HISTORIC RESIDENTIAL TRACTS
Examples of Alhambra's historic homes suggest their charming good
looks, fine design and excellence in workmanship, including classic
styles such as Craftsman, Bungalow, Spanish Mediterranean,
Spanish Colonial, Italian Beaux-Arts, and Arts & Crafts. Early
advertising (such as shown below) depicts Alhambra as an elegant
"City of Homes" in the heart of the famous San Gabriel Valley
between Los Angeles and Pasadena." That theme is still
Today, the City of Alhambra has over 30,000 housing units including:
- Quaint homes often on quiet, tree-lined streets, some with historical significance
- New and near-new condominiums
- Rental apartments in all styles and sizes
- Mixed use residential/commercial buildings, especially in
the Downtown area
- Four public senior housing facilities
ALHAMBRA NEIGHBORHOODS ABOUT 1910
THE BEAN TRACT
The northwestern part of the city (roughly from Huntington Drive south
to Alhambra Road) is comprised of Alhambra's priciest neighborhood,
long referred to as the "Bean Tract." It was named after a prominent Alhambra resident, Jacob Bean. Bean, a Minnesota lumber
baron who retired to Alhambra in 1901. Bean was so taken by the
favorable climate that he purchased 104 acres that he developed into
citrus groves. The Bean Tract was subdivided in the 1940s, bordering
the highly affluent community of San Marino. It has been suggested
that the City of Alhambra once threatened to annex San Marino, but
in response it formed its own municipality--banning bars, gambling
and apartment houses.
THE MIDWICK TRACT
Homes in the historic "Midwick Tract" are located in the southwest
corner of Alhambra. The 1940s era development sits on the former
championship Midwick Country Club, located on the border of what is
now Alhambra and Monterey Park. By March 1948, 175 homes had
been completed and 300 more were under construction. The historic
connection is still valued by many residents today. The Midwick Country
Club was designed by Macbeth, who was a premiere golfer. The Club
hosted the SCGA Amateur in 1915 and 1917, and then three times in
an eight-year period, beginning in 1923.The lavish, 208-acre club
opened its doors as one of the most exclusive polo, golf and tennis
clubs in the region. Over the years, movie stars and socialites flocked
there. The colonial-style clubhouse was destroyed by fire in 1944.
Today, some streets are named after famous athletes such as golfer
Sam Snead and polo player Thomas Hitchcock. The site is also the
location for several historic movies: "The Woman Michael Married"
(1919); "Their Own Desire" (1929); "The Adventures of Robin Hood"
(1937); and "The Bride Wore Boots" (1946).
AIRPORT TRACT AND OTHER HISTORIC AREAS AROUND ALHAMBRA
The "Airport Tract" - bounded by Valley Boulevard to the north, New
Avenue to the east, Almansor Street to the west, and the San Bernardino
Freeway to the south - was once the landing pad for Alhambra Airport.
When Great Britain went to war with Germany in World War II, the
Alhambra Airport became the official shipping station of the Lockheed
Company, flying in hundreds of bombers for disassembly and shipment to
Great Britain. The Airport continued its operation until 1943, when the
157-acre property was put up for sale. The post-World War II residential
district, referred to as the Airport Tract, was the result of a rash of
homebuilding and mass-produced homes for returning soldiers.
They tended to be much smaller than those that had been built prior to
the War. Today, many of these smaller single-story homes (typically
about 1,100 to 1,200 square feet), are located on tree-lined streets and
are being refurbished and enlarged to accommodate modern lifestyles.
The historic "Emery Park" area of Alhambra commenced with the
construction of twenty-five new homes for disabled soldiers of World War I,
according to an article in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 28, 1923.
The homes were built under the Veterans' Farm and Home Purchase Act.
This information was based on an announcement by Oliver D. Hefner
of the Meyering Land Company, owners of Emery Park, and Capt.
Robert R. Jones, first vice-president of the Veterans' League of California.
ALHAMBRA DURING THE 1950S & THEREAFTER
A multitude of apartments, townhomes and condominiums have been
built in Alhambra since the 1950s. While single-family homes represent
over 53% of the city's housing stock, the remaining is in the multi-family
category. These range from duplexes to 20+ unit complexes.
In recent years, a major area of expansion has been the construction
of mixed-use facilities comprised of residential and commercial
spaces. These include:
Alhambra Plaza on Main: (NE corner of Main & Fourth)
110 units of low-income senior housing and a Denny's Restaurant
located at ground-level.
Alhambra Regency Plaza (500 W. Main) - 80 residential condominium
units and 21,000 sq. ft. of ground-level commercial space.
Main Street Collection (Fourth & Main). Four-story mixed-use project
includes approximately 8,200 square feet of retail space with
pedestrian-friendly promenade areas and 52 condominiums,
9 live/work units, 19 town homes, and 6 shopkeeper units.
Casita de Zen (NE corner of Main & Third). Comprised of 92 residential condominium units and up to 5,000 square feet of
commercial space with capacity for two restaurants.
- Alhambra Pacific Plaza (SE corner of Main & Third). A mixed-use facility comprised of18,000 square feet of commercial space and
120 residential for-sale units.
ALHAMBRA GATEWAY CONDO PROJECT
ALHAMBRA PLAZA ON MAIN
ALHAMBRA REGENCY PLAZA
MAIN STREET COLLECTION
CASITA DE ZEN
ALHAMBRA PACIFIC PLAZA