Welcome to Westwood
Westwood is a commercial and residential neighborhood in the northern central portion of the Westside region of Los Angeles, California. It is the home of the University of California (UCLA).The 2000 census found that the forty-seven thousand people living in the neighborhood were generally young and moderately diverse ethnically, with a generally high level of income and education.The neighborhood was developed after 1919, with a new campus of the University of California being built and opened in 1926. Other attractions besides the UCLA campus include Westwood Village with its historic motion picture theaters, and Holmby Hills is considered one of the wealthiest residential.
Neighborhoods in Westwood
Westwood Village was created by the Janss Investment Company, run by Harold and Edwin Janss and their father, Peter, in the late 1920s as an shopping district and headquarters of the Janss Company. Its boom was complemented by the boom of UCLA (which selected the Westwood Hills as its new home in 1925), developed as a shopping district for the residents of Westwood and the university.
Opening in 1929, the design was considered one of the nation’s most well-planned and beautifully laid out commercial areas. Harold Janss had hired major architects and instructed them to follow a Mediterranean theme, with clay tile roofs, decorative Spanish tile, paseos, patios and courtyards. Buildings at strategic points, including theaters, used towers to serve as beacons for drivers on Wilshire Boulevard. Janss picked the first slate of businesses and determined their location in the neighborhood; the area opened with 34 businesses, and, despite the Great Depression, had 452 businesses in 1939.
The architectural style met a turning point in 1970, when a 24-story office building now known as Oppenheimer Tower was built in the neighborhood and the design of new buildings soon became a mishmash of styles. The Oppenheimer Tower was used for the primary location in the 1978 episode of Emergency!, The Steel Inferno. The neighborhood’s popularity continued to rise, with commercial rents peaking in 1988. The area then suffered a major setback in the late 1980s, when gangs began to frequent the neighborhood and bother visitors; the problems culminated in January 1988 when a gang shootout resulted in the death of a 27-year-old bystander. The neighborhood’s well-known bookstores and some movie cinemas began closing with the advent of large chain stores, Amazon.com and multiplex theaters.
By 1999, the Village was considered to be upscale economically, and today it houses many small and large shops and restaurants. Historically, independent merchants have blamed poor sales on lack of parking; a city-owned garage, on Broxton Avenue, provides two hours of free parking for patrons entering before 6 pm, and $3 flat rate parking from 6 pm to close (typically midnight on weeknights and 3 am on weekends). Parking is still cited as a major problem.
North Westwood Village
North Westwood Village (or North Village) is a mostly multifamily residential neighborhood west of Gayley Avenue and east of Le Conte Avenue where many UCLA students reside.