NFT Los Angeles Baldwin Hills

Baldwin Hills

Baldwin Hills is a well-to-do African American community whose first claim to fame was hosting the world's first Olympic Village in 1932. Post-Olympics, this mid-city swath of rolling hills became the gilded, exclusive enclave of the rich and famous -- called the "Black Beverly Hills." Today's roster of homeowners now includes more doctors, dentists, lawyers, and other professionals than top entertainment and sports stars.

Perched atop Baldwin Hills, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area hovers under the radar of even longtime Angelenos, but its five miles of hiking trails, many playgrounds, and stocked fishing pond are heavily used on the weekends. Of course, commuters from Hollywood, Mid-City, and elsewhere will have seen the recreation area's signage as they take the unofficial freeway alternative route to LAX: La Brea Avenue south to Century Boulevard, then west into the sunset.See more.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Presidents of LA

By Jess Winfield
So many American President-named streets, so little time. What breed of establishments dot the streets that epitonize the characters of our great national leaders? Find out while you still can.


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Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Ballona Creek Bike Path
After the sun comes up you’ll have to put up with regiments of bikers who fancy themselves Lance Armstong yammering to one another as they ride, but before sunrise this is a great place to enjoy the sound of surf and an ocean sunrise. You can also spend a few minutes pondering why anyone would fish these waters since they are filled with Styrofoam cups and condom wrappers and random detritus of beach lovers too lazy to walk 50 feet to the trash canisters. Any weekend morning, there will be at least half dozen hearty souls with their rolling wagons full of food and bait standing on the rocks The UCLA boathouse is on the Marina del Rey side of the bridge along with the California Yacht Club so you'll often see rowers out in eight person boats or solitary scullers rowing to their inner coxswains. Surprisingly graceful pelicans swoop down to grab fish. Cranes stand close to shore on long, delicate legs. The Playa del Rey side has beach access where you can watch the ocean tumble in or contemplate why early morning beach dog walkers never curb their pets.

Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

Village Green Owners' Association
Progressive idealism is alive and well in this 64 acre development from 1942. The Village Green, declared a National Historical Landmark in 2001, was designed by five architects including Reginald Johnson, Robert Alexander and Clarence Stein. It remains a functional example of housing based on the ideas of the "Garden City." The first thing evident in this subdivision is the separation between pedestrian space and automobile space. The interior of the development is devoted to a peaceful green with many, many now mature trees. The one and two story modern dwellings are cleanly integrated into the landscape. It's striking how quickly the city fades into the background. I also like how they have a special section tucked in next to the garages for clotheslines. In 1972, the 600 plus dwellings in this private development were converted from apartments to condos.

Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

Ballona Creek Bike Path
This bike path is a great shortcut to the ocean. Approaching from the north, you can get to the start of the bike trail from Venice Boulevard or Redondo Boulevardd/Jefferson Boulevard. There are three types of bike routes in Los Angeles and Ballona Creek is the best type: Class 1, meaning no cars at all. It’s really super and makes riding easier and more relaxing. The north-most mile is lower-down in the creek-bed and at times somewhat industrial. The bike path quickly opens-up and is again is a great route to the Pacific. You can connect to the glorious ocean bike trail and make it a long trip. Near the coast you pass by what remains of the historic Ballona Wetlands, which is now in a 483 acre protected area. (98% of the coastal wetlands have been destroyed in Los Angeles County.) It’s a really fun ride. For other bike routes, look at this very helpful map. Be aware that the Class III bike paths-green on this map do not have a clearly marked bike lane so be aware of traffic.

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