Brentwood, Los Angeles
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Brentwood is a district in the Westside of the city of Los Angeles, California. The district 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 and Encino on the north.
The district of Brentwood is not to be confused with the city of Brentwood, in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California nor the Brentwood area of Victorville, California. Mail should be addressed "Los Angeles, CA 90049" to avoid confusion.
The area that is now Brentwood was part of the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, a Mexican land-grant ranch sold off in pieces by the Sepúlveda family after the Mexican-American War. Development began following the establishment of the large 600-acre (2.4 km2) Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors in the 1880s. A small pretentious community sprang up outside that facility's west gate, taking on the name Westgate. Annexed by the City of Los Angeles on June 14, 1916, Westgate's 49 square miles (130 km2) included large parts of what is now the Pacific Palisades and a small portion of today's Bel-Air. Westgate Avenue is one of the last reminders of the area's former namesake. The Sunset Fields Golf Club, known as the Brentwood Country Club since 1941, hosted the running part of the modern pentathlon event at the 1932 Summer Olympics.
Originally planted with soybeans and avocados, Brentwood is now one of the most prosperous commercial districts in the city along each of its major east-west thoroughfares, Wilshire Boulevard, San Vicente Boulevard, and Sunset Boulevard. Alongside Brentwood's commercial districts are many residential zones such as Burlingame, lined with symbolic Choral Trees and homes. Though there is no direct connection, the name Brentwood harks to Brentwood of Essex, England, a town on the outskirts of London dating back to Saxon times. Many local streets reflect this ersatz British heritage, including Barrington, Gorham, and Bristol.
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.
Local traditions include the annual decoration of San Vicente Boulevard's coral trees with holiday lights and a Maypole erected each year on the lawn of the Archer School for Girls, carrying on that set by the Eastern Star Home previously housed there. (Classic film lovers are familiar with this building as the exterior establishing shot for the "Mar Vista Rest Home" that provides a key scene in the 1974 film Chinatown.) Inspired by the community of veterans resident at the former Soldiers and Sailors Home, now a United States Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Brentwood once regularly hosted a Memorial Day parade, complete with a string of classic cars and elephant named Tiny, a tradition now sporadic due to limited funding.
Brentwood received notoriety in 1994 when Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of NFL legend O.J. Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her Bundy Drive condominium. Simpson was arrested for the murders and later acquitted by a jury in a heavily-publicized trial.
1961 Brentwood-Bel Air fire 
On November 6, 1961, a construction crew working in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley north of Brentwood on the far side of the Santa Monica Mountains noticed smoke and flames in a nearby pile of rubbish. Within minutes, Santa Ana winds gusting up to 60 mph (100 km/h) sent burning brush aloft and over the ridge into Brentwood.
More than 300 police officers helped evacuate 3,500 residents during the 12-hour fire, and more than 2,500 firefighters battled the blaze, pumping water from neighborhood swimming pools to douse flames. Pockets of the fire smoldered for several days. Even as firefighters battled what was to become the Bel-Air disaster, a separate fire had erupted simultaneously in Santa Ynez Canyon to the west, further straining local firefighting resources. That blaze was contained the next day after consuming nearly 10,000 acres (40 km2) and nine structures and burning to within a mile of the inferno raging in Bel-Air and Brentwood.
At least 200 firefighters were injured but no one was killed and 78 percent of the homes were saved. Still, the fires were the fifth worst conflagration in the nation's history at the time, burning 16,090 acres (65 km2), destroying more than 484 homes and 190 other structures and causing an estimated $30 million in damage.
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 hilly. 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.
Brentwood features a number of residential subdistricts large and small
- Brentwood Circle: gated community east of Barrington and north of Sunset
- Brentwood Country Estates: gated community in Mandeville Canyon
- Brentwood Flats
- Brentwood Glen: an area 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: an area between Sunset and San Vicente west of Kenter/Bundy
notable for its several large traffic circles, a handful of which remain
- Brentwood Sunset: gated community north of San Vicente
- Brentwood Terrace: southwest edge of Brentwood, bounded by San Vicente Blvd, Montana Ave, the Brentwood Country Club, and Santa Monica's 26th Street
- 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
- Westgate: directly to the east of Brentwood Park
- Westridge Hills
- Westridge Heights: western portions of Mandeville Canyon
Major thoroughfares include Sunset, San Vicente and Wilshire Boulevards; Barrington and Montana Avenues; and Bundy Drive. Brentwood is also situated close to the Wilshire, Montana and Sunset exits of the 405 freeway.
Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus serves Brentwood with its 2, 3, 4, 11, 13, and 14 bus lines. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) buses serve Brentwood include the 20 and 720 lines on Wilshire Blvd. (the latter of which is L.A.'s most successful bus rapid transit line), and several lines along Sunset Blvd.
