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Another view of the Westwood skyline


Westwood Village (also known as Westwood) is a district in western Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. Westwood is best known as the home of the University of California, Los Angelesmarker (UCLAmarker). The eastern portions of the district are often thought of as a distinctly different neighborhood, Holmby Hillsmarker. Westwood was carved from the old Wolfskill Farm, a tract that was purchased in 1919 by wealthy retailer Arthur Letts. Letts's son-in-law, Harold Janss, was vice president of Janss Investment Company, which developed the area and started advertising new homes in 1922.

The Los Angeles Times reported the news: "Westwood, the subdivision of the Wolfskill ranch, 3300 acres 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."

Image:Highsmithwestwoodvillagetheater.jpg|The Fox theater faces...Image:Highsmithbruintheater.jpg|...the Bruin theater. Both are popular movie "premiere" locations.Image:Highsmithholmbywestwood.jpg|The landmark Holmby building

Geography

Looking up Westwood Boulevard into Westwood
Located in the northern central portion of Los Angeles's Westside, Westwood is bordered by Brentwoodmarker on the west, Bel-Airmarker on the north, Century Citymarker and Beverly Hillsmarker on the east, West Los Angeles on the southwest, Rancho Parkmarker 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.

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). Numerous bus lines serve the area, and recently instituted bus rapid transit service runs along Wilshire.

The area's notorious traffic has led to calls for the extension of the Los Angeles Metro's 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 Citymarker and the Ventura Freeway (U.S. Route 101) in Sherman Oaksmarker; the project, which will finally add a northbound carpool lane to the congested route, is not scheduled for completion until 2009 at the earliest.

Attractions

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 white tower and the Mann Bruin. Playboy Mansionmarker, and home of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, is located in nearby Holmby Hillsmarker.

Westwood is also home to the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemeterymarker, the last resting place of many of Hollywood'smarker biggest stars. A museummarker 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

Westwood Village
Built by the Janss Investment Company, the Westwood Villagemarker 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, 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 Storemarker building.

Westwood Village is within walking distance of the UCLA campus. The area is often packed with students looking for a good meal. There is a multitude of culturally-based restaurants condensed into this small area, so that students and Westwood visitors can, at virtually any moment, choose from a variety of food options, including Indian, Chinese, Thai, American, Italian, Japanese, Mexican and so much more.

Recent history

the 1960s and the mid-1980s, when some of the streets were so crowded with pedestrians that they were closed to vehicular traffic. The murder of innocent bystander Karen Toshima, during a gun battle between rival gangs on January 30, 1988, gained nationwide notoriety 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.

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 Citymarker, the newly revitalized Culver Citymarker, the very popular Third Street Promenademarker in Santa Monicamarker, and mid-city attractions like Park La Breamarker's The Grovemarker, as well as Downtown Los Angelesmarker which itself is going through a renaissance. Recently, it has been notoriously difficult for new stores to stay in business.

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 Angelesmarker. 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 Librarymarker 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 Hillsmarker, 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.


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 south of campus in Culver City and the Los Angeles districts of Mar Vistamarker and Palmsmarker, both in private housing and in large UCLA-owned apartment complexes. Significant numbers of UCLA students also live in the San Fernando Valleymarker, but heavy traffic congestion through the Sepulveda Passmarker 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 Persiamarker.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, it is estimated that there were 47,844 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 $60,752, and for a family was $89,946. The per capita income was $47,428.

In 2009, the Los Angeles Times's "Mapping L.A." project supplied these Westwood statistics: population: 47,916; median household income: $68,716.)

The Millionaire's Mile

The winding two-mile 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 or the Wilshire Corridor.

Emergency services

Police service

Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station at 1663 Butler Avenue, 90025, serving the neighborhood [45577]. Fire and Emergency Medical Services are provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department. UCLA also maintains a Basic Life Support Emergency Ambulance service for the university campus, and is backed up by LAFD as well as the LAPD. The UCLA campus itself is patrolled by an independent police force, UCPD.

Education

Image:Fairburn School.jpg|Fairburn Avenue SchoolImage:Warner Elem School.jpg|Warner Avenue SchoolImage:Westwood School.jpg|Westwood Charter Elementary SchoolImage:Emerson Middle School.jpg|Emerson Middle SchoolImage:D Webster Middle School.jpg|Daniel Webster Middle SchoolImage:UniversityHSLosAngeles.jpg|University High SchoolThe neighborhood is zoned to Los Angeles USD schools. The area is within Board District 4. As of 2008 Marlene Canter represents the district. Canter announced that she will not seek re-election after her term expires in June 2009.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.

Los Angeles Public Library operates the Westwood Branch. The Westwood Branch Library on Glendon Avenue was recently built (several years ago) on the site of an abandoned parking lot.

See also



References

  1. "Westwood Is Placed on the Market." Los Angeles Times. October 29, 1922. p. V9
  2. "Westwood" entry on the Los Angeles Times "Mapping L.A." website
  3. Board District 4 Map. Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
  4. " Board Members." Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
  5. " Two LAUSD board members retire, Friedlander wins Shoah scholarship prize." The Jewish Journal. November 12, 2008.


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