Eagle Rock

Jan 31, 2011

That’s Right, You Heard Me: Eagle Rock is Hip!

The Facts
What It Is:
An L.A community bordered by Pasadena to the west, Glendale to the east and north and Highland Park to the south
Population: 17,763
Ethnic Diversity: 47% Caucasian, 39% Hispanic, 25% Asian, 2% African-American
Median Household Income: $47,488

Key Players
Occidental College moved here from Highland Park in 1914; the three original buildings designed by famed architect Myron Hunt stand today, and the college is one of the finest liberal-arts schools in the West.

The Name
The huge boulder on the northeast end of town, looming over the 134 freeway, has a natural bas-relief that looks like an eagle.

Telling Moments
In the late 19th century, America’s westward expansion saw settlers flourishing here. By 1909 one could ride the #5 streetcar from Eagle Rock all the way to the Pacific Coast. Eagle Rock was incorporated in 1911, but became annexed to L.A in 1923—a decision linked to its need for water and the arrival of Owens Valley water to L.A’s aqueduct. Ironically, the famous Sparkletts Drinking Water Corporation was founded in 1925 on Eagle Rock’s York Blvd., atop three wells that contained plenty of water.

Then & Now
For many decades, Eagle Rock was an ordinary, middle-class place with a plethora of auto-repair shops. Now real estate values are soaring and destination wine bars and restaurants have arrived. But the community has retained its one-of-a-kind, still-funky character. It’s a little gem—and eccentric one, but a sparkler nonetheless.

Our Favorite…
Eagle Rock Branch Library, on Caspar Ave.
Farmer’s Market: Friday evenings, 5-8:30 p.m, at 2100 Merton Ave.
Arts Organizations: The Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock; says executive director Jenny Krusoe, “We treat this place like the mother ship, supporting great collaborative satellite sites for artists and arts education throughout northeast L.A.”
Parade: The Northeast Christmas Parade & Winter Fest is going strong for over 60 years.
Newspaper: Boulevard Sentinel; its motto is “To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,”
Hospital: Glendale Adventist in Glendale with complete ER, 818.409.8000
Web Site:

What He Said
“Eagle Rock: Where land use and planning is a contact sport.”
-The Eagle Rock Association e-newsletter

Best Hangout
Swork, at the corner of Colorado and Eagle Rock for great coffee, free WiFi and a toddler play area (don’t come here if you hate kids); lunchtime at neighboring Four Café; happy hour at Colorado Wine Co.; and dinnertime at the Oinkster, where the cool kids go to eat pulled-pork sandwiches.  Closer to Oxy is command central for modern Eagle Rock life: Auntie Em’s, the hippest café/bakery/ gourmet shop on the eastside.

Born in Eagle Rock
Madeleine Stowe

The Writers’ Life
In 1930, John Steinbeck wrote an early novel, To an Unknown God, in a $15-a-month house here, and Ben and Matt wrote Good Will Hunting in a back house on Hill Dr.

Little-Known Fact
Officers of the Chinese revolutionary army that overthrew the Manchu Dynasty in 1911 trained in the Eagle Rock hills, led by Oxy alum Homer Lea.



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena