Principal thoroughfares include Fletcher Drive, and Los Feliz and Glendale Boulevards. The Golden State and Glendale Freeways run along the district’s western and southeastern borders, respectively.
What is now Atwater Village began originally as a part of Rancho San Rafael, which covered much of what is now Glendale and northeastern Los Angeles. In 1868, W.C.B. Richardson purchased a portion of the rancho and renamed it Rancho Santa Eulalia. In 1902 this land was eventually subdivided and with some subdivisions offered for sale to prospective homebuilders. The subdivision that stretched from the Southern Pacific tracks to the Los Angeles River was eventually named Atwater Tract for its proximity to the river – “at-water”. The area would later be known as “Atwater” with the word “Village” added in 1986.
In subsequent decades, residents began to settle in the area. Many new residents were newly prosperous workers, including many working at the nearby DWP substation. Spanish-style houses and bungalows were built in the 1920s to 1940s, many of which retain their original details. Growth was aided by the construction of a line of the Pacific Electric Railway with its distinctive “red cars”, which ran down Glendale Boulevard. The line, along with the rest of the streetcar system, however, was dismantled in favor of freeways and buses.
The Tam O’Shanter Inn, established in 1922, is one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles County. Walt Disney was a frequent patron there. Franciscan Pottery, a well-known manufacture of pottery and dinnerware, was located in Atwater. The company moved the plant to China in 1978 and Costco, Best Buy, and Toys R Us now occupy the large property.
Today, Atwater Village is a vibrant community in every aspect. This community continues to attract new homeowners and renters alike while keeping residents that have lived here for generations. Atwater is one of the most ethnically and economically diverse communities in Los Angeles County; our village is a place where artists, young professionals and working class folk live side by side. Atwater property values remain relatively high with a low vacancy rate for both commercial and residential properties and the crime rate is one of the lowest in the area.
Atwater Village is also a self-sustained community. We enjoy the use of our own post office, library, first-rate public and private schools, numerous religious institutions and even an equestrian district—unique in the City of Los Angeles. We have a robust and diverse business community that serves the community, providing a wide range of goods, services and jobs.