2 Random Minutes on Whittier and Indiana

You think I’m done with these stupid random videos? Ha! Today we check out the hot action on Indiana, the street that divides Boyle Heights from East LA, and Whittier that other major Avenue that goes on forever. Yup, this is the Eastside.

Lately there’s been a few more pretenders doing the fake Eastside thing (they always send us press releases and fawning notes) and I’m about to get my chelas ready to go on another not-the-Eastside rant. Get ready for it okay?

5 thoughts on “2 Random Minutes on Whittier and Indiana

  1. Did you know that Indiana Street runs along the original eastern boundary of the pueblo of La Reyna de Los Angeles? You can tell by the way street grid changes direction.

    It’s also the only place where the original pueblo boundary is still the current city boundary.

    Which is part of why the Fake Eastsiders get so confused. The city has grown outward in every other direction, and they don’t understand that the original pueblo, which was – and in many ways still is – the heart of the city, is actually on its current eastern edge.

    The only neighborhood in the modern city east of the original pueblo boundary is El Sereno.

  2. It’s only recently that I understood the direction change in the grid pattern here in Los Angeles. Wow, no wonder there are all these odd triangles of land all over the edges of the old city. I heard somewhere that the original Spanish grid layout was done to allow more light into homes. Does anyone know if this is true?

  3. My understanding is that the Spanish Laws of the Indies, beginning with the 1573 compilation issued by King Phillip II, specified that the streets of pueblos should be laid out in a diagonal grid 45 degrees off the cardinal directions, to maximize each building’s share of sunlight.

    If you look at the Ord-Hancock Survey of 1857, you can see that there are three distinct grids in use, all of them somewhat diagonal, but none of them at exactly 45 degrees.

    The first two, established by the founders of the Pueblo, can be seen in the existing streets and town lots of Ord’s map. These are set at about 21 and 38 degrees, respectively; constrained, I suspect, by the hills to the east of the city.

    The 21 degree grid is the area north of the Plaza, the street grid of today’s Chinatown, from Spring Street over to Adobe, between Ord and College. The 38 degree grid is south of the Plaza, and runs between Main Street and Figueroa (then called Calle de los Chapulines or Grasshopper Street), from the Plaza south to 12th street.

    From Main Street east to the river was the agricultural area in 1857, and what roads were there tended to follow the logic of farm field boundaries and zanjas more than any compass direction.

    Today’s city streets in that area reflect that in their wobbly, shifting, irregular alignments. The only surviving street in that area is the major farm road that headed due south toward the port at San Pedro, which became today’s Alameda Street.

    Outside of the settled and farmed areas, the American city government laid out yet a third grid, at about 28 degrees, that delineated the “Donation Lots” that the city sold to raise money.

    That’s the grid that dominates outside of the historic pueblo and extends east to the original Pueblo boundary at Indiana and west to the boundary at Hoover. (To the south the “Donation Lots” grid was extended beyond the original Pueblo boundary, and to the north, the grid shift is almost imperceptible due to the irregularity of the streets on the hilly terrain there.)

    And now you know how I got my user ID. 🙂

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