Westwood, Los Angeles

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Westwood
—  Neighborhood of Los Angeles  —
High-rise buildings line Wilshire Boulevard through the Westwood area
Westwood is located in Los Angeles
Westwood
Location within Western Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°03′22″N 118°25′47″W / 34.05611°N 118.42972°W / 34.05611; -118.42972
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyCounty of Los Angeles
CityCity of Los Angeles
Government
 • City CouncilPaul Koretz
 • State AssemblyHolly Mitchell(D), Mike Feuer (D)
 • State SenateFran Pavley (D), Curren Price (D)
 • U.S. HouseHenry Waxman (D)
Area[1]
 • Total3.7 sq mi (10 km2)
Population (2000)[1]
 • Total47,916,
 • Density13,063/sq mi (5,044/km2)
 Population changes significantly depending on areas included and recent growth.
ZIP Code90024
Area code(s)310
 
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Westwood
—  Neighborhood of Los Angeles  —
High-rise buildings line Wilshire Boulevard through the Westwood area
Westwood is located in Los Angeles
Westwood
Location within Western Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°03′22″N 118°25′47″W / 34.05611°N 118.42972°W / 34.05611; -118.42972
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyCounty of Los Angeles
CityCity of Los Angeles
Government
 • City CouncilPaul Koretz
 • State AssemblyHolly Mitchell(D), Mike Feuer (D)
 • State SenateFran Pavley (D), Curren Price (D)
 • U.S. HouseHenry Waxman (D)
Area[1]
 • Total3.7 sq mi (10 km2)
Population (2000)[1]
 • Total47,916,
 • Density13,063/sq mi (5,044/km2)
 Population changes significantly depending on areas included and recent growth.
ZIP Code90024
Area code(s)310
View of Westwood and surrounding areas
Aerial view of Westwood (center) and vicinity (3D computer generated image)

Westwood is a neighborhood in the northern central portion of the Westside of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the home of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Westwood is bordered by Brentwood on the west, Bel-Air on the north, Century City and Beverly Hills on the east, West Los Angeles on the southwest, Rancho Park on the southeast, and Sawtelle on the south and southwest. The district's boundaries are generally considered to be Olympic Boulevard on the southeast, the city limits of Beverly Hills on the northeast, and Sunset Boulevard on the north; its southwestern boundary is the San Diego Freeway between Olympic and Wilshire boulevards, and Veteran Avenue between Wilshire and Sunset.[2]

Contents

History

Westwood was developed on the lands of the historic 'Wolfskill Ranch', a 3,000-acre (12 km2) parcel that was purchased by Arthur Letts, the successful founder of the Broadway, and Bullock's department stores, in 1919. Upon Arthur Lett's death, his son-in-law, Harold Janss, vice president of Janss Investment Company, inherited the land and developed the area and started advertising for new homes in 1922.

The Los Angeles Times reported the news: "Westwood, the subdivision of the Wolfskill Ranch, 3,300 acres (13 km2) of scenic territory between the city and Santa Monica, is to be opened to homeseekers and investors today by the Janss Investment Company. The tract comprises approximately 1000 residential and business lots, situated west of the Los Angeles Country Club on Santa Monica Boulevard and the Rancho Country Club on Pico Boulevard."[3]

Transportation

Westwood's major thoroughfares include Santa Monica, Olympic, Sepulveda, Beverly Glen, Wilshire, Westwood, and Sunset Boulevards. The district is served by the San Diego Freeway (I-405). Local bus service is provided by Big Blue Bus and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Culver CityBus's Line 6 also serves Westwood.

The area's notorious traffic has led to calls for the extension of the Purple Line subway to Westwood from its current endpoint at Western Avenue in Koreatown.

The Metro and Caltrans have also begun a project to widen the San Diego Freeway between the interchanges with the Marina Freeway (SR 90) in Culver City and the Ventura Freeway (U.S. Route 101) in Sherman Oaks; the project, which will finally add a northbound carpool lane to the congested route, is not scheduled for completion until 2011 at the earliest.

Attractions

Hammer Museum; operated by UCLA

A center of movie-going on the Westside and the site of many movie premieres, Westwood is home to several vintage movie theaters, including the Art Deco Crest, the Mann Village (once called the Fox Theater) featuring a landmark 170-foot (52 m) white tower and the Bruin Theatre. The Bruin Theatre provides a special discount to UCLA students. Playboy Mansion, home of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, is located in nearby Holmby Hills.

