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Monterey Park is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United Statesmarker. As of the 2005 estimate, the city had a total population of 63,928. The city's motto is "Pride in the past, Faith in the future".


Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the land was populated by the Tongva (Gabrielino) Native Americans. The Tongva lived in dome like structures with thatched exteriors. Both sexes wore long hair styles and tattooed their bodies. During warm weather the men wore little clothes but the women would wear minimal skirts made of animal hides. During the cold weather they would wear animal skin capes.

By the early 19th century the area was part of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángelmarker mission system and later, the Rancho San Antonio. The area first received a separate identity when Alessandro Repetto purchased 5,000 acres (20 km²) of the rancho and built his home, not far from where the Edison substation is now located on Garfield Avenue.

By this time Old World diseases had killed off many of the Tongva, and by 1870 the area had few left.

It was at this time, Richard Garvey, a mail rider for the U.S. Army whose route took him through Monterey Pass, a trail that is now Garvey Avenue, settled down in the King's Hills. Garvey began developing the land by bringing in spring water from near the Hondo River and by constructing a high dam to form Garvey Lake located where Garvey Ranch Park is now. To pay for his development and past debts, Garvey began selling portions of his property. In 1906, the first subdivision in the area, Ramona Acres, was developed north of Garvey and east of Garfield Avenues.

In 1916, the new residents of the area initiated action to become a city when the cities of Pasadenamarker, South Pasadenamarker, and Alhambramarker proposed to put a large sewage treatment facility in the area. The community voted itself into city hood on May 29, 1916, by a vote of 455 to 33. The City's new Board of Directors immediately outlawed sewage plants within city boundaries and named the new city Monterey Park. The name was taken from an old government map showing the oak-covered hills of the area as Monterey Hills. In 1920, a large area on the south edge of the city broke away and the separate city of Montebellomarker was established.

By 1920, the white and Spanish-surname settlers were joined by Asian residents who began farming potatoes and flowers and developing nurseries in the Monterey Highlands area. They improved the Monterey Pass Trail with a road to aid in shipping their produce to Los Angeles. The nameless pass, which had been a popular location for western movies, was called Coyote Pass by Pioneer Masami Abe.

In 1926, near the corner of Atlantic and Garvey Boulevards, Laura Scudder invented the first sealed bag of potato chips. In an effort to maintain quality and freshness, Laura's team would iron sheets of wax paper together to form a bag. They would fill these bags with potato chips; iron the top closed, and then deliver them to various retailers.

Real estate became a thriving industry during the late 1920s with investors attracted to the many subdivisions under development and increasing commercial opportunities. One such development was the Midwick View Estates by Peter N. Snyder, a proposed garden community that was designed to rival Bel Airmarker and Beverly Hillsmarker. Known as the "Father of the East Side", Mr. Snyder was a key player in the vast undertaking in the 1920s of developing the East Side as part of the industrial base of Los Angeles. His efforts to build Atlantic Boulevard, his work with the East Side organization to bring industry to the East Side, and his residential and commercial development projects along Atlantic Boulevard (Gardens Square, Golden Gate Square, and the Midwick View Estates) were a major influence to the surrounding communities. The focal point of the Midwick View Estates was Jardin del Encanto, otherwise known as "El Encanto," a Spanish style building that was to serve as the administration building and community center for Midwick View Estates, and an amphitheater to be nestled into the hillside above Kingsford Street. Although the amphitheater was never built, the observation terrace from which viewers could look down to Jardin del Encanto and the fountain with cascading water going down the hillside in stepped pools to De La Fuente remains and is now known as Heritage Falls Park or "the Cascades." The Great Depression brought an abrupt end to the real estate boom, as well as the Midwick proposal. From the late 1920s through the mid-1940s, the City had little development for nearly two decades.

The end of World War II resulted in a revived growth trend with explosive population gains during the late 1940s and 1950s. Until this time, the population was concentrated in the northern and southern portions of the city, with the Garvey and Monterey Hills forming a natural barrier. With the renewed growth, many new subdivisions were developed, utilizing even the previously undeveloped central area to allow for maximum growth potential. A series of annexations of surrounding land also occurred.

