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West Los Angeles

Tell us what West Los Angeles means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


Westwood Sam has got it right.

— Miguel
March 26, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.

Why is santa monica not included?

— Mark
September 30, 2010 at 2:49 p.m.

The facts say this area is part "Westwood" and part "Rancho Park". There's no ambiguity, so people's personal ideas, while interesting, don't really matter. The LA Times has it wrong. Earl (comment below) obviously has it right because he's lived here the whole time.

"Westwood" is Santa Monica Blvd to Olympic. "Rancho Park" is south of Olympic.

The original Janss development in the 1920s was called Westwood - it went from Sunset to Pico in exactly this area. Maps and historical documents show this clearly - this is not hard. Westwood Blvd ran the whole distance, and "Westwood Charter" elementary is in this area.

In the 1930s, Olympic Blvd came through, and those south of Olympic formed their own neighborhood: "Rancho Park".

THAT'S IT ! The LA Times map is wrong. And local residents either have forgotten or just don't know their own history (nothing new there). People's stories or personal opinions are nice, but irrelevant.

— Westwood Sam
September 30, 2010 at 10:54 a.m.

I "grew up" in West Los Angeles...and also in Westwood. First, my family lived in the 1800 block of Midvale Avenue in 1934. This, if I remember correctly, was just above Missouri Ave. In about 1935 we moved down to the 2100 block of Midvale which is just below Mississippi Ave. Midvale is the street just west of Westwood Boulevard. There were many vacant lots on all of those streets-Westwood Blvd, Midvale, Kelton, etc. Westwood Blvd ended at Pico Blvd.

Below Pico was nothing but a great expanse of rye grass. Olympic Boulevard didn't exist then. It was Tennessee Ave.

We kids watched them build the road and played on the "huge" construction equipment at the end of the day. I attended Westwood Elementary (Selby Ave) School, then went to Emerson Jr. High in the seventh grade. On graduation I went to University High.

These were the prescribed schools for the neighborhood in which I lived.

If I remember correctly, the postal zone was Los Angeles 25 (could have been 24). We had a five-digit phone number. When prefixes were assigned, it was "Arizona". In addition to the L.A. Times we had the Herald Express which later became the Herald-Examiner.

We watched the construction of the Bruin theater, delivered newspapers on our bikes, rode all over the area, including the beach, Culver City and surrounding communities. We never locked our doors or shut our windows at night. We left our bikes unlocked at the beach or out in the yard at home. None were ever taken. It was a great place in a great time. Blue skies, white clouds, seagulls flying in from the coast whenever a storm approached.

We considered everything north of Pico, south of Sunset, East of Sepulveda and

west of Beverly Glen "Westwood". But then, we didn't really care what it was called.

— Earl
April 18, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.

I've lived here twenty-five years. It's great and has the best climate in the city.

It's called Westwood (90025) north of Olympic & Rancho Park (90064) to the south of Olympic. The neighborhood was cut in two when they pushed Olympic Blvd through here in 1932 to facilitate getting around during that year's Olympic Games held here (this was before freeways).

It's also on relatively high ground so it didn't flood as much as some other parts of WLA (this was a big issue before they installed the system of storm drains in L.A.)

There's a lot of small one-off shops on Pico and Westwood Boulevards which is nice (F&S fabrics is a good example) and two big malls on the east & south borders (Westside Pavillion, first built in 1949, the oldest in the US, and Century City Shopping Center).

When I first came here there were a lot of retired people from the Midwest and they rolled the sidewalks up at sundown. Now it's much more cosmopolitan with restaurants, newsstands, etc open late reflecting the lifestyle of our newer Iranian neighbors. It's like more hours have been added to our days!

There's also a Tongva village site (Kuruvungna), with two lovely natual springs, on the campus of our local high school, maintained by the Tongva people. There's a festival there every year which adds to the ambience around here as does "Tiny Tokyo" also to the west and UCLA to the north and 20th Century Fox Studios just to the east.

There's been some losses of course. Plenty of the smaller shops are gone, the Pic-Wood theater and even the Pico Drive-in if you can remember back that far.

I grew up in Hermosa Beach & have also lived in Hollywood, not to mention Chicago and London for many years, but here is the best of all.

I say I live in WLA (a much bigger place than just this neighborhood), the Westside or Westwood. I don't care really.

— Diana in L.A.
April 6, 2010 at 12:53 p.m.

I live here. It's called West LA get over it, not rancho park. Maybe the confusion stems from the fact that West Los Angeles refers to two areas of Los Angeles. One is the south of the santa monica mountains, East of Santa Monica, North of Culver City etc. and West of say Beverly Hills, which describes the western area of Los Angeles the city. The other is this little area or neighborhood if you will, that really doesn't have a name, except West LA. OK? Confusion over.

— Matthew Ceran
November 6, 2009 at 8:06 p.m.

