Poetry In The Windows

Highland Park

Highland Park, the community where Poetry in the Windows took place, is the hub of the Northeast Los Angeles area. It's located between downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena.

At the turn of the century, it was an artists' colony with the first art school in Los Angeles (now the Judson Stained Glass Studios) and the first museum (The Southwest Museum of Indian Art). Artists and writers were attracted to the scenic hillsides and the Arroyo Seco's picturesque stream which form natural boundaries for the area. The Southern Pacific Super Chief travelled through the town and Figueroa St., the main artery, was part of the famous Route 66.

In 1939, the first Los Angeles freeway was built along the Arroyo. Over the years, the area declined as the cultural center of Los Angeles but consolidated a solid working class population. Most of the buildings on Figueroa were built in the thirties and forties. Victorian, Craftsman, Mediterranean and California bungalows dot the hills in an eclectic mix.

Today, the demographics of the region are about 65% Latino, 15% white, 10% Asian and 10% African American and other. The small businesses along Figueroa Street are owned by Anglos, Chicanos, Chinese, Koreans Armenians and Iranians. These merchants reflect not only the community, but the aspirations of Los Angeles as a whole.