Inglewood, city (1990 pop. 109,602), Los Angeles co., S Calif., a residential and industrial suburb of Los Angeles, in an oil-producing area; founded 1873, inc. 1908. Its manufactures include motor-vehicle parts, furniture, processed food, plastics, and electronic equipment. Northrop Rice Aviation Institute of Technology and the Hollywood Park racetrack are in Inglewood. The city is also home of the Great Western Forum, a massive arena that hosts concerts and other events.

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.


Pre-American era

The earliest residents of what is now Inglewood may have been indigenous people who used the natural springs in today's Edward Vincent Jr. Park (known for most of its history as Centinela Park). Local historian Gladys Waddingham wrote in her 1994 book The History of Inglewood, that these springs took the name Centinela from the hills that rose gradually around them and which allowed ranchers to watch over their herds "(thus the name centinelas or sentinels)."

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.

American era

African-American city

“No blacks had ever lived in Inglewood,” Gladys Waddingham wrote (page 59), but by 1960, “they lived in great numbers along its eastern borders. , , Inglewood was a prime target because of its [previous] history of restrictions.” “Fair housing and school busing were the main problems of 1964. The schools were not prepared to handle racial incidents, even though any that occurred were very minor. Adults held many heated community meetings, since the Blacks objected to busing as much as did the Whites” (page 61). In 1969, an organization called “Morningside Neighbors” changed its name to “Inglewood Neighbors" "in the hope of promoting more integration” (page 63).

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.


Location and area

Inglewood is situated at (33.957513, -118.346082). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.7 km² (9.1 mi²). Downtown Inglewood is from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) (map).



The Crenshaw-Imperial district was a later annexation to Inglewood. It has its own branch public library and an important shopping center for the area.

Morningside Park

Morningside Park is a district in the eastern part of the city. Though the city of Inglewood does not define the district's boundaries, it may be delineated by Hyde Park on the north, South Los Angeles on the east, Century Boulevard on the south and Prairie Avenue on the west. The major streets that run through the area are Manchester and Crenshaw boulevards (map). It is six miles (10 km) from Los Angeles International Airport (map) and about two miles (3 km) from the Hollywood Park Racetrack (map)

North Inglewood

North Inglewood is the area north of the Santa Fe railroad tracks.


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.


In the state legislature Inglewood is located in the 25th Senate District, represented by Democrat Edward Vincent, and in the 51st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Curren D. Price Jr.. Federally, Inglewood is located in California's 35th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +33 and is represented by Democrat Maxine Waters. In 2005, the Bay Area Center for Voting research, a non-partisan organization based out of Berkeley, California ranked Inglewood as the sixth most liberal city in the U.S. The rankings were based more on how much voters in a particular city leans to the left or rightwing rather than how liberal or conservative the policies each city adopts are. The city of Inglewood is governed by mayor Roosevelt F. Dorn.


Most of Inglewood is served by the Inglewood Unified School District. Some of it is in the Los Angeles Unified School District

  • St John Chrysostom Elementary School is a private Catholic school
  • St. Mary's Academy, "In 1966 St. Mary's Academy left its home of many years on Slauson Avenue [at Crenshaw Boulevard] in Los Angeles for a new building on Grace Avenue across from [Daniel] Freeman Hospital" (Waddingham, page 62).

Schools History

In 1888, a school district was organized, trustees were elected and a building was chosen. The school opened on May 21 of that year on the second floor of a livery stable on Grevillea Avenue between Regent Street and Orchard (today's Florence Avenue), with 17 boys and 16 girls. The first teacher was Minnie Walker, a graduate of Los Angeles State Normal School. The schoolroom, named Bucephalus Hall, after a horse belonging to town founder Daniel Freeman, was also used for community meetings. (Waddingham, page 6.)

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.)


In 2007 the area served by the Inglewood post office (including Lennox) had 98 churches, temples, mosques, chapels and other houses of worship, according to the Web site.

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.)

Sister Cities

Born in Inglewood

Notable residents

Filming locations

References in fiction

Song lyrics

  • The rap California Love by 2Pac and Dr Dre contains the lyric Inglewood, Inglewood, always up to no good.
  • The Smut Peddlers recorded Inglewood Heroin Morning.
  • Inglewood native Mack 10 recorded Inglewood Swangin

External links



Cited here

  • Gladys Waddingham, The History of Inglewood, published by the Historical Society of Centinela Valley, Inglewood, 1994.

Not cited here

These volumes were listed on page iii of Gladys Waddingham's book as sources for her work

  • Constance Zillgitt Snowden, Men of Inglewood, 1924.
  • Roy Rosenberg, [Title not given], 1938.
  • Lloyd Hamilton, Inglewood Community Book, 1947.

See also

Centinela Adobe, the oldest building in the area, completed in 1834 by Ignacio Machado.

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