selling and moving to another city that is truly safe. I also want to live where all my neighbors work and are not living in property someone died and left them. I leave for work and everyone is still home. It is quiet but taxes are high and I am not impressed with the layout. No library or park nearby. So It is ok, but not all that!

— mamat
January 3, 2010 at 10:48 p.m.

Imoved to the baldwin vista area about 21 years ago. I have become very disappointed with the attitude of some of our neighbors. When one makes an effort to fix up their home there are those for some reason who jump out and complain about what you are doing. Then at the other end of the scope when one does not make the effort to improve their home, we get the complaints. What is wrong with helping each other and just being a good neighbor. Some in this area are just plain snobs, making money, yes but there are a lot of people making money under the table. This i know as fact. There is no sense of community here at all. I see it and live it each and every day. I have traveled all over, the state of washington, to a small town north of san francisco, to a small town in bakersfield and even major cities in arizona. The neighborhood, the homes and the people are so great. yes i would love to live there thus I do own homes in arizona and in the state of washington but my family is here in good old baldwin vista

— SeeJay
January 2, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.

Grew up in Crenshaw/Overhills area. In the bloody 80's. Yeah are families had money but we banged so what. You can't have a $500,000 home with a regular job so what else am i supposed to do. Crenshaw HS class of 86.

— Baby Lunatic Frank
December 25, 2009 at 2:16 p.m.

As a 21 year resident of Baldwin village aka the jays I will say that life n the village is a lot different than n the hills but once u get to know people n the hills (Baldwin hills, view park, Windsor hills, ladera heights) there isn't much diffrence bsides the address. We are all hard working, family oriented and God fearing so the contrast isn't too much. Redrob (cheap$kate$), Tacana block since '83, from hillcrest ele to Dorsey high. WEST

— redd rob
December 24, 2009 at 7:24 a.m.

baldwin village, and village green aka baldwin hills are DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM EACH OTHER! All you have to do is cross the street at coliseum and labrea or rodeo and labrea (laughing out loud) The dons is pretty much connected to baldwin village aka the infamous j's, all you have to do is drive up marlton bank a right on don something i forgot the name of the street, but yeah once you turn right your in the dons, so whats the point of separating? WOW and i hope no one else read the ignorant comments made about baldwin village aka the j's i know many influential people who came from there, and there are many hard working people who live there, and also everyone is not on section 8, gangbang, or smoke crack ugh i hate when people generalize, i live in baldwin hills and i know people who live in baldwin village and to hear such nasty comments, why do you guys have this "better than" attitude? but anywho, back to my life CHOW!

— -yes
November 24, 2009 at 9:53 p.m.

Why IS Baldwin Hills lumped in with the Crenshaw District and The Jungles? Because they don't want to put in print that a predominantly Black neighborhood is also one of the most affluent and has one of the highest rates of education in the city?

But in defense of The Jungles, the city has really cleaned it up since "Training Day" came out, I guess they were embarassed. I know alot of college students and young couples live in there now and they took away the Sec. 8 vouchers from alot of the felons and dope dealers families.

— Matt
November 16, 2009 at 1:22 p.m.

OK, trying to keep it positive. Some Hidden gems from a native of the area: The Stocker Corridor trail on Stocker Street, great packed dirt for running or walking, about 3 miles round trip.

The TJMaxx in the BH/Crenshaw Mall- Unique Italian designer bags for 1/4 the price of that same ol' Coach bag everyone else has. Just keep an open mind while shopping, you can't go in there looking for something specific

Phillips BBQ in Lemeirt, this place has it all over Woody's in my humble opinion

The Saturday Farmers Market in Lemeirt, soon to move to the mall. Great fresh fruit and veggies way cheaper than Hollywood or Santa Monica's markets. And the baker who is there every Saturday has the best bread I've tasted in the US.

— Bec
November 4, 2009 at 7 p.m.

I visited L.A. in 2006 for the first time since my first visit during the 1970's and I was an 8 year old kid then and only went to Disneyland as a vacation with my parents. I met co-workers here in DC who were natives of L.A. and they extended an invitation to me for a visit when they returned for a vacation. Upon my arrival I was completely taken aback by the beautiful neighborhoods of View Park & Baldwin Hills where they reside. And just like the comments stated by dml there is no way that the residents of these communities can make such a low amount of money to maintain the million dollar homes and drive Bentley Continentals, and Jaguars that line their driveways.

