a newspaper article on Lakewood's incorporation dating from 1954

Lakewood’s incorporation in 1954 began a daring experiment in community building that benefited from the commitments Lakewood residents made to their community, as well as from the foresight of Lakewood’s original developers.

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 in Lakewood's history and in a collection of historical photographs, videos, and documents.

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.

Lakewood residents and city officials 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 the collaborative effort of residents and their elected leaders, a process that blends shared values with new inspiration to create a successful future.

Explore the past, the present, and the hopeful future of Lakewood with the links on this page.