In 1911, film directorThomas Ince created his Western film factory, "Inceville," which at its peak employed nearly 600 people. A decade later, the Rev. Charles H. Scott and the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church bought the land; in 1922, Scott founded Pacific Palisades, envisioning an elaborate religious-intellectual commune. Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. The tents eventually were replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multimillion-dollar homes.
For many decades there was a virtual ban on drinking alcohol in the district, and a Chinese restaurant, House of Lee, held the only liquor license. The Methodist Church created a Chautauqua Conference Grounds in Temescal Canyon, before it was sold to become Temescal Gateway Park.
Areas or Neighborhoods
The Village is the Pacific Palisades' walkable, vibrant small central business district with its center at Sunset Boulevard and Via de la Paz. The Village consists of a weekly farmers' market, restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops in addition to boutiques, shops, banks, offices, and local events.
The Via Mesa and the The Huntington Palisades are the neighborhoods that border the 'village' proper to the south of Sunset Boulevard, overlooking the ocean. The Via Mesa is nestled between Temescal Canyon on the west and Potrero Canyon on the east; the Huntington Palisades is nestled between Potrero Canyon on the west and Chautauqua Boulevard on the east. Both of these neighborhoods are easy walking distance to The Village and sit upon high bluffs that look out over the Pacific Ocean. Many of the homes in these neighborhoods are accordingly afforded beautiful ocean views and ocean air. This area is also home to the largest park of the Palisades: the 117 acre Palisades Park which has four baseball diamonds, eight tennis courts, two indoor basketball courts, a hockey rink, dog parks, and multiple playgrounds.
The Alphabet Streets also known as "The North Village," is the neighborhood that borders the 'village' proper to the north of Sunset Boulevard. Also easy walking distance to The Village, this area is characterized by its high density of single family homes on lively narrow streets. The streets, named after Methodist Bishops of the late 19th and early 20th century, are consecutively named beginning with A, B, C, D, etc. - hence the name Alphabet Streets. This neighborhood is a popular destination for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
The El Medio Mesa is located south of Sunset Boulevard beginning about a quarter mile west of The Village, across Temescal Canyon - just past Palisades Charter High School. The El Medio Mesa extends for a long distance from Temescal Canyon all the way to where Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway. As with The Via Bluffs and The Huntington Palisades, The El Medio Bluffs are located on a high ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean and much of the neighborhood is afforded beautiful ocean views and ocean air.
Marquez Knolls is a large area of homes located north of Sunset Boulevard beginning about a quarter mile west of The Village across Temescal Canyon on the mountain upslope known for spectacular ocean views. The lower upslope was first developed in the early 1950s and mid-1960s by the Earl Lachman family. There is a small shopping center on Marquez Street and Sunset Boulevard.
Castellammare is located along the Pacific Coast Highway on small bluffs much closer to sea-level, just north of where Sunset Boulevard meets the PCH. This is the home of the Getty Villa and the narrow, winding streets in this neighborhood have Italian names and ocean breezes.
Palisades Highlands is a community near the end of Sunset Blvd., bordering Topanga, about five minutes away from the center of the Pacific Palisades (The Village). The Highlands could almost be considered its own separate community high up the hill overlooking the ocean, up Palisades Drive.
Rustic Canyon is the neighborhood east of Chautauqua Boulevard that dips into Santa Monica Canyon and includes the Will Rogers State Historic Park. The neighborhood features post-war homes located on the former polo field of The Uplifters, the original site of The Uplifters clubhouse (now a city park), and "cabins" developed as second homes and weekend retreats. This area is also known as Uplifter's Ranch.
The Riviera is a Palisades neighborhood located approximately two miles east of The Palisades Village and features The Riviera Country Club, a high-end country club, and streets named after various locations in the French and Italian Riviera. The neighborhood is divided into north and south sections by Sunset Boulevard. It borders Santa Monica and Brentwood. Riviera Country club hosts the Northern Trust Open on the PGA Tour in February (the tournament was originally named the "Los Angeles Open"). Riviera has hosted three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1948 and the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995. Ben Hogan won three times in less than 18 months at the course (1947 and 1948 L.A. Open, 1948 U.S. Open), and it became known as "Hogan's Alley."
In 2009, the Los Angeles Times's "Mapping L.A." project supplied these Pacific Palisades statistics: population: 23,940; median household income: $168,008.
These were the ten cities or neighborhoods in Los Angeles County with the largest percentage of white residents, according to the 2000 census:
The most important civic group within the Palisades is the Pacific Palisades Community Council. The Pacific Palisades council usually meets twice each month to discuss a wide range of issues that affect its residents. The council has rejected city offers to become an official part of the city, preferring its independent, non-aligned status. Among the main reasons that Council members cite is that the Council would not have the power to appeal decisions of City officials, commissions, and boards and the Council could not appear before Federal, State, and County authorities regarding local issues.
