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Temple City, California

Temple City, California
City of Temple City
Flag of Temple City, California
Official seal of Temple City, California
Motto: "Home Of Camellias"
Location of Temple City in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Temple City in Los Angeles County, California
Temple City, California is located in USA
Temple City, California
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated May 25, 1960[1]
 • Mayor Carl Blum[2]
 • Mayor Pro Tempore Tom Chavez[2]
 • Total 4.006 sq mi (10.374 km2)
 • Land 4.006 sq mi (10.374 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation 400 ft (122 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 35,558
 • Density 8,900/sq mi (3,400/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 91780[4]
Area code 626[5]
FIPS code 06-78148
GNIS feature ID 1656640
Temple City, California
Traditional Chinese 坦普爾市
Simplified Chinese 坦普尔市
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese 天普市

Temple City is a city in Los Angeles County, California. Temple City is part of a cluster of cities, along with Arcadia, Rosemead, Monterey Park, San Marino, and San Gabriel, in the west San Gabriel Valley with a rapidly growing Asian population. Temple City also has a Cuban and Puerto Rican community, among other Latino nationalities. Approximately one third of the city's population is white. The population was 35,558 at the 2010 census.


  • History 1
  • Political corruption 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 3.1
  • Geography 4
  • Government and infrastructure 5
    • City Council 5.1
  • Of interest 6
    • Temple City Library 6.1
    • Notable people 6.2
  • Emergency services 7
  • Events 8
    • Camellia Festival 8.1
    • Parish Fiesta 8.2
    • Farmers Market 8.3
  • Schools 9
  • Sister cities 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


The town of Temple was originated on May 30, 1923 when Walter P. Temple (June 7, 1870 – November 13, 1938), (Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum)[6] purchased 400 acres (160 ha) of land four miles (6 km) east of San Gabriel which had been part of Lucky Baldwin's Rancho Santa Anita.

Temple, the son and tenth child[7] of Pliny Fisk Temple and William Workman's daughter Antonia Margarita Workman, was born on Rancho La Merced, which is today part of the city of Montebello.[8] This was the site of the original San Gabriel Mission, founded by the Franciscan Fathers next to the rich bottom lands of the San Gabriel River. Historically called "Rio de los Temblores", which means the River of the Earthquakes.[9] It is today known as the Rio Hondo River.[10]

Temple envisioned building a community where average people could afford to live and own their homes. He then divided the area into lots and laid out the park facing Las Tunas Drive. He named other streets after friends and family: Workman, Kauffman, Rowland, Temple and Agnes. Bond issues initiated by Temple were responsible for street paving and electricity. Temple also petitioned the Pacific Electric Railway Company to extend its Los Angeles to Alhambra line to a depot adjacent to Temple City Park. The extension of the railway contributed to the steady growth of Temple City.[7]

The town was originally called "City of Temple", but the Postmaster General demanded a name change in 1926 because the mail was instead being directed to the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. It was officially was designated Temple City but remained a city in name only until after the post–World War II population explosion. The redundancy in the name City of Temple City came when Temple City incorporated on May 25, 1960.[9]

Currently, Temple City is a destination for East Asian, Eastern European, Middle East and Latino immigrants, especially Chinese-Americans. Rosemead Boulevard has several strip malls catering to a largely Asian but diverse customer base. A German-American community thrived there in the early 20th century.

Political corruption

Beginning in January 2009, The Los Angeles County district attorney began investigating allegations that Temple City's mayor, Judy Wong, along with city council members David Capra, and former mayor Cathe Wilson[11] solicited bribes in exchange for support of the proposed $75-million Temple City Piazza mall project and both women were charged with lying on fair political practice commission disclosure forms.[12] Randy Wang, developer of the Piazza project, made allegations that Wong, Wilson and Councilman David Capra demanded and received cash bribes for their support of the development.[11] Wang raised the allegations as part of his counter-suit against the city, which sued him in April, 2008, claiming he failed to meet contractual deadlines of construction on the 4-acre (16,000 m2) Piazza project. Temple City's lawsuit asks that the property, at Las Tunas Drive and Rosemead Boulevard, be returned to the city because of the delays after two groundbreaking ceremonies.[13]

