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Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California

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Title: Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California  
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Subject: Bob Clark, J. Paul Getty Museum, Edward Brophy, Palisade (disambiguation), Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region, Eddie Paskey, Peter Gowland, Paul Revere Charter Middle School, The Ski Channel, Rancho Boca de Santa Monica
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Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California

For other uses, see Pacific Palisades.
Pacific Palisades
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Pacific Palisades
Pacific Palisades
Location within Los Angeles County

Coordinates: 34°02′53″N 118°31′32″W / 34.04806°N 118.52556°W / 34.04806; -118.52556

Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles

Pacific Palisades is a neighborhood and district in the Westside of the city of Los Angeles, California, located among Brentwood to the east, Malibu and Topanga to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. The area currently has about 27,000 residents. It is primarily a residential area, with a mixture of large private homes, small (usually older) houses, condominiums, and apartments. Every Fourth of July, the community's Chamber of Commerce sponsors day-long events which include 5K and 10K runs, a parade down Sunset Boulevard, and a fireworks display at Palisades High School football field. The district also includes some large parklands and many hiking trails.


In 1911, film director Thomas Ince created his Western film factory, "Inceville," which at its peak employed nearly 600 people. A decade later, the Rev. Charles H. Scott and the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church bought the land; in 1922, Scott founded Pacific Palisades, envisioning an elaborate religious-intellectual commune.[1] Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. The tents eventually were replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multimillion-dollar homes.

During their exile from Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s, many German and Austrian intellectuals and artists settled in Pacific Palisades, including Thomas Mann (1550 San Remo Drive),[2] Lion Feuchtwanger, Vicki Baum, Oskar Homolka and Emil Ludwig.[3] Villa Aurora on Paseo Miramar, the Spanish colonial home of Feuchtwanger and his wife, Marta, became the focal point of the expatriate community, which was nicknamed "Weimar by the Sea".[4]

For many decades there was a virtual ban on drinking alcohol in the district, and a Chinese restaurant, House of Lee, held the only liquor license. The Presbyterian Church originally owned a conference center in Temescal Canyon before it was sold to become Temescal Gateway Park.

