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LA Place Name Etymologies ~ LA History

Photo: Busway from Brooklyn Avenue looking Northeast by Metro Library Archive.

Place NameSource
Abbot Kinney BoulevardAbbot Kinney, founder of Venice, California
Aliso StreetNamed after the Aliso, the old sycamore that stood at the entrance of Jean-Louis Vignes' winery
Alvarado StreetJuan Bautista AlvaradoMexican Governor of Alta California
Baldwin Hills neighborhoodE. J. "Lucky" Baldwin, mining and real estate investor
Beaudry AvenuePrudent BeaudryLos Angeles mayor
Bel-Air neighborhoodAlphonzo E. Bell, Sr., owner of the "Buenos Aires Ranch"
La Brea AvenueLa Brea, the Spanish name for the oil fields near present-day Hancock Park, meaning tar
Brooklyn AvenueAfter Brooklyn, New York, in honor of the many Jewish Americans living in Boyle Heights at the time
Cahuenga Boulevard
Cahuenga Pass
Cahuenga, the Spanish name for the Tongva village of Kawengna, meaning place of the mountain
César E. Chávez AvenueCésar Chávez Mexican-American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist
La Cienega BoulevardRancho Las Cienegas, a rancho in a low-lying area west of Los Angeles, from the Spanish term cienaga, meaning marsh or bog
Crenshaw neighborhood
Crenshaw Boulevard
George Crenshaw, banker and real estate developer
Los Feliz neighborhood
Los Feliz Boulevard
Rancho Los Feliz, originally granted to José Vincente Feliz
Figueroa Avenue
Figueroa Street
José FigueroaMexican Governor of Alta California
Glassell Park neighborhoodAndrew Glassell real estate lawyer and owner
Griffith Park and Griffith ObservatoryGriffith J. Griffith, Welsh-American industrialist and philanthropist
Huntington DriveHenry E. Huntington, railroad magnate and business man
Lankershim BoulevardIsaac B. Lankershim
Leimert ParkWalter H. "Tim" Leimert
Micheltorena StreetManuel MicheltorenaMexican Governor of Alta California
Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Highway
William Mulholland, water-services pioneer in Southern California
Olvera StreetAugustín Olvera, early Los Angeles judge
Olympic BoulevardNamed as part of the L.A.'s failed bid for the 1928 Summer Olympics
Pico BoulevardPío Pico, last Mexican Governor of Alta California
Rosecrans AvenueWilliam RosecransCivil War general and owner of Rancho San Pedro
Sepulveda Boulevard
Sepulveda Pass
Sepúlveda family
Sherman Oaks neighborhood
Sherman Way
Moses Sherman, land developer and streetcar line owner
Silver Lake neighborhood
Silver Lake Boulevard
Silver Lake Reservoir
Herman Silver
Slauson AvenueJ. S. Slauson, land developer
Tarzana neighborhoodTarzana Ranch, owned by the creator of TarzanEdgar Rice Burroughs
Tujunga neighborhood
Tujunga Avenue
From the Tongva term Tuyunga, meaning mountain range
from tu'xuu = old woman tu'xuunga = place of the old woman
Van Nuys neighborhood
Van Nuys Boulevard
Isaac Newton Van Nuys, businessman, banker and real estate developer
Vignes StreetJean Louis Vignes, French settler in Los Angeles who planted European grapes
Watts neighborhoodC. H. Watts, real estate developer
Wilmington neighborhoodWilmington, Delaware, birthplace of founder Phineas Banning
Wilshire BoulevardH. Gaylord Wilshire, land developer, publisher and outspoken socialist
Workman Street, Lincoln HeightsWilliam H. WorkmanLos Angeles mayor

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