About This Place
Pico Rivera is a city located in southeastern Los Angeles County, California, United States. The city is situated approximately 11 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, on the eastern edge of the Los Angeles basin, and on the southern edge of the area known as the San Gabriel Valley. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as well as the Los Angeles International Airport are in close proximity. The 2010 census reported that the city had a population of 62,942. Facilitated by annexations, it has grown to approximately nine square miles.
Pico Rivera was founded in 1958, from the merger of the long-standing unincorporated communities of Pico (named for Pío Pico, the last Mexican governor of California) and Rivera. Situated on a rich alluvial plain between the Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel River, the area was once predominantly agricultural, but at the end of WWII, the fast rising demand for homes lured builders to the attractive terrain. Since the 1950s, it has been both residential as well as industrial. It had a Ford plant for many years. Pico Rivera lies below the Whittier Narrows, making it one of the "Gateway Cities".
In January 1958, 56 percent of the electorate voted for incorporation. They approved a Council-Manager form of government, and the name "Pico Rivera" was established for the new city. Five citizens were chosen from a slate of 24 candidates to serve as members of the first City Council and Pico Rivera officially became the 61st city in Los Angeles County.