Los Angeles Fire Department operates two fire stations serving Pacific Palisades. Station 69 at 15045 West Sunset Boulevard serves Pacific Palisades and the Pacific Coast. Station 23 at 17281 West Sunset Boulevard serves the Palisades Highlands, Castellammare, and the Pacific Coast.
The development was originally protested by area residents and evironmentalists because it cut through the heart of Topanga Park.
A guard gated community of 80 estates ranging from $2–18 million located on the farthest west part of the Palisades. The houses range from about 4,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet and are situated on large lots ranging from half an acre to over four acres. All of the homes have mountain views, and are revered for their privacy and spaciousness. Many celebrities have had homes in this neighborhood, such as James Worthy, Chevy Chase, Steve Guttenberg, and Jeffrey Tambor among others.
Piedra Morada (with its few branching streets) make up the Palisades Hills. Prices range from $2–10 million, with views of the Pacific. This is the oldest part of the highlands and the highest part at around 1,600 feet above sea level
The newest construction in the Highlands that has been completed since the early 2000s, homes range from $2–12 million, which include views of the Pacific. This area includes The Summit Club which is a recreation center with numerous tennis courts, a pool and multiple children's play structures.
The Low Highlands includes homes and condominiums as well as a shopping center.
The mouth of Santa Ynez Canyon at the Pacific Ocean was once home of Inceville, an early 1900s film studio. Filming ceased at the property around 1922, and the buildings burned to the ground in 1924. In 1921, the land that is now known as Pacific Palisades was purchased by Methodists. Over time, roads that were named after Methodist missionaries were developed, and land was settled.
The Highlands development began in the early 1970s. Housing development in the Highlands is now reaching its final stage as residences are being built at the highest point at the northeast border between Pacific Palisades and Topanga State Park. The Highlands are the most recent large-scale development in Pacific Palisades.
Paul Revere Middle School first opened as Palisades-Brentwood Junior High School on September 12, 1955; it chose its current name during its first year of operation. It became an internal charter in 1994.
Palisades High School opened in 1961. Palisades received a charter in 1994.
The only newspaper directly serving the Palisades is the Palisadian-Post. The newspaper was founded in 1928. Unlike most weeklies on the westside of Los Angeles, the Post is subscription-based. The paper is owned by Alan Smolinisky, a born and raised Palisadian who purchased the newspaper from the Small Newspaper Group, a midwestern media chain. Frances Sharpe is the paper's editor-in-chief.
"Pali Production" is a local low budget class at Palisades Charter High School that streams sports events and school graduations. It unifies the community and keeps Palisadians up to date. There is also a show they run called "The Current" that is facilitated by the students. It tells the parents and kids of Pali High and the Palisades community what is happening and what has happened in the school and area.
Parks and recreation
The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks operates several recreational facilities in Pacific Palisades at 851 Alma Real Drive. Palisades Park, at that address, has 117 acres (0.47 km2) of land. The Palisades Recreation Center, also at that address, has barbecue pits, four baseball diamonds (two lighted, two unlighted), lighted basketball courts (indoor and outdoor), a children's play area, a football field, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts. The facility also has a kitchen, a stage, a television area, and various scheduled athletic and non-athletic activities. The Pacific Palisades Tennis Court, also at that address, has eight courts.
Rustic Canyon Park is located along Rustic Canyon Road. The Rustic Canyon Pool is located at 601 Latimer Road. The Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, located at the same address, has a multipurpose with a capacity of 150 people that can be used as an auditorium, a gymnasium, or a volleyball court. The center also has barbecue pits, an unlighted baseball diamond, basketball courts (lighted indoor and unlighted outdoor), a children's play area, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, and volleyball courts (lighted and unlighted).
Temescal Canyon Park is a non-staffed "pocket park" located at 15900 Pacific Coast Highway. The park has barbecue pits, a children's play area, picnic tables, hiking trails, a native garden, and toilets. Santa Ynez Canyon Park is located at Palisades Drive and Avenida de Santa Ynez. Rivas Canyon Park is located at the east terminus of Oracle Pl.
Will Rogers State Historic Park and Polo Club. While Will Rogers made Beverly Hills his home in late twenties, in 1922, he bought a large plot of almost 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land above Sunset to build a weekend cottage. He built a polo field on the property in 1926, and, in 1928, he and his family made it their home. In 1944, after Will Rogers died, the ranch became a state park. In the interest of historical preservation, the home is maintained as it was including the furniture and fixtures. It is open to the public most days with the exception of major holidays, although admission is required. The top of the property's trail includes vistas of the ocean and city.
The Getty Villa The most well-known landmark in the Palisades is J. Paul Getty's Getty Villa. The museum erroneously claims that it is the Getty Villa of Malibu; however, it is a part of the Palisades, which is in the city of Los Angeles.
Villa Aurora An artists residence and historic landmark located in the former home of exiled German-Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta.
Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine A 10-acre spiritual center on Sunset Boulevard founded in 1950 by Paramahansa Yogananda, whose classic book “Autobiography of a Yogi” introduced many Westerners to yoga and Eastern mysticism.