Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, southwest of downtown Los Angeles. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. As of the 2003 census, the city had a population of 115,208.
Waddingham traced the written history of Inglewood back to the original settlers of Los Angeles in 1781, one of whom was the Spanish soldier Jose Manuel Orchado Machado, "a 23-year-old muleteer from Los Alamos in Sinaloa." These settlers, she wrote, were ordered by the officials of the San Gabriel Mission "to graze their animals on the ocean side of Los Angeles in order not to infringe on Mission lands." As a result, the settlers, or pobladores, drove some of their cattle to the "lush pasture lands near Centinela Springs," and the first construction there was done by one Ignacio Avila, who received a permit in 1822 to build a "corral and hut for his herders."
Later Avila constructed a three-room adobe on a slight rise overlooking the creek that ran from Centinela Springs all the way to the ocean. According to the LAOkay web site, this adobe was built where the present baseball field is in the park. It no longer exists.
In 1834 Ignacio Machado, one of the sons of Jose Machado, built the Centinela Adobe, which sits on a rise above the present 405 San Diego Freeway and is used as the headquarters of the Centinela Valley Historical Society. Two years later, Waddingham writes, Ignacio was granted of the Centinela Springs rancho even though this land had already been claimed by Avila.
The first black principal among the 18 Inglewood schools was Peter Butler at La Tijera Elementary (page 66), and in 1971, Waddingham wrote, “Stormy racial meetings in 1971” included a charge by “some real estate men in the overflowing Crozier Auditorium” that the Human Relations Commission was acting like “the Gestapo” (page 67).
In 1972 Curtis Tucker Sr. was appointed as the first black City Council member. That year composer LeRoy Hurte, an African-American, took the baton of the Inglewood Symphony Orchestra and continued to work with it for 20 years. Edward Vincent became Inglewood’s first black mayor in 1980. In that decade Inglewood became the first city in California to declare the birth of Martin Luther King as a holiday. (Pages 69, 75 and 76.)
Today, Inglewood is the largest predominantly African-American city in California with a population over 100,000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 112,580 people, 36,805 households, and 25,837 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,755.7/km² (12,323.6/mi²). There were 38,648 housing units at an average density of 1,632.6/km² (4,230.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.13% Black or African American, 19.1% White, 1.14% Asian, 0.69% Native American, 0.36% Pacific Islander, 27.38% from other races, and 4.20% from two or more races. 46.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 36,805 households, of which 42.7% include children under the age of 18, 38.5% were married couples living together, 24.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02, and the average family size was 3.63.
In the city the population was spread out with 32.4% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,269, and the median income for a family was $36,541. Males had a median income of $28,515 versus $30,096 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,776. About 19.4% of families and 22.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.1% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.
Meanwhile, a permanent school building was erected on Grevillea Avenue a block to the south, between Regent and Queen. It remained Inglewood's only school until 1911. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1920. (Waddingham, pages 6 and 26.)
The Centinela Valley Union High School District was organized in 1904 to bring secondary education to the town. Inglewood High opened in two rooms of the school building with 15 students taught by Nina Martin, principal, and Anna McClelland. Four years later, a new building rose on of land, and the first graduation of one boy and four girls took place in 1908. (Waddingham, pages 13-14).
Until 1912 there was a new principal every year at the grammar school, but on May 8 of that year George W. Crozier was named principal, and he held the post for 20 years. The school was renamed in his honor in 1932 (Waddingham, page 20). In 1913, George M. Green was appointed principal of Inglewood Union High School; he retired from that position in 1939 (Waddingham, page 22).
In 1914 voters approved bonds for high school improvement. Four more buildings and a power plant were erected, "joined by walks and arcades." The improvement included a "five-room model flat in the Home Economics Building." Nine acres of land were bought at Kelso Avenue and Damask (now Inglewood Avenue) for an experimental agricultural statement, thenceforth known as "The Farm." There were gardens, an orchard and an alfalfa field. In 1915 Inglewood High won a first-place Los Angeles County prize for its beautiful ivy-covered brick buildings. These buildings were destroyed in 1953 to make room for new ones. (Waddingham, pages 24 and 58c.)
In the mid-1920s, the high school district stretched all the way south to El Segundo, so two women teachers were asked to live in El Segundo and ride the school buses with the students every day to and from that city — for an extra dollar a day in pay. In 1923 girls adopted a school uniform, "a dark blue skirt with a white middy." About that time, Fairview Heights School was built on Marlborough Avenue in North Inglewood, joining Kelso School, which had gone up earlier. The name was changed later to Centinela School. In 1923, Hyde Park shifted from the Inglewood to the Los Angeles School District when the area voted to annex to Los Angeles. (Waddingham, pages 19, 30 and 31.)
In 1925 a new fine arts building for the high school was erected on the southwest corner of Grevillea and Manchester, replacing the Truax Candy Kitchen, but it was severely damaged by the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. It was "later rebuilt with WPA help but lost its magnificent stairway and all its fireplaces." Temporary classrooms were built on Olive Street, "all too cold in winter and too hot most of the time." (Waddingham, pages 34 and 41.)
The athletic field on the west side of the campus, later called Badenoch Field, was used for physical education and sporting events. In 1937, agricultural classes were ended at the Farm and Sentinel Field was dedicated there for sports activities. By 1938 there were more than 3,000 students and 141 teachers at the high school. (Waddingham, pages 30 and 43.)
The "startling news" of 1948 was the dismissal "of the entire administrative staff at Inglewood High School, beginning with Principal James R. Haines." He was replaced by Forrest Murdoch of Everett, Washington, as superintendent and Fred Heisner as principal (Waddingham, page 49).
In 1952, another secondary school campus in Inglewood was opened in the east side neighborhood of Morningside Park as Morningside High School. Center Avenue School of Los Angeles became part of the Inglewood School District in 1961 when its area (Crenshaw-Imperial) was annexed to the city. In the 1970s, its name was changed to Worthington School to honor Frances and William Worthington (Waddingham, page 55, 59 and 74.)
The first church service was held on April 22, 1888, in the Inglewood House hotel on Commercial Street (today's La Brea Boulevard), popularly called Mrs. Belden's Boarding House, when Inglewood had only 300 residents and 112 registered voters. Later services were in Bucephalus Hall, but eventually the congregation moved to Hyde Park, which left Inglewood with no church. On January 19, 1890, Inglewood's first permanent church — Presbyterian — was established on Market Street. A bit later the [United] Brethren constructed a building on South Market Street. (Waddingham, pages 6, 10 and 17.)
In 1907, a group of Episcopalians began services in a private home, and a few years later the first Catholic services were held in Bank Hall (Waddingham, page 14). In 1910 the Presbyterians moved their two buildings, a sanctuary and a manse, to the corner of Grevillea and Nutwood "because the streetcars [on Market Street] were so noisy and threw so much dust and sand fleas in the windows" (page 17).
By 1940, the Methodists had built a structure at Manchester and La Brea, but in that year they moved to a new building at Kelso and Spruce. St. John's Catholic Church and School were built in 1956 on Florence Avenue. (Waddingham, pages 46 and 57.)