From cozy Spanish cottages, to the largest of
mansions, to the greatest concentration of
luxury high rises outside of New York,
Westwood is a very unique community within
the vast expanse of Los Angeles. World renown
UCLA, 20th Century Fox Movie Studios and the
ultra modern business towers of Century
City, make Westwood/ Century City and its
smaller enclaves of Holmbys Hills, Bel Air,
Cheviot Hills and Rancho Park one of the most
sought out locations in Southern California.
Less than a 150 years ago Westwood was a Spanish land grant given to a retiring Spanish soldier. He farmed some of the 4438 acres for many years and then left it to his heirs. They were forced to sell the rancho. In 1884 John Wolfskill a state senator purchased the land for $10 an acre. In 1887 he deeded 300 acres to the federal government as an old soldiers home. It still exists today, with it’s sprawling open spaces and the Veterans Cemetery and Hospital. The same year he sold the remaining acres to the Santa Monica Land Company for $100 an acre, 10 times what he originally paid for it.
The company developed projects including a Grand Hotel at the intersection of Wilshire and Beverly Glen Boulevard. The venture failed and the land was deeded back to Wolfskill who continued farming it until his death in 1919. 36 years after he purchased the land, his heirs sold it for $600 an acre, 60 times the original price. Acreage was sold to what is now the Los Angeles Country Club, to Alphonso Bell who developed Bel Air and to Arthur Letts who founded Broadway and Bullocks department stores. Letts built and lived for many years in what is now the world famous Playboy Mansion. Arthur Letts and his son-in-law Harold Janss developed most of the areas of Holmby Hills, Westwood Hills and lower Westwood.
In 1920, 20th Century Fox purchased a large section on the southeast corner, where large soundstages and back lots were built. The northern end of Westwood was considered too hilly for residential homes and 300 acres was sold to the University of California to build the new campus of UCLA. Westwood was annexed by the city of Los Angeles in 1926. By 1929, UCLA was opened along with Westwood Village, an idealized planed community, with shopping and entertainment for the University and adjacent neighborhoods.
The quiet little rancho of 160 years ago is now a thriving complex of homes, high rises, businesses and a major university. The famed Wilshire Corridor is nearly 2 straight Miles of New York City like luxury high rise towers which feature Penthouses with 360soaring city views. Century City was born from the ashes of a movie flop. The 1963 movie Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor lost so much money for Fox Studios, they were forced to sell half of their acreage. It now boosts some of the most prestigious high rises on the West Coast as well as the glamorous Westfield Shopping Center which includes some of the worlds finest high end shopping, dining and entertainment facilities.
Westwood / Century City is an amazing vibrant area of Los Angeles, great for families, business, students and golfers, it features four diverse courses, Los Angeles Country Club, Hillcrest, Rancho Park and Bel Air Country Club. From modest to magnificent, Westwood has something for everyone.