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Eagle Rock is a neighborhood in northeastern Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. It is bordered by the city of Glendalemarker on the north and west, Highland Parkmarker on the south, and the cities of Pasadenamarker and South Pasadena on the east. Major thoroughfares include Eagle Rock Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard, and Figueroa Street. The Glendale and Ventura freeways run along the district's western and northern edges, respectively. A massive boulder at the district's northern edge contains an indentation which casts a vaguely bird-shaped shadow on the rock at certain times of day; the neighborhood derives its name from this geological feature.

The entire neighborhood has been experiencing gentrification for the last few years as young urban professionals, finding themselves priced out of Los Felizmarker, Silver Lakemarker and Echo Parkmarker, have found affordable housing there. Eagle Rock is inhabited by a wide variety of ethnicities and socioeconomic groups, but it is best known as an eclectic gathering of hipsters and the creative class. Eagle Rock is known for its bohemian vibe, mix of class levels, and neighborhood feel.

A core of counter-culture writers, artists and filmmakers has existed in the town since the 1920s and is being supplemented by the recent influx of hipsters. The town was well known during the late '50s, '60s and '70s for its sizable hot rodder culture, which is now almost defunct.

Eagle Rock is the site of Occidental Collegemarker, designed by famed architect Myron Hunt and built in 1914.

Eagle Rock is home to many historic and achitecturally significant homes, many done in the Craftsman, Georgian, Streamline Moderne, Art Deco and Spanish/Mission style.

History

Eagle Rock, 1900
Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the secluded valley below the San Rafael Hills that is roughly congruent to Eagle Rock's present boundaries was inhabited by the Tongva tribe, who hunted the game that watered at its springs. These aboriginal inhabitants were displaced by Spanishmarker settlers in the late 18th century, with the area incorporated into the Rancho San Rafaelmarker. Following court battles, the area known as Rancho San Rafael was divided into 31 parcels in 1870. Benjamin Dreyfus was awarded what is now called Eagle Rock. In the 1880s Eagle Rock existed as a farming community. The arrival of American settlers and the growth of Los Angeles resulted in steadily increasing semi-rural development in the region throughout the late 19th century, culminating in Eagle Rock's establishment as an independent city in 1906 and its incorporation in 1911.
Eagle Rock from Yosemite Dr.
In 1909, Hill Avenue, now Hill Drive, was (and still is) one of Eagle Rock's most beautiful streets. Other streets were Royal Drive (now Mt. Royal Drive), Acacia Street (now Laverna Avenue), Kenilworth Avenue (now Hermosa Avenue), Highland Avenue (now Highland View Avenue), and Fairmont Avenue (now Maywood Avenue). In the 1950s, newer streets such as Kincheloe Drive were extended into the hillsides for the building of larger homes with a view of the city. Today these streets are dotted with large and expensive homes on wide lots.
The arrival of Owens Valleymarker water via the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the concurrent depletion of the young city's wells ultimately led the city fathers, after considerable pressure and threats from the City of Los Angeles, to agree to annexation by Los Angeles in 1923. Eagle Rock is one of the few cities incorporated by Los Angeles to still have its original pre-annexation City Hall (2035 Colorado Blvd) and Library (2225 Colorado Blvd) still standing. The library, a Carnegie Library built in 1915, has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and converted into a community center, the Eagle Rock Community Cultural Centermarker.

An early victim of the Hillside Strangler was discovered in an Eagle Rock neighborhood on October 31, 1977. The discovery, along with the successive murders of at least 10 other women in the area over the course of the five months, rocked what was then a small, close-knit community on the outskirts of Los Angeles. In an opinion piece to the Los Angeles Times on December 6, 1977, a resident under the pseudonym Deirdre Blackstone wrote of the fear experienced by the community: "Groups of gum-chewing girls in look-alike hairdos and jeans who used to haunt the Eagle Rock Plaza — they too are keeping close to home ... We are all afraid. For women living alone, ours is an actual visceral fear that starts at the feet. Then it hits the knees — and finally it grips the mind." Two men, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, were subsequently convicted of the murders.

On the night of March 20, 1985, an 8-year-old girl was abducted from her home in Eagle Rock and sexually assaulted by a man dubbed the "Valley Intruder", "Walk-in Killer" and "The Night Stalker", later identified as Richard Ramirez. This was the seventh in a long string of murders and sexual assaults committed by Ramirez in Los Angeles and San Francisco before he was apprehended.

