Whittier is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Los Angeles. Like nearby Montebello, the city constitutes part of the Gateway Cities. Whittier was incorporated in February 1898 and became a charter city in 1955. The city is named for the poet John Greenleaf Whittier and is home to Whittier College. In the founding days of Whittier, when it was a small isolated town, Jonathan Bailey and his wife, Rebecca, were among the first residents. They followed the Quaker religious faith and practice, and held religious meetings on their porch. Other early settlers, such as Aquila Pickering, espoused the Quaker faith. As the city grew, the citizens named it after John Greenleaf Whittier, a respected Quaker poet, and deeded a lot to him.
Whittier’s Redevelopment Agency has numerous projects underway to revitalize the community. This includes a $7 million project near historic Hoover Hotel. The Whittwood Town Center (formerly the Whittwood Mall) anchored by JC Penney, Target, Sears, Vons, and Kohl’s has made way for Red Robin and Carino’s Italian. The city still waits to attract more well known businesses and open new residential town homes with the revival of its Uptown district. In addition, the agency is working on developing a 480-acre project area near Whittier Blvd. The master plan was adopted in June 2005 by the City Council.
Whittier is home to the following California Historical Landmarks
- Pio Pico State Historic Park, California Historical Landmark No. 127: The Casa de Governor Pío Pico/Home of Governor Pío Pico, home of the last Mexican Governor of California.
- California Historical Landmark No. 646: Grave of George Caralambo, (Greek George):
- California Historical Landmark No. 681: Paradox Hybrid Walnut Tree:
- California Historical Landmark No. 947: Reform School for Juvenile Offenders (Fred C. Nelles School — Closed May 27, 2004 and currently being redeveloped for business and residential use)