— Kevin
October 2, 2009 at 6:21 p.m.

I've worked on Jefferson Blvd,West of La Cienega, for a few years. While Baldwin Hills has been historically a middle upscale black community for quite some time, there are still areas (especially east of La Cienega) that are quite sketchy. Although it's not quite as bad as I thought it was, I frequented Kenneth Hahn and the Baldwin Hills Rec Center without much issues.

— Scotty
September 27, 2009 at 12:51 a.m.

I have lived in LA all of my life. Each community has in most cases a lower middle class and upper class neighborhood Baldwin Hills is no exception. So breaking up or trying to separate the communities from one another to heighten the other is uncalled for. "Baldwin Hills" as the sitcom states has many socioeconomic groups. Yes, we have wealthy blacks among us but we also have blacks on the other end of the spectrum it is nothing to be ashamed up. If we try to separate ourselves from one another we are bad as the "outsiders" we should embrace one another and be so very glad know matter how the world depicts us we know that we can be doctors, lawyers, surgeons, authors, secretaries of the state and we keep on setting first. We should concentrate on bettering ourselves. We are one.

— West Los Angeles Lady
September 14, 2009 at 11:54 a.m.

I grew up in Baldwin Vista (20 years), then moved to Baldwin Hills (20 additional years). KLC, the Jungle has always been a place we were told to stay out of because of the unsavory elements. Also, the majority of our parents in both neighborhoods are certificated professionals (doctors, lawyers, teachers), however, they are black. The disparity in pay reflects the discrimination in LA (and voluntary segregation of races) that exists in LA. Baldwin Hills Elem. has always been a top elementary school (all black) until forced integration in the 70s. To be fair, the charts also reflect an aged population - many are retired with reduced incomes and living on pensions. In all, the area is a "hidden" affluent African-American paradise which is reflected in the property values which, despite economic hard times, continues to thrive. All of these neighborhoods, the Jungle excluded, are becoming more integrated because of the dollar for dollar value in the real property, the views, close proximity to the beaches, 15 minute from Beverly Hills and 3 different freeways etc. Don't let the word get out on our hidden paradise - NO ONE will be able to afford it if you do!

— DM
September 11, 2009 at 12:20 p.m.

mds - everyone on my block are middle class African Americans. I'm not going to get into a big debate over "Which side of Stocker" I live on. I know my neighbors and I know my neighborhood.

KLC - I will tell you why education is highest in this demographic. It is because we "Responsible" parents take the time to educate our children. Not only in school, but at home too.

We will never get the respect that we deserve until we start repecting each other as human beings and not by "what neighborhood we live in". A neighborhood does not make a person.

— TLC
September 9, 2009 at 12:57 p.m.

mds,

How do you lump The Village Green a Historical Landmark of Condos that are "owner occupied" to Baldwin Village a "renters village" together? The VG is Shangra La an urban greenbelt, a very multi-cultural and diverse community compared to The Jungle... Baldwin Hills consists of lots of condos and apartments too or have you forgotten about Don Lorenzo, Don Tomaso etal? I remember when The Jungle/Baldwin Hills (pre-McMansions) was predominately a Jewish/White community and to this day 50% still reside in The Village Green. You sound way too impressed with yourself considering you're on the wrong side of Stocker.

— prof
August 26, 2009 at 6:40 p.m.

I lived in the jungle's for most of my life, and yes it is a competely different place from Baldwins hills. To Me baldwin hills consist of cozy shops with great little resturants and of course beautiful homes. Now The "J's" is home to a very notorious gang, a neighborhood filled with crackheads, drug wars and volience. Now don't get me wrong there are some positive and productive citizens who work and just live to take care of themselves and their familes. But really folks until you've walked a mile through the J's and Baldwin Hills(day and night)there's not much you can really say...Or maybe you should try just to become a "true" expert.

— K-Day
August 26, 2009 at 12:27 p.m.

