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Wilmington

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Tell us what Wilmington means to you

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

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Wilmington is in the news more often (shootings). Now Wilmington is the new Watts. It is going to be hard to take away the reputation that Wilmington that has gotten. Sad to hear about this area, that a lot of folks once used to said it was nice.

— New Meaning
May 26, 2012 at 11:14 p.m.

No downsides, think of Mayberry, one of the most beautiful places you can imagine, and no crime, and the best of schools, why live anywhere else!

— Get me outta here
April 24, 2012 at 9:59 a.m.

Grew up on the border of Wilmi' and Carson but did all my schooling and met all my friends in Wilmington. Me and my bros left for college and some how never came back. The only reason we do come back now is to visit family. Although I'm proud to have been raised in Wilmi, I can't say I'd like to go back and live there or raise children there. To say that the schools are crummy is bull, it takes will and dedication to want to succeed, if you want to just chill, play sports and hope to inherit your dad's longshoreman card, then you will fail. If you actually know what your kids are up to and guide them, then they will succeed! And yes the gangs are a big deterrent.

— Atypical
April 12, 2012 at 3:54 p.m.

I grew up in Wilmingon, attended jr. high and Banning. Had morning and evening paper routes that covered most of town. Never had a problem then but sounds dangerous now. Too bad for Wilmas.

— dick o
April 11, 2012 at 10:17 a.m.

This is not the best area to live in. Gangs and taggers take this place over like locusts and prey on innocent people. There are not enough cops to keep them at bay. The pollution from the port and related traffic is often overhwelming. There are many decent people here and the Mexican food outlets are plenty.

— Scooter
April 2, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.

I wouldn't live anywhere else in the world!

— Dirty Bum
March 26, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.

this is were i live i really like wilmington ca because everyone is very nice allways saying googmorning and are allways kind

— francisco campos
November 8, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.

Every city has it's own

— Wilmington
September 26, 2011 at 12:19 p.m.

I lived in Wilmington for more than twenty years. There were a lot of things to like such as the proximity to San Pedro, the waterfront, good Mexican food and nice people.

I moved about ten years ago and wouldn't want to go back because of the congestion, crime and etc. That's not to say I wasn't happy there.

— Greg S.
August 15, 2011 at 6:07 p.m.

I have lived in this city for about 20 years and then moved to Torrance for about 10 years. I have recently moved back and it is about the same as before. The location is good and near the 110. The only issue I have is the crime rate and school district. Both not so good but this really applies to most of Los Angeles. I see it as a good place for investment in the community and I wish it for the best.

— Good Neighbor!
October 7, 2010 at 3:56 p.m.

I grew up in Wilmington I still have two sons living there but I really can't

say it is beautiful. It looked better

when I was growing up .once you have

moved outside the area you see what is

Beautiful.

— Carol
August 20, 2010 at 5 p.m.

wilmington is great beautifull city to live in specially on the west side by the wil hall park or in the teen center with our gorgous mirols wouldnt change it for the world!

— pedro mata
July 8, 2010 at 10:49 p.m.

I agree with the majority of the comments. It has a lot of hard working and decent people that always get overlooked because of the reputation it has for gang activity. I grew up on the East side on Robdioux and I remember riding my bike with friends all over the place. Playing football and basketball at Greenbelt Park, and best of all the summers.

I moved out, but I still go back for Mexican bread and menudo at La Perla. Just yesterday I had a conversation with a brother in law who lives in Downey who drives through town because of his job and commented on how unsighlty the place is. I think it's made a lot of improvements considering we belong to LA who just takes and gives very little back. My parents still live there and I'm proud of them for that.

— Joe C.
June 7, 2010 at 8:39 a.m.

I grew up in Wilmington in the 1960s and 70s. While the air quality was always questionable, my friends and I had a lot of fun. We played softball til late at night when they put lights in the playground at Hawaiian Ave, we rode our bikes to what we called the "swamps," that I later learned was called the Bixby Slough. We bought snacks at the little store at the corner of E St and Figueroa St where a warehouse now sits. My friends lived in the "projects," called Dana Strand. I remember those times fondly. My mother who is not doing well, now lives with my sister in Minnesota, but still owns a house there and I've thought many a time of going back and living there to give back to the area that shaped my early personality. However back in the Vietnam War days I joined the Air Force and was sent to Alaska where I have now lived for 37 years. While I still have fond memories of Wilmington, I can't see leaving the natural beauty, mellower lifestyle and clean air of Alaska for the hustle and bustle of L.A.

— Richard Benavides
May 14, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.

I was born in Mexico in 1974; 4 years later my parents brought us to the States. Thanks to one of my aunts we ended up in lovely Wilmington. My two parents were together at that time; we have pictures that were taken at Banning Park sometime in 1979. I lived most of my life in Wilmington; my sister and I graduated from Banning High. " The Heart of the Harbor" is how it's known. It's where I always end up no matter where I've been. Some people are scare when they hear you say you live in Wilmas, as street people like to call it. I'm not gang related; but got use to it and at the same time, well known thank God for that; but Wilmington is a nice place to live, it has it's rough edges like any other neighborhood. No matter what people say and think; Wilmington is the hometown for allot of hardworking families, and to me it's just one step closer to heaven.

— Sergio Hernandez
March 17, 2010 at 2:33 p.m.

I can tell you that Wilmington is home and will always be.

