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City of Monterey Park
Cascades Waterfall on Atlantic Boulevard
Cascades Waterfall on Atlantic Boulevard
Official seal of City of Monterey Park
Location of Monterey Park in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Monterey Park in Los Angeles County, California
CountryUnited States
CountyLos Angeles
 • MayorAnthony Wong
 • Total7.7 sq mi (19.9 km2)
 • Land7.6 sq mi (19.8 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)  0.39%
384 ft (117 m)
 • Total63,928
 • Density7,869.5/sq mi (3,038.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)323, 626
FIPS code06-48914
GNIS feature ID1652753

Monterey Park is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The city's motto is "Pride in the past, Faith in the future". Monterey Park is part of a cluster of cities, along with Arcadia, Temple City, Rosemead, San Marino, and San Gabriel in the west San Gabriel Valley, with a growing Asian population. [1] [2] As of the 2005 estimate, the city had a total population of 63,928.


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Monterey Park, California" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

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.[citation needed]

By the early 19th century the area was part of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel 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.[citation needed]

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

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 54-foot (16 m) 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.[citation needed]

In 1916, the new residents of the area initiated action to become a city when the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Alhambra 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 Montebello was established.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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 Air and Beverly Hills. 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

In the 1980s many Asian Americans began to move to Monterey Park. The city council tried and failed to pass English-only ordinances. Timothy Fong, a professor and director of Asian American studies at California State University, Sacramento, described Monterey Park as the first "suburban Chinatown" and said "Monterey Park went through a lot of upheaval that a lot of people regret."[3] In 1985 the City Council of Monterey Park approved drafting of a proposal that would require all businesses in Monterey Park to display English language identification on business signs.[4]

Recent history

In the 1980s, Monterey Park was referred to as "Little Taipei."[citation needed] Many businesses from Chinatown, Los Angeles began to open up stores in Monterey Park. In the 1970s and 1980s, many affluent waisheng ren Taiwanese immigrants moved abroad from Taiwan and began settling into Monterey Park. Mandarin Chinese dialect was predominant in the city during that time. cn By the late 1980s, immigrants from Mainland China and Vietnam 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.[citation needed]

From the late 1980s, with a combined influx of Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong immigrant students at the time, Mark Keppel High School, constructed during the New Deal era and located in Alhambra, but also serving most of Monterey Park and portions of Rosemead, felt the impact of this new immigration as the student population increased dramatically, leading to overcrowding. Today, many students are second- or third-generation Asian Americans.[citation needed]

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 locus, establishing themselves in the neighboring city of Alhambra. When the potential loss of business revenue was recognized, relocation back to Monterey Park was highly encouraged in the community.

Since early 1990s, the Taiwanese have no longer been the majority in the city, and Cantonese is now widely spoken in many 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 away from Monterey Park. Furthermore, a great many established, wealthy Taiwanese immigrants have since relocated out of Monterey Park and northward to wealthier cities of San Marino, Arcadia, Temple City, South Pasadena, and eastward to Diamond Bar, Hacienda Heights, Walnut and Rowland Heights, sometimes called the "New Little Taipei" by a local Chinese-language newspaper.[citation needed] Many Chinese-speaking businesses were established in these suburbs to accommodate this shift in demographics. This path exactly follows the White Flight of the late 1970s.[citation needed] Development of new buildings in Monterey Park has come to a virtual standstill, although there are still numerous Chinese-oriented businesses in Monterey Park. There are still many overgrown weedy lots still remaining undeveloped.


The Chinese-dominated business district, between Garfield Avenue and Garvey Avenue, is called "Downtown Monterey Park".[citation needed] In the mid-1980s, Lincoln Plaza Hotel was built to predominately service tourists from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Monterey Park has many choices of Hong Kong fusion cafes, the first Hong Kong-style cafe opened in San Gabriel Valley opened in Monterey Park, but it has since closed.[citation needed] There are several Cantonese seafood restaurants, as well as restaurants offering Mainland Chinese noodles and dumplings. As the activity of Taiwanese immigrant activity shifted to San Gabriel, Arcadia and Rowland Heights in the 1980s and 1990s, very few Taiwanese restaurants have opened in Monterey Park.


Cascades Market Place will be located next to the State Highway 60, Pomona Freeway, and is the future site of 500,000-square-foot (50,000 m2) the 45 acre Monterey Park Market Place center. The Monterey Park Towne Centre will offer 71,366 square feet (6,630 m2) of retail space in the heart of Monterey Park's Downtown revitalization. Integrated into the multi-use development are 109 condominiums.

Currently, several major construction projects are taking place in Monterey Park. Plans may be viewed on the Monterey Park website. [5]

Places of Interest

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 8-inch (200 mm) refractor, and the grounds are open to the public for astronomical observation on Wednesday evenings, hosted by LAAS members.

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.[citation needed]


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

The city boundaries include Los Angeles to the west, unincorporated East Los Angeles to the south, Alhambra to the north, Rosemead to the northeast, Montebello to the south, and unincorporated South San Gabriel 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 34°02′57″N 118°08′08″W / 34.049199°N 118.135561°W / 34.049199; -118.135561.Template:GR

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 censusTemplate:GR 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 American, 28.91% Hispanic American or Latino American of any race, 21.29% White American, 12.45% from other races, 3.35% from two or more races, 0.65% Native American, 0.38% African American, and 0.06% Pacific Islander American. Monterey Park is 42.32% Chinese American,and is the city in the United States with the largest population of Chinese descent.[citation needed] It is 61.82% Asian American.[citation needed] The Chinese American population in Monterey Park and San Gabriel Valley is relatively diverse in socio-economics and region of origin. Monterey Park has attracted immigrants from Taiwan, as well as Mainland Chinese and the overseas Chinese from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar. While the multi-generational American-born Latino population was generally declining in Monterey Park, there has been a small new influx of Mexican immigrants.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]


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[6] and is represented by Democrats Adam Schiff and Judy Chu.

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

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.[7]

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has its headquarters in Monterey Park.[8] The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Monrovia Health Center in Monrovia, serving Monterey Park.[9]


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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.


Monterey Highlands School
Mark Keppel High School

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.[10]

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 Angeles (unincorporated).

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Alhambra USD

K-8 schools serving AUSD Monterey Park include:

Mark Keppel High School, located in Alhambra 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 Saint Stephen Martyr New Avenue School.[citation needed]

Public libraries

The Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library serves Monterey Park.[11]


This article includes a list of references, related reading, or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (September 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
  1. ^
  2. ^,
  3. ^ Quan, Douglas. "Some in Chino Hills nervous about ethnic shift." The Press-Enterprise. Tuesday February 6, 2007. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  4. ^ Arax, Mark. "Stronger Rules on English in Signs Pushed by Council." Los Angeles Times. December 5, 1985. 1. Retrieved on March 29, 2010.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Education-Based Discipline." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. April 29, 2009. Retrieved on March 12, 2010.
  9. ^ "Monrovia Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 27, 2010.
  10. ^,1,4455622.story
  11. ^ "Welcome!" Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library. Retrieved on March 16, 2010.