Atwater Village

Atwater Village lies east of the Los Angeles River and south of Glendale.  The neighborhood also shares borders with Silver Lake to the south, Elysian Valley to the southeast, Glassell Park to the northeast, and Los Feliz and Griffith Park across the river to the west. Much of Atwater lies in the old river flood plain, which resulted in deep, fertile soil.

Principal thoroughfares include San Fernando Road, 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 some subdivisions were 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 still 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, formerly known as Gladding McBean, a well-known manufacturer of pottery and dinnerware, was located in Atwater. The company moved the plant to China in 1978 and the large property is now occupied by Costco, Best Buy, and Toys R Us.

Before Interstate 5 existed, there was a drive-in movie theater located in the area of the 5 freeway below what is now the Friendship Hall, the entrance of which was where the southbound Glendale Blvd. off ramp of the freeway is now. It was demolished to construct the freeway.


According to the Los Angeles Times, there are 14,888 people in the neighborhood. Lately the neighborhood has experienced a major demographic change through the occurring rapid gentrification.

Disneyland incarnation

Buena Vista Street, the new entrance to the California Adventure theme park at the Disneyland Resort, is partly modeled after Atwater Village during the 1920s and 30s, when Walt Disney first arrived in Los Angeles. Disney's original animation studio was located in the adjacent Silver Lake neighborhood and he visited Atwater frequently.

Once opened, Buena Vista Street will feature a miniature replica of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, as well as a retail location called Atwater Ink and Paint Art Supply.

Some of this information is courtesy of