El Segundo is a small, secluded, intimate community close to everything, but separated by the Los Angeles International Airport and major industries, many of which are Fortune 500 companies. El Segundo is located on the coast just south of LAX and has the big city amenities, but retains its small town atmosphere. The quaint city center has a library, a seniors’ center, a swimming pool, a driving range, a golf course and a half dozen parks. The city’s recreational department offers many community activities for all ages year-round. Downtown Los Angeles is about 20 miles away.
El Segundo started out as an empty piece of land with a stand of willow trees on it. It was part of a mass of land of nearly 25,000 acres which extended from the areas as far west of what is now Playa del Rey, as far east as Inglewood, and as far south as Redondo Beach. The land consisted of wheat and barley fields on which cattle and sheep grazed. It was part of the then “Rancho Sausal Redondo”. In May of 1911, a group of men representing Standard Oil Company arrived looking for a potential site for a new refinery. They specifically were looking for land adjacent to the seashore so their tankers could have appropriate access. The liked the undeveloped nature of the site and they were also tying to keep costs to a minimum.
Standard Oil bought 840 acres of the land and opened the new refinery just 6 months later.
On January 18, 1917, the City of El Segundo was incorporated. The city remained a one industry town until the 1920s, when Mines Field, a landing strip was chosen as the site for the new Los Angeles Municipal Airport. During the 1950s, Southern California Edison purchased a 43 acre site for a major electrical generating station.
The theme restaurant and control tower at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Los Angeles International Airport opened in 1930, and this had a major role in El Segundo becoming an aerospace center. Douglas Aircraft, Northrop, North American Aviation, Hughes Aircraft and Rockwell all located in El Segundo during the 40s, and 50s. Most of these aircraft-related companies would eventually transition into the aerospace/defense industry. In 1960, the creation of The Aerospace Corporation and Los Angeles Air Force Base gave El Segundo the esteemed title of “The Aerospace Capital of the World.” Today, the city encompasses over five square miles, spanning from the Los Angeles International Airport on the north, to the Chevron Refinery on the south, to the Pacific Ocean on the west and Aviation Boulevard on the east. The name “El Segundo” came about because this was Standard Oil Company’s second refinery on the West Coast. Today, many large aerospace companies have facilities in El Segundo, including Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Toy manufacturer Mattel also has its headquarters in El Segundo. The citizens of El Segundo like to say that their town is “second to none.”
El Segundo has its own school district where scores generally run from the 80th to 90th percentile, and is considered one of the state’s outstanding school districts. The city operates its own K-12 schools and has close by El Camino Community College, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount and U.C.L.A.
About 25 percent of the town’s housing was built before 1950. About 40 percent was built between 1950 and 1970 and the rest over the last 30 years. The great majority of the single homes have two and three bedrooms, and are located in beautiful tree lined streets that are quiet and peaceful. About two-dozen homes are positioned along the beach bluffs facing west and command ocean views. The rest of the town is built along gently sloping land away from the beach. You can find many single family homes located in traditional all American neighborhoods, duplexes, cottages, condos and town homes and apartment complexes in El Segundo.