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Nestled between Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and downtown Los Angeles, Hancock Park has a subdued yet glamorous ambiance.
Sometimes called "Old Beverly Hills," Hancock Park first began thriving in the 1920's and 30's, when many of Hancock Park’s classic Spanish- and Mediterranean-style homes were built by some of the most prominent architects of the time. Conservative in comparison to the rest of Los Angeles, Hancock Park’s tree-lined neighborhoods surrounding the Wilshire Country Club are complemented by Larchmont Blvd., a strip of boutique shopping and star-sprinkled al fresco dining.
Hancock Park is bounded by Melrose Ave. at its north, Wilshire Blvd. to its south, Rossmore Ave. at its east, and Highland Ave. to its west. Hancock Park lies between the Miracle Mile (at its west), Korea Town (at its east), Hollywood (at its north), and Wilshire Park (to its south).
Brentwood is located at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains, 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.
Nearby neighborhoods and cities include Pacific Palisades on the west, Santa Monica on the south, West Los Angeles and Sawtelle on the southeast,Westwood on the east, Bel-Air on the northeast.
Brentwood, like nearby Santa Monica, has a temperate climate influenced by marine breezes off the Pacific Ocean. Residents frequently wake to a "marine layer," a cover of clouds brought in at night which burns off by mid-morning. The topography is generally split into two characters, broadly divided by Sunset Boulevard: the area north of Sunset is defined by ridges and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains; south of Sunset the area is relatively flat. The southern district features underground springs which bubble up into a small creek along "the Gully" near the Brentwood Country Club, and in the "Indian Springs" portion of the University High School campus, formerly the site of a Native American Tongva village.
San Vicente Boulevard is considered the "Main Street" of Brentwood and is divided by a wide median on which stand many large and attractively sculpted coral trees. This green belt replaced a derelict Pacific Electric trolley track, its trees evolving into a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. Brentwood boosters have adopted a coral tree silhouette as a de facto community logo. Intersecting Bundy Drive is lined with extremely tall Washingtonia robusta palms.
Brentwood features a number of residential subdistricts, some as small as a few blocks, others ranging over acres of hills:
- Brentwood Circle: Gated community east of Barrington and north of Sunset.
- Brentwood Country Estates: Gated community in Mandeville Canyon.
- Brentwood Flats
- Brentwood Glen: Part of Brentwood that is bounded by Sunset, the 405 Freeway and the Veterans Administration
- Brentwood Heights
- Brentwood Highlands
- Brentwood Hills: Home to Mount St. Mary's College and the Getty Center.
- Brentwood Park: Notable for its layout, having been designed around several large traffic circles, a handful of which remain; the area between Sunset and San Vicente west of Kenter/Bundy.
- Brentwood Sunset: Gated community north of San Vicente Blvd.
- Brentwood Terrace: Southwest edge of Brentwood, bounded by San Vicente Blvd, Montana Ave, the Brentwood Country Club, and Santa Monica's 26th Street. Walking distance to the Brentwood Country Mart.
- Bundy Canyon
- Crestwood Hills: Includes a cluster of architecturally significant mid-century modern residences; located in the northern part of Kenter Canyon.
- Kenter Canyon
- Mandeville Canyon: Westernmost part of Brentwood.
- Museum Heights: Contemporary condominiums, located off Sunset Blvd.
- South Brentwood: Between San Vicente and Wilshire Boulevards and the eastern boundary of Santa Monica.
- Sullivan Canyon: A small equestrian community north of Sunset, west of Mandeville Canyon Rd. and east of Pacific Palisades. Most properties are one-story ranch houses, and most houses have horse stables.
- Westgate: Directly to the east of Brentwood Park
- Westridge Hills
- Westridge Heights: Western portions of Mandeville Canyon
Popular recreational spots include the Brentwood Country Mart, an early farmer's market complex built in 1947 (and recently remodeled and expanded); the Brentwood Village, a small shopping district near the intersection of Sunset and Barrington; and more recently, Brentwood Green, a "village commons" created from the playground at Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary School. There is also a tented farmer's market held each Sunday on a strip of Gretna Green Way between Brentwood Science Magnet and the Brentwood Country Club. The 2.7-mile (4.3 km)-long (4.3 km) boundary of the private Brentwood Country Club is a popular local jogging route. The internationally renowned Getty Museum is located in the hills high above Brentwood, near the 405 freeway and the Sepulveda Pass.
Public open space is limited in the area, but green space with occasional or partial free public use can be found at the VA and on Brentwood Common. Local public parks are Crestwood Hills Park and Barrington Recreation Center, the latter featuring a community center, tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball diamonds and a dog park. Fire roads in the Santa Monica Mountains, good for mountain biking and hiking, can be accessed at the top of Sullivan Canyon and Westridge.
