Downey is a small suburban community, located slightly southeast of Los Angeles. It is a long-established neighborhood of residential homes, historic landmarks and one of the centers of the aerospace industry.
Long before the Spanish appeared in Downey, it was home to multiple Native American tribes. These tribes were primarily populated by the Tongva people, located in the villages of Sehatse and Naxaaw'nga. These villages were eventually combined into the contemporary community of Los Nietos.
In the 1700s, the Spanish settled into California, and Mission San Gabriel Archangel was established. During this time the area of today's Downey was divided into several rancheros, including Rancho Los Nietos and Rancho Santa Gertrudes. After the Mexican American War, California was ceded to the United States and later became a state.
During World War II, Downey became one of the leaders in building aircraft. It was one of the industries in which women held an essential role in the war effort, including being the source of the Rosie the Riveter concept of women in the workplace.
Following World War II, the aerospace industry continued to be one of the largest industries in Downey. Rockwell NASA was in operation for more than 70 years, providing the original systems for the Apollo Space Project and, later, the Space Shuttle. Across the years of operation, Rockwell provided services for multiple projects, including space exploration, aviation, and missile systems.
In the late 1990s, the Rockwell plant was closed. In its place, a shopping center and many other real estate projects were built. One of these was the Columbia Memorial Space Center. The Columbia Space Shuttle was developed by Rockwell and failed on re-entry on February 1, 2003, killing all seven crew members.
Another impressive landmark in Downey is the McDonald's on Lakewood Boulevard. It is one of the oldest operating McDonald's in the entire nation. It opened in August 1953 and was only the second franchise store. With just a walk-up window and the trademark red and yellow outdoor seats and tables, you can experience what it was like to get a burger in the 1950s and 1960s. This particular McDonald's still has the bright yellow neon golden arches on the side of the building and workers wear the old McDonald's paper hats.
Downey also has many city parks that appeal to all ages. Dennis the Menace Park is a small quiet park not far from Unsworth Elementary School. It has a Disney-themed playground and lots of green grass and open space for walks.
Downey Wilderness Park is located off of Florence Avenue and is one of the larger parks in Downey. It has two lakes that are stocked for fishing. It also has ample green space for picnics and family gatherings.
Downey is a vibrant community with all kinds of activities and events. For example, Foodie Fridays is a free event with multiple area food trucks. You meet with friends after work and get a taste of different cuisines at an affordable price.
Another regular Downey event is Mercado Downey, held at Los Amigos Golf Course. Here you can find many vendors, food trucks, food tents, and fun activities. Bring a blanket and have a picnic on the soft Bermuda grass, listen to music and watch the kids get their face painted.
The Downey Theater is another beautiful place for entertainment. There is an annual Dia de Los Muertos Art Festival, featuring the work of local artists, traditional dances and more. This is a fun festival celebrating the diversity of Downey and a great family friendly yearly event. Other events at the Downey Theater include musical and dance performances from world-famous musicians, local dance groups and high school symphony groups.
One of the notable things about Downey is how many of the homes were built between the 1940s and 1970s. Post-Second World War, Downey's location as one of the centers of the aerospace industry made it a primary site for homes for the workers at Rockwell. Today, many of those homes have tidy lawns and the cute architecture of the time. Whether you are in a neighborhood off Lakewood Boulevard, Florence Avenue or Telegraph Road, amenities are within walking distance and homes are neatly maintained.
Downey is a town with lots of things to do, and you and your family deserve to step out and enjoy it on weekends and evenings. Instead of devoting all of your downtime to mowing your lawn, trimming trees and trimming back landscaping, take advantage of Lawn Love's top quality lawn care services.