91754: Virtual Tour

In 1916, the threat of a large sewage treatment facility being built in the area organized residents to form the city of Monterey Park. Over the last four decades, Monterey Park has become known as the first city and suburb in America to have an Asian majority, but it also has a long legacy of ethnic diversity. 

Situated between the 710, 10, and 60 freeways, the area’s geographic placement made it ideal for those heading to Downtown, Pasadena, Long Beach or the Inland Empire. Following World War II, Monterey Park saw rapid growth with many veterans moving to the area thanks to the G.I. Bill of 1944, making it a modest middle-class neighborhood. Around this time, the area saw an influx of Japanese Americans from the West Side, Chinese Americans from Chinatown, and Latinos from East Los Angeles. It was also home to large Armenian and Jewish populations. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, the area attracted well-educated and affluent Asian Americans and Asian immigrants, and has even been cited as a Chinese “ethnoburb” – a suburban residential or business area with a notable cluster of a particular ethnic minority population.

Fun Fact: Monterey Park is also where Laura Scudder invented the first sealed bag of potato chips in 1926. In an effort to extend the freshness of her favorite snack, Scudder developed a method to seal bags by ironing wax paper together.

This Audio Tour is Narrated by Sarah Drew

Highlights:

Show Us the View from Your Zip Code and Use #zipcodeplays to Share it With Us!

Click the image below to view the tour on Google Earth

First Stop:
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El Encanto

700 El Mercado Avenue, Monterey Park, CA 91754

In the 1920s, developer Peter N. Snyder, known as the “Father of the East Side,” wanted to build an affluent community in Monterey Park – set to rival Bel Air or Beverly Hills – named Midwick View Estates.

To begin the project, he built Jardin El Encanto (or El Encanto) in the quintessential Spanish Colonial Revival Style – an ornate reception hall with hand-hewn, hand-painted wood beams, ceramic tiles, and French doors that lead to an outdoor flagstone patio. He also had plans to build an outdoor amphitheater in the nearby ravine.

The El Encanto has undergone numerous transformations over the years including being used as a wedding chapel, a military academy, a cafe, a private residence, and today is home to the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce.

Read above, or listen to learn about El Encanto.
Next Stop:
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Cascades Park

700 South Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

Across Atlantic Boulevard is Cascades Park, which includes a waterfall also built by Snyder as another focal point for his Midwick View Estates development in the 1920s.

The waterfall is lined with imported European tile, patterned after one in Granada, Spain, and features cascading tiered pools built into a small hillside. Unfortunately, the stock market crash of 1929 happened just a few days after Snyder started selling the first lots of the Midwick View Estates. The Great Depression impacted the development of the community, and it never came to fruition.

Read above, or listen to learn about Cascades Park.

NBC Seafood Restaurant

404 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

NBC Seafood is a famous dim sum restaurant, which many may consider a “Monterey Park classic.” They have been in operation for over 30 years in the neighborhood, and their sought-after dim sum is made by hand every day, ensuring freshness and amazing flavors that will have you coming back for more.

Read above, or listen to learn about NBC Seafood Restaurant.

Mandarin Noodle House

701 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

Antaeus has been around LA for a pretty long time, but Mandarin Noodle House has us beat with over 40 years of service! Known for their mouth watering dumplings, they’re considered a “go-to” for all your Chinese food cravings. They currently have a partnership with Vans where you can buy custom shoes with their well-known restaurant logo on them and all the proceeds will go to keeping the restaurant alive during these challenging times.

Read above, or listen to learn about Mandarin Noodle House.
91754_MontereyPark_ELAC

East Los Angeles College

1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754

The second city college built in the Los Angeles area, East Los Angeles College was established in 1945. ELAC opened on Garfield High School’s campus, but soon saw overwhelming enrollment, mostly because of veterans returning from World War II who were using the G.I. Bill.

The College was moved to its present 82-acre site in 1948. ELAC has an annual enrollment of over 35,000 students, making it the largest student body campus by enrollment of the community colleges in the state of California. Notable alumni of ELAC include: Antonio Villaraigosa, former Mayor of Los Angeles; actor Edward James Olmos; and the 2014 Los Angeles Poet Laureate, Luis J. Rodriguez.

Read above, or listen to learn about East Los Angeles College.
91754_MontereyPark_VPAM

Vincent Price Art Museum

1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754

ELAC is also one of the very few community colleges in the U.S. with a major art collection. In 1951, Vincent Price, an actor primarily known for his roles in horror films, visited ELAC with his wife. Price was an avid art collector with a degree in art history, who noticed that students didn’t have opportunities to experience art first-hand. So, in 1957 he donated 90 pieces from his personal collection to establish the first “teaching art collection” at a community college. The art gallery was named in his honor – the Vincent Price Art Museum.

Since then, the collection has grown to include 9,000 pieces featuring African, Mesoamerican, Native American, and European artworks. The museum has seven galleries that have included shows with rotating, student, and permanent collection artworks. The museum is closed during COVID-19, but we highly recommend you put it on your list of “places to visit” when it reopens.

Read above, or listen to learn about Vincent Price Art Museum.

Listen to The Zip Code Play for 91754

Thank you for joining our tour!

Thank you for exploring Los Angeles with Antaeus! We hope you’ll listen to all twelve of The Zip Code Plays, and join us for more tours of local neighborhoods. 

If you like this project, and you want to get more involved, we hope you’ll consider making a gift to help support Antaeus Theatre Company’s innovative approach to sharing high quality professional theater, whether that’s in our theater or online.

Learn about The Zip Code Plays:

Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center
110 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205
phone: 818.506.5436 / email: info@antaeus.org
Antaeus is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization Tax ID # 95-4548826
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