History of Westwood , Westwood Village , Holmby Hills , UCLA land and Homes in Los Angeles
Westwood has a complex history but to give you a general idea of the development of Westwood it was planned during the 1920’s through the 1950s and involved thousands of acres that were Eleven development units. The Janss Investment Corporation created many of the great developments of Los Angeles
The History of Westwood Real Estate is very interesting. The area was originally owned by a Spanish soldier. The land was Ranch and farm land .In approx. 1884 some of the land was sold and the Government was deeded 300 acres for what is today the Veterans Administration. The Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery is from this time period. In 1962 it became famous as resting place that now includes Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Mel Torme, Darryl Zanick, Farrah Fawcett ,Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon, Frank Zappa.The land was sold many times, partially to the Los Angeles Country Club, them to the Danziger family, and to Alphonso Bell who developed Bel Air.The History of Westwood Real Estate includes Holmby Hills Real Estate.
In 1919 land was sold by John Wolfskill to his heirs and Arthur Letts founder of The Broadway Dept Stores/Bullocks. Letts developed the area named “Holmby Hills”. Arthur Letts son in law Harold Janss and his brother Edwin Janss developed the Southern end Westwood Hills between Santa Monica and Pico. In the 1920’s Fox Studios purchased land. In 1925 the University of California purchased land. During this time the business and shopping district ”Westwood Village” was created along with residential communities . This area, neighboring UCLA was meant for a “high class residential community” .Holmby Hills was named after Arthur Letts estate in Hollywood and his family estate in Holdenby, England. The streets were named after English Locales.
Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Neil Diamond, Aaron Spelling, Frank Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Hefner, Jane Mansfield ,Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwick, were all one time residents of the area
In 1955 the Janss brothers retired from developing Westwood and sold their remaining interests. South Westwood blvd by Pico running north was a business district. Emerson Junior high was opened on 10 acres of former Harold Lloyd Studio grounds In 1936 many buildings along Beverly Glen were developed. The Morman temple was also part of the Harold Lloyd grounds.
Westwood Hills as the neighborhood East of Veteran lying North of Wilshire and South of Sunset is comprised today of 607 single-family homes. Westwood Hills is to the West of UCLA. Its charming Montery style rolling hills are home to many faculty of UCLA, families attending Warner Ave Elementary, and legendary stars who found privacy in these charming streets.
The first residential subdivisions were sold around Santa Monica and Pico Blvd East of Sawtelle. Because there was already a community named Westwood in Northern California, the community was renamed Westwood Hills. In 1957 20th Century Fox president announced their real estate division would develop what is now Century City. In the late 1930’s there were scattered homes in the “Fox Hills unit “ by Century City. To the North of the Fox hills unit stretching to Beverly Hills high school was a golf course that became part of Fox Studios back lot. Sinai Temple was originally downtown and moved to Wilshire and Beverly Glen in 1960. The Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel was also purchased on Wilshire by Warner Ave at this time.
In the 1960 The first high rise was the Park Westwood Tower at Hilgard and Weyburn. More buildings continued after that along the Wilshire Corridor. Ships Coffee Shop was a popular Landmark and the Major theaters had opened in the 1960s on. The movie theaters brought shoppers so more stores started coming to Westwood. Ralph’s, Bullocks, Hamburger Hamlet, Contempo, Wil Wrights Ice Cream, Sears and Roeback, were all Landmarks in Westwood at different times. The History of Westwood is still evolving. Contact me for further information