Recent history

In the 1980s, Monterey Park was billed as "Little Taipei." Many businesses from Chinatown, Los Angeles began to open up stores in Monterey Park. In the 1970s and 1980s, many affluent waisheng ren Taiwanesemarker immigrants moved abroad from Taiwan and began settling into Monterey Park. Mandarin Chinese was dominant in the city during that time period. By the late 1980s, immigrants from Mainland China and Vietnammarker began moving into Monterey Park. By the 1990 census, Monterey Park became the first city with an Asian descent majority population in the continental United States.

From the late 1980s, with a combined influx of Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong immigrant students at the time, Mark Keppel High Schoolmarker (constructed during the New Deal era and located in Alhambramarker, but also serving most of Monterey Park and portions of Rosemeadmarker) felt the impact of this new immigration as the student population increased dramatically. This led to overcrowding. Today, many students are largely second- or third-generation Asian Americans.

In the late 1980s, the city of Monterey Park passed an ordinance requiring signs to be posted in English, as well as a moratorium on new building in an attempt to regulate the massive growth the city experienced as a result of the influx of Asian immigrants. This controversial move caused many Asian residents and businesses to shift focus, establishing themselves in the neighboring city of Alhambramarker. These actions were subsequently rescinded once the potential loss of business revenue was recognized.

Since early 1990s, the Taiwanese have no longer been dominant in the city, and Cantonese is now widely spoken and heard in most Chinese businesses of Monterey Park. The construction boom of shopping centers has declined. High property values and overcrowding in Monterey Park have contributed to a secondary movement. Furthermore, most established, wealthy Taiwanese immigrants have since relocated out of Monterey Park and northward to wealthier cities of San Marinomarker, Arcadiamarker, Temple Citymarker, South Pasadenamarker; and eastward to Rowland Heightsmarker (called the "new Little Taipei" by a local Chinese-language newspaper), Diamond Barmarker, Hacienda Heightsmarker, and Walnutmarker with many Chinese-speaking businesses started in those suburbs to accommodate this particular movement. This path exactly follows the White Flight of the late 1970s. There are still countless Chinese-oriented businesses in Monterey Park. Development of new buildings in Monterey Park has come to a standstill, and several overgrown weedy lots still remain undeveloped. Upcoming commercial developments include the Atlantic Times Square, a of commercial/retail space including a 14-screen theater within a mixed use project at the southeast corner of Atlantic Boulevard and Hellman Avenue, and the Garvey Villas at the southwest corner of Atlantic Boulevard and Garvey Avenue.


Monterey Park is 42.32% Chinese, making it the community in the United States with the largest population of Chinese descent. The Chinese-American population in Monterey Park and San Gabriel Valley is fairly diverse, in terms of linguistics, socio-economics and region of origin. Monterey Park originally attracted immigrants from Taiwan, as well as Mainland Chinese and the overseas Chinese from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

Monterey Park has not been called Chinatown as such; instead, the Chinese-dominant business district, around Garfield Avenue and Garvey Avenue, is now called Downtown Monterey Park. In the mid-1980s, Lincoln Plaza Hotel was built to service tourists from Taiwan and Hong Kong, with original plans to have it also serve as a venue as a Chinese convention center.

Monterey Park has several choices of Hong Kong fusion cafes (in fact, the first Hong Kong-style cafe opened in San Gabriel Valley actually started in Monterey Park, but it has since closed due to intense competition) and Cantonese seafood restaurants, as well as some choices of restaurants offering Mainland Chinese noodles and dumplings. Interestingly, as the activity of Taiwanese immigrant activity shifted to San Gabrielmarker, Arcadiamarker and Rowland Heightsmarker in the 1980s and 1990s, very few trendy Taiwanese restaurants have opened in Monterey Park.

While the multi-generational American-born Latino population was generally declining in Monterey Park, there has been some new incoming of Mexican immigrants.

Monterey Park is home to the Garvey Ranch Observatory, located in Garvey Ranch Park, which is operated by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society (LAAS). It adjoins a telescope construction workshop, a historical museum and a library. The observatory houses an refractor, and the grounds are open to the public for astronomical observation (hosted by LAAS members) on Wednesday evenings.

The Sybil Brand Institute, the county jail for women, was located in the city, but closed in 1994 after the facility had been damaged in the Northridge earthquake.