I moved out of Wilmington about 3 Years ago to Bakersfield CA. My husband and I bought a home here it's a beauty and all but I still cant adjust to Life here. The people are different and there is really no options on things to do...that's why every chance we get we go down to Wilmington and let me tell you I still get butterflies in my stomach every time I exit the 110 on PCH. There is no place like home.

— C. Solorzano
March 1, 2010 at 5:17 p.m.

My ex's family was all from or in Wilmington, I used to attend church at New Testament on Rubidoux and Watson (down the street from Ghost Town) and I have friends that live on McDonald near PCH. Best Mexican food in all of LA is at Isaac's Cafe on Fries and G in Wilmington. With that said, Wilmington is probably the most polluted part of LA with all the harbor pollution and the refineries. I would never in a million years actually reside in Wilmington and most people I know left Wilmington for Long Beach or Carson or other areas a long time ago. When I went to New Testament only a few in the congregation even still lived in Wilmington. Wilmington has a lot going for it but as long as the pollution is allowed to continue nobody with any real economic agency is going to want to live there.

— Matt
February 21, 2010 at 12:42 a.m.

Well i have lived in wilmington all my life. I would say wilmington has gotten steadily worse since i was a young boy. The population is not the 50 thousand or so they say. Their is at least 2 families to every home . Way to much traffic, no parking on most streets. And i dont understand how people dont get the air we breath in the conversation. On my street alone i know of 5 cases of cancer . Why is no one reporting this. I think the citizens of wilmington just dont expect anything from our city government any more, so when they do something it seems fantastic. i for one dont think anything significant has been done to help wilmington.and the reason we needed more schools , is the population per square mile has to been way over what it should be. Think how that taxes the schools, police and emergency services. Sorry i'm not on board with wilmington is so great ship.The little things they do is like putting lip stick on a pig.

— armando
December 13, 2009 at 10:36 p.m.

I have been living in Wilmington all my life. I am proud to say that I live here. I live on the east side of town. This neighborhood is awesome. We still have 2 bakeries, corner markets butcher shops and Montoyas. I love getting up early in the morning to buy fresh bread or menudo on Saturdays and Sundays. I enjoy walking in my neighborhood and talking to all my neighbors. It is trully a hidden gem and Wilmington is a reflection of what L.A. use to be.

— Rolando Mota
December 1, 2009 at 9:48 p.m.

I believe that the Mayor and his "politicos" actually do care very much about Wilmington, due to the fact that it's home to the second largest port in the United States after the port of New York. Wilmington does have a rich history indeed. One of the greatest things about this city is the weather. There are times we are 15 to 20 degrees cooler on hot days than Downtown L.A. or Riverside. It has a small town feel to it. Many of the residents do know each other. Many others do grow up, become professionals and don't leave Wilmington. I can think of a hidden treasure: try the Tortilla Soup at "los tres cochinitos" restaurant 2 blocks east of Wilmington Blvd, on Pacific Coast Highway. you'll love it.

— G. Gallardo
September 3, 2009 at 9:23 a.m.

My address says Wilmington, however, according to this map and article I actually live in Harbor City, west of the 110 Freeway. I would love it if they would re-draw the lines; the Harbor City post office is closer and not as busy.

— V.C. Bennett
August 27, 2009 at 9:18 p.m.

Wilmington is known as the "Heart of the Harbor".

Phineas Banning came to Los Angeles from Wilmington, Delaware, in 1851, and soon realized the importance to the pueblo of a harbor. He began by establishing a freight line from San Pedro to downtown.

His wharf and warehouse were destroyed in a major storm, leading to the founding and development of New San Pedro. For a while the port surpassed that of San Pedro. During the Civil War troops were stationed at the Drum Barracks.

Partly because of the construction of the Southern Pacific railroad to San Pedro that port gained the ascendency. In 1865 the state legislature renamed New San Pedro for Banning's hometown, Wilmington.(In 1909 both San Pedro and Wilmington were annexed by Los Angeles, giving the city its first direct access to the ocean).

The Banning mansion in Wilmington is now a museum.

Wilmington has a rich history that many folks know nothing about and I think that's a shame. Taking a tour of the Banning mansion is something I enjoy doing several times a year, and for the holidays the mansion is all decked out in a Victorian Christmas theme, the volunteers are all in costumes of the period.

They have a horse drawn carriage ride to the Drum Barracks, activities for the kids, you can take pictures with Santa, it's just plain fun for the whole family.

It's absolutely beautiful!

This aside, it's a place where many hard working families are trying to raise a family. Wilmington like many other cities has got it's high points and it's low points. All this aside, it's still not a bad little place to be.

Maybe if the Mayor and his politicos actually gave a damn about Wilmington we could have some REAL positive change to our little city. Maybe folks from other areas wouldn't be afraid when they hear that I live in "Wilmington".

Maybe I won't get asked "Aren't you afraid of living there?", to which I answer, "No, I'm not, why should I?".

I've lived here most of my life, with the exception of a few years in San Pedro when I was a kid, and I can honestly say that I like Wilmington. It's been nice.

— M. Dieguez
June 3, 2009 at 5:09 p.m.

Wilmington

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Harbor region of Los Angeles County.
The neighboring communities are Carson, Harbor City, Long Beach, San Pedro and West Carson.
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About This Project
Wilmington is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.