Located in the exact geographical center of Los Angeles County’s South Bay district, Lawndale was originally barley fields, then chicken ranches and small farms, growing vegetables for sale in nearby Inglewood and Redondo Beach. Retaining some of its rural character even after World War II, Lawndale gradually transformed into suburbia along with nearby communities, fighting all the while to retain its own identity and staving off aggressive annexation bids by surrounding cities. Finally in 1959, Lawndale incorporated, ending civic contentiousness. Despite the bustle of the high-end Galleria at South Bay, as well as Lawndale’s close proximity to some of the most tourism-friendly beach cities in California and its bisection by L.A.’s busiest freeway, the I-405, the city’s neighborhoods on the outskirts of Los Angeles International Airport retain the quiet ambiance evinced by its bedroom-community name.
About the Author
Author James Osborne, an instructor at El Camino College, is a descendent of one of the first families to settle in Lawndale. The author of a previous book on the city’s history, he used vintage family photographs and those collected from other families, city archives, and the chamber of commerce to assemble this rare excursion through Lawndale’s past.