Bel Air is an affluent residential community within western Los Angeles that has a well-deserved reputation for glamour and luxury. The community as a whole has a secluded and exclusive feel. For this reason, Bel Air has long been a haven for the rich and famous. Together with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills it forms the Platinum Triangle of Los Angeles neighborhoods. Real estate options consist of detached, single-family homes, ranch homes, and mansions.
Bel Air is located west of Beverly Hills at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. Bordered by Brentwood on the west and southwest, Westwood on the south, Beverly Hills Post Office on the east, and Sherman Oaks on the north. At the heart of the community sits the Bel Air Country Club and the Hotel Bel-Air.
The Sunset Strip is the name given to the mile and a half stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through West Hollywood, California. It extends from West Hollywood's eastern border with Hollywood at Harper Avenue, to its western border with Beverly Hills at Sierra Drive. The Strip is probably the best known portion of Sunset, embracing a premier collection of boutiques, restaurants, rock clubs, and nightclubs that are on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry. It is also known for its trademark array of huge, colorful billboards and has developed a notoriety as a hang out for rock stars, movie stars and entertainers.
The Strip contains some of the most exclusive condominium complexes on the West Coast. However the most coveted residences are the celebrity-studded hills above the Sunset Strip. Accessible by only a handful of streets and aggressively patrolled by security, this ultra-exclusive neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes above the Sunset Strip provide the ultimate in seclusion, luxury, and staggering views of the entire L.A. basin. The highest concentration of celebrities living in Los Angeles are in this part of the Hollywood Hills, located just above Sunset Boulevard, from Kings Road, to Sunset Plaza Drive, to Doheny Drive. Homes generally range from $3–15 million.
The Pacific Palisades is known as "Where The Mountains Meet the Sea" and is home to numerous Hollywood celebrities and luminaries. It’s situated within the U.S. city of Los Angeles, California, located between Brentwood to the east, Malibu to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north.
An affluent and primarily residential area, Pacific Palisades is a mixture of large private homes, small (usually older) houses, condominiums, and apartments. Pacific Palisades is one of the most desirable Westside areas in which to own a home. The community prides itself on the quality of life, bolstered by support from homeowners associations and numerous philanthropic and community organizations.
Homes in the Palisades are high-end, well landscaped, and often either secluded or with outstanding views. The Palisades and neighboring communities offer residents their choice of many outstanding public and private schools.
The beauty of the Pacific coast is easily accessible to the south and west. Santa Monica to the southeast offers trendy shopping and dining on Montana Avenue, nightlife and shopping along the Third Street Promenade, fishing and weekend dancing on the Santa Monica Pier, and biking and rollerblading along miles of beachfront walkways.
Beverly Hills is bordered on the north by Bel-Air and the Santa Monica Mountains, on the east by West Hollywood, the Carthay neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, and on the south by the Beverlywood.
Beverly Hills contains some of the largest homes in Los Angeles County and the nation. The city remains one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country and in the world, with the median home sale price in 2009 being $2,870,000. These homes range from the extravagant and luxurious in size, to the more elegant and modern homes, and then to the many small duplex rental units and detached homes with less than 2,000 sq ft (280 sq meters).
The list of famous landmarks in the city is almost as long as the list of famous residents. Some of the most well-known attractions are The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Rodeo Drive, Greystone Park and numerous legendary restaurants such as Spago’s, Trader Vics, and the Polo Lounge.
Holmby Hills, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills form the "Platinum Triangle" of Los Angeles, which houses the United States' priciest and most exclusive neighborhoods. South Mapleton Drive and North Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills, along with Nimes Road and St. Cloud Road in Bel Air, are the most prominent and famous residential streets in all of the Platinum Triangle. Many of the estates in Holmby Hills boast panoramic views of the entire Los Angeles Basin.
Although Holmby Hills may not have the recognizeable cachet of its two platinum neighbors, it boasts perhaps the priciest and most well-known private mansions in a city of movie star homes. The neighborhood is now notable for the most-expensively priced home in California to-date: the $150,000,000 dollar Aaron Spelling estate.
The history of Holmby Hills goes back to Don Maximo Alanis, a Spanish soldier who first obtained title to the neighborhood's 4,438 acres under a Mexican land grant in 1843. By 1884, about 2,000 acres of this land came into the possession of a forty-niner named John Wolfskill, who paid $10 an acre for it and built a ranch house near the present-day Mormon Temple in Westwood.
By the1920's the land had passed into the hands of Arthur Letts and his son-in-law William Janss who also developed much of adjoining Westwood and the brand new UCLA campus. Renamed Holmby Hills, the area was envisioned as an exclusive neighborhood that would feature Tudor-style homes similar to Arthur Lett's own residence.
The relatively low profile of the area attracts some of the world's wealthiest and most famous personalities. Current or former residents have included Gary Cooper, Barbra Streisand, the previously-mentioned Aaron Spelling, as well as Sonny & Cher. And then there is the 1927 mansion onced owned by Arthur Letts Jr. on Charing Cross Road that now belongs to one Hugh Hefner. . .