LAWNDALE : Tiny City Looks Back at Its 35-Year History
The rain stopped and the clouds parted Saturday just long enough for Lawndale officials to celebrate their city’s 35th anniversary.
This city of just under two square miles was incorporated in December, 1959, by local residents who feared annexation by neighboring Hawthorne.
Thirty-five years later, the community of more than 28,000 is struggling to weather a sluggish economy by revitalizing Hawthorne Boulevard, the city’s main thoroughfare and business center.
Despite losing more than $1.5 million on bad investments of municipal funds in the late 1980s, officials say new city management and a smaller work force has helped Lawndale cope with the recent economic downturn. But at the gathering Saturday, many of the city’s older residents spent little time discussing current affairs, reminiscing instead about the days before cityhood.
Mayor Harold E. Hofmann, who was born in Lawndale 62 years ago and raised there, said: “I remember the days when Hawthorne Boulevard was dirt and there was a ditch running right down the middle of the road.”