Publication: The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA, United States
ALONG THE COAST.
LONG BEACH TWENTY-TWO miles south of Los Angeles lies Long Beach, evolved in a decade from a sheep pasture and a summer camp meeting ground to a live, progressive and thriving city, the third in size in Los Angeles county. The census of 1910 gave 17,809 population, an increase of 690 per cent, the banner showing of any city in the United States. Since the growth has continued and judging by the increased volume of business, postoffice receipts, banking resources, and growth of the public schools the average has been well maintained during the past two years, and long beach today has less than 25,000 people. It's growth is only another instance of the great advancement going on in the Southland and especially that part tributary to Los Angles.
The reason lies in the combined possibilities here of resort features, residence advantages and commercial resources. Practically all of the city lies upon a broad mesa fifty feet and more above the ocean level, thus possessing the scenic, climatic and topographical conditions that make for residential peace and comfort; the frontage on the ocean and nine miles of sandy beach with a gentle and gradual incline into the water of the Pacific with its peaceful surf make the city famous as a resort, while to the west is a vast area of tide flats, traversed by an inland waterway that makes the natural surroundings for commerce and manufacturing industry. And these three combined have made and are making Long Beach a substantial city of manufacturing plants, beautiful residences, magnificent hotels and apartment-houses, solid business interests and yet a home place alike for tourists and permanent residents.
The most remarkable thing about Long Beach has been its building operations the past two years. In 1911 there were 1361 permits issued of the contract value of $1,823,410. In 1912 for the ten months ending November 1 there were 1400 issued of the contract value of $2,240,000. The permits for the two remaining months, estimated from inquiries of the building inspector, reports from contractors and new plans in preparation by architects will add over $500,000 to this amount, making a total of building for 1912 of $2,700,000, which is a high water mark for Long Beach. Of this vast amount of building more than five-sevenths of the permits are for homes along, ranging from the modest cottage of $1,000 to the more pretentious residences of from $5,000 to $25,000. During the past year there have been several big apartment-houses and business blocks and one seven-story hotel, the latter now receiving its finishing touches. Among the business blocks erected are the Emporium at Second and Locust, the Kennedy block at Second and American, the Mercantile block at Pine and Broadway and on the opposite corner of the Lowell block, the Jones block at Third and Pine and the Moody block at Ocean and Pine. Another fine building is the Elks Home on Cedar avenue, facing Pacific Park. All of these are handsome three-story brick structures, adding by their massiveness to the lasting building strength. Every section of the city is dotted with new homes and the sound of the hammer and saw has been one of the delights of the year.
The assessed valuation of property in the city is $21,757,115, which is exclusive of corporation values, not taxable by the municipality. The tax rate this year is $1.19, which is a decrease of about 10 cents from last year. The bonded indebtedness of the city is $1,268,907.50, of which $850,000 was for the purchase of two private plats now under municipal ownership, net revenues of which, despite a lower rate to the consumer, will take care of the bonded indebtedness and interest and in addition permit of the yearly expenditure of $70,000 for the extension and betterment of the system in the way of stronger pipe lines and the development of more water. There is now pending a proposition to unite all factions in a greater bond issue of $1,200,000, which is to be applied to the acquisition of a new sewer system, the building of concrete piers at Pine avenue and Devil's Gate, the acquisition of more water frontage on the harbor and $100,000 for a municipal lighting plant, all needed improvements hitherto held back because of sectional jealousy.
Exclusive of the water properties, which include 600 acres of water-bearing land, the property owned by the city is valued at $2,621,047.23, of which $2,219,180 is realty, $289,795 improvements and $112,072 personal property. Included in this are six parks, comprising about 30 acres, 2100 feet of frontage on the inner harbor improved with wharves and docks, City Hall block, corporation yards and engine-house sites. In addition the city owns an 1800-foot pleasure pier, an auditorium seating 6000 people and a public library building.
The city is governed by a special charter which gives it many special privileges and advantages, but this has proved inadequate for present needs and there are now before the people two propositions, one providing for a managerial form of government, the other amendment to the present aldermanic charter, which will be voted upon in time for submission for ratification to the Legislature which meets the coming year. Fire and police protection are thoroughly modern and efficient especially so by the civil service rules which govern both departments. The sanitary condition of the city is first class and with proposed additions early in the year will add about thirty miles to the present system in addition t an entire new outfall system and septic tank.
One amusement feature of which the city is proud is its municipal band of thirty pieces which is maintained the year around, giving free concerts twice a day for the entertainment of tourists and residents, and occasionally taking a jaunt through the country to advertise the city. It is maintained at a cost of $35,000 a year, paid from the city taxes.
The public school; system of the city is one of its chief assets and its especial pride. It is governed by a board of five, under a superintendent, assisted by 18o principals and teachers. There are nine grammar school buildings with a teaching corps of 134 teachers and an enrollment of 4017 pupils. The buildings are badly congested and within the next month an election