Historic West Adams, is a large district located in the center of LA, south of Hancock Park & southwest of downtown Los Angeles. In 2016, Redfin listed West Adams as one of the most competitive real estate markets in the nation (alongside San Francisco & Seattle). Over the last year, the median sale price for homes in West Adams has risen by 22.5% with 68% of homes selling for above asking.
The district is bordered by Pico-Union, Angelus Vista and Harvard Heights on the north, the original South Los Angeles on the east, Vermont square & Jefferson Park on the south & Culver City on the west. Its main thoroughfares are Adams,/Jefferson/Washington Boulevards & Western/Vermont/Normandie Avenues, & Hoover & Figuero Streets. Major subdistricts include North University Park & Kinney Heights.
The area was developed between 1880 & 1925, & contains many diverse architectural styles of the era like the Queen Anne, Shingle, Gothic Revival, Transitional Arts & Crafts, American Craftsman, Craftsman Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Renaissance Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles. Some historic homes are used as locations for movies and TV shows.
It was once the wealthiest district in the city home to downtown businessmen and professors at USC. In the 1990s, three areas of West Adams were designated as Historic Preservation Overlay Zones by the city of LA, in recognition of their outstanding architectural heritage.
In the 1950s, the construction of the Santa Monica and Harbor Freeways obliterated much of West Adams, their routes chosen in large part to demarcate areas acceptable for black settlement and those deemed whites-only (in both cases, this was notably unsuccessful, as many African-Americans moved into Mid-city & Arlington Heights during this period.)
The 1992 LA Riots largely spared West Adams’ historic buildings. Mirroring changes seen throughout Los Angeles, the district’s Latino population have been growing. The area’s architecture and proximity to USC have brought many upper-middle-class whites as well. Many of the neighborhoods are experiencing a renaissance of sorts with their historic homes being restored to their previous elegance. Yay!
West Adams’ designation by the city as a historic district in the late 1990s increased property values, while the Southern California real estate boom of the early 2000s has brought new prosperity to the district. The successful reforms of LAPD chief Bratton and neighborhood involvement in Police Advisory Boards reduced crime in the area.
The 2010 opening of a long-delayed light-rail line from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City & Santa Monica –which passes by USC on Exposition Boulevard and has stops in the district at Figueroa Street, Vermont Avenue, and Western Avenue–lends even greater importance to West Adams.
Many active residents of West Adams have joined together in block associations to lobby the city for services and to band together to beautify their communities and restore the elegance of their historic homes. Unfortunately, there is no real hub or town center. You have to drive to find restaurants and cafes. Very close freeway access which is good and bad.
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