Mapping LA Neighborhoods
MAPPING L.A. > Central L.A.


Tell us what Westlake means to you

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


I concur that while not a resident, I only know the area as MacAurthr Park or slightly more recently as Rampart. Both are more infamous and somewhat suggestive than Westlake but its not without reason.

— Matt
October 19, 2012 at 5:31 p.m.

I don't believe more than a handful of people recognize this area by the name "Westlake". MacArthur Park would be a more appropriate name. Would be nice to have a re-naming event to highlight the revitalization of the area currently in progress.

— mo
February 12, 2012 at 9:21 a.m.


I move form NY Long Island few years back,i live in S.Westlake ...

At the time i move in the bldg,i was the only one white women single mother with 14 yrs old son.Few months back more white people move in.In the first week i use to walk at night evrey where like in NY,until i saw the helicopter chase the gangs acctivity in Olympic Blvd.I always shop and go places to eat in Alvarado...I fiind out most of the Latinos Mexicans people who work in the rest.or shop they start to reconize my self and my son.They are very respectul.About Gangs acctivity,i fell SORRY for them,they are not educate people,and the sacrifice them life for the one has hood all of us come to USA form some where.My self org.from Romania.I hope one day all this gangs acctivity it will stop to SAVE life.Also the police in LA they are very weak,compare with police in Nassau Long Island.they have to handle the gangs situation ,more serious .Lett's make LA safe place to live for our community.

— Adriana
January 15, 2012 at 4:05 a.m.

Westlake is gritty and crowded but improving. Crime is way down and MacArthur Park is nice again.

Back in the day (up through the 1920s), Westlake was home to wealthy folks who owned stores downtown.

Although today most of the residents are refugees from Central American civil wars (inflamed by the US in the name of anti-communism) there are reminders of it's past. Langer's Deli is a famous Jewish deli.

It's had it's ups and downs. My friend's place was $12,000 a month (adjusted for inflation) in 1930. 40 years later it was a slum and home to the deadliest fire in LA's history. Nowadays it's somewhere in between and mostly inhabited by old Korean ladies.

On another note, the Wilshire Royale started hosting "Eastside Mondays." WESTlake (and everything west of the LA River) is NOT the EASTside!

— Eric Brightwell
November 22, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

I live here because it offers a low cost alternative to downtown living. I work downtown, so Westlake is convenient. However, I take issue with the word used by others comenting below: CHARM

There is no charm here. It's a filthy crime ridden neighborhood filled with gang members, drug dealers, and homeless substance abusers and those who are mentally ill. It's a third world neighborhood in a second rate city.

You cannot walk at night, sleep with your windows open, or go more than a few hours without the sound of gunfire, sirens, and/or police helicopters.

Charm? Give me a break! That's like saying "She's got a nice personality."


— Juan Mendoza
November 16, 2011 at 12:52 a.m.

Westlake is where i grew up and im still living here, I am 17 years old...and i feel that our community needs a change with violence and police harassment against food venders. Gangs should stop asking for tax against food venders. A 3 year old kid was killed in macaurthur park. We need to uplift our neighborhood. Down with the crack sales too!

— Bert
October 2, 2011 at 8:08 p.m.

I've lived in macarthur park for almost nine years, now:)

i love how central it is to echo park, downtown, hollywood etc. i too have seen ups and downs, lately it's been very up. the pupusas are amazing on the street or in a restaurant(la casita de don carlitos on 6th and coranado are my favs).

i cant imagine leaving this hood, it's beautiful. i don't drive but parking is a pain

— Mherrera
June 19, 2011 at 11:56 a.m.

I lived @ 6th and Park View for many years; graduated from Otis. While there art was starting to thrive then things got a bit dicey. Had no probs with the locals but someone from England was the prob.

— Dian
February 3, 2011 at 9:13 p.m.

i love LA. ;)

— Karen
February 2, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.

The good thing is that its a big community and so many new people in school but the downside is the crimes parkings and rent just keeps going up that is why it is good too look for comments that people post about the place before u move...

— Bianca
December 7, 2010 at 2:16 p.m.

I'm 14 years old I live in Westlake. I live on 6th & Alvarado its pretty fun over here. But it has its ups & downs. I always hear about a shooting or a robbery near by in the area. But its all good cuse Im familar with this area & I Know alot of people

— Joshua Young
November 12, 2010 at 10:09 p.m.

MacArthur Park in the 40s 50s and 60s was the art teaching capital west of the mississippi. Chouinard art Institute was one of the schools in the area. look up on wikipedia as see the alumni that at one time or another hung out in the area and went to school..

deep deep ART history. Amazing fine art paper store McMANUS MORGAN has been there for 80 yrs

And we know it as MacArthur Beach, Most people that live there have never been to the beach, The park and lake is there beach. Great place to live.....

It goes thru periods of good and bad...

Amazing food, Mamas Tamales cafe and of course Langers.

Some little shopping treasures all thru the area.

Come by and enjoy the sights, Just be aware after dark. The city cant figure out how to keep the junkies and drugs out of the park. Maybe the next mayor after Villaraigosa will save this treasure..