Once linked to Los Angeles by a Pacific Electric Railway track on San Vicente, Brentwood is now part of a dispute over the future of public transportation in Los Angeles. In a controversial move protested by business owners, but which substantially increased bus speed through the Westside, the Metro has reserved the outermost lane of Wilshire Boulevard through Brentwood in each direction as a bus-only lane during rush hour, in a possible precursor to the adoption of bus rapid transit service with a dedicated lane along the entire length of Wilshire.
The difficulty of getting into and out of Brentwood by any means but private automobile (aggravated by the Metro's cancellation of several "nanny bus" lines connecting the district to poorer areas of Los Angeles) has led to widespread calls for an extension of the Wilshire Boulevard leg of the Metro Purple Line subway, which currently ends at Western Avenue in Koreatown, through Brentwood to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica; a Brentwood stop would presumably be sited in the business district near Barrington Avenue. There has been little forward progress by local authorities on making this concept a reality.
According to the Los Angeles Almanac, the 2000 census-year population was just under 42,000, with a population density of about 2,700 people per square mile. The population is about 80% White, 9% Asian-American, 6% Hispanic or Latino, and 1% Black.
Almost 70 percent of area residents over 25 have college degrees, nearly half that total graduate and professional education. As of the 2000 census, approximately 16 percent of the population over 25 had either a doctorate or a professional degree, 15 percent a master's degree, 37 percent a bachelor's degree, 15 percent some college education but no degree, 8 percent a high school diploma alone, and only 5 percent lacked a high school degree. These figures are a reflection of the fact that Brentwood is one of Los Angeles' most expensive areas.
As of 2000, there were just over 22,000 housing units in Brentwood. Most Brentwood residents reside in single-family homes, though some multi-family homes can also be found. Large, modern apartment complexes and condominiums are found along some of district's thoroughfares, many home to young professionals and students attending University of California Los Angeles and University of Southern California.
Recreation and pleasure 
Brentwood's Barrington Recreation Center has an indoor gymnasium which converts into a small auditorium with a capacity of 250. Outdoors is a lighted baseball diamond, an unlighted baseball diamond, lighted indoor basketball courts, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, a lighted football field, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts. The 1.5-acre (0.61 ha) Barrington Dog Park is on the grounds of the recreation center.
Popular pleasure destinations include The Brentwood Country Mart, a recently remodeled and expanded 1947 farmers' market; 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 farmers' 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 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.
Economy and businesses 
Brent-Air Pharmacy, run by the founding Lassoff family from its inception up until June 2007, has served Brentwood for more than 50 years. The drug store has been the scene of many famous scandals and, like its defunct West Hollywood cousin Schwab's, is known as the pharmacy to the stars, where many now-notable actors and actresses worked as delivery boys or "candy counter" girls.
A popular area for dining and coffee for local residents is located in Brentwood Village at the intersection of Barrington and Sunset. More than a dozen restaurants and coffee shops are located within a two-block stretch offering a wide variety of cuisine.
Government and infrastructure 
Local government 
County representation 
State representation 
Brentwood's representatives in the California State Assembly (Karen Bass, Michael Feuer and Fran Pavley) and U.S. House of Representatives (Henry Waxman) are noted for their socially liberal views. (Waxman scores 80 of 100 on the Americans for Democratic Action scorecard and 95 of 100 by the American Civil Liberties Union.)
Federal representation 
Primary and secondary schools 
Public schools 
In addition to Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary School (which only zones some residents for kindergarten), the area is served by Kenter Canyon Elementary School, Brockton Avenue Elementary School, and Pacific Palisades Elementary School (some areas are zoned jointly to Kenter Canyon and Pacific Palisades), all of which are part of Los Angeles Unified School District. The area is within Board District 4. As of 2009 Steve Zimmer represents the district.
Locals attending public school usually go to Paul Revere Charter Middle School, Brentwood's zoned middle school.
The local public high schools are University High School (named for nearby UCLA, formerly Warren G. Harding High School), just outside the neighborhood's boundaries in West Los Angeles, and Palisades Charter High School, in the nearby neighborhood of Pacific Palisades.
Private schools 
Brentwood is also home to several private schools, including Brentwood School, St. Martin of Tours Catholic School, and the Archer School for Girls, which is located in what was once the historic Eastern Star Home. The old Eastern Star Home can be seen as the setting of the "Mar Vista Rest Home" in the movie Chinatown (1974).
Colleges and universities 
A campus of Mount St. Mary's College, a Roman Catholic liberal arts college for women, is located in the hills above Brentwood. University of California, Los Angeles lies less than 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast.
Public libraries 
The previous library facility was a red brick and glass building. In the 1980s it was not scheduled for any major overhauls. A woman named Glorya Kaufman donated $350,000 for a major overhaul of the building. The Los Angeles City Council spent $350,000 to have the current library built. The 10,400 square feet (970 m2) $2.4 million library branch's ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the afternoon of July 17, 1994.