I have digitized the LA Times boundaries for use in maps that serve the real estate industry. This is one area where I have had to make my own edits. Neither brokers, agents, or clients accept this area being labeled 'West Los Angeles'. West Los Angeles is generally considered to lie west of the 405 and east of the Santa Monica border, as the google basemap you are using shows. This theory seems to be supported by many of the other comments.

— David S
September 17, 2009 at 2:37 p.m.

I grew up in RANCHO PARK, I don't care what some self appointed "neighborhood council" calls it. The city sign always said RANCH PARK. Boundary was Sawtelle on the West, Motor on the east, Coventry on the south, and Santa Monica Blvd. on the north (not quite sure of the south boundary). We used to have a Post Office on Pico by Parnell. The zip code is 90064 for RANCHO PARK. I walked past those signs to go to the library, the parks, or riding a bike to the beach. Cheviot Hills Park was called Rancho Park playground, although they were snooty and called the tennis courts "Cheviot Hills Tennis Courts". I was shocked to see the name change on the park.

As typical, LATimes got it wrong, again, which is why I no longer subscribe. This newspaper used to be good, but now its become much worse than the old Herald Examiner, with poor editing, yellow journalism, and massive inaccuracies.

— Liz H
September 5, 2009 at 3:25 p.m.

I just moved back to France from West LA, where I lived for 3 years. I never realized the passion of its residents towards the name given to their neighborhood! I always referred to it as West LA as it gave me the sense of being a part of Los Angeles whereas the name Westwood hints at a more independent state of mind.

I think this neighborhood is a really neat place, quiet but with easy access to all things LA: the 10, 405, Santa monica blvd, hollywood! I always liked to think I was living only a few feet from famed route 66, something that is not put forward enough! As for the landmarks, I imagine you can say the mormon temple on santa monica is an easy way of explaining people where it is you live. The boundaries drawn here really only include residential areas, but I think it would be fair to say the deli at Westwood and Pico, the apple pan on pico and the westside pavilion are some cool draws!

thanks for the extra info on my little piece of LA!

— marc
August 18, 2009 at 3:59 a.m.

We call our community Rancho Park.

So does the post office. So the the large

park on Pico and Motor.

To help people out of the area recognize the area we say this is South Westwood.

This helps others get a sense of the location.

For others we have to say, near the Westside Pavillion shopping mall. This is my least favorite way of describing my community.

My favorite is Rancho Park. And I believe that is most accurate.

— Joanna Poppink
August 16, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.

According to the Neighborhood Council system, West L.A. boundries are from the 405 freeway to the Santa Monica Border, and from the middle of Wilshire Boulevard to the 10 freeway. I say this as Chair of the West L.A. Neighborhood Council.

— jay handal
August 14, 2009 at 10:42 p.m.

You really need to find a Times employee who lives around here. Then you can have them help you fix this problem. Nobody calls east of the 405 "West LA" it's Westwood down to Pico and east to Century Park West. Nobody I know calls West LA "Sawtelle" It's either West LA or Little Osaka for Sawtelle between SM and Olympic.

— Paul M.
August 14, 2009 at 5:32 p.m.

I consider this area No Man's Land. Too far south for Westwood, too far north for Rancho Park, too far west for Century City, and too far east for the generic West LA.

— Death
August 13, 2009 at 9:47 a.m.

Forgot to add in my last comment: The golf course across the street is called "Rancho Park" Golf Course... that should be a pretty obvious clue what this neighborhood is called!

— Irwin
June 4, 2009 at 11:26 a.m.

This "neighborhood" as LA Times has defined, doesn't exists. It's one part Rancho Park (South of Olympic) and one part Westwood (North of Olympic). The post office sub-station for 90064 zip code (which is called "Rancho Park" by the way) is located in this section of Pico Blvd that LA Times is calling "West LA". I think the post office knows where the mail delivery goes.

— Irwin
June 4, 2009 at 10:44 a.m.

It's simply incorrect to ascribe this amorphous "West LA" to this area, which has always been part of "Westwood".

"Westwood" currently includes the area between Santa Monica Blvd and Olympic. Sheesh, long-established "Westwood Charter" elementary school has always been right smack in that area! And the main drag Westwood Blvd runs right on through.

The original Janss development of Westwood in the 1920s was called "Westwood Hills" and went from Sunset to Pico in exactly this area. Obviously the name has shortened in those years.

In the 1930s, Olympic Blvd came through, and those south of Olympic formed their own neighborhood: "Rancho Park".

Then, nothing else happened . . . except for these weird LAT maps that reflect some confused folk chat. All of this information is set forth in more detail (including links) in the prior LAT version of maps.

— Westwood Sam
June 3, 2009 at 3:51 p.m.

I entered my zip code 90025

Your system told me I was in Sawtelle.

However I live Midvale Ave at Missouri's most definatley inside of West La.

Perhaps an adjustment is needed?

— Lee Zeldin
June 3, 2009 at 10:29 a.m.

West Los Angeles

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Westside region of Los Angeles County.
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About This Project
West Los Angeles is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.