Pico-Union, Central Los Angeles, California

Pico-Union is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles. Historic in character and undergoing a renewal program, the neighborhood is home to two high schools and seven other schools, as well as a branch public library. It is the site of the long-established private Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery.

Pico-Union is flanked by Koreatown and Westlake to the north and northeast, Downtown to the east, Adams-Normandie,University Park and Exposition Park to the south and Harvard Heights to the west.
The neighborhood is bounded on the north and northeast by Olympic Boulevard, on the east by the 110 Freeway, on the south by the Santa Monica Freeway and on the west by Normandie Avenue. It also includes the California Highway Patrol station beneath the freeway interchange northeast of Washington Boulevard.

Pico-Union is the fourth-most-crowded neighborhood in Los Angeles, surpassed only by East Hollywood, Westlake and Koreatown. The 2000 U.S. census counted 42,324 residents in the 1.67-square-miles neighborhood—an average of 25,352 people per square mile. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 44,664. The median age for residents was 27, considered young for the city and the county.

The ethnic breakdown in 2000 was: Latinos, 85.4%; Asians, 7.6%; whites, 3,0%, blacks, 2,9%; and others, 1.1%. Mexico (43.3%) and El Salvador (24.4%) were the most common places of birth for the 64.6% of the residents who were born abroad, a figure that was considered high in comparison with foreign-born in the city as a whole.[2] Other immigrants come from Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The median household income in 2008 dollars was $26,424, considered low for both the city and the county. The percentage of households earning $20,000 or less was high, compared to the county at large. The average household size of 3.3 people was relatively high for Los Angeles. Renters occupied 90.5% of the housing units, and home- or apartment owners the rest.

The percentages of never-married men (43.4%) and never-married women (36.2%) were among the county’s highest. The census found 2,113 families headed by single parents, the 23.3% rate being considered high for both the city and the county.

In 2000 there were 667 military veterans living in Pico-Union, or 2.3% of the population, considered a low rate for the city and the county overall.

Pico-Union residents aged 25 and older holding a four-year degree amounted to 6.7% of the population in 2000, considered low for both the city and the county, and there was a high percentage of residents with less than a high school diploma.

These are the elementary or secondary schools within the neighborhood’s boundaries:

  • West Adams Preparatory High School, LAUSD, 1500 West Washington Boulevard
  • SIATech Pico-Union at Youth Policy Institute, public charter high school, 2140 West Olympic Boulevard. “Classes are held from approximately 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. The morning sessions consist of core academics that prepare students for graduation. The afternoon sessions are student electives where they will take hands-on classes as part of their vocational training in the healthcare and green career fields.”
  • Loyola High School of Los Angeles, private, 1901 Venice Boulevard
  • Berendo Middle School, LAUSD, 1157 South Berendo Street, which claims the title as the oldest intermediate school continuously in operation in Los Angeles and perhaps in the entire United States
  • Sophia T. Salvin Special Education Center, LAUSD, 1925 Budlong Avenue
  • Leo Politi Elementary School, LAUSD, 2481 West 11th Street[2]
  • Tenth Street Elementary School, LAUSD, 1000 Grattan Street
  • Saint Thomas the Apostle School, private elementary, 2632 West 15th Street
  • Magnolia Avenue Elementary School, LAUSD, 1626 South Orchard Avenue
  • Los Angeles Christian School, private, 1630 West 20th Street

Los Angeles Public Library operates the Pico-Union Branch Library at 1030 South Alvarado Street.