Where is Verdugo Village? Just look for the new signs

New street signs were scheduled to be dedicated today at Verdugo Road and York Boulevard to raise awareness of Verdugo Village, a section  of Glassell Park located between the 2 Freeway and the City of Glendale. The heart of Verdugo Village is a strip of one and two-story storefronts  mixed in with residences that line a tree-shaded stretch of Verdugo Road. Members of the Glassell Park Improvement Association initiated efforts to create the signage, which consists of five overhead signs and 18 placards that have been recently installed at eye-level along Verdugo. “This a way to clearly identify Verdugo Village and a great way to support businesses as well,” said Rick Coca, spokesman for Councilman Jose Huizar, whose council office secured $2,775 for the signs.

Helene Schpak, one of the Glassell Park residents who worked on the signage, said the signs provide information about the historic significance of Verdugo Road and the Verdugo name.  In a post on the NELA List, Schpak,  referencing some research conducted by Brian Kinney, explained the significance of Verdugo Village:

“This area was once a part of the 36,403.32-acre Rancho San Rafael, granted in 1784 to Spanish army corporal Jose Maria Verdugo. Rancho San Rafael, named for Saint Raphael, the guardian angel of humanity, was one of the first Spanish land grants in California. Verdugo began farming the more fertile regions of the land and irrigated a good amount of acreage by digging zanjas from the Arroyo Seco and the Los Angeles River. Rancho San Rafael was referred to by the early Spanish as Rancho La Zanja, Ranch of the Ditch. It was Verdugo who was credited for bringing the first grapevines to the area.

Verdugo Road was once the major transportation corridor from the mountains to downtown Los Angeles. It was the historic road of trade between the Verdugo Rancho and the fledging Pueblo of Los Angeles.

Verdugo Village was established in the early 1920s in the historic tract known as Sagamore Park. It’s made up of multi-family and single family
homes in one and two story structures. Most of the ground floor commercial and retail businesses are independently owned and operated. The variety of goods and services in this area includes restaurants, dry cleaners, auto service and dentistry. Its proportions are a comfortable human scale with sidewalks wide enough to encourage pedestrian traffic. This is enhanced by the original streetlights that illuminate the pedestrian area.

To establish this area as Verdugo Village will preserve its history as well as support its revitalization. The new signage will mark the history, help as a traffic calming measure, and contribute to a sense of community pride.”


  1. What a great way to give our part of town a sense of identity. Growing up on Shasta Circle North, you wouldn’t believe how many debates were had over “where” we lived. Whatever you want to call it, it will always be HOME!

  2. Growing up in this area, I was officially a part of Glassell park, but closer to Eagle Rock and Glendale, yet still an Angeleno. Verdugo Village is a nice name for the area, but I will always be a Shasta Boy Loco!

  3. Ugh.

    Why don’t all these losers stop giving every little piece of the city they live in some lame name and just call it what it is…


    You could make some cool signs and placards with graffiti lettering, like with spray paint….

    Oh, nevermind. You’ve got those already.

    Because you live IN THE GHETTO.


  4. Um… ok, I’m a little confused. Isn’t everywhere in L.A. “The Ghetto”?

    Ghetto: a section of a city, esp. a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.

    This is a city of no ethnic majority, a city of immigrants, a city with a history of not war, but instead, collective acceptance. I’ve traveled the world as a member of the military and have found when I run into another Angeleno, our differences are immediately dissolved and it’s “Let’s Go Dodgers!” and “my taco truck is better than your taco truck” from then on.

    This city has multiple wonderful cultural districts and I would assume that someone that calls themselves “Bento Box” would appreciate that.

  5. DJ Bent….. your lame

    Joe… I agree with you 100%

    I moved into this area from simi valley because I wanted to be closer to everything. I was a bit skeptical of the area at first but once I settled in, even the scariest looking neighbors were so warm and welcoming. I love this place.

  6. Of course, this also says that this is one more neighborhood that DOESN’T want to be Glassell Park (and who would – search on it and most of the results are about the Avenues or drug crime in the lowland corners of the ‘hood). As a GP property owner, we ought to just dissolve Glassell Park (and both of our little “associations”) and send all the pieces off to Eagle Rock, Mount Washington, Cypress Park and Atwater. (And when this city is broke, furloughing public employees, and getting worse and worse at delivering services, was this the best highest-priority use of $2700 in city money?)

  7. Laurie of the Avocado Jungle

    I’ve lived in Verdugo Village for twenty years. I’ve seen so many businesses come and go along Verdugo Road that I’ve called it Failed Business Road. A few places have lasted, though.

  8. I think it’s a shame that anyone would ever suggest dissolving Glassell Park. To these naysayers, I would recommend doing a bit of research on who Glassell was, or where Drew St. and the neighboring streets got their names and one will quickly see that there is so much more to Glassell Park than gang violence. I’m glad to see positive action being taken to recognize and preserve Glassell Park’s distinct significance in our city’s historical landscape. Every plaque that’s erected, every median that’s landscaped and every independent business that opens brings our community one step closer to reaching its full potential.

  9. Anything that raises awareness of the history of our neighborhoods is a good thing.

  10. @Ben Bodwell

    Yikes! What puplic office are YOU running for? A city not of war but “collective acceptance”?


    The Watts Riots?

    The Rodney King verdict?

    The Zoot Suit Riots?

    the Various race riots throughout the LAUSD? Locke High School and Inglewood High coming to mind immediately….

    How’s the weather in Fantasy Land? I’ll bet it’s nice and sunny!

    If you’re one of the few who’ve diluded themselves into thinking that LA is anything more than what it is, A GHETTO, then by all means, waste some more money on placards and signs to attach a made up name to make yourself feel like your neighborhood is something more “unique” or “individual”.

    I’m sure the people who live in the neighborhood that may be affected in this new round of city and county layoffs won’t mind the use of that money one bit, right?


  11. Who peed in your cornflakes? No need to answer, clear you do it yrself. Have a nice and blessed day.

    from the Ghetto,
    Native, happy Angeleno

  12. We have lived here since ’84. I like this area because of the individuality of all the homes and landscaping. It makes for a great walk too because of the hills. We see hawks, coyotes, squirrels, birds in the daytime and have enough sun and heat to have a decent vegetable garden every year. People around us still have roosters and chickens yet Downtown Los Angeles is 15 minutes away. We love it.

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