Areas or Neighborhoods

  • The Village is the Pacific Palisades' walkable, vibrant small central business district with its center at Sunset Boulevard and Via de la Paz. The Village consists of a weekly farmers' market, restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops in addition to boutiques, shops, banks, offices, and local events. Notable shops and restaurants in "the village" include Norris Hardware (which originally was the Bay Theater), Elyse Walker, Black Ink, P2 Skate Shop (formerly PaliSkate), Sylvia's Skin Studio, Benton's Sporting Goods, Beech Street Pizza, Cafe Vida, Cathay Palisades (formerly Fein's Deli), and The Yogurt Shoppe.
  • The Via Bluffs and the The Huntington Palisades are the neighborhoods that border the 'village' proper to the south of Sunset Boulevard, overlooking the ocean. The Via Bluffs is nestled between Temescal Canyon on the west and Potrero Canyon on the east; the Huntington Palisades is nestled between Potrero Canyon on the west and Chautauqua Boulevard on the east. Both of these neighborhoods are easy walking distance to The Village and sit upon high bluffs that look out over the Pacific Ocean. Many of the homes in these neighborhoods are accordingly afforded beautiful ocean views and ocean air. This area is also home to the largest park of the Palisades: the 117 acre Palisades Park which has four baseball diamonds, eight tennis courts, two indoor basketball courts, a hockey rink, dog parks, and multiple playgrounds.
  • The Alphabet Streets also known as "The North Village," is the neighborhood that borders the 'village' proper to the north of Sunset Boulevard. Also easy walking distance to The Village, this area is characterized by its high density of single family homes on lively narrow streets. The streets, named after Methodist Bishops of the late 19th and early 20th century, are consecutively named beginning with A, B, C, D, etc. - hence the name Alphabet Streets. This neighborhood is a popular destination for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
  • The El Medio Bluffs is located south of Sunset Boulevard beginning about a quarter mile west of The Village, across Temescal Canyon - just past Palisades Charter High School. The El Medio Bluffs extends for a long distance from Temescal Canyon all the way to where Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway. As with The Via Bluffs and The Huntington Palisades, The El Medio Bluffs are located on a high ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean and much of the neighborhood is afforded beautiful ocean views and ocean air.
  • Marquez Knolls is a large area of homes located north of Sunset Boulevard beginning about a quarter mile west of The Village across Temescal Canyon on the mountain upslope known for spectacular ocean views. The lower upslope was first developed in the early 1950s and mid-1960s by the Earl Lachman family. There is a small shopping center on Marquez Street and Sunset Boulevard.
  • Castellammare is located along the Pacific Coast Highway on small bluffs much closer to sea-level, just north of where Sunset Boulevard meets the PCH. This is the home of the Getty Villa and the narrow, winding streets in this neighborhood have Italian names and ocean breezes.
  • Palisades Highlands is a community near the end of Sunset Blvd., bordering Topanga, about five minutes away from the center of the Pacific Palisades (The Village). The Highlands could almost be considered its own separate community high up the hill overlooking the ocean, up Palisades Drive.
  • Rustic Canyon is the neighborhood east of Chautauqua Boulevard that dips into Santa Monica Canyon and includes the Will Rogers State Historic Park.[5] The neighborhood features post-war homes located on the former polo field of The Uplifters, the original site of The Uplifters clubhouse (now a city park), and "cabins" developed as second homes and weekend retreats. This area is also known as Uplifter's Ranch.
  • The Riviera is a Palisades neighborhood located approximately two miles east of The Palisades Village and features The Riviera Country Club, a high-end country club, and streets named after various locations in the French and Italian Riviera. The neighborhood is divided into north and south sections by Sunset Boulevard. It borders Santa Monica and Brentwood. Riviera Country club hosts the Northern Trust Open on the PGA Tour in February (the tournament was originally named the Los Angeles Open"'). Riviera has hosted three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1948 and the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995. Ben Hogan won three times in less than 18 months at the course (1947 and 1948 L.A. Open, 1948 U.S. Open), and it became known as "Hogan's Alley."


In 2009, the Los Angeles Times's "Mapping L.A." project supplied these Pacific Palisades statistics: population: 23,940; median household income: $168,008.[6]

Ethnic composition

Government and infrastructure

The most important civic group within the Palisades is the Pacific Palisades Community Council. The Pacific Palisades council usually meets twice each month to discuss a wide range of issues that affect its residents. The council has rejected city offers to become an official part of the city, preferring its independent, non-aligned status. Among the main reasons that Council members cite is that the Council would not have the power to appeal decisions of City officials, commissions, and boards and the Council could not appear before Federal, State, and County authorities regarding local issues.

Local government

The community is within District 11 of the Los Angeles City Council, represented by Mike Bonin.[7]

Los Angeles Fire Department operates two fire stations serving Pacific Palisades. Station 69 at 15045 West Sunset Boulevard serves Pacific Palisades and the Pacific Coast.[8] Station 23 at 17281 West Sunset Boulevard serves the Palisades Highlands, Castellammare, and the Pacific Coast.[9]

Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station at 1663 Butler Avenue, 90025, serving the neighborhood.[10]

County, state, and federal representation

Pacific Palisades is within Los Angeles County's 3rd District. As of 2008, Zev Yaroslavsky represents the district.[11]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Pacific Palisades.[12] The department operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica, serving Pacific Palisades.[13]

Pacific Palisades is within District 41 of the California State Assembly. As of 2008, Julia Brownley represents the district.[14] Pacific Palisades is within District 23 of the California Senate; as of 2008, Sheila Kuehl represents the district.[15] The community is a part of the State Board of Equalization District 4, represented by Judy Chu as of 2008.[16]

