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Alhambra (pronounced [ælˈhæmbɹə] or [ɑlˈhɑmbɹə]) is a city (incorporated on 11 July 1903) located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California which is approximately eight miles from the Downtown Los Angelesmarker civic center. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 85,804. The city's ZIP Codes are 91801 and 91803 (plus 91802 for P.O. boxes).


At (34.081859, -118.135052). It is bordered by South Pasadenamarker on the northwest, San Marinomarker on the north, San Gabrielmarker on the east, Rosemeadmarker on the southeast, Monterey Parkmarker on the south, and the Los Angeles districts of Monterey Hills and El Serenomarker on the west. Major thoroughfares include Atlantic and Valley Boulevards, Mission Road, Fremont and Garfield Avenues, and Main Street. The San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) runs through the city's southern portions, and the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) has its northern terminus at Valley Boulevard in the far southwestern portions of the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.7 km² (7.6 mi²), all of which is land.


Downtown Alhambra, Garfield and Main, 1890
Alhambra, 1920
Alhambra is named after Washington Irving's book Tales of the Alhambra, not after the Alhambramarker palace itself. Alhambra was founded as a suburb of Los Angeles in 1903.

Alhambra existed as an unincorporated area during the mid-1800s. The city high school, Alhambra High Schoolmarker, was established in 1898, five years before the city's incorporation. The Alhambra Fire Department was established three years later, in 1906.

Many of Alhambra's homes have historical significance. They include common styles such as Craftsman, Bungalow, Spanish Mediterranean, Spanish Colonial, Italian Beaux-Arts, and Arts & Crafts. There are also a large number of condominiums, rental apartments, and mixed-use residential/commercial buildings, especially in the Downtown area.

The main business district of Alhambra — at the intersection of Main & Garfield — has been a center of commerce since 1895. By the 1950s, it had taken on the upscale look of Wilshire Boulevard's Miracle Mile and was the "in" place to go in the San Gabriel Valley. While many of the classic older buildings have been replaced over the years, the revitalizationof Main Street has led to numerous dining, retail and entertainment establishments.

Over the years, Alhambra has experienced waves of new immigrants, beginning with Italians in the 1950s, Mexicans in the 1960s, and Chinese in the 1980s. As a result, a very active Chinese business district has developed on Valley Boulevard, including Chinese supermarkets, restaurants, shops, banks, realtors, and medical offices. In fact, Valley Boulevard has become a national hub for many Asian-owned bank headquarters, although it also comprises other nationally-recognized retailers.

Each year, Valley Boulevard hosts the San Gabriel Valley Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, which runs from Del Mar to Garfield Avenue. The event is of such significance to the majority Asian American demographic in Alhambra that it is broadcast live on Chinese radio, KWRM AM 1370, broadcasted locally on KSCI-18, and later on worldwide cable and satellite TV.

The historic Garfield Theatre (on Valley Blvd and Garfield) was purchased and ran Chinese-language films, but in 2001 went out of business. Subsequently, developers have remodeled the dilapidated building turning it into a vibrant commercial center with many Chinese stores and eateries. "The Hatmarker", a local icon, offers its "World Famous Pastrami," also at Valley Blvd and Garfield.

On the western edge of town, the Ratkovich Company, which owns The Alhambra office complex, is moving forward with plans to build 351 condominium units on 10.5 acres, as well as a parking structure after completing the recent LA Fitness gym — valued at $190 million.


Alhambra is home to the Los Angeles campus of Platt College, the Alhambra branch of Everest College (formerly Bryman), and the Los Angeles Campus of Alliant International University

Alhambra is home to the University of Southern Californiamarker's Health Sciences Alhambra campus, site of the university's Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (IPR) and USC's master's degree program in public health.

Alhambra also is home to The CAO Institute, a Paul Mitchell beauty school offering cosmetology courses, esthetics courses, skin care courses, and nail technology courses.

Primary and secondary schools

Alhambra is served by Alhambra Unified School District, which includes:

Alhambra also includes the private, all-girls' Ramona Convent Secondary Schoolmarker.

Famous natives and residents


As of the census of 2000, there were 85,804 people, 29,111 households, and 20,668 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,347.7/km² (11,257.3/mi²). There were 30,069 housing units at an average density of 1,523.6/km² (3,945.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.22% Asian, 35.49% of the population Hispanic of any race, 16.25% from other races, 13.8% White, 1.67% Black or African American, 0.72% Native American, 0.10% Pacific Islander, and 4.01% from two or more races.

There were 29,111 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.41.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,213, and the median income for a family was $43,245. Males had a median income of $33,847 versus $29,122 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,350. About 11.5% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

Historical figures
Year Population
1900 800
1940 38,900
1950 51,400
1960 54,800
1970 62,100
1980 64,600
1990 82,100
2000 85,804


In the state legislature Alhambra is located in the 22nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Gilbert Cedillo, and in the 49th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Mike Eng. Federally, Alhambra is located in California's 29th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +12 and is represented by Democrat Adam Schiff.


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