About This Place
Lakewood is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 80,048 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Long Beach on the west and south, Bellflower on the north, Cerritos on the northeast, Cypress on the east, and Hawaiian Gardens on the southeast. Major thoroughfares include Lakewood (SR 19), Bellflower, and Del Amo Boulevards and Carson and South Streets. The San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) runs through the city's eastern regions.
Sometimes called "an instant city" because of its origins—going from lima bean fields in 1950 to a well-developed city by 1960—Lakewood is, along with Levittown, New York, the archetypal post-World War II American suburb. The vast majority of its housing stock is small, mass-produced single-story houses on tree-lined streets, sold initially to World War II and Korean War veterans who worked in the aerospace factories of Long Beach and the South Bay.
Lakewood is a planned, post-World War II community. Developers Louis Boyar, Mark Taper and Ben Weingart are credited with "altering forever the map of Southern California". Begun in late 1949, the completion of the developers' plan in 1953 helped in the transformation of mass-produced working-class housing from its early phases in the 1930s and 1940s to the reality of the 1950s. The feel of this transformation from the point of view of a resident growing up in Lakewood was captured by D. J. Waldie in his award-winning memoir, Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir. http://books.google.com/books?id=NtgEEDGqn9cC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:DJ+inauthor:Waldie&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false.