— Walter
June 3, 2010 at 6:55 p.m.

i've been living in westlake since 1989. it's a security building on lafayette pk pl. for me, it's a downtown condo without the downtown price. i love the easy access to the central library and moca. the historic felipe de nevarro branch is down the street. also, i love all the downtown restaurants. silverlake and echo park are nearby. the 101 and the 10 fwy make all parts of the southland accessible. i'm proud to be one of the last holders of the original area code of los angeles. long live 213!

— tiresias
April 17, 2010 at 3:19 p.m.

To me, late twenties single white male, Westlake is all about location. Having started my LA life in west hollywood for 4 years, it was nice taking the occasional walk to a charming local bar or restaurant, however i would find myself driving elsewhere more often than not. Its what you do in LA, right? You drive places. So if I'm going to spend so much time driving, i might as well situate myself somewhere central and affordable. I'm 3-4 minutes away from both the 101 and the 110, right across the overpass form Silverlake, Echo park, and a stones throw from Korea town and Hollywood. The only huge pain is when i need to drive to the west side for something, which i now avoid at all costs. Hopefully they will put in that subway that heads west one of these days. Which reminds me, even though the metro doesnt cover much area, its great when it works for where your headed. I'm a 4 minute walk from the station, and can take it to Pasadena in a 20 minute train ride. Pretty great!

— Topher
November 30, 2009 at 8:46 a.m.

"Westlake," sounds great but it's not MacArthur Park. Los Angeles natives will go by MacArthur Park because of its socio-economic and historical significance to many families that have traveled through this shadow land under the business towers of Downtown, Los Angeles.To some it is 'Little Central America,' to others it is the beginning of the American dream as many immigrants first find home here. Many come from south of the border to as far reaching as South America. First, second and at times third generation families establish themselves here, but for many off springs it is a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Today, Westlake now blends with many artist, activist, and blue collar liberals saving a buck to be closer to work and in the center of the City of Angels. Westlake is about to see itself revamped for its forgotten historical treasures of community and location opportunities.

— Eddie Boquilla
November 11, 2009 at 8:39 a.m.

I moved to Westlake in mid 2009 from Northern California. The first thing I noticed when I moved here was that anytime I say "Westlake," most people think I'm talking about Westlake Village, a suburb of LA. So now I just say I live next to MacArthur Park, which everybody knows.

I like this neighborhood. The vast majority of the people here are working class immigrants from Latin America. As a gringo, I'm a minority, but no one has ever treated me as an outsider. I also speak decent Spanish, which makes life a lot easier.

Some people complain about transients in the park, including people who appear to be addicts and/or homeless. People also complain about being near the office of Social Services. But I have never seen a single person give anyone else a hard time, so I personally think the complaints are based mainly on fear of and prejudice against poor people. The only thing I get is the occassional guy asking me if I want to buy a fake ID.

The vast majority of people in the park are perfectly harmless working class Latino guys who are probably semi-employed and spend parts of the day hanging out and talking with their friends. There are also lots of families there, people playing sports, couples, etc.

Westlake is one of the most, if not the most, densely populated neighborhoods of LA, and parking is as bad as everyone says. You can usually find a spot if you park before 6PM, but after that, forget it.

The only thing about the neighborhood I don't like is the gang graffiti you see everwhere. On my block, everywhere you see the number 13. The number refers to the 13th letter of the alphabet (M for "Mexican Mafia"). I don't worry about it too much because I know that crime has gone down greatly in recent years, and because I also know that gang members are after each other, not after me. Still, I don't like seeing the graffiti. A few weeks ago, a man was killed (apparently by gang members) in MacArthur Park. It was the first time there was a murder there in three years.

I often walk past the park as late as 2 or 3 in the morning when I come home, and I've have always felt safe. I wouldn't walk directly through the park at that hour, though.

The best thing about this area is that it's really in the center of the city. Downtown, Hollywood, Koreatown, Silver Lake, etc. are all just a few minutes away.

— Scott M.
November 6, 2009 at 4:33 p.m.

i am 16 years old and i lived on the corner of 7th and alvarado streets and i have to say that living there was pretty fun, but it also had its downsides. i remember hearing gunshots at least 5 times a week and 1 murder every weekend. it was crazy. And as a hispanic male it wasnt easy especially when gangs tried getting you into their gangs and stuff you know. for living in westlake you need to have skill and bravery. you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

— eli
October 26, 2009 at 8:15 a.m.

Rent's cheap in this neighborhood, but the parking situation is atrocious. If you move here and don't have a place with secure off street parking, just know that parking will consume your life.

There are plenty of weirdos walking around the streets, but they usually only bother you to ask for money. You don't have to worry about recycling around Westlake because there's someone digging through your garbage at all times of the day to pick out anything - and I mean anything - of value.

Oh, and you can furnish your place for free by picking up some soiled mattresses, chairs, desks, entertainment centers, couches, dressers, mirrors, refrigerators, toilet seats, computer towers, computer monitors, and TVs conveniently left out on the sidewalks.

You won't need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning because the roosters in your neighbor's yard will take care of that!

What's not to love? Goodbye and good luck. You're gonna need it.


