Duarte, California: Wikis


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City of Duarte
—  City  —
Location of Duarte in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 34°8′25″N 117°57′42″W / 34.14028°N 117.96167°W / 34.14028; -117.96167Coordinates: 34°8′25″N 117°57′42″W / 34.14028°N 117.96167°W / 34.14028; -117.96167
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City council  Mayor John Fasana

 Mayor Pro-Tem Margaret Finlay
  Tzeitel Paras-Caracci
  Phillip R. Reyes

  Lois Gaston
 - Total 6.7 sq mi (17.3 km2)
 - Land 6.7 sq mi (17.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 512 ft (156 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 21,486
 Density 3,216.5/sq mi (1,241.9/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91008-91010
Area code(s) 626
FIPS code 06-19990
GNIS feature ID 1652699
Website http://www.accessduarte.com/

Duarte is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 21,486.

The name of the city is pronounced "dwohr'-dee" by most locals, or often the Spanish pronunciation "doo-ahr'-teh" is used. Newscasters and others unfamiliar with the area generally say "doo-wahr'-tay." It is bounded to the north by the San Gabriel Mountains, to the north and west by the cities of Bradbury and Monrovia, to the south by the city of Irwindale, and to the east by the cities of Irwindale and Azusa.

Duarte is located on historic U.S. Route 66 which today follows Huntington Drive through the middle of the city. For the past 14 years, Duarte has held an annual Salute to Route 66 Parade on the third weekend in September on Huntington Drive (part of the Historic U.S. Route 66). Zac Sunderland was Grand Marshal of the parade in 2009.



Duarte is located at 34°08′25″N 117°57′42″W / 34.140416°N 117.961678°W / 34.140416; -117.961678.[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.3 km² (6.7 mi²), all land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there are 21,486 people, 6,635 households, and 4,889 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,241.9/km² (3,215.7/mi²). There are 6,805 housing units at an average density of 393.3/km² (1,018.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 52.02% White, 9.08% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 12.62% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 19.99% from other races, and 5.23% from two or more races, while 43.41% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 6,635 households out of which 38.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% are married couples living together, 13.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% are non-families. 21.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.16 and the average family size is 3.70.

In the city the population is spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $50,744, and the median income for a family is $56,556. Males have a median income of $39,812 versus $33,045 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,648. 11.3% of the population and 8.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.3% of those under the age of 18 and 10.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Government and infrastructure

In the state legislature Duarte is in the 24th Senate District, represented by Democrat Gloria J. Romero, and in the 44th and 59th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrat Anthony J. Portantino and Republican Anthony Adams respectively. Federally, Duarte is in California's 32nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +17[3] and is represented by Democrat Judy Chu.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Monrovia Health Center in Monrovia, serving Duarte.[4]


Around 500 B.C., a band of Shoshonean-speaking Indians established settlements in what is now the San Gabriel Valley. These native Americans came to be called the Gabrieliño Indians (after San Gabriel, the local mission) by early Spanish explorers, but now prefer to be called the Tongva. The Tongva did not practice agriculture, but instead relied upon the wild seeds, berries, and plants that grew near the rivers and marshlands. Since the San Gabriel Valley area was home to large numbers of oak trees such as coast live oak and interior live oak, a staple of the Tongva diet was an acorn mush made by boiling acorn flour.

Duarte's history with Europeans dates back to 1769, when all land in California was claimed by the king of Spain. The first Europeans visited the San Gabriel Valley, including Duarte, during a 1769 expedition from San Diego to Monterey Bay commanded by Don Gaspar de Portolà. Accompanying Portolà was a Franciscan priest from Father Junipero Serra's order in Mexico, Juan Crespi, who served as the diarist of the expedition. Much of what is known of early California is known only from the detailed descriptions recorded by Crespi.

On September 8, 1771, the Franciscans established the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel in the San Gabriel Valley.[5] The mission was a resting point for early California travelers and gathered most of the native Tongva into an agricultural lifestyle. Following Mexican independence in 1821, the mission lands were nationalized.