The community is within California's 30th congressional district. As of 2008, Henry Waxman represents the district.[17] The United States Postal Service operates the Pacific Palisades Post Office at 15243 La Cruz Drive and at 15209 West Sunset Boulevard.[18][19]


Residents are zoned to Los Angeles Unified School District schools. The area is within Board District 4.[20] As of 2008 Marlene Canter represents the district.[21][22]

Some residents are assigned to Pacific Palisades Elementary School, some residents are assigned to Canyon Elementary School, and some are assigned to Marquez Elementary School. All residents are zoned to Revere Charter Middle School and Palisades Charter High School.[23][24]

  • Canyon Elementary School opened in 1910.[25]
  • Pacific Palisades Elementary opened in 1922.[26]
  • Marquez Elementary School opened in 1955.[27]
  • Paul Revere Middle School first opened as Palisades-Brentwood Junior High School on September 12, 1955; it chose its current name during its first year of operation. It became an internal charter in 1994.[28]
  • Palisades High School opened in 1961.[29] Palisades received a charter in 1994.[30]

Private schools in the area include:

  • Calvary Christian (K–8)[31]
  • Village School[32] (pre-K–6)
  • Corpus Christi (K–8)
  • St. Matthew’s Parish School (PS–8)
  • Seven Arrows (K–6)[33]
  • Westside Waldorf (K–8)

Public libraries

Los Angeles Public Library operates the Palisades Branch at 861 Alma Real Drive.[34]


The only newspaper directly serving the Palisades is the Palisadian-Post. The newspaper was founded in 1928. Unlike most weeklies on the westside of Los Angeles, the Post is subscription-based. The paper is owned by Alan Smolinisky, a born and raised Palisadian who purchased the newspaper from the Small Newspaper Group, a midwestern media chain. Bill Bruns is the paper's editor-in-chief.

  • The Los Angeles Times is the citywide newspaper.
  • The Palisadian-Post is a local community newspaper.
  • "Pali Production" is a local low budget class at Palisades Charter High School that streams sports events and school graduations. It unifies the community and keeps Palisadians up to date. There is also a show they run called "The Current" that is facilitated by the students. It tells the parents and kids of Pali High and the Palisades community what is happening and what has happened in the school and area.

Parks and recreation

  • The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks operates several recreational facilities in Pacific Palisades at 851 Alma Real Drive. Palisades Park, at that address, has 117 acres (0.47 km2) of land.[35] The Palisades Recreation Center, also at that address, has barbecue pits, four baseball diamonds (two lighted, two unlighted), lighted basketball courts (indoor and outdoor), a children's play area, a football field, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts. The facility also has a kitchen, a stage, a television area, and various scheduled athletic and non-athletic activities.[36] The Pacific Palisades Tennis Court, also at that address, has eight courts.[37]
  • Rustic Canyon Park is located along Rustic Canyon Road.[38] The Rustic Canyon Pool is located at 601 Latimer Road.[39] The Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, located at the same address, has a multipurpose with a capacity of 150 people that can be used as an auditorium, a gymnasium, or a volleyball court. The center also has barbecue pits, an unlighted baseball diamond, basketball courts (lighted indoor and unlighted outdoor), a children's play area, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, and volleyball courts (lighted and unlighted).[40]
  • Temescal Canyon Park is a non-staffed "pocket park" located at 15900 Pacific Coast Highway. The park has barbecue pits, a children's play area, picnic tables, hiking trails, a native garden, and toilets.[41] Santa Ynez Canyon Park is located at Palisades Drive and Avenida de Santa Ynez.[42] Rivas Canyon Park is located at the east terminus of Oracle Pl.[43]
  • Will Rogers State Historic Park and Polo Club.[44] While Will Rogers made Beverly Hills his home in late twenties, in 1922, he bought a large plot of almost 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land above Sunset to build a weekend cottage. He built a polo field on the property in 1926, and, in 1928, he and his family made it their home. In 1944, after Will Rogers died, the ranch became a state park. In the interest of historical preservation, the home is maintained as it was including the furniture and fixtures. It is open to the public most days with the exception of major holidays, although admission is required. The top of the property's trail includes vistas of the ocean and city.