Someone who has lived right next to MacArthur Park for seven years and is getting out ASAP.

— Steve
October 2, 2009 at 7:02 p.m.

We moved here from West Hollywood during the ugliest part of the recession, and found that it was a great neighborhood. We enrolled our daughter in a very affordable private school called St. Nicholas School, which is near Rampart and Third Street. We like the great ethnic markets and restaurants, as well as the packs of feral chihuahuas roaming the streets. I'm not crazy about the homeless people constantly digging through our trash, which is right next to our window. And we live on the same block as the Department of Social Services. Sometimes it feels like living in an episode of Southland. But it beats coping with all the yuppies west of La Brea. LOL.

— Serena Kim
September 9, 2009 at 4:30 p.m.

Westlake needs a serious makeover. There was a recent homicide just a few houses down from my friend's house. The rehab center nearby was one that Lily Burke's murderer was attending but somehow was allowed to leave. At the same time, I see a slow influx of working class citizens purchasing condos and houses trying to make a decent living/lifestyle since home prices in LA are still atrociously high. Rampart Police Station is so close by yet seem so far. Please help us working class citizens...

— John Doe
September 6, 2009 at 1:46 a.m.

I was not really that familar with this part of los angeles until I came here to go to rehab.The Royal Palms Recovery Center is a great rehab facility in the heart of the Westlake/Macarthur park area.The peple in the area, for the most part are very supportive,kind,hard working people.I find it a pleasure & consider myself fortunate to be here. Wouldn't mind living in the area once I leave here.

— Frank M.
August 26, 2009 at 7:14 p.m.

West lake is a cheap gateway to live and work in LA downtown. But there is huge amount of drifters, dealers and hookers that makes the area somewhat ugly. But they dont tend to mess with you. Biggest problem is parking, if you are lucky enought to get home without LAPD trying to get you down.

— Foreign Student
August 20, 2009 at 1:53 a.m.

Westlake is a great place to live in terms of the residents. The LAPD make life miserable for many of the hardworking people here, though. They should walk around & meet people instead of treating community members as criminal suspects.

— LA Teacher
August 14, 2009 at 11:23 a.m.

The Academy is presenting "The Los Angeles Motion Picture Studio Centennial Exhibition" (may 20 -Aug. 30) at the Linwood Dunn theater. "In August 1909, the William Selig Company opened the first permanent film studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Edendale, ..."

— Jack
July 20, 2009 at 9:55 a.m.

According to my neighbor, who has lived in Westlake for over 50 years, many of the early inhabitants of the Westlake area were studio employees--cameramen, gaffers, etc. My neighbor's husband, who is now deceased, filmed the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Betty Gable, and all of the great classic stars. I've lived here for over 15 years--it's a great location, its fairly inexpensive, its very ethnically diverse and, for the most part, the people in this area are really great--hard working and family oriented. The only negative is a lack of decent shopping.

— Karleen
July 5, 2009 at 9:05 p.m.

Westlake General plan is the official plan use by the City of Los Angeles, it includes Pico-Union. Tmeple Beaudry, Crown Hill are included in Westlake.

For years Jack Smith and another columnist complained about the name change of Westlake park. The Westlake Theater sign still stand tall at Alvarado and Wilshire. There's a proposed plan to revitalize that corner.

— Pete
June 30, 2009 at 8:52 a.m.

Koreatown extends to the area between 3rd & 6th west of and including La Fayette Park Pl.

I live on La Fayette Park Pl, and it seems that it's the stark eastern border of what you could call Koreatown. Half the residents on this street are Korean, there's a Korean church, an Asian mental health care center, and a school of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine that teaches in Korean. If you go any farther east, then you're pretty much in Central America (AKA Westlake).

— Justin
June 29, 2009 at 9:48 a.m.

I've never heard anyone refer to this area as Westlake. MacArthur Park is the name I go by.

— Joe
June 9, 2009 at 7:40 a.m.

Well this new version is much better than the first one. I've lived in the area since I was 5yr old and I think It accurately portrays the borders in "WESTLAKE." Heather, Koreatown starts on Vermont, at least to me it seems that way.

— Mario
June 3, 2009 at 12:46 p.m.

Heather, thanks for the comment.

I work as a developer here at LAT. The spelling on the map you refer to is etched into the image "tiles" we borrow from Google. So, unfortunately, we are unable to modify it to correct the spelling. And, since we rely on the generosity of their system to publish our maps, we're not complaining too loudly. ;)

But, seriously, I've noted this problem before and meant to send them note. Thanks for the reminder. I'll reach out to them ASAP.

— Ben
June 2, 2009 at 9:47 p.m.

Well, this latest revision of the mapping project has decided that my street is part of Westlake instead of Koreatown... and I'm not sure I agree with that but I'm pretty sure that MacArthur is spelled incorrectly in that map.

— Heather
June 2, 2009 at 9:16 p.m.


is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Central L.A. region of Los Angeles County. It contains Historic Filipinotown, Lafayette Park, MacArthur Park and Temple-Beaudry.
The neighboring communities are Downtown, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Koreatown, Pico-Union and Silver Lake.
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About This Project
Westlake 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.