One hidden treasure is St. Bernadette School. This school has been a gem in the community for years educating our children from not only our immediate community, but from other communities. The school gives them a solid foundation for which to grow. I am a St. Bernadette graduate as well as two of my children.

— Karen
August 26, 2009 at 9:25 a.m.

to KLC: I don't know why they put these communities together, but they are in close proximity. However, so are other communities. Baldwin Hills (at the top of the hill) consist primarily of almost million dollars (plus) homes, Crenshaw (at the bottom) is middle class and lower middle class and others with less (btw, Baldwin Hills with Crenshaw is the demographics of what black neighborhoods used to be when we were mostly segregated which tells something about L.A.). But again, I don't know why they put them together. I live at the bottom; even certain neighborhoods at the bottom have ½ million dollars homes. Of course, in L.A., that does not mean as much as it does elsewhere but they are nice, middle-class looking neighborhoods.

— LV
August 23, 2009 at 12:30 p.m.

To KLC:

I don't know why they put the areas together. At the top of the hill, 1/2 million dollars plus homes, at the bottom, not so much so. Middle class and lower middle class mostly. The only thing I can think of is that someone did not want to make the distinction. Why, I don't know.

— Carla
August 23, 2009 at 12:02 p.m.

to KLC, simply read my comment below. to TLC, you may be an exception, but not the rule. how dare you suggest that the majority of folks living beside you are middle class families. anyone can drive through that section and know the demographics do not come anywhere near those that live/OWN homes in the hills (dons, vista, hills). the jungle is why i moved from a home i loved in the dons. -move don't stay

— mds
August 21, 2009 at 12:14 p.m.

I don't live in Ca, and I happened upon this site by accident, but looking at the demographics of this area, there is one thing that is glaringly jumping out at me. my question is this why are the people of this area among the city's better educated people, with most adults having high school diplomas and some college education, yet the median income is among the lowest for the city?

— KLC
August 20, 2009 at 1:03 p.m.

This comment is for dml and mds - How dare you both sit up on your high horses and make the suggestion that all residents that live in the jungles are "Section 8 gangbanger". That my friends is a lie and when was the last time you checked the demographics in your community? I for one live in the jungles and am not a section 8 gangbanger and neither are my children. I happen to be one of those that has a median income of 45,000/annual. This is the type of stereotyping from our culture that paints a negative light to others. If we as African Americans can not get along with each other, how do we expect to be given a chance from others? So please take the time to get to know your neighbors before you pass NEGATIVE judgement. Man I feel sorry for your kids.

— TLC
August 18, 2009 at 1:20 p.m.

Although the late Mr. Baldwin may have owned and developed the total area you display as Baldwin Hills, this is the first time in 50 years I've seen Baldwin Hills displayed as such a large area. Baldwin Hills is more commonly known as that southern tip bordered by MLK Blvd to the north. The other areas displayed here are distinct enough in their demographics to be considered separate.

— emc
August 13, 2009 at 9:45 a.m.

Baldwin Hills is no where near the income listed in this statistic. How can a family with an income of only $32,000 afford a house worth, at the housing peak, $959,000. This is not an accurate picture of Baldwin Hills Estates and the history of this community.

Have the writers of this "Neighbor Topography" even been in "The Dons". This is ridiculous! Please stop representing this community of African American professional who are Doctors, Lawyers, City Council members in the same light as "Baldwin Village" which by the way, has never been referred as such. It is "The Jungle"...that is what it is called, that is how LAPD refers to it and that is how the residents refer to it.

Trying to link it to Baldwin Hills or Baldwin Vista does nothing but bring those who have spent a lifetime working hard to achieve a wonderful home in a safe community... down. No offence to The Jungle but low income Section 8 apartments filled with gangs is not Baldwin "anything". Never was!

— dml
August 12, 2009 at 11:25 p.m.

Its unfair to Baldwin Hills and Vista to group them with Baldwin Village and Village Green in this section. The statistics are skewed negatively with two areas that are completely rental areas. Why is Crenshaw even listed in the title?

— mds
July 14, 2009 at 4:17 p.m.

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the South L.A. region of Los Angeles County. It contains Baldwin Village, Baldwin Vista, The Dons and Village Green.
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About This Project
Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.