On May 10, 1841, the governor of Alta California, Juan Bautista Alvarado, granted to former Mexican corporal Andrés Duarte and his wife nearly 7,000 acres (28 km2) of prime land in the central-northern San Gabriel Valley. Duarte named his new holdings "Rancho Azusa de Duarte". The name Azusa was derived from Asuksa-gna, the name of the Tongva settlement on the Foothills of California, on the western side of the alluvial fan where the San Gabriel River exits the San Gabriel Mountains; a portion of this area forms the northeastern-most corner of Duarte. That land grant now comprises portions of Arcadia, portions of Monrovia, all of Bradbury, all of Duarte, portions of Irwindale, portions of Azusa and a portion of Baldwin Park. Corporal Duarte had the local Indians build a small hut for his family and help him plant a kitchen garden and orchards near "the Indian Springs of the Asuksas" in Fish Canyon.

In the mid-1800’s, most of the Rancho was sold to help defray Andres Duarte’s debts. One of those who purchased land was Dr. Nehemiah Beardslee, who started the first school in Duarte and laid out the first section of Duarte’s water lines. Much of the remaining land was divided into 40-acre plots and sold individually.

Mexico ceded Alta California to the United States in 1848. In 1851, the American Congress passed a bill that established a Board of Land Commissioners whose duty was to determine the validity of all grants of Alta California land by Spanish and Mexican authorities. Corporal Duarte didn't address the investigation of his land grant until the following year, which began a court battle. Corporal Duarte began incurring legal expenses and other debts at that time, which he defrayed by selling portions of his Rancho. His first sale was a 225-acre (0.91 km2) parcel at the southern end of the Rancho to Michael Whistler and two unidentified colleagues. Whistler later bought out his colleagues and sold the entire parcel to Dr. Nehemiah Beardslee, who started the first school in Duarte (which now bears his surname) and laid out the first section of Duarte’s water lines. Corporal Duarte divided much of the Rancho's remainder into 40-acre (160,000 m2) plots and sold them individually. Corporal Duarte finally won a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court for his land grant case in 1878, but by then he had sold the entire Rancho.

Many of Duarte’s earliest pioneer families came to Duarte in the mid-1800s for their health, the pleasant climate, and the fertile soil. English settlers, Americans from the Midwest and Deep South, Latinos who remained from the Rancho and Japanese immigrants enabled Duarte to grow into a thriving agricultural community specializing in citrus production.

Two medical institutions were started in Duarte in the early part of the 20th century. In 1928, the Jewish Consumptive Relief Association started a tuberculosis sanitarium in the form of a small tent city on 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land south of Duarte Road. This later evolved into the world-renowned City of Hope Medical Center, a recognized leader in fighting cancer and other catastrophic diseases. In 1930, a group of Carmelite nuns known as the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles established the Santa Teresita Rest Home, known until recently as Santa Teresita Medical Center. After decades as a full-service hospital, Santa Teresita was downgraded to "medical center" in the early 2000s, after financial problems, caused both by administrative missteps as well as the costs of providing medical coverage to the uninsured, forced the hospital to close its emergency room. Santa Teresita now operates as an "outpatient services only" facility.

restylized City of Duarte logo

In 1957, a dedicated group of community members, fearing annexation by neighboring cities, led a fight for incorporation. Indeed, parts of the original Rancho had already been annexed by neighboring Monrovia, Azusa, Irwindale, and Baldwin Park. At the same time, a rival group representing an affluent enclave in the foothills started a competing drive for incorporation, and broke off to form the separate City of Bradbury. A 2001 Los Angeles Times article stated that their petition for incorporation arrived in Sacramento on August 22, 1957, "mere moments" before the petition that would have included them in the City of Duarte. Still, many ties between the two communities remain in that they both form the Duarte Unified School District; they both share the same post office and a ZIP code; and they both share combined public services such as the Sheriff (which for both cities is labeled "Duarte"), a shared LA County fire station, and shared garbage pickup.

The original city logo was created by Bill Botts Sr. in 1957.It consisted of a double-circular seal, with the inner circle containing an adobe arch featuring the Rancho Azusa de Duarte "d" brand (inside the arch is the original date of the Rancho's establishment, 1841) while the outer circle features the year of Duarte's incorporation (1957). The current city logo was created in early 1982 to mark Duarte's 25th anniversary of cityhood.

