Located in the northern central portion of Los Angeles’ West Side, Westwood is bordered 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 Blvd. (or Pico Blvd. and, by some, Santa Monica Blvd.) on the southeast, the city limits of Beverly Hills on the northeast, and Sunset Blvd. on the north; its southwestern boundary is the San Diego Freeway (405) between Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards, and Veteran Avenue between Wilshire and Sunset
Westwood was carved from the old Wolfskill Farm, a 3,000 acre tract that was purchased in 1919 by wealthy retailer Arthur Letts. Letts’ son-in-law, Harold Janss, was Vice President of Janss Investment Company, which developed the area and started advertising new homes in 1922. The community is best known as the home of the University of California, Los Angeles (The Bruins of UCLA).
One of the major attractions is the shopping area of Westwood Village just south of the UCLA campus. While initially established in the 1920’s and catering mostly to the UCLA students with coffee shops, galleries, book stores and casual cafes, major redevelopment over the last decade has brought in many new high end shops, super markets, boutiques and restaurants the area. Home to several vintage movie theaters, including the Art Deco Crest, the Mann Village (once called the Fox Theatre) and the Mann Bruin, Westwood hosts many of the film industry’s premieres. In addition to the movie venues, there are also the UCLA Royce Hall, The Geffen and Billy Wilder theaters which play host to a variety of lectures and cultural events throughout the year.
The neighborhood is also eagerly anticipating the re-opening of the Century City mall in late 2017 which is under-going nearly $1 billion expansion. The updated luxury mall will have some of the best new shops and restaurants on the Westside including the first West Coast location for Mario Batali’s Italian food emporium Eataly.
Westwood is also home to the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery last 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 1990’s. The Hammer, as it is commonly known, is particularly notable for its collection of Impressionist art and cutting-edge modern art exhibitions.
The greater Westwood area can be broken down into many smaller sub-neighborhoods running from south to north, most of which are predominantly single-family residences. The two exceptions are the rental properties and apartment buildings immediately adjacent to UCLA and south along the 405 freeway, and the Wilshire Corridor. A stretch of Wilshire Blvd between Westwood and Beverly Glen, the Corridor is lined with high-rise luxury condominiums- most are full-service buildings with such amenities as 24-hour valet, pools, tennis courts and spas.
The higher end residential areas are both North of Wilshire Boulevard straddling the UCLA campus: Little Holmby to the east and Westwood Hills to the west. Both of these upscale areas feature tree-lined streets, sidewalks and hard-to-find ambiance. Older Spanish, Tudor and English-style homes reflect tremendous pride of ownership. The Little Holmby neighborhood also encompasses the ArmandHammerPark, a spacious public park, which features a large playground and 18-hole pitch and putt golf course. The neighborhoods South of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards continue the same architectural themes and ambiance but just with smaller sized homes and on smaller lots.
The Westwood neighborhood is part of the Los AngelesUnifiedSchool district, LAUSD. All three of the Grammar schools, Warner Avenue, Fairburn Avenue, and Westwood Charter rank among the highest in the city with small class sizes and dedicated staff. Most of the residents utilize EmersonMiddle school for junior high ( a small portion also can attend Webster Middle school). The neighborhood high school is UniversityHigh School. Many of the neighborhood residents also avail themselves of the vast Los Angeles private school system
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