Notable residents 
- Jensen Ackles – American actor
- Ben Affleck – American actor, director, producer and writer
- James Arness – American actor, Gunsmoke; 1923–2011
- Rosanne Barr – American actress
- James Belushi – American actor
- Tom Brady – Current NFL quarterback (as of 2013)
- Andrew Breitbart – Conservative American author, commentator, and web site publisher (1969–2012)
- Gisele Bündchen – Brazilian supermodel and entrepreneur
- Dee Caruso – Screenwriter and producer
- Mickey Cohen – Jewish gangster
- Dabney Coleman – American Actor
- Joan Crawford – American actress
- Stephen W. Cunningham – First UCLA graduate manager and Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–41
- Bette Davis – American actress
- Phyllis Diller – American actress and comedian; 1917–2012
- Josh Duhamel – American actor
- Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson) – American singer from the Black Eyed Peas
- Jennifer Garner – American actress of the hit TV series Alias
- Elliot Gould – American Actor
- Angela Lansbury – English actress
- Monica Lewinsky – Former White House intern who had an "improper relationship" with U.S. President Bill Clinton
- Shelley Long – American actress
- Peter Lorrie – Austrian-American actor
- Karl Malden – American actor, died in his home in Brentwood, on July 1, 2009
- Ewan McGregor – Scottish actor
- Steve McQueen – American actor
- Marilyn Monroe – American actress, who famously died in her home in Brentwood, on August 5, 1962
- Harry Morgan – American actor (1915–2011)
- Cesar Romero – American actor (1907–94)
- Arnold Schoenberg – Austrian composer, leader of the Second Viennese School and creator of twelve-tone technique
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, businessman and politician. Governor of California (term as governor 2003–2011)
- Maria Shriver – American journalist and author and formerly First Lady of California
- Nicole Brown Simpson – murder victim (and former wife of ex-professional football player O. J. Simpson), who was killed at her home in Brentwood on June 12, 1994
- O. J. Simpson – retired American professional athlete and actor, former defendant in murder trial, and convicted felon for armed robbery and kidnapping
- Robert Taylor – American actor
- Shirley Temple – American actress and ambassador (born 1928)
- Reese Witherspoon – American actress
See also 
- 1932 Summer Olympics official report. p. 574.
- "Eastern Star Home" entry, "Filming locations for Chinatown," Internet Movie Database website.
- ""Brentwood" entry on the ''Los Angeles Times'' "Mapping L.A." website". Projects.latimes.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Barrington Recreation Center." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 22, 2010.
- "Barrington Dog Park." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 22, 2010.
- "Station 19." Los Angeles Fire Department. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
- "West L.A. Community Police Station." Los Angeles Police Department. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
- "About Us." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
- "Post Office Location – BARRINGTON." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
- "Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary School official website". Lausd.k12.ca.us. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Kenter Canyon Elementary School". Lausd.k12.ca.us. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Brocktones". Brocktones. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- Board District 4 Map. Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
- "Board Members." Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on September 16, 2009.
- "Palisades Charter High School Attendance Zone." Los Angeles Unified School District.
- "Donald Bruce Kaufman Brentwood Branch." Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
- Murphy, Dean. "Donation Assures Brentwood of Library-and Controversy." Los Angeles Times. February 3, 1988. Metro 2 Metro Desk Page 1. Retrieved on March 28, 2010. "Yet before Kaufman expressed an interest in it, the red brick and glass Brentwood library was not on any city list for funding."
- Collins, Scott. "WESTSIDE COVER STORY Unequal Stacks Private funding helped Brentwood build a new library. Other facilities, particularly those that depend on dwindling L.A. County resources, have not been so fortunate." Los Angeles Times. July 17, 1994. Westside Part J Zones Desk Page 10. Retrieved on March 28, 2010. "This afternoon, the ribbon will be cut on the $2.4-million, 10400-square-foot Donald Bruce Kaufman Brentwood branch of the Los Angeles Public Library."
- "Comedy writer Dee Caruso dies, Penned 'Get Smart,' 'The Monkees' episodes". Variety Magazine. 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- Brentwood Community Council
- Brentwood Homeowners Association
- History of Brentwood Park
- History of Brentwood 90049
- LA City Brentwood/Palisades area map on Internet Archive
- Brentwood Village
- San Vicente Blvd. Brentwood
|Santa Monica Mountains||Encino, California||Sherman Oaks||
|Bel Air, Los Angeles|
|Santa Monica Mountains & Topanga State Park||Brentwood, Los Angeles||Westwood, Los Angeles- – I405|
|Pacific Palisades||Santa Monica, California||Sawtelle, Los Angeles|
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