Currently, several major construction projects are taking place in Monterey Park. Four plans have been made available for viewing on the Monterey Park website:

The Atlantic Times Square [15910] is a mixed-use project located along Atlantic Boulevard, at the southeast corner of Atlantic and Hellman Avenue. The Atlantic Times Square will offer over of retail and entertainment space adjacent to the I-10 San Bernardino Freeway. The complex is slated to feature a 14-screen AMC Theater Cineplex, a Chili's restaurant, a Cold Stones Creamery, and a Quizno's, among others. 210 condominiums will be integrated into the development.

The Monterey Park Towne Centre offers of retail space in the heart of Monterey Park's Downtown revitalization. Integrated into a mixed-use development with 109 high quality condominiums.

Cascades Market Place will be located next to the State Highway 60, Pomona Freeway, and is the future site of the Monterey Park Market Place power center. This 45 acre project site has grade level visibility from the freeway unmatched by any retail project in the region.


Monterey Park is located on the western part of the San Gabriel Valley, near Downtown Los Angelesmarker.

The city boundaries include Los Angelesmarker to the west, unincorporated East Los Angelesmarker to the south, Alhambramarker to the north, Rosemeadmarker to the northeast, Montebellomarker to the south, and unincorporated South San Gabrielmarker to the southeast.


Monterey Park is served by the I-710, the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10), SR 60.

Public transportation is provided by the city government ( Spirit bus service and Metrolink feeder bus), the city of Montebello and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


Monterey Park is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.7 square miles (19.9 km²), of which, 7.6 square miles (19.8 km²) is land, and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) (0.39%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 60,051 people, 19,564 households, and 15,240 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,869.5 people per square mile (3,038.8/km²). There were 20,209 housing units at an average density of 2,648.3/sq mi (1,022.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.82% Asian, 28.91% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 21.29% White, 0.65% Native American, 0.38% African American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 12.45% from other races, and 3.35% from two or more races.

There were 19,564 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 17.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.43.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,724, and the median income for a family was $43,507. Males had a median income of $32,463 versus $29,057 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,661. About 12.4% of families and 15.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Monterey Park is located in the 24th Senate District, represented by Democrat Gloria Romero, and in the 49th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Mike Eng (also a former mayor of Monterey Park). Federally, Monterey Park is located in California's 29th and 32nd congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of D +12 and D +17 and is represented by Democrats Adam Schiff and Judy Chu.

The current mayor of Monterey Park is Mitchell Ing, with the Mayor Pro Tempore being Anthony Wong. The remaining City Council Members are Benjamin "Frank" Venti, David Lau and Betty Tom Chu.

The City Council is the legislative and policy-making body for the City of Monterey Park. Council Members are elected at-large for four-year, overlapping terms of office. The Mayor, who is selected during each Council reorganization every nine and half months, presides over all Council meetings and is the ceremonial head of the City for all official functions.


Businesses in the City are represented and promoted by the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber offices are located within the historical "El Encanto" building. The Chamber operates under the directions of a Board of Directors elected by Chamber members. Current Board President is Ronald Lee.


Four school districts all serve different areas of Monterey Park. They include Alhambra Unified School District, Garvey School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Montebello Unified School District.

Colleges and universities

East Los Angeles College is a community college that is located in Monterey Park in an area that was once East Los Angelesmarker (unincorporated).

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Alhambra USD
K-8 schools serving AUSD Monterey Park include:

Mark Keppel High Schoolmarker, located in Alhambramarker serves Monterey Park.

Garvey School District
Two elementary schools, Hillcrest and Monterey Vista (both are in Monterey Park), serve this portion. Monterey Vista is a blue ribbon school.

Garvey Intermediate School (Rosemead) also serves this portion.

Once residents graduate from grade 8, they are zoned to Alhambra's Mark Keppel HS.

Los Angeles USD
Robert Lane Elementary School (Monterey Park), Griffith Middle School (Unincorporated Los Angeles County), and Garfield High School (Unincorporated Los Angeles County) serve the LAUSD portion.

Montebello USD
Bella Vista Elementary School (Monterey Park), Potrero Heights Elementary School (South San Gabriel), Macy Intermediate School (Monterey Park), and Schurr High School (Montebello) serve the Montebello USD portion.

Private schools

There are a few private schools in Monterey Park, including New Avenue Schoolmarker



External links

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