Started in 1923, Temple City was based on a simple, personal ideal. The man who lent the community his name, Walter P. Temple, imagined that the 400 acres of land he’d purchased four miles east of San Gabriel would be a working-class haven.
He wanted it to be a place where ordinary people with medium incomes could afford to live and buy homes of their own. He divided the acreage into lots and named the streets running between them after his friends, many of whom settled other parts of the San Gabriel Valley: Workman, Kauffman and Agnes, among them.
Today that dream remains largely unchanged, especially for the Asian, Middle Eastern and Latino immigrants who have settled there in pursuit of the suburban ideal. The median family income today is about $65,000 while estimated home or condo values have been estimated, in the past three years, at about $475,000.
The layout of the community also means that its neighboring cities also provide education resources for Temple City families, including: Temple City Unified, Arcadia Unified, El Monte Unified and Rosemead School District. Also serving families are several private schools like Pacific Ackworth Friends, San Gabriel Academy, St. Luke’s Catholic School and First Lutheran School.
With a population of about 38,000, the city doesn’t take a backseat to nearby Pasadena and its annual Tournament of Roses Parade. Where flowers are concerned, Temple City is known as the “home of the camellia,” and its annual Camellia Festival takes place at the end of February, starting with a parade at the corner of two of the city’s main streets, Las Tunas Drive and Rosemead Blvd.
Community spirit is also fostered by another longstanding event, the annual Saint Luke's Parish Fiesta, at Broadway and Cloverly Avenue, and last for three days.
Temple City ‘s commercial hub is also known as the “Bridal District,” which is located on a length of Las Tunas Drive. Shops offering dresses, floral creations and photographic portraits have turned this area into a veritable mecca for brides with some clients traveling from as far away as the East Coast .
Brides aside, next time you take a bite of that delicious doughnut, you might also think of Temple City. Though Winchell’s Donuts no longer has a store in Temple City’s city limits, its very first store opened there way back in 1948.
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