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Gardena, California

City of Gardena
Official seal of City of Gardena
Nickname(s): Freeway City[1]
Motto: "The City of Opportunity"
Location of Gardena in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Gardena in Los Angeles County, California
City of Gardena is located in USA
City of Gardena
Location in the United States
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated September 11, 1930[2]
 • Mayor Paul Tanaka[3]
 • Total 5.865 sq mi (15.191 km2)
 • Land 5.829 sq mi (15.097 km2)
 • Water 0.036 sq mi (0.094 km2)  0.62%
Elevation[5] 49 ft (15 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)[6]
 • Total 58,829
 • Estimate (2013)[6] 59,957
 • Density 10,000/sq mi (3,900/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 90247–90249[7]
Area codes 310/424[8]
FIPS code 06-28168
GNIS feature IDs 1660664, 2410570

Gardena is a city located in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 58,829 at the 2010 census, up from 57,746 at the 2000 census. According to the US census the City of Gardena is the place with the highest percentage of Japanese Americans in California.[9]


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 3.1
    • 2000 3.2
    • 1980 3.3
    • 1970-1978 3.4
    • Ethnic groups 3.5
      • Japanese-Americans 3.5.1
      • Korean Americans 3.5.2
  • Government 4
  • Infrastructure and public services 5
    • Transportation 5.1
  • Economy 6
    • Top employers 6.1
  • Education 7
    • Primary and secondary schools 7.1
      • Private schools 7.1.1
    • Public libraries 7.2
  • Notable people 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


Gardena is located at (33.893615, -118.307841).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15 km2), over 99% of which is land. A 9.4-acre wetland preserve, named the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve is located at the south-east corner of Gardena. This is a naturally-occurring marshland where water seeps above-ground all year round hosting several species of trees and other vegetation. It is located near the present day intersection of Vermont Avenue and Artesia Boulevard.

Gardena is bordered by Athens on the north, the Los Angeles neighborhood of Harbor Gateway on the east and south, Torrance on the southwest, Alondra Park on the west, and Hawthorne on the northwest.


Based on archaeological findings, the Tongva people hunted and fished in the area of today's Gardena.[11] The Tongva Indians — also known as Gabrielino Indians — are probably descendants of those who crossed from Asia to North America around 10,000 years ago.[11]

In 1784, three years after the foundation of Los Angeles, Juan Jose Dominguez (1736–1809), a Spanish soldier who arrived in San Diego, California in 1769 with Fernando Rivera y Moncada, in recognition of his military service, received the roughly 43,000-acre (170 km2) Spanish land grant, the Rancho San Pedro. Part of this land contained what became known as Gardena Valley.[11] After the American Civil War veterans bought parts of the land, soon ranchers and farmers followed suit.[11] Union Army Major General William Starke Rosecrans in 1869 bought 16,000 acres (65 km2). The "Rosecrans Rancho," was bordered by what later was Florence Avenue on the north, Redondo Beach Boulevard on the south, Central Avenue on the east, and Arlington Avenue on the west. The Rosecrans property was sub divided and sold in the early 1870s. One of those became the 650-acre (2.6 km2) Amestoy Ranch. Gardena proper began in 1887 when the Pomeroy & Harrison real estate developers subdivided the ranch, and-anticipating that the coming of the Los Angeles and Redondo Railway. Civil War veteran Spencer Roane Thorpe is credited with starting the first settlement in Gardena in 1887.[11] Railroads put Gardena on the map following a real estate boom in the Los Angeles area in the 1880s.[11] Some believe the city was named for its reputation for being the only "green spot" in the dry season between Los Angeles and the sea.[11] Because of its acres of berries, the city was dubbed "Berryland".[11] The Strawberry Day Festival and Parade was held each May annually.[11] The berry industry suffered at the time of World War I as other crops were supported by the war economy.[12] Japanese Americans settled in Gardena throughout its history.[13] Their community was the subject of a 60 Minutes report in 1970.

The only way Gardena could protect itself from a heavy county tax imposed on a planned project at a park site was to incorporate.[12] The City of Gardena became incorporated on September 11, 1930.[12]

From 1936 to 1980, Gardena held a local monopoly on legal cardrooms, the taxes from which accounted for nearly a third of its annual budget.[14]



The 2010 United States Census[17] reported that Gardena had a population of 58,829. The population density was 10,030.0 people per square mile (3,872.6/km²). The racial makeup of Gardena was 14,498 (24.6%) White (9.3% Non-Hispanic White),[6] 14,352 (24.4%) African American, 348 (0.6%) Native American, 15,400 (26.2%) Asian, 426 (0.7%) Pacific Islander, 11,136 (18.9%) from other races, and 2,669 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22,151 persons (37.7%).