Like many of its neighbors, modern Duarte is a bedroom community. The City of Duarte is geographically isolated from population centers to the east and south due to the San Gabriel River and rock quarry operations in Irwindale and Azusa. These factors have proven to be an ongoing economic challenge for local businesses as the city attracts little outside spending, and most residents spend their money elsewhere. Due to air quality and noise concerns, the City of Duarte has sought repeatedly to halt expansion of neighboring quarry operations, but has had no success against the monied interests behind the quarries and the neighboring city governments beholden to them. Still, over the past few decades, the city leadership has succeeded in bringing retail development to the western portion of Duarte beginning, notably, with the redevelopment of the Big Sky Drive-in Theater as a shopping plaza with a Gemco superstore (which is now a Target). Later, the city's obsolete municipal pool, known as Aqualand, and a well known Route-66 diner (known as the "Boulevard Cafe") were replaced with a Ralphs shopping center. In the early 2000s, Wal-Mart opened on the western edge of the city, as did a CarMax used-car superstore. In 2009, the city welcomed a new mini-shopping center, including a Best Buy, around the site of its Staples store, as well as a Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market further east at the former Pantry Market site.

Throughout the 2000s, city council regular and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member John Fasana has used his unique position to pave the way for the extension of the Gold Line through the eastern San Gabriel Valley. Fasana and fellow councilmembers Margaret Finlay, Tzeitel Paras-Caracci and Lois Gaston created a point of contention with a portion of the city's residents when they indicated their possible support in June 2009 for a proposed rail maintenance yard on a lot immediately adjacent to one of Duarte's primary schools that currently bears a public storage facility. Although the facility was almost certainly going to be built in Monrovia instead, Duarte Councilmember Phillip Reyes capitalized upon this issue in the November 2009 election. As a result, a number of disgruntled citizens formed a community watchdog group called Citizens of Duarte for Fair Representation to immediately oppose construction of the possible rail maintenance yard, among other perceived community interests. And the 2007 boys' tennis team of Duarte high school won leauge championship for the first time in the schools history.


The city has a council-manager government with a five-member city council.


The Duarte Unified School District contains five primary schools (Maxwell Elementary School, Andres Duarte Elementary School, Beardslee Elementary School, Royal Oaks Elementary School, and Valley View Elementary School), one secondary school (Northview Intermediate School), and two high schools (Duarte High School, Mt. Olive Alternative High School). There are also at least two private primary schools.

Public safety

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Temple Station in Temple City, serving Duarte.[6]

The city its own in-house "Department of Public Safety", which consists mainly of four officers and a DPS director; their roles are to enforce the Duarte Municipal Code sections regarding illegal solicitation by out-of-town ice-cream vendors, licensing of dogs, and issuance of special bicycle permits for the town's younger residents.[citation needed]

Notable residents and births

Notable residents have included
  • Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, popular Asian-American actor, graduated from Duarte High School in 1972.
  • T.K. Carter, actor/comedian (born in nearby Monrovia; lived and grew up in Bradbury; attended Duarte High School; mom is City Councilmember Lois Gaston)
  • Andrew and Peggy Cherng, founders of Panda Express
  • Raffi Ohanian, attorney
  • Francisco Martinez Flores, one of the first Marines killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Duarte's post office is now named after him)
  • Garrett K. Gomez, thoroughbred jockey (3000+ wins, top money winner 2006 & 2007, winner of numerous awards)
  • Bill Melton, professional baseball player (1971 American League home run leader with 33 runs)
  • Carlos Fisher, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds
  • Glenn Miller, famous jazz musician/bandleader
  • He had a 54-acre (220,000 m2) orange grove which others have named "Tuxedo Junction"; his redwood home on the grove property stood at the northern end of the 200 block of Bettyhill Avenue until November 1980, when it burned to the ground by a brushfire that swept across the western San Gabriel Mountains. Miller, on active duty in the military during World War II, was killed in an airplane crash in 1944. He arranged to have the house built and saw it, but his death shortly afterward prevented him from occupying it. His widow and two children did occupy the house, which they considered the "ranch house" (intending to have a permanent residence built later) for several years until moving to San Marino. There is a historical plaque commemorating Glenn Miller in Glenn Miller Park directly east of the home's site in the 200 block of Mel Canyon Road.
  • Though he lived in the affluent, adjoining city of Bradbury, Sam's childhood in Duarte informed themes that mark much of his later playwriting. He described Duarte as a "weird accumulation of things, a strange kind of melting pot – Spanish, Okie, Black, Midwestern elements all jumbled together. People on the move who couldn't move anymore, who wound up in trailer parks."[7]
Notable births have included


External links



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