Wong, 55, the city's first Asian council member, was elected in 2003, re-elected in 2007, and served as the city's first Asian mayor in 2007,[14] Capra pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of failure to report a campaign contribution and agreed to resign as a condition for no prison time.[11][15] Nine months after being indicted on charges of bribery and perjury, Wong resigned from office in March, 2010; Wilson, now 78, was voted out of office in spring, 2009.[14] In May 2010, Wong accepted a plea agreement of no contest for 10 counts of bribery and perjury. Wong is serving a 16-month sentence at Chowchilla [15] after pleading no contest to 10 felony counts of bribery, solicitation of bribery and perjury, and she is required to pay $16,700 in restitution to developer Randy Wang. She will have to pay about $16,300 in fines and fees. The judge denied a request from Wong's attorney seeking probation for the onetime politician.[16]

Cathe Wilson is charged with three counts each of perjury and bribery. The perjury charges included one count of lying to the Los Angeles County Grand Jury in 2008 and two counts of submitting false material in Fair Political Practices reports. Although she maintains her innocence, she chose not to plea, and her case was continued.[17] On March 30, 2011, Cathe Wilson pleaded innocent to all charges. "Oh, yes, I've got to prove my innocence," Wilson, 78, said at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center when asked if she was going forward with the trial. "I wouldn't put my life savings … if I didn't believe in my innocence. It's all a crock."[18] In May, 2011 she was convicted on six felony counts.[15] She was sentenced on June 23, 2011 to four years in state prison and to pay more than $10,000 in restitution to the developer.[19]

Former candidate Scott Carwile, Wilson's protege, pleaded guilty to felony perjury and was granted probation in exchange for testifying against Wilson.[15]

As of August, 2014, all persons sentenced to imprisonment in the affair have been released.[20][21]



The 2010 United States Census[24] reported that Temple City had a population of 35,558. The population density was 8,877.2 people per square mile (3,427.5/km²). The racial makeup of Temple City was 11,941 (33.6%) White (22.8% Non-Hispanic White),[25] 283 (0.8%) African American, 150 (0.4%) Native American, 19,803 (55.7%) Asian, 31 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 2,316 (6.5%) from other races, and 1,034 (2.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,853 persons (19.3%).

The Census reported that 35,136 people (98.8% of the population) lived in households, 29 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 393 (1.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 11,606 households, out of which 4,402 (37.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,605 (56.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,714 (14.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 686 (5.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 404 (3.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 65 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,973 households (17.0%) were made up of individuals and 844 (7.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03. There were 9,005 families (77.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.39.

The population was spread out with 7,549 people (21.2%) under the age of 18, 2,887 people (8.1%) aged 18 to 24, 8,983 people (25.3%) aged 25 to 44, 10,778 people (30.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,361 people (15.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.0 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

There were 12,117 housing units at an average density of 3,025.1 per square mile (1,168.0/km²), of which 7,453 (64.2%) were owner-occupied, and 4,153 (35.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.2%. 23,213 people (65.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 11,923 people (33.5%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Temple City had a median household income of $66,075, with 10.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[25]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2).

Government and infrastructure

In the California State Legislature, Temple City is in the 22nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Ed Hernandez, and in the 49th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Ed Chau.[26]

In the United States House of Representatives, Temple City is in California's 27th congressional district, represented by Democrat Judy Chu.[27]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Monrovia Health Center in Monrovia, serving Temple City.[28]

City Council

The City Council of Temple City has five members. They are each elected by citizens for four-year term. As a legislative body, it is the duty of the council to make the laws and establish policy. Each year the council selects one of its members to act as Mayor and one as Mayor Pro Tempore. The Mayor presides over the council meetings and represents the city at civic functions. The Mayor Pro Tempore serves in the mayor's absence. The current city council is: Mayor Tom Chavez, Mayor Pro Tempore Vincent Yu, and Council members Cynthia Sternquist, Nanette Fish, and William Man.[2]

