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Harvard Heights

Tell us what Harvard Heights means to you

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

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This area of town which the LA Times have labeled Harvard Heights actually encompases several neighborhoods - West Adams Heights, Western Heights, West Adams Terrace, and the group of tracts that have become known as Harvard Heights. All of this is part of the larger Historic West Adams area (although the LA Times has it as a smaller neighborhood). Historic West Adams is a renaming of a part of the area formerly known simply as Mid-City.

It's confusing, eh? But the renaming was an effort to create a neighborhood identity, as well as preserve this wonderful historic neighborhood. And, it seems to be working.

For those interested, Historic West Adams is an amazing place to live. It contains the largest collection of turn-of-the-century homes on the West coast. The charm is protected by Historic Preservation Overlay Zones and National Register Historic Districts, and individually nominated Historic-Cultural Monuments, State Historic Landmarks, and National Register of Historic Places. The West Adams Historic Association (WAHA) is the leading preservation organization in the area. www.westadamsheritage.org

The gangs that once dominated the area in the 80's have mostly disappeared -- largely due to the efforts of preservationists, working with neighorhood activists. This is probably one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and one of the most enchanting.

I highly recommend Historic West Adams to anyone interested in architecture and diversity.

— Michael
June 10, 2011 at 8:36 a.m.

I grew up in the Country Club area in the 40-60's (1064 S. Gramercy Place) We knew it as Mid Wishire or more recently Country Club Park as it used to be a golf course. Country Club Drive seemed to be the unique street that tied our area together. Harvard was always on the east side of Western Ave. In this case, I tend to agree with Lauren. I have lots of fond memories of this neighborhood where some famous people lived- Philip Ahn for one.

— Leo C. Song, Jr.
May 18, 2011 at 1:10 a.m.

Harvar Heights has changed in so many ways. I grew up here, and was infested with so many gang members in the 1980 and early 90s. Now, it feels safer than ever, and is peaceful, unless somebody is having a neighborhood party, which is ok. Overall, a great place to live now as its close to hollywood, downtown, freeway

— Harvard
April 12, 2011 at 9:06 p.m.

I have been the owner of a single family property in Harvard Heights since 1986 and have been actively involved there. The boundaries shown extend to Gramercy Place on the west. Harvard Heights's western boundary is Western Avenue. Country Club Park, an official LA neighborhood where I curently reside, starts at Western and extends west to Crenshaw. I don't know how to change the map boundary but it is incorrect as is. Thank you.

— Lauren
August 9, 2010 at 4:51 p.m.

Grew up in what is now called "Harvard Heights", but like many others it was simply home to me. I loved the area and still do, because it was in the middle of everything I needed. Close to the freeways, downtown and Hollywood.

However, since moving out after college and renting out the family craftsman home, since my mother moved closer to me and my sisters. I feel that the neighborhood has changed so much that much of the charm has gone away. I guess that's just progress as more people look for a better life.

I do wish that more of the homeowners that rent out their houses do a better job of who they rent too. I see so many beautiful homes slowly being destroyed by people who don't appreciate the houses they rent. That also applies to homeowners, who don't pass by to make sure to keep up with repairs and make sure their property is kept up.

— Ronnie
June 7, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.

Yes, Harvard Heights, the new name for the neighborhood I grew up in. Nice ring to it. Too bad this is not Larchmont! So, please keep out all you "bobos", we do not need to follow in Echo Park's footsteps. Remember, the Latino population will become the new majority very soon... I will still be in Harvard Heights when you are moving back to West L.A. or the Valley. lol

— Cambridge
February 23, 2010 at 3:21 p.m.

Great neighborhood. A bit jittery and unpredictable at times.However,a very tight community of folks who look out for each other.The historic homes are second to none. We've seen the streets slowly improving every year.Neighbors hold each other accountable. I think this area has huge upside. Just need some cool cafes, and sit down dinning!

— Hangin Inne
January 26, 2010 at 8:45 a.m.

When I visit L.A. now I always have visit my old neighborhood. The area has really changed! I remember when there was only three apartment buildings on Harvard Blvd now there are at least six. Instead of taking pride in the history and craftsmanship of these beautiful homes the lots are sold and replaced with large apartment complexes. Crazy!

— Tennia
August 18, 2009 at 4 p.m.

Trying to define neighborhoods is a monumental task and everyone has their own opinion of where one neighborhood ends and the other begins. The first note was quite right however, for much of LA hisory the area has simply been known as Mid-City. Now it is more commonly known as part of the larger Historic West Adams.

Typically, Harvard Heights only refers to the area boardered by Western, Pico, Normandie, and Washington. This map of Harvard Heights also includes the Northrn portions of the West Adams Heights (Wester, Washington, La Salle, and Adams) and West Adams Homestead La Salle, Washington, Normandie, Adams) neighborhoods, as well as the others mentioned.

— Michael Smith
August 12, 2009 at 10:55 a.m.

I was born and raised and still live in what most recently has been called Harvard Heights. For most of my life (almost half a century) it was known as Mid-City. It's a bit of over-kill with all the "historical" signage in the neighborhood, especially along Washington Blvd., O.K., I get it, it's Washington Blvd. I don't need a sign on EVERY caged tree on the street to know it's Washington Blvd. Despite the minimal gentrification I still love my neighborhood. I like the improvements but I don't like the "new neighbors" that try to ram their ridiculous "mightier than thou, when I lived in.....neighborhood" B.S. down my throat. I was here before YOU and I will continue to be here after YOU leave and infiltrate another neighborhood. I love Harvard Heights and the "real" Harvard Heights residents.

— hills-jury
July 16, 2009 at 12:19 p.m.

Hidden Gems of Harvard Heights... the old Pacific Bell Building on 15th and Ardmore, RPM Records (Ray Charles' Label and building) on Westmoreland Blvd, Los Angeles's ONLY Greene & Green residence on Hobart and Cambridge? and tons of other beautiful old homes in the area. Some of the streets still have the old monuments to mark the corners of the street!

— Oscar
June 8, 2009 at 1:42 p.m.

I do not consider myself to live in Harvard Heights. I notice they recently put up signs in the area but that was primarily between Washington and Pico Blvd.

Reading the article these last few months I went from living in Koreatown to Mid-City and now to Harvard Heights.

— Gemma
June 3, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.

Harvard Heights

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Central L.A. region of Los Angeles County. It contains Country Club Park and Western Heights.
The neighboring communities are Adams-Normandie, Arlington Heights, Jefferson Park, Koreatown and Pico-Union.
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About This Project
Harvard Heights 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.