Highland Park is a Northeast LA neighborhood which is bounded by the 110 to the east, Pasadena on the northeast, Eagle Rock on the North & West, and Mt Washington to the southwest. Primary thoroughfares include York Boulevard and Figueroa Street.
Highland Park was created in 1870 by developers who purchased the territory from Mexican landowners. It was annexed in 1895 and developed as one of LA’s earliest suburbs. In the early 1900's, Highland Park became a haven for bohemian artists and intellectuals who led the Arts and Crafts movement. You can still see the remnants of this movement at the Judson Studios.
Recently Highland Park has flourished as a heaven for latter-day bohemians, with trendy shops, galleries, bars & restaurants opening in the neighborhood. This has led to a rise in home prices. 5 years ago the median sales price of a single-family home was $347,000, today it is at $749,000, increasing 22% over the past year alone. With less than 50 homes on the market, your choice ranges from a 4,350 sqft newer built home for $1,120,000 to a 720 sqft fixer upper for $500,000. Most homes sell quick, and multiple offers are common on well-priced homes.
Every popular Southern California architectural style from the late 1800s to the mid 20th century can be found in Highland Park; from Victorian and Craftsman to Midcentury Modern. Among its notable houses are the Tudor cottage styled Hiner House, the hand built rustic Craftsman Lummis House, and the Victorian Smith Estate. But it’s the California Bungalow that defines the most sought out Highland Park home.
In the final decades of the 20th century, Highland Park suffered waves of gang violence, as the Avenues street gang claimed parts of Highland Park as its turf. But over the past few years, the neighborhood has become popular with home buyers priced out of Silver Lake and other more expensive areas. With many homes within walking distance of the main thoroughfares of York & Figueroa and its history of arts and crafts, Highland Park is a popular neighborhood with younger home buyers who like to frequent the many bars, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques that spring up frequently in the neighborhood. Its’ walkability is enhanced with the Metro Gold line making a trip to downtown or old town Pasadena a short commute.
But with gentrification comes stress and despite the influx of hipsters, the neighborhood is predominately Latino and many long-time residents are not taking the changes lying down.
There are a number of cultural and recreational amenities in the area; the parkways along the Arroyo Seco, Hermon Park & the nearby Ernest Debs Regional Park offers all kinds of outdoor activities. There are museums like the Los Angeles Police Museum, the Southwest Museum and the Heritage Square museum. A few historic homes like the Charles Lummis House are open to the public.
Highland Park is home to a number of restaurants; from recently opened Cafe Birdie to old-school Mexican joints like La Abeja. There are a number of music venues and vinyl record stores. Music is not the only thing to do at night; with the newly renovated Highland Park bowl billing itself as the place for bowlers, imbibers, diners, and music enthusiasts alike. Highland Park has all of the boutiques and vintage stores you would find in any neighborhood catering to the hipster clientele. But it is not all just boutiques and art galleries; you can find some unique stores in Highland park like Galco's Soda Pop Stop.
Schools: There are more than 12 schools within the boundaries of Highland Park; public, private and charter. Highland Park has a long way to go in terms of providing superior public schools. Garvanza Elementary has an API score 802, Luther Burbank Middle 786, and Benjamin Franklin Sr High 713.