Occidental College and its Relationship to Eagle Rock and Highland Park, CA

By: Tracy King Realty   11/09/2014
Keywords: Washington Homes, Tracy King

Occidental College is located in the historic neighborhood of Eagle Rock in Los Angeles, California. It is a private, liberal arts college that was founded in 1887 by the Presbyterian Church. It is has developed the popular nickname of "Oxy" not only throughout the students and alumni, but the citizens of Eagle Rock and Highland Park, CA, a neighborhood district it borders.

On April 20, 1887 James George Bell led the Presbyterian clergy in founding Occidental College. The original campus was located in Boyle Heights until it moved into a new Highland Park campus in 1898. Even though the Presbyterian Church founded it, Oxy quickly cut its ties with the church in 1900. In 1912, a well renowned architect named Myron Hunt, who also designed the Rose Bowl, began to design the Eagle Rock campus. The President of Oxy at that time announced a decision to make Oxy an all-men’s college, but his idea was protested by the students who ultimately won.

The Eagle Rock campus is found on a hill called "Mt. Fiji" and stretches over 120 acres of land. In the 1970’s the faculty suspended classes because of America’s invasion of Cambodia. In refute, the students of Oxy wrote over 7,000 letters to Washington D.C., to objecting to the war in Southeast Asia. This helped to set the precedent of equal minority rights and earned the college grants for students of ethnicity in higher education. Many influential people are affiliated with Occidental College. John Steinbeck was a member of the faculty. The politician Jack Kemp and the CEO of Warner Music Group, Stephen Cooper are graduates of Oxy. Other important people such as Barack Obama, Ben Affleck and Luke Wilson all attended Occidental College.

Because Oxy is located in the heart of Eagle Rock, many of the students are housed in apartments and rental houses throughout Eagle Rock and Highland Park. Occidental College has helped in the gentrification of Eagle Rock and has a hand in the current gentrification of Highland Park. Homes for sale in Highland Park, CA have spiked in value as homeowners have fixed up their homes to accommodate high rate rentals to Oxy students, which can be very profitable.

Eagle Rock is named after a large rock that resembles an eagle’s head. The land in Eagle Rock disperses into the San Rafael Hills. Eagle Rock is the home of many artists and young professionals who have careers in film, writing or artistry. There are about 33,000 residents with an average age of 35 years old. The population is equally diverse between Latinos, whites and Asians. The average income per household is approximately 68,000 dollars, which is considered high compared to most neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Eagle Rock has been recently gentrified, so the property values are more expensive than other similar areas.

Highland Park has approximately 57,000 residents with an average age of 28. Highland Park mostly consists mostly of Latinos and the average household income is about 46,000, considerably less than Eagle Rock. Highland Park is still in the process of being gentrified. Highland Park is full of inexpensive housing and apartments that make it ideal for Oxy students to choose.

The most popular styles of housing found in Highland Park include Queen Anne, Mission Revival, Tudor Revival, and Craftsman. As long as Occidental College remains nationally prominent among private institutions, Highland Park and the surrounding neighborhoods of Oxy will continue to grow and become gentrified. With Highland Park’s hot rental market, students are encouraged to contact a local Highland Park CA realtor to find the best long-term rental deals. Realtors in Highland Park do not only act as agents in sales, but in rentals as well.

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