Notable places

  • Eames House The 1949 home and studio of husband-and-wife design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames.
  • The Getty Villa The most well-known landmark in the Palisades is J. Paul Getty's Getty Villa. The museum erroneously claims that it is the Getty Villa of Malibu; however, it is a part of the Palisades, which is in the city of Los Angeles.
  • Villa Aurora An artists residence and historic landmark located in the former home of exiled German-Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta.
  • Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine[4] A 10-acre spiritual center on Sunset Boulevard founded in 1950 by Paramahansa Yogananda, whose classic book “Autobiography of a Yogi” introduced many Westerners to yoga and Eastern mysticism.

Filming location

  • The 2005 Anne Hathaway, Bijou Phillips film Havoc was set in the Palisades and filmed at Palisades Charter High School.
  • The 2003 Disney film: Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan was filmed at Palisades Charter High School.
  • The 2001 film Crazy/Beautiful starring Kirsten Dunst was filmed at Palisades Charter High School.
  • The house used for the exterior shots of the Pearson residence in the 1979 film Phantasm is located at 1232 Corsica Drive in Pacific Palisades.
  • The 1985 music video for "Slip It In" by the hardcore punk band Black Flag was filmed at Palisades High School.
  • The 1977 NBC television program James at 16, starring Lance Kerwin was filmed at the same school, which was then called Palisades High School, or more commonly as "Pali" High.
  • The 1976 film Carrie was also filmed at Palisades High School.
  • Food Network's Everyday Italian is filmed on El Medio.
  • The TV series Baywatch was filmed at Lifeguard Headquarters by tower 15 of Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades.
  • The TV series Rockford Files was often filmed in and around the Palisades in the 1970s.
  • The TV series Popular filmed at Palisades High School
  • The first season residence of the television series "The Golden Girls" was a home in Pacific Palisades. For subsequent seasons, a facade house was built on the Disney/MGM back lot.[45]
  • The HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm is filmed in the real-life residence of Larry David, as the home of his character, "Larry David."

Cultural references

  • The Beach Boys 1963 hit "Surfin' U.S.A." mentions Pacific Palisades in its list of Southern California surf spots.
  • The 1976 book, What Really Happened to the Class of '65? is about members of one of Palisades High School's early graduating classes and how their once-privileged lives turned out years later, often disastrously. The book, by author David Wallechinsky, the son of novelist Irving Wallace, and his "Pali" classmate, film critic Michael Medved, described Pacific Palisades as a microcosm of America during the tumultuous Summer of Love-era.[46]
  • The West Coast Avengers, a California-based branch of the Marvel Comics superhero team, were depicted as based out of an estate in Pacific Palisades.[47]
  • A 1997 TV series produced by Aaron Spelling was named after the area.
  • The characters on the popular teen show Saved by the Bell (1989-1993) mentions on several occasions that their school is located in the Pacific Palisades.
  • Popular show 90210 mentions Palisades High as their rivals and has filmed some episodes on the beach and at a local restaurant Cafe Vida.

Notable residents (past and present)

See List of people from Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles

See also

Median family income


Further reading

  • Exiled German-Speaking Intellectuals in Los Angeles
  • Young, Betty Lou, Pacific Palisades: Where the Mountains Meet the Sea, Pacific Palisades Historical Society Press (1983)

External links

  • Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce
  • Pacific Palisades Community Council
  • Pacific Palisades Historical Society
  • DMOZ

Coordinates: 34°02′53″N 118°31′32″W / 34.04806°N 118.52556°W / 34.04806; -118.52556

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