During the early 1970s to the late 1980s, several street and roller hockey teams competed in and around Eagle Rock, most of which were centered on the asphalt surfaces at Eagle Rock High School, Yosemite Recreation Center, the Eagle Rock Plaza, and Toland Way and Rockdale Elementary schools. From 1977 to 1981, the Yosemite Sams competed in the FSHL (Federal Street Hockey League) and won the Melrose Open in 1978, the Echo Park Open in 1980 and the Atwater Open in 1981. The Atwater Open victory was significant, because by 1981 the tournament served as the de facto city championship in this sport.

Eagle Rock and the motion picture industry

With an "Anytown, USA" feel to it, and such a close proximity to Hollywoodmarker and the major motion picture studios, this community has often been a favored choice as a film location. Cameos include Top Gun, Hunt for Red October, and a second-season episode of The O.C. Star Trek III was partially filmed on the campus of Occidental College. This campus also served as "California University" in the 1990s television series, Beverly Hills, 90210. Quentin Tarantino filmed parts of Reservoir Dogs here and in neighboring Highland Park. Other movies filmed almost entirely in Eagle Rock include; all of the exterior scenes of The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) starring Lily Tomlin, Record City (1978) with Ed Begley, Jr. was filmed in its entirety in a defunct auto paint shop, and The Unwed Father (1974) starring Timothy Bottoms had all of its exterior location shots filmed on the Eagle Rock High School campus. Avril Lavigne's music video Complicated was mostly shot in the Eagle Rock Mall.

Some of the architecture of Eagle Rock has been featured as well; a house on the 5200 block of Shearin Avenue was used during the 1984 filming of Teen Wolf, starring Michael J. Fox, and a house on the 4900 block of College View Avenue was used during the 1975 filming of The Day of the Locust, starring Donald Sutherland.

From a story perspective, in the movie Days Of Thunder, Tom Cruise's character was from Eagle Rock, and there have been numerous movies and television shows based on the Hillside Strangler and Richard Ramirez.

Ben Affleck, a former Occidental College student, lived on Hill Drive with then-roommate and co-writer Matt Damon while they wrote the script for Good Will Hunting, which would go on to win them a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award.

Many famous motion picture actors and actresses, along with writers and others involved in the industry, have lived in Eagle Rock over the years, see the Notable Residents section below for more details.

Government and infrastructure

The United States Postal Service Eagle Rock Post Office is located at 7435 North Figueroa Street.

The Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council (ERNC) meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.

Education

Eagle Rock residents are zoned to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Public elementary schools



Public middle & high schools

There are two middle/high schools; the LAUSD public school Eagle Rock High School and public charter school Renaissance Arts Academy.

Colleges and universities



Private schools



Libraries

Los Angeles Public Library operates the Eagle Rock Branch Library at 5027 Caspar Avenue.

Notable residents

Actresses Madeleine Stowe, Marley Shelton, Lindsay Wagner, and Vicky Shreck are all natives of Eagle Rock. John Steinbeck lived on Campus Road in the 1920s while lecturing briefly at Occidental College. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote Good Will Hunting while living in a home on Hill Drive in Eagle Rock. actor Luke Wilson, filmmakers Terry Gilliam and Marcel Ophüls resided here while attending Occidental College. Celebrated fine artist Dory Grade has lived in Eagle Rock for over 40-years, and is still active.

See also



References

  1. Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
  2. Record City (1978)
  3. The Unwed Father (1974)
  4. Eagle Rock High School
  5. IMDB Title Search for "Hillside Strangler" (Retrieved 2/17/2008)
  6. IMDB Title Search for "Night Stalker" (Retrieved 2/17/2008)
  7. " Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society." Retrieved on February 23, 2009.
  8. " Post Office Location - EAGLE ROCK." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 9, 2008.
  9. "[1]"
  10. "[2]"
  11. " Eagle Rock Branch Library." Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on December 9, 2008.
  12. Vicky Shreck (retrieved 2/17/2008)
  13. Eagle Rock Vally Historical Society
  14. Metro Boston News Sunday October 5th
  15. The Faster Master Plaster Caster


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