Westwood is also home to the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, the final resting place of many of Hollywood's biggest stars. A museum named for and endowed by activist and philanthropist Armand Hammer, longtime head of Occidental Petroleum (which maintains its headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard), has become one of Los Angeles' trendiest cultural attractions since UCLA assumed its management in the 1990s. The Hammer, as it is commonly known, is particularly notable for its collection of Impressionist art and cutting-edge modern art exhibitions. The museum also houses the Billy Wilder Theater, run by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Westwood Village

Built by the Janss Investment Company, the Westwood Village shopping district, which opened in 1929, retained its small-village atmosphere even after the San Diego Freeway came through the area in the 1950s and high-rise office towers went up around it in the following decades. However, much of this construction was planned around the never-built Beverly Hills Freeway; in combination with a perceived parking shortage at UCLA, high-density development in Westwood has created some of the worst traffic congestion in Los Angeles. Even with the opening of numerous municipal parking structures in the 1990s and 2000s (decade), finding a parking spot in Westwood Village is still a notoriously difficult task. With the proximity of Westwood's towering business area to its shops that line the streets around UCLA, parking and traffic issues dominate local planning debates.

Some landmark buildings still remain from the early years of Westwood Village including the first building erected in the village, the Janss Investment Company Building (Janss Dome) with its aqua and white zig-zag patterned dome and gold leafing. Other buildings listed as Historic-Cultural Monuments include the Fox and Bruin Theaters and the Ralphs Grocery Store building.

Westwood Village is within walking distance of the UCLA campus. There is a multitude of culturally-based restaurants condensed into this small area, so that students and Westwood visitors can choose from a variety of food options, including Indian, Chinese, Thai, American, Italian, Persian, Japanese, and Mexican.

Recent history

The murder of innocent bystander Karen Toshima, during a gun battle between rival gangs on January 30, 1988, gained nationwide notoriety[4] and led to the widespread impression that even affluent Westwood was not immune to the crime wave then ravaging Los Angeles. It would take more than a decade for this perception to fade.[5][6]

Today, while Westwood is again regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, its retail sector has been slow to recover in the face of increased competition from Century City, the newly revitalized Culver City, the very popular Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and mid-city attractions like Park La Brea's The Grove, as well as Downtown Los Angeles which itself is going through a renaissance. Recently, it has been notoriously difficult for new stores to stay in business.[citation needed]

LDS (Mormon) Temple

Los Angeles California Temple

The Los Angeles California Temple, the second-largest temple operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood. The temple grounds also includes a Visitors' Center open to the public and the headquarters for the Church's missionary efforts in Los Angeles. The church purchased the land for the temple from silent film star Harold Lloyd in 1937, but did not open the temple until 1956.

The temple grounds are also home to the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center (LARFHC), which is open to the public as well. It is the second-largest branch in the Family History Library system of the LDS Church, and contains more than 100,000 microfiche and 30,000 books.

Housing and demographics

Many of the area's permanent residents are of Asian, Middle Eastern and European ancestry and generally affluent, living in high-rise apartment buildings and, in Holmby Hills, some of the most luxurious single-family houses in Los Angeles.

Single-family homes tend to be east and southeast of UCLA, particularly in the areas behind the LDS temple. Housing in the portion of the district bounded by Sepulveda, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Wilshire Boulevards is mostly low- or medium-rise apartment buildings catering to upscale young professionals, as well as some UCLA students. Most UCLA students in Westwood, however, live in the hilly area of low-rise apartments between Veteran Avenue and the campus's western boundary or South of Wilshire.

The Manor, former home of Aaron Spelling.

Because of consistently high demand and the district's proximity to so many Westside attractions and businesses, rental housing in Westwood is very expensive relative to most areas of Los Angeles. For all but the wealthiest UCLA students, living off-campus in a Westwood apartment necessitates sharing a room. (Westwood North Village is the main region in which students dwell.) As a result, many UCLA students live 3 miles (5 km) south of campus in Culver City and the Los Angeles districts of Mar Vista and Palms, both in private housing and in large UCLA-owned apartment complexes. Some students also opt to live south of Wilshire Blvd. as it is inexpensive but still close to UCLA. Significant numbers of UCLA students also live in the San Fernando Valley, but heavy traffic congestion through the Sepulveda Pass and Beverly Glen can wreak havoc on commutes between the Valley and Westwood.