Of interest

The proposed Temple City Piazza mall project, at the corner of Las Tunas Drive and Rosemead Boulevard, would include 124,600 square feet (11,580 m2) of retail space, restaurants, banquet facilities and a food court. Original plans also included 52 one-bedroom condos, but that part of the development was scrapped.[29] Today, the 3.7 acres (1.5 ha) set aside for the Temple City Piazza mall are an empty lot, overgrown with weeds and surrounded by fencing. Facing the busy intersection is a sign with bold lettering, advertising that the Piazza is "coming soon in 2010." [29]

The "Bridal District," along the stretch of the downtown area on Las Tunas Drive, has made Temple City a bride's "mecca" for all wedding needs including elaborate dresses, floral creations and lavish portraits. Brides come from as far away as New York to visit this Temple City specialty sector.[30] These businesses are primarily owned by ethnic Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants.

Of notable interest is that even though the chain no longer has a store within city limits, Winchell's Donuts originated in Temple City, opening on October 8, 1948.[31] In addition, in the 1970s, Temple City was home to Pete & Jake's Hot Rod Repair,[32] noted for custom cars, such as The California Kid.

Temple City Library

A new mural was mounted on the west exterior wall of the newly remodeled Temple City Library in the summer of 2011. The mural, which was painted by more than 20 Temple City students under the tutelage of West Los Angeles-based muralist Art Mortimer, is the first project of the city's public art advisory group formed in February. The creation of the 8-foot high, 28-foot wide mural was a partnership between the city, the advisory group, Los Angeles County and the Temple City Unified School District and designed by Temple City High school students. It shows famous authors, and is an "interesting and unique way of showing what's inside the library," Mortimer said. Further stating that "The way they depict famous writers throughout history, the things they put in the background, such as books with wings, and their ways of showing the importance of the library in the community was very charming the way they did it." [33]

Notable people

  • Genie, a famous feral child lived on Golden West Road in Temple City when she was discovered in 1970.

Emergency services

Fire protection in Temple City is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.[34] The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Temple Station in Temple City.[35]


Camellia Festival

History: In 1944 a contest held by the Woman's Club of Temple City brought forth a slogan "Temple City, Home of Camellias", from which stemmed the annual Camellia Festival. It was in recognition of the significance of family life that the Camellia Festival was founded. The festival, which has attracted national recognition in ensuing years, is sponsored by the City of Temple City. Its purpose is to encourage every youngster in the community to belong to one of recognized youth organizations and to participate in the affairs of their community. Only members of recognized organizations are eligible to enter the Camellia Festival Parade. The Royalty Coronation of two first graders is held the first Friday of February.

The annual Temple City Camellia Festival takes place the last weekend in February. A parade begins the celebration on Saturday morning. The parade commences at the corner of Las Tunas Drive and Rosemead Blvd. Commercial floats are not allowed in the parade, all work is done by the youth and carry the theme of the year. A carnival is part of the three-day festivities, where the public may enjoy the hometown atmosphere in Temple City Park, while they participate in games booths and food booths, manned by local service and youth organizations. Varied Cultural entertainment events are open to the community and welcomed guests.[36]

What began in 1944 started by the Women’s Club of Temple City as a small parade of youngsters who tossed camellia blossoms to parade watchers, has now become a signature event in Temple City attracting an estimated 5000 children and more than 20,000 visitors to Temple City each year. The Camellia Festival is held on the last weekend in February which is only a part of the three-day festival. A carnival in Temple City Park as well as an Art show.[37]

Parish Fiesta

The annual Saint Luke's Parish Fiestal takes place at the St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in April. Located at Broadway and Cloverly Avenue, for three days, game booths, rides and food stalls are open to the community. Today, approximately 900 volunteers, young and old, work in the food and game booths throughout the weekend. Many of the volunteers worked when the first bazaars began more than 50 years ago. Every year, approximately 10,000 people enjoy the good food, rides, and entertainment throughout the weekend.[38]

Farmers Market

The Temple City's Farmer's Market is open every Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the parking lot between City Hall and Temple City Park.


Most of Temple City is served by the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD), although a significant portion of the resident students attend schools in Arcadia Unified School District and some attend school within the El Monte City School District. The Temple City Unified School District consists of seven schools, including La Rosa, Cloverly, Emperor, and Longden Elementary Schools; Oak Avenue Intermediate School; Temple City High School; and the Doug Sears Learning Center.