The Census reported that 58,035 people (98.7% of the population) lived in households, 122 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 672 (1.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 20,558 households, out of which 7,199 (35.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,782 (42.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,931 (19.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,486 (7.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,085 (5.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 104 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 5,142 households (25.0%) were made up of individuals and 1,921 (9.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82. There were 14,199 families (69.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.39.

The population was spread out with 13,410 people (22.8%) under the age of 18, 5,353 people (9.1%) aged 18 to 24, 16,656 people (28.3%) aged 25 to 44, 15,086 people (25.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 8,324 people (14.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.9 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.

There were 21,472 housing units at an average density of 3,660.8 per square mile (1,413.5/km²), of which 9,852 (47.9%) were owner-occupied, and 10,706 (52.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.6%. 28,585 people (48.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 29,450 people (50.1%) lived in rental housing units.

During 2009–2013, Gardena had a median household income of $48,251, with 15.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line. [6]


As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 57,746 people, 20,324 households, and 14,023 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,921.3 inhabitants per square mile (3,830.9/km²). There were 21,041 housing units at an average density of 3,615.0 per square mile (1,395.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 23.82% White, 25.99% Black or African American, 0.64% Native American, 26.82% Asian, 0.73% Pacific Islander, 16.94% from other races, and 5.05% from two or more races. 31.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 20,324 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 18.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,988, and the median income for a family was $44,906. Males had a median income of $32,951 versus $29,908 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,263. About 12.3% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.3% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


In 1980, about 31% of the population was Anglo white, 23% was black, 21% was Japanese, and 17% was Latino. The remainder included a Korean community that was increasing in size and Chinese, Filipino, and Native American people. The National Planning Data Corp. released projected figures in 1987 estimating that of the 50,000 residents, 26.3% were Anglo, 23% were black, 22.7 were Latino, and 28% were of other racial groups. By 1989, Anglo and Japanese residents tended to live in central and southern Gardena. Middle class black people began to move into the Hollypark area in northern Gardena in the 1960s, so the black population was concentrated there.[19]


According to the 1970 U.S. Census, 56% of the population was White. Racial demographic changes occurred until 1978. That year, Mayor Edmond J. Russ declared that, according to a special 1978 census, the racial demographics of Gardena had stabilized.[20]

Ethnic groups


As of 1988 Gardena has a large Japanese-American community.[21] As of 1988 the Japanese Cultural Institute (JCI) is located in Gardena and offers cultural and social activities for Japanese Americans. The building used during that year was completed in 1976.[22]

Early in Gardena's history, Japanese migrants played a role in the agrarian economy. The Japanese Association founded the Moneta Japanese Institute in 1911 and the Parents' Association founded the Gardena Japanese School in 1916.[23] Beginning in the 1920s, Japanese-American organizations, including the Moneta Gakuen, had been established continuously around the current JCI site. The Moneta Gakuen operated a school until the World War II internment.[22] In 1942 the U.S. military moved the Japanese in Gardena to internment camps.[23] In 1966, for the first time, a Nisei was seated on the city council.[24] In 1980 the city was 21% Japanese, and as of 1989 the Japanese tended to live in the center and south of the city.[19]

Korean Americans

As of 1992 about 60% of the Korean population in the South Bay region lived in Gardena and Torrance. By that year, many Korean businesses had been established in Gardena because it had commercial land more affordable than that of Torrance, a middle-class base, and an established Asian population.[25] In 1990, 2,857 ethnic Koreans lived in Gardena, a 209% increase from the 1980 figure of 924 ethnic Koreans.[26]


In the California State Legislature, Gardena is in the 35th Senate District, represented by Democrat Isadore Hall III, and in the 66th Assembly District, represented by Republican David Hadley.[27]

In the United States House of Representatives, Gardena is in California's 43rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Maxine Waters.[28]

Infrastructure and public services

The Gardena Office of Economic Development is a department of the city government. It aids employers in filling a variety of jobs customized to their specific needs. It also helps potential employers in setting up business enterprises.

The Gardena Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency in the City. The Police Department has 93 sworn police officers, 24 full-time support staff, and 33 part-time employees. There are reserve, volunteer, and explorer programs. The current Chief of Police is Edward Medrano, appointed in 2007. Radio communications and the 9-1-1 call center are handled by the South Bay Regional Public Communications Authority.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Curtis Tucker Health Center in Inglewood and the Torrance Health Center in Harbor Gateway, Los Angeles, near Torrance and serving Gardena.[29][30]

The United States Postal Service operates the Gardena Post Office at 1455 West Redondo Beach Boulevard,[31] the South Gardena Post Office at 1103 West Gardena Boulevard,[32] and the Alondra Post Office at 14028 Van Ness Avenue.[33]


Rosecrans Metro Silver Line station at Gardena

The city operates the Gardena Municipal Bus Lines.