Businesses owned or operated by the Iranian community are clustered along Westwood Blvd., earning it the sobriquet Little Persia.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, it is estimated that there were 47,916 people residing in the Westwood neighborhood. The ethnic or racial makeup was 62.53% non-Hispanic White, 2.10% Black, 7.0% Latino, 0.15% Native American, 23.06% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 3.19% from other races, and 5.46% from two or more races.

The median income for a household was $68,716, and for a family was $89,946. The per capita income was $47,428.[7]

The Millionaire's Mile

The winding two-mile (3 km) section of Wilshire Boulevard to the east of Westwood Village is dominated by residential high-rises, and is variously known as the Millionaire's Mile, the Golden Mile[8] or the Wilshire Corridor.

Economy

Occidental Petroleum has its headquarters in Westwood.[9][10]

Government and infrastructure

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Westwood.[11]

Emergency services

Police

The Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station at 1663 Butler Avenue, which serves the community.[12] Law enforcement for the UCLA campus is the responsibility of the UCLA Police Department, a division of the independent, statewide University of California Police Department.[13] As a state police agency, the UCLA PD has full law enforcement powers on and off campus.[13]

Fire and EMS

Fire and emergency medical services are provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department. UCLA Emergency Medical Services, a division of the UCLA Police Department, operates a Basic Life Support ambulance for the UCLA campus and supports LAFD on medical aid calls in the surrounding community.[14] UCLA also maintains a small fire suppression apparatus staffed by campus fire marshals that responds to university-owned properties and assists the outside community when requested to by LAFD.[citation needed]

Education

Primary and secondary schools

The neighborhood is zoned to Los Angeles USD schools. The area is within Board District 4.[15] As of 2008 Marlene Canter represents the district.[16] Canter announced that she will not seek re-election after her term expires in June 2009.[17] Westwood is also the seat of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Elementary schools serving separate areas in Westwood include:

All residents are zoned to Emerson Middle School (some residents have joint zoning to Emerson and Webster Middle School) and University High School.

Gallery

Parks and recreation

The Westwood Recreation Center is in Westwood. The facility includes barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, an indoor gymnasium with weights, and a picnic table. The center also has Aidan's Place, which opened on December 5, 2001. The place, named after wheelchair-bound Aidan James, is a playground developed for joint use by handicapped and non-handicapped children.[18][19]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Los Angeles Times Neighborhood Project". http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/neighborhood/westlake/. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ "LA Times". Los Angeles Times. http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/neighborhood/westwood/. 
  3. ^ "Westwood Is Placed on the Market." Los Angeles Times. October 29, 1922. p. V9
  4. ^ Carlson, Margaret B. (February 22, 1988). "The price of life in Los Angeles; is one killing in Westwood worse than hundreds in the ghetto?". Time: pp. 31. 
  5. ^ Glionna, John M. (January 30, 1998). "A murder that woke up L.A.". Los Angeles Times: pp. A1. 
  6. ^ Reinhold, Robert B. (February 8, 1988). "Gang Violence Shocks Los Angeles". New York Times. [1]
  7. ^ "Westwood" entry on the Los Angeles Times "Mapping L.A." website
  8. ^ King, Danny (September 1, 2003). "Projects move forward on Westwood's Golden Mile". Los Angeles Business Journal: pp. 3. 
  9. ^ "Contact Us." Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Retrieved on December 8, 2011. "Corporate Headquarters 10889 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90024-4201 "
  10. ^ Hsu, Tiffany. "Occidental's profit soars 53% to record high on surging oil prices." Los Angeles Times. April 25, 2008. C3. Retrieved on December 8, 2011. "Westwood-based Occidental Petroleum Corp."
  11. ^ "About Us." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ a b UCLA Police Department Uniformed Patrol Division – Overview of Patrol Operations
  14. ^ UCLA EMS official website
  15. ^ Board District 4 Map. Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
  16. ^ "Board Members." Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
  17. ^ "Two LAUSD board members retire, Friedlander wins Shoah scholarship prize." The Jewish Journal. November 12, 2008.
  18. ^ "Westwood Recreation Center." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
  19. ^ "Universally Accessible Playgrounds." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.

External links

Coordinates: 34°03′22″N 118°25′47″W / 34.05611°N 118.42972°W / 34.05611; -118.42972