Cleminson Elementary School is physically located within the city limits of Temple City but is actually part of the El Monte City School District. Additionally, Emperor Elementary School, while part of the Temple City Unified School District, is physically located within an unincorporated region of Los Angeles County and carries a San Gabriel postal address.

The Temple City Board of Education proclaims their district as "A District of Distinguished Schools" because every school in the Temple City district has been designated a "distinguished school" by the State of California, at some time. This honor indicates that Temple City Schools are in a higher percentile in categories such as academics, deportment and other scholastic activities.[39] Temple City High School was ranked #209 in the America's Best High Schools in Newsweek's rankings in 2011.[40]

Saint Luke's Parish School, grades K–8, is located on the grounds of Saint Luke the Evangelist Church, at Broadway and Cloverly. Committed to providing aquality Catholic education, it was founded in 1947. Temporary structures, which were formerly army barracks donated from a parish in North Hollywood housed the new school. A permanent school was opened in 1956 and by 1958 sixteen classrooms were completed.[41]

Sister cities

Temple City currently has Sister City relations with the following places:

See also


  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of  
  2. ^ a b c "City Council". Temple City, CA. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California".  
  4. ^ "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  5. ^ "Number Administration System - NPA and City/Town Search Results". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  6. ^ "Temple City, History, California, Walter P. Temple, Los Angeles, Historic Society of Temple City". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  7. ^ a b "City of Temple City". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  8. ^ "More California Mission History: San Gabriel". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  9. ^ a b Jerry Jambazian. "History of Temple City". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  10. ^ History of Montebello Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  11. ^ a b c "Temple City mayor, two others indicted on bribery, perjury charges". Los Angeles Times. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  12. ^ "Temple City shaken by bribery scandal". 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  13. ^ "Prosecutors seize tapes in Temple City bribery probe". Pasadena Star-News. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  14. ^ a b Alfred Lee (March 3, 2010). "Indicted Temple City Councilwoman resigns from office". Pasadena Star-News. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Our View: Cathe Wilson: Pride before the pol's fall". Whittier Daily News. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  16. ^ "Ex-Temple City Mayor Wong gets 16 months". Pasadena Star-News. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  17. ^ "Former Temple City Councilwoman Judy Wong pleads no contest in corruption case, faces 16 months in state prison". Pasadena Star-News. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  18. ^ "Former Temple City mayor Cathe Wilson maintains her innocence before court appearance". Pasadena Star-News. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  19. ^ "Sentencing delayed for convicted ex-Temple City mayor Cathe Wilson". Pasadena Star-News. June 2, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  24. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Temple City city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "Temple City (city), California quick facts from the US census bureau". 
  26. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  27. ^ "California's 27th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  28. ^ "Monrovia Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 27, 2010.
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^ Hamilton, Denise (1994-04-28). "COVER STORY TOWN VS. GOWN A groundless rumor raises the specter of racism and casts a shadow of suspicion over Temple City's bridal shops". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  31. ^ Bryan Eggers. "WINCHELL'S DONUTS - Burgers, Pizza, Hot Dogs, Tacos, Fries, Candy, Fast Food". Junk Food News. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  32. ^ Street Rodder, 2/78, p.11.
  33. ^ "Mural unveiled on Temple City Library wall". 2010-01-22. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  34. ^ "Los Angeles County Fire Department, Temple City, CA : Reviews and maps - Yahoo! Local". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  35. ^ "Temple Station." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  36. ^
  37. ^ Miller, Terry (2010-11-06). "67th Camellia Festival Kick-Off Breakfast Announces Grand Marshal and other dignitaries". Temple City Tribune. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  38. ^
  39. ^ "California School Recognition Program (CA Dept of Education)". 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  40. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2011". Newsweek. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  41. ^ "St. Luke Catholic Church". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 

External links

  • Official website
  • TCHS Alumni Association (news magazine for alumni)
  • Temple City Voice (community news publication)
  • LA County Disaster Communications Service ( DCS ) Temple Station
  • Temple City Youth Football and Cheer
  • Temple City American Little League
  • Temple City AYSO youth soccer
  • Temple City Neighborhood Alliance (TCNA)
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