The National Transportation Safety Board operates the Gardena Aviation Field Office in Harbor Gateway, Los Angeles; it is the regional headquarters of the NTSB Aviation Western Region.[34]


Digital Manga is headquartered in Suite 300 at 1487 West 178th Street.[35] Nissin Foods has its United States headquarters and its Gardena Plant in Gardena.[36][37] Nissin Foods (U.S.A.) Co., Inc. opened in Gardena in 1970.[38] Marukai Corporation U.S.A. has its headquarters in Gardena.[39] En Pointe Technologies is based in Gardena. Nissan North America headquarters called Gardena home until they moved to Tennessee in 2006.

National Stores Inc., which operates the Factory 2-U and the Fallas Paredes brands, has its headquarters in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles,[40] located near the City of Gardena.[41]

Top employers

According to the City's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[42] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Memorial Hospital of Gardena 735
2 Hustler Casino 712
3 United Parcel Service 500
4 Hitco Carbon Composites 465
5 Normandie Casino 410
6 Southwest Offset Printing 354
7 Ramona's Mexican Food 240
8 Nissin Foods 230
9 Target 220
10 Sam's Club 167


Primary and secondary schools

The Los Angeles Unified School District operates public schools.

Zoned middle schools include:

  • Peary Middle School[43]
    • Some areas in Gardena have a choice between Peary and Clay Middle School[44] (Los Angeles)

Zoned high schools include:

In Spring 1956, the junior high school classes stayed at the old Gardena High School while the high school classes moved into a new building. Up until the opening of the new Gardena High School, high school students held morning shifts, while junior high school students held afternoon shifts.[45]

Private schools

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles operates Catholic schools in Gardena, including Junípero Serra High School,[46] Maria Regina Catholic School (K-8),[47] and St. Anthony of Padua School (K-8).[48] Gardena Valley Christian School, a K-8 non-Catholic private school, is in Gardena.[49] The Gardena Christian Academy, a PreK-2 Christian school, is in Gardena.[50]

Public libraries

Gardena Mayme Dear Library, a 16,000-square-foot (1,500 m2) building located in Gardena,[51] and Masao W. Satow Library, located west of Gardena in Alondra Park (El Camino Village), unincorporated Los Angeles County,[52][53] are operated by the County of Los Angeles Public Library.

Wednesday Progressive Club sponsored the formation of the Gardena Library.[51] In 1913 the Moneta Branch was formed.[52] In 1914 the Gardena Library became a part of the Los Angeles County Free Library system. Due to annexation the library was transferred to the Los Angeles City Library Board.[51] In 1919 the Strawberry Park branch was formed.[52] In August 1951 the Gardena library came back to the county system.[51] In 1958 the Strawberry Park and Moneta branches merged into the West Gardena Branch.[52] The current Gardena library building was dedicated on December 5, 1964.[51] In 1969 a fire forced the West Gardena branch to go to a new location. The current Satow building, dedicated on February 26, 1977, was named after a Japanese American in the community.[52] The Gardena library received its current name on May 30, 1992 after a library volunteer, who had died prior to the renaming.[51]

Notable people

The following is a list of natives, residents, and other people with strong ties to the city:

See also


  1. ^ "Gardena: Community History in Words and Pictures". County of Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of  
  3. ^ "Elected Officials". City of Gardena. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California".  
  5. ^ "Gardena".  
  6. ^ a b c d "Gardena (city) QuickFacts".  
  7. ^ "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  8. ^ "Number Administration System - NPA and City/Town Search Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gardena Heritage Committee (2006). Gardena. Arcadia Publishing. p. 7.  
  12. ^ a b c Gardena, p. 8
  13. ^ Frequently Asked Questions: Gardena County of Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on March 27, 2010.
  14. ^ Ferrell, David (December 14, 1998). "Living by Casinos, Losing by Casinos". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Gardena city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  18. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  19. ^ a b Goodman, Adrianne. "toward EQUALITY : EXPLORING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE : ON THE STREET Where You Live : GARDENA." (Article information) Los Angeles Times. February 13, 1989. Special Section; Metro Desk p. 8. "In 1980, Gardena was about 31% Anglo, 23% black, 21% Japanese and 17% Latino. [...] much of the city's Japanese population was placed in internment camps."
  20. ^ Williams, Bob. "Gardena Stable After Years of Racial Change." Los Angeles Times. August 20, 1978. Centinela-South Bay p. CS1. Retrieved on August 30, 2013. "A special 1978 census portrays Gardena as a stable, integrated and largely middle-class community after eight years of racial change, according to Mayor Edmond J. Russ." and "The city, which had a 56% Anglo population in 1970, ac- cording to the 1970 US ... In fact, the Japanese, Chi- nese, Filipino and other Asian proportions in the[...]"
  21. ^ Goodman, Adrianne. "Teacher Helps Japanese-Americans Brush Up on Their Heritage." Los Angeles Times. November 24, 1988. Retrieved on August 30, 2013.
  22. ^ a b "'Focal Point' for Community : Institute Perpetuates Japanese Culture." Los Angeles Times. September 1, 1988. Retrieved on August 30, 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Gardena Frequently Asked Questions." (Archive) County of Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on August 29, 2013.
  24. ^ "Gardena Council Seats Japanese." Los Angeles Times. April 24, 1966. Centinela-South Bay p. CS1. Retrieved on August 30, 2013. "After 35 years of incorporation this city, with a large Japanese population, has a Nisei on the City Council. kooka [sic] is first Japanese to be elected to Gardena City[...]"
  25. ^ Millacan, Anthony. "Presence of Koreans Reshaping the Region : Immigrants: A developing Koreatown in Gardena symbolizes changes a growing population is bringing to the area." ( Archive) Los Angeles Times. February 2, 1992. Metro; PART-B; Zones Desk p. 3. p. 1 of 2. Retrieved on August 30, 2013.
  26. ^ Millacan, Anthony. "Presence of Koreans Reshaping the Region : Immigrants: A developing Koreatown in Gardena symbolizes changes a growing population is bringing to the area." ( Archive) Los Angeles Times. February 2, 1992. Metro; PART-B; Zones Desk p. 3. p. 2 of 2. Retrieved on August 30, 2013.
  27. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  28. ^ "California's 43rd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  29. ^ "Torrance Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  30. ^ "Curtis Tucker Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  31. ^ "Post Office Location - GARDENA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  32. ^ "Post Office Location - SOUTH GARDENA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  33. ^ "Post Office Location - ALONDRA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  34. ^ "Regional Offices: Aviation." National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  35. ^ "Contact DMI." Digital Manga. Retrieved on April 21, 2009. "Digital Manga, Inc. 1487 West 178th Street, Suite 300 Gardena, CA 90248"
  36. ^ "No Border: 200 Annual Report." Nissin Foods Holdings. 42 (44/48). Retrieved on December 27, 2010. "Nissin Foods (U.S.A.) Co., Inc. (Corporate Offices & Gardena Plant) 2001 West Rosecrans Avenue, Gardena, CA 90249 U.S.A."
  37. ^ Hevesi, Dennis. "Momofuku Ando, 96, Dies; Invented Instant Ramen." The New York Times. January 9, 2007. Retrieved on March 5, 2010.
  38. ^ "History." Nissin Foods Holdings. Retrieved on December 27, 2010.
  39. ^ "About Us." Marukai Corporation U.S.A.. Retrieved on December 22, 2011. "1740 WEST ARTESIA BLVD. GARDENA, CA 90248" - Japanese version
  40. ^ "Contact Us." National Stores. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  41. ^ "Fallas Paredes expanding local presence." Austin Business Journal. Monday August 11, 2008. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  42. ^ City of Gardena CAFR
  43. ^ "Peary Middle School". 
  44. ^ "Henry Clay Middle School". 
  45. ^ "Peary Middle School History." Peary Junior High School. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
  46. ^ "Contact Us." Junípero Serra High School. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
  47. ^ "Contact Maria Regina Catholic School." Maria Regina Catholic School. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
  48. ^ "St. Anthony of Padua." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
  49. ^ Home. Gardena Valley Christian School. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
  50. ^ "Gardena Christian Academy contact information." Gardena Christian Academy. Retrieved on December 26, 2010. "Address: Gardena Christian Academy & Preschool 16311 S. Western Ave. Gardena, CA 90247."
  51. ^ a b c d e f "Gardena Mayme Dear Library." County of Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
  52. ^ a b c d e "Masao W. Satow Library." County of Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
  53. ^ "Alondra Park CDP, California." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 5, 2010.
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gardena Heritage Committee, "Images of America: Gardena," (San Francisco: Arcadia Publishing, 2006), 74-99
  55. ^ "Charles Evans". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  56. ^ "Juaquin Juan Hawkins". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  57. ^ Winslow, Mike. "Tyga Returns To High School To Inspire Students". 

Further reading

  • Williams, Bob. "Gardena Goes Its Way, Successfully." Los Angeles Times. August 16, 1984. South Bay p. SB1.
  • Yoshinaga, George. "HORSE’S MOUTH: Where to Eat in Gardena." (Archive) Rafu Shimpo. Wednesday August 21, 2013.

External links

  • Official website
  • Jobs and Business: Gardena Economic Development
  • Cultural: Gabrielino/Tongva Tribal Council Website
  • Cultural: Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute
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