Located at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains in the North Western portion of Los Angeles’ West Side, Brentwood is bounded by the San Diego Freeway on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, the Santa Monica city limits on the southwest, the border of Topanga State Park on the west and Mulholland Drive along the ridgeline of the mountains on the north.
Originally part of a 30,000 acre ranch known as Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, Brentwood as we know it today started about 1905 with the development of the Westgate area just next to the recently opened Old Soldiers home, and the 1906 purchase of 360 acres of land from Santa Monica and the water company. It was purchased by a group of investors headed by William L. Brent. Mr. Brent’s investment to construct the “highest class of homes” is now the area known as Brentwood Park. Ultimately his name became synonymous for the patchwork of rustic neighborhoods at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains.
As other development blossomed around the success of Westgate and Brentwood, the area was annexed by the city of Los Angeles in 1916. The Brentwood business district sprung up in the late 1930’s and trolley cars still bisected the town into the late 1940’s With the demise of the trolley cars in 1946 came Brentwood’s most famous landmark; the Coral Trees of San Vicente Boulevard. Started under a 1950 LA beautification project, the abandoned trolley tracks where torn up and the now iconic but fragile Coral Trees took their place.
While home to some of Los Angeles most famous residents, Brentwood continues today as one of the most sought after West Side addresses with a magical mixture of urban and rustic neighborhoods
True to its roots as a small town Brentwood hosts numerous community events throughout the year including the semi annual Brentwood Arts Fair,the annual Great Tastes of Brentwood,the memorial day 5 and 10k runs and the weekly farmers market to name a few.
Additionally in 1997 the world renowned Getty Center museum, designed by Richard Meier, opened in the hills above Brentwood. This new attraction has quickly become a cultural and artistic center of the West Side by playing host to vast collections of Architecture, furniture, decorative objects, photographs and paintings. In addition to the arts, the center also plays host to numerous touring exhibits, out door concerts and lecture series.
Brentwood contains an incredible variety of sub areas ranging from urban condominiums to equestrian estates. Most of the sub neighborhoods are defined by their geography
The Southern most neighborhood of Brentwood is the area just north of Wilshire Boulevard and is known as the Brentwood flats. This area is mostly modest single family homes with lovely tree lined streets and side walks. As you move north toward the main business district the mix becomes almost exclusively low rise condominium buildings.
Above and to the west of the business district are the two neighborhoods of Brentwood Hills and Brentwood Glen. Brentwood glen is a quaint collection of smaller single family homes just west of the 405 Freeway.The Brentwood Hills area, just north of San Vicente, has larger homes but again with a very eclectic mix of size and styles of single family homes.
As you move north of Sunset Blvd you encounter several neighborhoods defined mostly by the canyons they occupy.To the west you have Brentwood circle which is new guard gated area just beneath the Getty Center Museum and features some of Los Angeles’ most beautiful newer homes.As you move west along Sunset Boulevard you encounter the Bundy, Kenter, and Mandeville Canyon residences.All of these areas boast old classic homes, traditional ranch style homes and newer estates with some steep hillsides giving them a true “California Canyon” feel.
The Western boundary on Brentwood is divided between Brentwood Park and Sullivan Canyon. Brentwood Park is the grandest of the Brentwood Neighborhoods boasting some of the largest and most expensive estate properties on the West Side of town being home to many business, entertainment and political luminaries. In contrast, Sullivan Canyon is a throw back to Brentwood’s roots as a rural country retreat offering one of the only Westside neighborhoods still zoned for horses and incorporates a sizable public riding rink.
Brentwood, as with most of the West Side, is part of the Los Angeles unified school district, LAUSD. The public elementary schools are Kenter Canyon elementary Brentwood Magnet and Brockton Elementary. The middle schools are Paul Revere and for a small portion of the neighborhood Emerson. The high schools are split between University and Palisades High School.
In addition to the public school system, many of the Brentwood residents send their children to some of the private school which make Brentwood their home as well. These schools include Brentwood Lower and Upper schools, Archer School for girls, and Saint Martin of Tours Elementary. Brentwood also has the distinction of having a full liberal arts and nursing college Mount St. Mary’s in the Bundy canyon.