Harbor City is a community within Los Angeles, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 24,640. Harbor City is part of the Los Angeles region known as the South Bay, and is a perfect illustration of the great contrast that exists within the region: Harbor City is nestled at the foot of the wealthy region of Palos Verdes and the middle class suburb of Torrance; the area near Palo Del Amo Woods is part of a larger contiguous upper middle class neighborhood but also borders the distinct working class city of Lomita and the more diverse working class areas of Wilmington and San Pedro. Harbor City is a small subdivision of the city of Los Angeles with a mix of race, class, and social status. Some parts of Harbor City, notably those that border Torrance and Palos Verdes, are home to the middle class suburbs, while other regions, particularly those bordered by Lomita Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway north and south and by Normandie Avenue and Vermont Avenue on the east/west, are of particularly low income class.
Recently, the community has been heavily featured in statewide and national news for the discovery of an alligator within the heavily urban community's Lake Machado (also known as Harbor lake).
Harbor City is located in the southern part of the city of Los Angeles, and part of the South Bay region. It is bordered on the north by Sepulveda Boulevard, the east by Figueroa Street, the south by Anaheim Street/Palos Verdes Drive North, and to the west by Western Avenue. A smaller, middle class section of Harbor City referred to as "Harbor Pines" is bordered by Anaheim Street to the north/northeast, Western Avenue to the west and Palos Verdes Drive North to the south near the Wilmington border. An upper middle class area of Harbor City known as "Palo Del Amo Woods " is bordered by Supulveda to the north, Normandie to the west, Vermont to the east, and Lomita to the South. The recent construction of new homes and condominiums, and renovations of older single-family residences and apartment buildings have attracted more young professionals and families to the area, which is attracting more businesses to the area that cater to these demographics.
In 2009, the Los Angeles Times's "Mapping L.A." project supplied these Harbor City neighborhood statistics: population: 23,529; median household income: $55.447.
Harbor City was originally part of the Rancho San Pedro, granted by the Spanish Empire in 1784 by King Carlos III to Juan Jose Dominguez. The rancho was divided and sold by Californios during the Spanish and Mexican periods of Alta California. After the Mexican-American war ended in 1848, many of the rancho lands were acquired by American immigrants.
Harbor City stands as a testament to the ambitious designs of the Anglo-American creators of the modern metropolis of Los Angeles. By the turn of the century, city leaders had decided that it would be in the best interests of the city if the port and harbor areas were directly annexed. The independent cities of San Pedro (founded in the late 1700s) and Wilmington (founded in 1858 by Phineas Banning) were then independent establishments of what would become the Port of Los Angeles. Following the establishment of San Pedro as the main source for the port over Santa Monica in 1897, Los Angeles city leaders argued that direct control over the port areas would be mutually beneficial by providing San Pedro and Wilmington with larger funding and in turn allowing the city to garner more revenue via the increasing port trade. The two cities were initially reluctant to join; in 1906, frustrated by the indecision of San Pedro and Wilmington leaders, the city of Los Angeles purchased a long and narrow swath of land that connected then-South Los Angeles to San Pedro, naming the two regions Harbor Gateway and Harbor City. City leaders then threatened to build a new port in Harbor City if the recalcitrant towns would not acquiesce to annexation. Both agreed by 1909. In return, the city of Los Angeles elected to keep Harbor City as a land-locked part of the main city, linking the metropolis to its newly won ocean trading centers. To this day, Harbor City remains an amusing irony—it is not a city and contains no harbor (that honor goes to San Pedro, Wilmington, and Long Beach).
Harbor City hosts a hospital and various medical buildings in the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, located along Pacific Coast Highway, between Normandie Ave. and Vermont Ave. The Hospital is across from the Ken Malloy Memorial Park, also known as "Parque de los Patos" or "the Duck Park."
Harbor City is home as well to the popular family fun center Mulligans.
The United States Postal Service Harbor City Post Office is located at 25690 Frampton Avenue.