History

a newspaper article on Lakewood's incorporation dating from 1954

Lakewood’s incorporation in 1954 began a daring experiment in community building that began with the commitments which Lakewood residents made and the foresight of Lakewood’s original developers.

The Los Angeles Daily News headlined the incorporation of Lakewood in 1954. 

Lakewood’s incorporation also began a new era for local governments in California and throughout the nation. The reason was Lakewood’s innovative “contract plan” for municipal services.

Lakewood's place in the development of suburban Southern California and the dramatic changes that followed incorporation are told on the following pages and in a collection of historical photographs, videos, and documents that linked on the left.

The incorporation of Lakewood in 1954 offered reassuring signs that the dignity of an ordinary life was possible with the help of like-minded neighbors if those neighbors were able to work together despite their cultural and ethnic differences. 

Residents and city officials today know that Lakewood’s future is open ended. While certain aspects of the community are not likely to change, other aspects of Lakewood are destined for reinterpretation and reinvention. The tomorrow of “tomorrow’s city” remains a collaborative effort that joins a culturally and ethnically diverse community of residents and their elected leaders in a process that blends shared values and new inspiration to create a successful future for themselves, their families, and Lakewood.