In the shadow of Griffith Park along the Glendale Narrows section of the Los Angeles River sits Atwater Village, a charming slice of Los Angeles nestled amid Silver Lake, Los Feliz, and the city of Glendale. Atwater's beginnings date to 1868 when W. C. B. Richardson bought the 671-acre Santa Eulalia Rancho. Starting in 1904, the Pacific Electric Red Car offered a convenient commute to downtown Los Angeles, and the Art Tile Company (later Gladding McBean) and Van de Kamps Bakery became key local employers. Stylish homes and bungalows proliferated along the tree-lined streets, built in the Mediterranean, English Tudor, Spanish Colonial Revival, California Craftsman, and Fantasy architectural styles. A library, post office, schools, and churches sprang up along with more than 100 family-owned and corporate enterprises. Nearly 4 miles long and half a mile wide, Atwater evolved as a wholly contained community, prompting residents in 1987 to successfully petition the city to officially add the word Village to its name.
Author Bio: Friends of Atwater Village (FAV) formed in 2000 as a volunteer nonprofit organization to help save the Van de Kamps Bakery building from demolition. FAV's efforts have included ongoing community beautification projects as well as murals depicting Atwater history.
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